They are black-headed grosbeaks. It took me a bit to figure that out, even though their large and sturdy beak first suggested that I should start with a grosbeak. Fortunately the male spent a lot of time on the bird feeder yesterday and today, and the female joined him on the rail, where corn and sunflower seeds seemed to keep her content.

The chickadees didn’t mind the company, and so while the grosbeak sat on top of the feeder, a steady stream of chickadees flew in and found a space wherever a foot could grab hold, whether on the top or underneath or on the side. Chickadees are not picky about being right side up.

The young squirrel spent another long time on the deck, exploring and tasting and generally getting used to its body that can do wonderful acrobatics, though it did miss a leap on top of the birdbath, and fell forward a couple feet. When I walked outside it stood on a branch above me to check me out. I gave it a hearty welcome to the neighborhood and offered some tips about life in these parts. It scurried away just before I got to the point about being careful of the coyotes on an evening, so hopefully its mother will share that one.

The day was hot. And as mountains are supposed to be cool places to visit, there’s no air conditioning to alleviate the heat. It just gets hot, warmer inside than out because of the lack of a good breeze. And my mind stops when it gets hot. That’s not an excuse, more of a reality, and my reality of this day was that it did end up getting away from me, and I never could quite lasso it back. My sporadic attempts at restorative prayer were punctuated by long moments of distraction, leaving me wondering where exactly this day went off to, and wondering what I could have better done to engage it for what it offered.

That, however, is what a tomorrow is for. We can get up, shake off the dust, and try it again, this time a little better, hopefully, and a little sharper, God willing.

Though, I should note this is the first real Morning and Evening posting in a very, very long time. That should count for something. Shouldn’t it?