Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sun Pillars and Thrashers

I was photographing the sunset last night and a sun pillar appeared. A sun pillar is vertical streaks of light above a low sun shining through ice crystal clouds, similar to glitter paths on the surface of a lake or ocean. It is brightest when the sun is just below the horizon. When a sun pillar occurs at night, it is called...a moon pillar, of course!

It was still light outside, so I walked over to the wall on the side of the house to talk to the thrashers. There is a mated pair of thrashers living in the shrub that creeps over the wall and divides our property from the property next door. The thrasher couple mixes amicably with the finches, sparrows and doves that flutter around our yard, but at night, when the smaller birds fly into the thick evergreens in the arroyo for extra protection from predators, the thrashers sit on the wall, waiting to talk to me.

This time, however, the dogs were with me. Mrs. Thrasher did not like this at all. She looked at me, then down at the dogs, then back at me, then down at the dogs. At one point, I thought she might attack them, so I told the dogs to go back inside.

The days are growing warmer and the little birds seem to be hovering around interesting places, like the garden shed, and my grandchildren's playhouse. I suspect they are looking for nesting sites. They like the smiling sun that hangs on the playhouse. The sun's mouths is open and the space is perfect for a small nest.

I love nesting season, listening to the birds call to their mates, watching them dart back and forth from the plants to their nests, capturing bugs, feeding their young. God has blessed our home with these little creatures, and they are marvelous.

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