Definitely a 10 on the cute-o-meter and a bird that never fails to put a smile on my face. I was on the patio, dodging mosquitos and snapping shots of hummers (see Extra for an adult female) when I heard the distinctive call of a young titmouse. A slow swivel of the lens, a press of the shutter, and I had my blip. This one is easily identified as a youngster because of the trace of a gape at the corners of the mouth and the lack of a black spot on the forehead - not to mention the overall "fluffy" appearance.
There are four recognized species of Titmouse in the US - our Tufted Titmouse, the unbelievably adorable Bridled Titmouse of Arizona and Mexico, and two western species that are almost identical - Oak Titmouse and Juniper Titmouse. There is also a subspecies of our Tufted T that has a black crest and is typically found in small populations in Texas and Mexico. These are in the same family as Chickadees (Tits in Europe).
I did some grocery shopping today (fully masked) and then tackled some house work. My besties are coming out this weekend so I want things to be nice when they get here! I'd hoped to take the kayak out for a paddle but scattered showers all around our area made that a less attractive option. Hubs is in the office today (usually he works from his home office) and has a dinner tonight so it is jut the cats and I. And all the outdoor critters of course.
I've been catching up on Daniel Silva's books and enjoying them immensely. The novels are well written and the characters are flawed but likeable. And he weaves a lot of recent history from the Middle East into his stories which is interesting. I've just downloaded a copy of "The Mauritanian" (originally published as The Guantanamo Diary, heavily redacted) and am looking forward to reading it. I think Guantanamo Bay is a dark chapter of this country's story and I am hopeful that it will eventually be closed. That said, there is much I don't know about it and I'm hopeful this book will fill in some of the blanks. It's also out now as a movie but I'll wait on that until I've read the book.
Plain, virgin dark today.