Looking Over My Shoulder

By: WatchinTheSky , 11:17 PM GMT on August 24, 2013

A barely occasional visitor to the backyard (indeed, today as I checked up on feeders) - geococcyx californianus, known by some as velocitus tremenjus or speedipus rex ;)


A member of the cuckoo family, they prefer the ground over flight. They extrude salt from their blood through glands over their eyes as an adaptation of desert living. They can get by on the moisture from their food if water content is enough, but will drink if water is available.

This guy did not seem too shy, was busy hunting. calpoppy has mentioned roadrunners will catch birds, 'opportunistic foraging' as Cornell Labs ornithology website says - catching small birds at feeders and nest boxes. They are know for dining on various venomous critters, snakes, scorpions, spiders.

This guy had two shady spots below feeders that he tried out - to no avail, feeders were too high or he was too slow. I saw him make two tries, not even close. But the posturing was cool to watch, reminding me of a cat crouching - then springing up.


He looks as if just resting or even sitting on a nest (which would be off the ground in a shrub or tree) but he very purposefully crouched down with wings a bit open ready launch.


A signature bird of the desert southwest, they are expanding range east to southern Missouri and western Louisiana. IUCN conservation status is LC (least concern, much like 'yotes or in spite of 'yotes - appetitius giganticus / hungrii flea-bagius) so their population is in good condition.

Since he (or she, 'it' sounds weird to me and he/she is clunky) did not catch any of the other feathered visitors, I will say it - he is a good looking bird!



Here's the current Hummer Cam view -
Hummer cam current view -


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115. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:21 PM GMT on October 24, 2013
WatchinTheSky has created a new entry.
114. Ylee
5:42 AM GMT on October 24, 2013
Quoting 111. WatchinTheSky:
Ylee, accurate enough, BUT - those darts are magnetic, not pointy, and they don't stick well. I will have to rearrange. Speaking of such, should be the last day for this blog! I hope!


Tell that to the glass in the yeti's picture frame! ;' )

Awaiting your next creation; something Irish?
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 129 Comments: 22948
113. GardenGrrl
6:26 PM GMT on October 23, 2013
BTW after going back through here, this has been a fun blog :)
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112. GardenGrrl
6:23 PM GMT on October 23, 2013
Hey, the Yeti looks good at his new home. And they do like to drink malted beverages and play darts.
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111. WatchinTheSky
6:00 PM GMT on October 23, 2013
Ylee, accurate enough, BUT - those darts are magnetic, not pointy, and they don't stick well. I will have to rearrange. Speaking of such, should be the last day for this blog! I hope!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
110. Ylee
9:42 PM GMT on October 22, 2013
I like the sketch! Hope you're accurate with darts! :' )
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109. WatchinTheSky
4:03 PM GMT on October 22, 2013
Hi GG! I just happen to have 2 of the 3 suggestions for lunch today :) Last item may have to wait for when I get home ;)
Look who followed me in to work - (sorry Ylee, but that's no polar bear!)

Still wish I had the original, let me know if the artist changes her mind ;)
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108. GardenGrrl
10:12 AM GMT on October 22, 2013
Sounds like you need some chicken soup and some lemon honey tea. Irish whiskey optional.
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107. Ylee
6:18 PM GMT on October 21, 2013
Quoting 105. WatchinTheSky:
Ylee, no beer - but there were empty Coke bottles laying around! And it seems, according to tv commercials near the end of the year, polar bears like Coke - some maybe there is something to that DNA business. But polar bears and avocados??


Maybe they like guacamole and chips with their coke? :' )
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106. GardenGrrl
9:35 PM GMT on October 18, 2013
Welcome Back!

Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 304 Comments: 12696
105. WatchinTheSky
9:12 PM GMT on October 18, 2013
Ylee, no beer - but there were empty Coke bottles laying around! And it seems, according to tv commercials near the end of the year, polar bears like Coke - some maybe there is something to that DNA business. But polar bears and avocados??
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
104. Ylee
6:28 PM GMT on October 18, 2013
Glad you made it back without being labled a terroist, WTS! :' ) Did the Yeti leave you any beer?

Speaking of Yetis, say it ain't so! Link
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 129 Comments: 22948
103. WatchinTheSky
3:10 AM GMT on October 18, 2013
Hi BC GG, back today, bleary eyed and jet laggy :-/
TSA was more 'frisky' leaving the country than when returning!?
Gotta work tomorrow, then start working the photos over the weekend, hope there are some good ones ;)
Not only are there no snakes over there, but I did not see a single yeti!!
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102. GardenGrrl
9:10 PM GMT on October 17, 2013
Are ya home yet? Can't wait to see the pictures.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 304 Comments: 12696
101. BriarCraft
9:39 PM GMT on October 15, 2013
Just checking in. I hope the TSA and Customs don't get too intimate with you on your return trip! Or if they do, I hope it's something you enjoy. (Oh! My bad! But any time I think of flying, I think of public intimacy with strangers. Can't help it!)

See you and lots of photos when you get back!
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
100. WatchinTheSky
6:55 AM GMT on October 13, 2013
Fir, Mna - loo
Ewe, ram - rattlebag
Learning new things :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
99. calpoppy
3:43 PM GMT on October 12, 2013


uh oh!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 89 Comments: 5611
98. SBKaren
8:33 PM GMT on October 11, 2013
We did have rain! It fell on Wednesday and got quite cold! We had to close all our windows and I had to put socks on my feet!!! aghast! They are off now.

Sounds like your having fun pubbing it around! My neighbors are Irish and have provided me with a shillelagh from one of their return visits to their homeland many years ago. I have it hanging in my kitchen.

Member Since: February 21, 2005 Posts: 201 Comments: 15208
97. WatchinTheSky
8:29 PM GMT on October 11, 2013
go raibh mile maith agaibh, cp!
Ylee, still working on yours!
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96. GardenGrrl
2:52 PM GMT on October 11, 2013
That's funny Ylee :-D
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95. Ylee
6:47 PM GMT on October 10, 2013
An Yeti ól go léir do beoir!

I love Google, lol!
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94. calpoppy
12:17 AM GMT on October 10, 2013
Bíodh am iontach agat!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 89 Comments: 5611
93. WatchinTheSky
4:25 PM GMT on October 09, 2013
He's switching off with the neighbors ;)
SBK, sp, and cp may get some RAIN!!

Off to a pub for dinner!
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92. Ylee
9:12 AM GMT on October 09, 2013
Do you have the Yeti housesitting? :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 129 Comments: 22948
91. WatchinTheSky
3:02 PM GMT on October 08, 2013
Thanks cp! We are having great craic!! (for those unfamiliar, that would be me a couple days ago :) that is pronounced crack. And is Irish for fun, good times, etc!! Becoming a craic addict!)
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90. calpoppy
2:50 PM GMT on October 08, 2013
A celtic bump ;)
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 89 Comments: 5611
89. GardenGrrl
10:28 AM GMT on October 06, 2013
Safe travels. Have fun.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 304 Comments: 12696
88. SBKaren
10:26 PM GMT on October 05, 2013
Looks like I missed the anticipation of the trip....you're gone! Yes, you missed the heat! It's awfully hot here today. Out house registered 90 degrees today, yes our HOUSE! Thankfully it's not to last long.....I hope. Termites are swarming everywhere, they like this weather.

I can't wait to see your pictures! I've never made it to Ireland, but I did go to most 'mainland' Europe way back in the day, even living in Germany for awhile. I'll try to post a picture of what my mustang looked like when I'm on the computer. I can do it on this iPad, but too hard for me and my big fingers.

Have fun!!!

**Modify - this is what my mustang looked like!



We drove this hog from California to Georgia - across to Texas and back home back in 1972. This was before we learned we were going to be transferred to Germany. Then we went carless for 18 months!!!
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87. Ylee
9:25 PM GMT on October 05, 2013
Remember, if you manage to score some gold from a leprechan, you have to declare it in Customs.... :' )
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86. WatchinTheSky
4:46 PM GMT on October 04, 2013
Liftoff! :)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
85. WatchinTheSky
4:19 PM GMT on October 03, 2013
T minus 1!
Guess I should start packing ;)
Ylee, be sure she takes you along! That was the deal I made :D I think all the stays are in hotels, but we will visit a few castles - for sure.

See WU all in a while!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
84. Ylee
4:00 PM GMT on October 03, 2013
Is the trip tomorrow? Are you staying in a hotel, renting a house, or living it up in a castle? My wife wants to make it over there someday(I'm going too, lol)!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 129 Comments: 22948
83. WatchinTheSky
4:01 AM GMT on October 02, 2013
We are going to blarney, but I hear the stone is very, umm, germy lol.
Seems like everyone went backpacking through Europe in their early days, we were not so adventurous, trying to work on that now :)
First 2 trips were sort of family trips, Mrs WTS says next one will be more just us. That'll be a while!
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
82. calpoppy
12:15 AM GMT on October 02, 2013
I want a pic of you and Mrs WTS kissing the Blarney Stone, lol!!

I like how you both travel Europe, one country at a time!

I travelled through Europe when I was 19, by myself, crazy I was!!!!

Enjoy your trip if I don't get back, we want lots of pics and stories!! It is our virtual vacation ya know. So far this year I have been to Australia with PSP and Gold Beach with Briar and Seattle with myself, lol!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 89 Comments: 5611
81. PugetSoundPost
10:29 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
Wonderful trip for you and I don't even know all that you are doing! Anywhere in Ireland and environs would be a wonderful trip... Sure wish you a great time full of wonder and excitement!

Jumping in on the food on planes, yes, on our flight (longest leg 14 hours) we did get food, for no extra charge, and I will say it was pretty good! A nice full course dinner and breakfast for us, and I was in economy (Mr PSP was in Business, and they really get treated well! :) ) but I was very pleased with my meals. Other shorter legs on a couple of different airlines differed between handing out a free small, bag of cookies or pretzels and beverage, to nothing free at all. I went ahead and skipped buying anything on those occasions. That's telling them.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 209 Comments: 1290
80. sp34n119w
10:09 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
The first pic was subtle ... until I noticed the "T minus" bit, LOL Wow, that's going to be wonderful and I can't wait for the travel blog! I expect it will rival, nay, exceed, the Italy entry :)
Take your wellies.

Avos and me go way back. My family had a small avo ranch when I was a kid so I ate them sometimes. I have lost my taste for them, rather than further acclimated. In fact, I have a pretty bad reaction to them which is Very Sad as the dang things are everywhere and life would be easier if I could just eat them. Plus, they look so nice, lol. Oh, well. I can enjoy others' joy in them :)

Panteras were awesome.

Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 85 Comments: 4487
79. WatchinTheSky
9:33 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
Hi BC! Well, I did just buy a new mem chip for the camera (by my calculations on my older cam - 3200 photos, probably enough!), new batteries in and spares in the case! So is that all the important stuff?? LOL We might be getting out just before the fire weather starts! PSP's flight was longer, but we do get food!
A couple more photos from Cruise Night -
A vintage Pantera, Ford's almost a Ferrari


and Don Garlits 3rd generation dragster

Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
78. BriarCraft
6:02 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
Gosh! I got so excited about your Ireland trip, I forgot to comment on Cruisin' Grand. You managed some good photos in the dark. And that avo-food all looks so yummy -- and artistic, too.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
77. BriarCraft
5:56 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
You're going to Ireland??? Really!?!? And not a peep out of you about it until now? The lengths some people will go to, to see green grass and rain! You could have just driven north about 1,000 miles, but this way you'll get to enjoy body scans and pat-downs. Do the airlines serve food on long treks like yours and PSP's or must you bring your own food?

When packing, don't forget:
camera
extra memory cards
extra batteries
If you're using rechargeable batteries, do you have a plug adapter and/or power converter for the recharger?

Oh, and don't forget Mrs. WTS!

Have a great time! And we'll be looking forward to an Ireland blog when you get back.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4712
76. WatchinTheSky
4:01 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
Hi, sp! I think avos are an acquired taste - I came over to the green side about 20 years ago :)
Crusin Grand is a fun time, gone for the winter now.

Thanks GG! I think this is going to be a great month :)

PSP, Glad you made it through the weather! I think my guess on BC's blog may be way short unless the skies clear a bit.

Hi, cp :)

T minus 3


WU land is full of sharp cookies!! I thought I was being subtle ;)

Very excited.
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
75. PugetSoundPost
2:46 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
Looks like a good time and great food for you last weekend! Sounds like a lot of fun.

Yes, we made it through the crazy weekend weather up here... it didn't quite turn into the event that was advertised - how often does that happen??? But there was still plenty of punch and mainly a lot of rain with windy conditions too. Then by surprise a rare tornado hit Washington yesterday morning about an hour south of us - it was a "small" one, but still it inflicted damage. Yesterday was actually still stormy and squally, carrying over from the potent weekend. This was the wettest September in the city of Seattle's history - officially over 6" - it was wetter than the averages for December and January - our most wet season. Wonder how October will do? Could just carry on as it has been, or perhaps be unusually dry?

Looks like a wonderful trip is soon to happen for you?!
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 209 Comments: 1290
74. calpoppy
2:41 PM GMT on October 01, 2013
Duh! I did not get the pics, thanks SP!

Very clever, WTS!

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 89 Comments: 5611
73. GardenGrrl
10:19 AM GMT on October 01, 2013
White Rabbits, White Rabbits, White Rabbits!
*****Happy October*****
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72. sp34n119w
1:13 AM GMT on October 01, 2013
Those are excellent foody pics, WTS! Though I don't like avos, I wish I did. Quite coincidentally, I came across a brief history of avos this morning and learned that SD county produces 60% of the nation's crop!

Very cool cars, too - way fancier than what I usually see at SP's Cruise Night! Not surprisingly, LOL

Stay hydrated - champagne counts, I'm sure ;)

Edit to add: Um, you going on a trip? To Ireland? In, say, 4 days? Weeks?
Member Since: January 27, 2007 Posts: 85 Comments: 4487
71. WatchinTheSky
4:25 PM GMT on September 30, 2013
T minus 4
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
70. WatchinTheSky
11:44 PM GMT on September 29, 2013
Hi, cp! Those are THE patio glasses since they are plastic! And I think we had 'the' plates out yesterday for lunch :)

It was quite a sight with the dragsters rolling down our little downtown street, and really loud echoing off the storefronts!!

Are we going to get any of BC or PSP's rain?
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909
69. calpoppy
8:15 PM GMT on September 29, 2013
I think I will take a glass of champagne (in that very pretty glass, please) and the salad with lime infused avo oil!

I went to a funny car race way back when, I thought I had lost my hearing after that. Loved the flames, LOL!

Actually that champagne glass goes very nicely with Mrs. WTS' plates that the tomatoes were on recently!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 89 Comments: 5611
68. WatchinTheSky
2:45 PM GMT on September 29, 2013
Hi, GG! That was all very tasty :) but now it's breakfast and big bowl of oatmeal!
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67. GardenGrrl
9:47 AM GMT on September 29, 2013
Good Morning, what a fun evening! Cool cars and the other food of the God's, avocado's. Those pictures have me looking crosswise at my bowl of Cheerios.
Can't decide which picture looks the best but would probably go with my stand by of guac and chips.

Had a little talk with Syd about doing modeling and other side jobs when I'm out of town ;)
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 304 Comments: 12696
66. WatchinTheSky
5:08 AM GMT on September 29, 2013
Lots of fun at last Crusin Grand event of the year. The evening was topped off by a big display of horse power from some vintage dragsters. But first, dinner at Avocado Grill, we got our favorite table outside with a great view of the street that was closed to normal traffic making way for pedestrians and old cars.

Chips and guacamole


caprese pannini with avo slices


Cashew chicken salad - avocado instead of mayo


salad with dressing made with lime infused avocado oil


Is Syd doing some modeling??


SBK's Mustang?


Puppy power at the event!!


One would need to be a bit of a motorhead to remember this - but Don Garlits Swamp Rat III was there. A world record holder in its day at 198 mph and just under 8 seconds for the quarter mile. Now the times are around half that at over 300 mph.


A grainy shot of the nitro flames from an early 'funny car'.


Oh Yes - it is the weekend!!


Not related, T minus 5 -
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65. WatchinTheSky
3:18 AM GMT on September 29, 2013
sp, I did not :( though I I did go out around 10 to do a little eye star gazing, and the sky is very clear with the low humidity. I have been seeing some really nice Milky Way photos from US Dept of Interior tweets so I have been trying to catch a view here. A bit of a lost cause with the glow from San Diego on our south west horizon.
I like the low humidity as well, since we don't usually get it ;)
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 3909

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Observations and occasional comments about San Diego county weather - nature - and the world around us.

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