Friday, August 31, 2007

It Stormed!!!!!!

Wednesday and Thursday of this week (Aug. 28-29), were fun days for me on the high desert.

It stormed!

Now that in and of itself may mean nothing to people in the parts of the world which get storms throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall, but the two recent days of storms here, were the first in a long time.

Another thing some folks might be wondering about is why am I blogging this fact. I'm only doing it because I love storms. And, on both days, I took out my camera and photographed lightning. It's a rare day when we have lightning that actually lights up the sky...and these storms produced some good lightning.

One of my favorite captures from the storms is this shot:

It was taken on Wednesday evening and was the last shot I got that evening before rain forced me and my non-weatherized digital camera inside.

But along with the lightning came some badly needed rain in the high desert. Thursday's afternoon storm produced wind gusts up to 50 mph and in a span of 20 minutes, dumped slightly more than two inches of rain. Needless to say, river ran down streets, yards were swamps and gardens got badly needed moisture.

But something else happened during that storm Thursday afternoon. A tree in front of the house I rent a room in, got so badly battered around, that it dumped three fledgling American Goldfinches onto the lawn. The young birds were soaked to the core, cold and wet, and were sitting ducks for any hungry stray cat which came by looking for dinner.

Beside which, my landlord loves finches and enjoys watching them feed on her feeders. So, when I noticed the birds in trouble, I went and told her there were three birds flopping around in her front yard and asked her if she wanted to help them survive. Her first thought was they were Starling chicks and wanted nothing to do with them until I told her what they really were.

Well, I captured the birds and brought them to her and she proceeded to dry them off, warm them and was even able to get the birds to eat through an eyedropper. Friday morning when I checked on the birds, they were drinking water, eating small seed and even chirping. It looks like they will survive.

Since the birds are well-feathered and do a lot of moving around the cage, I told my landlord that in less than a week we might be able to release the youngsters. When we do send the triplets into the world, I hope their natural instinct for survival will take over and give them a full life.

Of course, if we do release them now, I don't think we have to worry about them getting caught in another storm.

Numerous storms over a period of two days is probably all we will get this summer.

But if we do get any more storms, I'll have my camera ready for the lightning and I am sure my landlord will be looking out for several small birds hanging out in her yard.

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