Monsoon season has officially begun. We've already had our first haboob (dust storm), and I had what seemed like a ton of debris to get out of the pool. Tonight we had dark clouds and lots of thunder and lightning... but no rain. Before the monsoon begins is when we usually have our extreme temperatures-- like a week with temperatures dancing around 115° (46°C). Last week many birds were showing signs of stress. There's something about a tiny hummingbird, beak gaping wide open and struggling for breath, that just breaks my heart. That's one reason why I have so many birdbaths that I keep filled. I know they are lifesavers.
But the birds' favorite water feature isn't a birdbath; it's the waterfall at the deep end of my pool. Birds-- like humans-- are drawn to the sight and sound of cool water tumbling down over rocks.
There has been a gang of anywhere from three to six hummingbirds trying to claim the waterfall as their own. They all lurk back in the depths of the shrubs, waiting for one to crack and fly to the running water. Then the rest come zooming out of hiding to chase each other away. It's hilarious.
I have several videos of the feathered friends who have shown up to enjoy the waterfall, and I had a difficult time choosing one for this post. I think I'll stick with the hummingbirds this time. Only three of the six are in this one, but I think you'll get an idea of what an oasis it's been so far this summer.
Don't worry-- I promise that there are links after the video!
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- It seems that book publishers are finally beginning to do a bit more fact-checking.
- How a new Librarian of Congress could improve U.S. copyright.
- The London mansion where Peter Pan was written is for sale.
- I love this semi-trailer!
- Would you read a one million-word book? (If the story's good, sure.)
- What Heathers taught us about being a twisted teen. (I must be twisted, too, because I love this movie.)
- F. Scott Fitzgerald's secretary, Frances Kroll Ring, has died at the age of 99.
- Patrick Macnee-- the only John Steed for me-- has died at the age of 93.
- Starz series Outlander is in the news for Outlander tartans, kilts, and the like, and for a website created by one of the stars to help people (especially adults) learn Scots Gaelic.
- Under the category of You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up: check out a man's complaint about NBC's logo.
- If there were ratings numbers for Netflix, TV would definitely be losing.
- Amazon has become the next great Library of Alexandria.
- English bookstores are thriving in China.
- Amazon is changing product reviews, but only one of the changes has me annoyed.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- A lot has been uncovered, but the ancient Greek Antikythera shipwreck still holds secrets.
- Ten times larger than Stonehenge, archaeologists have begun excavating Marden Henge.
- Someone just paid $282 million for a Klimt portrait at Sotheby's.
- Seems to me a recent link was about a bunch of antique cars found in a barn in France. You would not believe what the wonderful (rare) Bugatti sold for!
- A man in Scotland has found what he believes to be a long-lost Picasso in his attic-- and the story of how it got there is even more interesting than the painting itself.
- You'll never guess what was stored in the attic of the Parthenon.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- With a little patience, talent, and know-how, this photographer gets some cute shots of this squirrel.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- Did you know that the Grand Canyon is on the annual list of America's 11 most endangered historic places?
►I ♥ Lists◄
- 53 of the best opening sentences in literature.
- 25 of the most powerful photos ever taken.
- The world's 57 largest book publishers in 2015.
- Redbook's 7 Book Series Binge Readers Need to Start Now has some excellent choices.
- This map shows the most popular book set in each country in Europe.
That's all for now. Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure!
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!