It’s that time of year when the mockingbirds settle down in and around, building their nests, laying their eggs and raising their chicks.

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(click to enlarge)

Our cat Jiggy, the youngest and most curious (and unfortunately best hunter) of our feline foursome, seems more than happy to draw their noisy territorial ire — not, as it seems, by proactively raiding their dens as much as just laying about way too close for their comfort and nonchalantly disregarding their divebombing efforts to drive him away.

Of course this just drives the birds to take greater risks and apparently the mate of the one pictured above atop the remains of an agave bloom got close enough to The Jig for him to relieve it of all of its tail feathers. Though the end result has left it looking quite odd,  the bird suffered no injury and certainly doesn’t seem to have lost any of its flight ability despite missing such crucial components. Certainly it’s more angry than ever.

Short of keeping all the cats inside, I do my best to discourage Jiggy from bothering the birdies, but that’s only slightly less difficult than standing in a rain storm and attempting to stop the drops from hitting the ground. So instead I pray a lot that the birds’ll maintain a minimum safe distance.

Bonus “bigable” photo: A bee busy at a prickly pear cactus blossom:

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bottle.jpgAnd in other backyarcheology news, I unearthed another odd but entirely intact bottle yesterday (that cleaned up real nice) to add to the collection. The manufacturer is Ball, but even though the shape is rather unique, the bottle is seamed so I’m pretty sure it isn’t anything at all ancient.