My 18th yard species to be blipped this year, the talkative Gray Catbird. They arrive in late April, stealthy and furtive and silent. And within a few days they've set up territory and started talking...a lot. These are in the Mimic Thrush family (like Mockingbirds) so they have an extensive vocabulary. They also engage in what I can only imagine is meant to be terrifying behavioral posturing, intended to scare off rivals. Frankly, I am not sure that they aren't all having a good laugh at themselves. This fellow was all puffed up with special attention to his hackles on the lower back, making the distinctive cat-like noise they are known for - his rival was doing the same. After several minutes, both flew off, apparently having accomplished whatever it was they intended. They are, without a doubt, one of my favorite summer birds. When not engaged in threatening behavior, they are sleek and elegant looking creatures, generally quite tolerant of humans with cameras.
It was cooler again today with the added bonus of overcast skies so I spent quite a bit of time outside with my camera (and Jax). He didn't take his usual morning nap, being intent on guarding us against chipmunks while we were on the deck. Right after lunch, I took him for a walk after which he conked out on the sofa. He still seems to be feeling fine although I did notice a small amount of discharge still from his right eye. He's not enjoying the eye drop experience - and neither are we. But 8 more days - we can do this. I hope.
And a little reminder to ourselves why we should never, ever leave a collar on him when he's in the house - he got the leash-ring caught on a piece of furniture and drug it halfway across the floor before we could catch him and release the collar. Fortunately, he is almost never out of our sight - and this was a good reminder to always take his collar off when he comes in. He is fully housebroken now, so we don't have to make emergency trips outside - always time to put on a leash or collar.
Only about a week and a half before I leave for the photo trip to TX - was reading the website today and getting very excited about it all. My only regret is that Hilly can't make it.
I think dark with mint today. And maybe a piece of plain dark, too.