Owl Eyes & Drum Bells

April 16, 2008

The two great horned owl nests that I pass on my morning walk are active now, with three young birds in each.  I feel honored to have two nests so close to my house, and watching them has become a wonderful spring tradition.  The young birds watch us with suspicion:

great horned owl baby

Even this Needlespine Cactus (Echinomastus erectocentrus var. erectocentrus) is a reminder that this time of year belongs to the owls:

owl eyed cactus

April marks the first anniversary of our exploration of the Empire Mountains.  This is a small mountain range (geologically, the northeastern extension of the Santa Ritas) and the highway passes very close to it, but access to the interior is only by hiking and (to a limited extent) by 4WD vehicle.  We have found unique plant communities, several rare plants, and a great diversity of common desert, grassland, and mountain flora.  I have been developing a plant list for the area (as far as I know, this has never been done).  


Although not intended to illustrate every species, the webpage includes photos of some of the showier flowers, and will eventually include photos and descriptions of typical Empire Mt. plant communities. 

Here’s a new set of six forged iron cone bells that are designed to be tied onto a drum, a bag, or anything that needs some earthy metallic rattling energy.  The three small cones have a very high, tinkly sound, and the larger ones have a more assertive clank. They are photographed on a copper/iron ore boulder in my yard.

cone bells for a drum


One Response to “Owl Eyes & Drum Bells”

  1. Debbie said

    The owl in its nest looks so mysterious and the cactus bloom ‘owl’ is so preposterous in contrast that it makes me laugh. But I can see the association.

    The wildflower pictures are just beautiful. Did not know there was a time when so many plants flowered in the desert.

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