Archive for Arizona

Spring Quail Chicks

Female and 2 chicks One of the Chicks

Mid afternoon, I was getting drowsy sitting at the desk, so I picked up my SL1 Canon and put the 400mm lens on it to go out and see what I could photograph in our busy little desert. Just as I came out of the back patio screen door, I noticed some quail and their chicks on the hill behind the RV drive. The photos above are of a mama and two of her chicks and a single chick. Click on either image to enlarge.

We have been seeing young quail for a few weeks now that the breeding season is in progress. The young birds leave the nest within the first day after hatching and follow their parents to places where they can forage for themselves. Quail do not feed their young so foraging is necessary for them to survive. The chicks are flightless for the first ten days or so, but shortly after that they can follow their parents as they fly up on the back retention wall behind our RV drive. We have seen a couple of broods back there which is entertaining to watch as the little ones, one by one, flit up to be with the others up on the wall.

You can read more about these interesting birds at All About Birds - Gambel’s Quail.

Photo Details: Cropped and resized by myself - Canon EOS REBEL SL1 - Normal Program Mode, 1/500 sec, F5.6, ISO320, Focal length 340mm. Lens model: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

There’s always something to photograph out here like Gila Woodpeckers, Cactus Fruit getting ripe and a Birdhouse I recently repaired and hung in a mesquite in the outback.

Comments (2)

First 2021 Cherry Red Cactus Flowers

Cherry Red Flowers

Our first of the season Cherry Red Cactus Flowers opened up today. These two are on top of the original “mama” cactus that we separated from her “pups” in October of 2018. This Trichocereus Grandiflorus cactus is just outside our courtyard gate where they are visible (like a hot red beacon) when approaching our place from the east.

Several of the pups are located in the courtyard in pots and one of them is in the ground not far from where the Mama is located. Most, if not all of them have flower buds which means we will be seeing more of these over the summer. Click on the image above to enlarge.

Comments (2)

Woodpeckers

DrJim, at the Every Blade of Grass blog, posted an interesting article on the appearance of a Northern Flicker Woodpecker in their yard in northern Colorado. Since we have our share of woodpeckers here in mid-central Arizona, I thought I would post about them. We see mostly Gila Woodpeckers but occasionally see Gilded Flickers too.

Gila Woodpeckers in Mesquite Tree Gilded Flicker and House Finch on the Backyard Feeder Gila Woodpecker on the Saguaro

Images: Woodpeckers - Click on any image to enlarge. Left and right images credit me. Center image credit Damsel

The image at the left shows a Gila Woodpecker couple in/on the mesquite tree directly across the road in front of our house. We have been seeing them having activity there since march or so. The image in the center is of a Gilded Flicker flushing a House Finch off of our backyard feeder. On the right is the male of another Gila Woodpecker couple perched adjacent to their hole in our big saguaro by the garage. We just noticed woodpecker activity in the saguaro over the past month.

One of the most interesting things to us in our retirement home is the desert wildlife. We are in a semi-rural area where these critters abound. Just this morning, we observed a Gambel’s Quail pair and their five or six little offspring on the retention wall behind the RV Drive as we were eating breakfast. Unfortunately, by the time the cameras came out, the birds were elsewhere. Maybe another time.

We haven’t been really good about regular blogging lately, but between the two of us, we get some really good photos of our desert wildlife and I think we might resume putting some of those up from time to time. Plus, it is springtime and Flowers are in bloom. Damsel has a bunch of those that we should share.

Comments (2)

Spring in the Desert

Beavertail Cactus Flower Pink Hedgehog Cactus Flower

For the past couple of days, some of our native cacti have had flowers open up. The one on the left is a flower on one of our beavertail cacti and the one on the right is on a hedgehog cactus. Both species are native and were growing here when we moved in over ten years ago (that long?).

Below are a couple of male House Finches who are engaged in their spring rituals of trying to attract the attention of female Finches with their spring songs and aerial dances. These are so nice to watch in addition to Cardinals, Doves, Thrashers, Woodpeckers and Phainopeplas doing their things as well.

There are many other species of birds and mammals running about this patch of desert in the springtime. It’s like having our own private zoo.

House Finch Singing House Finch on Rosemary Shrub

Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Comments (2)

Arizona - We’re Still Number One

I received this via email from AZCDL. Despite the tainted results of Arizona’s election in November, we still came out on top for 2020. I and many others are now engaging with our politicians to keep Arizona safe from those who would infringe on our God-given rights to self defense. In the coming year, we will do our best to keep our state at the top of the list.

azcdl

In the February 2021 issue of Guns and Ammo, Arizona is rated the best state for gun owners. This is the EIGHTH consecutive year Guns and Ammo magazine has rated Arizona as the #1 state for gun owners.

Arizona’s #1 rating is primarily because of what AzCDL has accomplished. Prior to AzCDL’s involvement Arizona’s CCW system was onerous and discouraged applications. Permits were only good for 4 years and required training, testing and additional fingerprinting to renew. Court cases narrowed the interpretation of open carry to a point where the only way to safely openly carry your firearm and avoid arrest was by having a CCW permit. In self-defense situations, the burden of proof was on YOU to prove your innocence – after you admitted to the “crime.” Firearms preemption was Balkanized. Castle doctrine and “no duty to retreat” laws were weak.

AzCDL was created by a handful of activists in 2005 who didn’t like the status quo. By 2010 we achieved Constitutional Carry. CCW permits are now optional and the process to obtain a permit is more realistic. Arizona permits are recognized in the majority of states. Arizona is also one of the few states that recognize all permits from all states – again thanks to AzCDL.

Because of AzCDL’s efforts, you are now “innocent until proven guilty” when defending yourself. Firearms preemption has been strengthened. We were even successful in getting the Arizona Constitution changed to protect law-abiding citizens from law suits when they defend themselves. Visit our Accomplishments and Why AzCDL web pages to learn more about what AzCDL has accomplished.

We are proud that AzCDL’s efforts, with the support of our members, have again garnered this high rating for Arizona from such a prestigious publication. However, from our perspective, there is a lot more that needs to be done to make Arizona truly a free state when it comes to honoring your constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. With your continued support we can achieve that goal.

Here’s the link to join or renew with the Arizona Citizens Defense League:

joinrenew.jpg

Comments off

One Decade in Our Desert Home

January 2011 January 2021

Images: January 2011 and January 2021 - click on either image to enlarge.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of moving into our little Desert House. We were sleeping on a box springs and mattress with no bed frame, sitting on folding chairs and eating/computing on a 24×48″ folding table - virtually camping in the new abode, but we were “moved in” a decade ago.

Just after moving in, we had a short list of fixtures to be acquired and installed, plus some other improvements to be made. This is the list from ten years ago:

  1. gate2.jpgCourtyard - We spoke to our contractor last week and gave him specifications for a wall and gateway to enclose part of the house to form a courtyard in front and a dog run on the side of the house. We will have an estimate to build the wall this week and will ask that the work be scheduled right away.
  2. red-bird.jpgLandscaping - After the wall is up and the gate has been installed, we are going to start landscaping the yard. This will take some time to accomplish but we are planning to put gravel down on the RV drive through and in the courtyard. Later, we will bring some of Damsel’s cactus from California.
  3. shutters.jpgShutters - Today, we ordered shutters for several of the windows. We contacted a vendor in the Phoenix area that offers a southwestern shutter style that will match our Santa Fe style and will look very nice inside and outside of the house. The wood and stain will match the wood of the cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  4. sw-furn.jpgFurniture - We promised ourselves that most, if not all of the furniture in the new house, would be new. This week, our first priority will be to get a dining room set. Gradually, we will be acquiring furnishings and decorations that are appropriate to the old west and Santa Fe style that we love.
  5. door.jpgSecurity Door - We probably don’t need this door for security as much as we want the southwestern style and the ability to open the front door and let the air in and keep the bugs out. I contacted a vendor that is willing to travel to Wickenburg to meet with us and to measure the door. He will also install the door when it is complete. The style we select will match the color and style of Damsel’s sconces.
  6. screenmobile.jpgScreens - While driving through the neighborhood, I noticed a screenmobile parked about two blocks away. I took down the number and called our neighbor who installs custom screens. He came out to our property and immediately furnished a quote for screens for all the windows.

Some things turned out to be different from the list, but we got a lot done and are still making minor improvements. Very soon now, we will be getting all new furniture for the great room and new kitchen appliances now that the original stuff is a decade old.

Even after a decade, we thank God that we are here and out of the former residence. It feels good to be here and we remain very happy in our little desert home.

Comments off

38th Annual Toyz 4 Totz Cruise and Car Show

Damsel and I went to our usual first Sunday of December event which is the Cops Who Care and Remember When Cruise Wickenburg Run for the benefit of local kids at Christmas (see poster below). We packed in a couple of unwrapped toys to donate to the cause even though we didn’t participate in the cruise. We consider it a photo op and an enjoyable trek down memory lane.

As usual, Damsel took a lot of photos but these three caught my eye to post here today. There were several Jeeps (Mfg. Willys) on display at the show. The first two images below are of a very clean (and new-looking) Jeep. I recall driving the Navy version of one of these for the Division I served in at NAS Point Mugu in the early 1960s and this one reminded me of that vehicle.

Clean Jeep Front View Clean Jeep Interior Modified Jeep

Well, as you can see, the third image is of a slightly modified Jeep. I didn’t get to talk to the owner, but the card in the window said it had a “blown big 8 cylinder block” for the engine. I had an urge to ask him to start it up so I could hear the unmuffled sounds of the eight chromed exhaust ports. I resisted and was satisfied to have the photo of the beast. Click on any image above to enlarge.

cops38th.jpg

Comments off

« Previous entries

-->