Me, the toothpick fairy

As usual, leaving paradise and coming to town is painful. I miss it before I'm even gone. I was contemplating how best to put out all the remaining grapes for the thrush when I got a marvelous inspiration. I had run out of [toothpick] pegs (for lack of a better word) to impale the grapes on and still had grapes leftover. So I got the brilliant idea of leaving the grapes on the cluster and let the bird pluck them from it like it does in nature. Duh! Was that genius, or what! Here's a photo of the man-made cluster before I added the natural cluster.

Then I took another photo of it after I put a cage around it, to hopefully protect it from javelina. I'm sure there are many other critters that will eventually see it as food. Hopefully, not. Bears, racoons, and badgers come to mind, not to mention mockingbirds, towhees and other birds.

I just laid the remaining natural cluster on top of the man-made clusters. (Sorry, forgot to take a photo of it.) In the future, I'll fasten the natural cluster to the branch. The hope is that nothing will get the grapes but the thrush, as is currently the case, and that they'll last a few days until I get down there to restock it. He consumes about 8-10 per day. I put out about 50, so should be good for a few days.

He has a hard time choosing which grape to eat, they all look so good!

Look at the damage that sapsucker left on the locust tree.

Coming to town this morning I got caught amid the pack of Chili Cookoff revelers leaving Terlingua. The border checkpoint was a hub of activity. Not visible in the photo is the line of motor-homes in queue heading north. You can see 2 more approaching in the background. I counted 3 drug-sniffing dogs at work as the agents struggled to keep up with the influx of vehicles. I actually made it through faster than I expected. They're doing a good job.