December temperatures moderated on New Year’s Day.  I had to bundle up for a walk on the first day of 2022 as the wind was blowing at 20 mph and temperatures lingered around the mid 40’s. My photographer friend Buddy Walker drove us to the Estrella Park Reserve to look for a Vermillion Flycatcher early morning.  Believe it or not a beautiful male flew right in front of us and landed on a branch.

SRP has drained ponds in their recharge area.  Two Great Blue Herons and a Snowy Egret took advantage of the situation to hunt for stranded fish on Wednesday morning.

While OMICRON has surged here in Arizona, most of us are fully vaccinated and boosted.  We do wear masks and avoid indoor gatherings.  Neighborhood hikes and good reading fill days.

Below left is the Vermillion Flycatcher, next the Herons in the pond and finally on the right a view of a Curve-billed Thrasher singing its full repertoire of beautiful melodies.

Joy abounds in ambient sounds of Nature.


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