pandion haliaetus

I often see this raptor at the lagoon, always solo.

The osprey (Pandion haliaetus), also called sea hawk, river hawk, and fish hawk, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It’s large, reaching more than 60 cm (24 in) in length and 180 cm (71 in) across the wings.

The osprey is unusual in that it is a single living species that occurs nearly worldwide. Another oddity: osprey and owls are the only raptors whose outer toe is reversible, allowing them to grasp their prey with two toes in front and two behind. This is particularly helpful when they grab slippery fish.

hyalophera cecropia

Another one for National Moth Week. The cecropia moth is North America’s largest native moth, and can be found all across the continent. Females have been documented with a wingspan of five to seven inches (125 – 175 mm) or more. Like other members of the giant silk moth family, the cecropia moth lacks functional mouth parts and a digestive system. Due to this, they survive approximately two weeks. So if you get to see one, rejoice!

agave americana

I’ve been collecting the maguey fruits a couple of times a day as they fall to the driveway. I’ve read they are edible (boil first, then sauté in butter or bacon fat) but they are pretty bitter. I’ve tried roasting and slow braising, hoping that will sweeten them up, but the bitterness persists. A little further research reveals that it’s the unopened buds that are good to eat, not the fallen fruits. To take advantage of the bounty, we should have cut down the stalk before the flowers even opened. Oh well … I think I’ll just leave these for the squirrels.