The other neighbors
True to my pledge to do some reading outdoors, I spent the better part of the afternoon on my western balcony enjoying the weather and completing Catching Fire, the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. (Short review: reads an awful lot like a cynical cash-in to turn this into a trilogy. Not bad, just inessential.) It was a fantastic day to be able to sit outside and take it easy. The morning's rain had cooled things off significantly, and when the sun did emerge, there was a nice, soft breeze that kept the temperature comfortable.
The side of the apartment that I was on is relatively isolated. A culvert borders the grassy area and separates the green space from the back of a shopping center. I was able to kick back and listen to the birds chirping away and practically imagine that I was out in the countryside. I even stole a short nap with my head resting against the wall.
From time to time I'd look up to see what I could see. I spotted an ibis or a heron in the culvert getting a drink, so I was inspired to grab my camera and see if there were any shots I might be able to get of my non-leasing neighbors. I didn't have much luck snapping any photos of birds aside from the picture at the top of this post.
I had more success with the pair of squirrels you see perched in the tree. They stuck around for quite awhile. One of them explored some of the patio furniture below. The other was hassled by a particularly aggressive little bird for a bit. Eventually they took a break on a branch.
As the afternoon wore on, the heat picked up to the point that I moved inside. Still, I'm going to have to make sitting on the balcony a regular part of my routine, as long as the weather permits. It was nice to discover a new space in my apartment and observe what's running and flying around the neighborhood.