Critters

Cooler Weather Is Now Happening

Damsel took this photo earlier this month before we cleared out the Red Bird shrubs in the courtyard. A nice butterfly lit on one of the last flowers of the season to sip its nectar. The shrubs are now cut to the ground and will be dormant for the next several months. Photo courtesy of Damsel — Click on the image to enlarge.

We had some rain showers over the last week or so and today the temperatures are quite a bit cooler than when Damsel took the photo above. Then, the highs were in the mid-nineties and today the high was below eighty. Brrrr. It’s time to break out the longies and put the shorts away until spring.

We enjoyed the weekend despite the cooler weather. We had excellent food on the table both days: Cajun Gumbo on Saturday and J√§gerschnitzel today. Click on the links for photos and details. Both meals were consistent with our low-carb, low-sodium diets (within reason, that is) and were excellent. Damsel did most of the work, but I collaborated by performing the sous chef tasks she required. What a good eating weekend — and there are leftovers for during the upcoming week.

We will be changing out of our summer garb in favor of the flannel and hoodies we wear during the cooler months. Of course, we are blessed that we live in a climate that isn’t as harsh as some places in the world. We will deal with our climes just fine as we have in the past years since we moved here.

In closing, just a quick note — we’re suffering as many in the nation who are on a fixed income with the increased cost of living due to Brandonomics™. We’re dealing with it, however, and hope that after the coming midterm elections that we can turn the corner back towards fiscal sanity, border security and (thanks to the SCOTUS) Second Amendment rights restoration. Just remember to get out and VOTE. Tell your friends, neighbors and family to do likewise

Update on Stars and Stripes Theme

. . . and Where We Go From Here.

After many attempts at picking through the old “Stars and Stripes” theme code to try and achieve compatibility with the newer versions of WordPress, I have concluded that I don’t think I can get there from here. Therefore, I am going to abandon further attempts at trying to make the old theme work. I am disappointed with this decision, but it is what it is.

Going forward, my plan is to continue using the bland, no frills default theme for the time being, while looking into some of the newer platform features to customize into a new S&S theme. I am not giving the effort much of a time budget in our busy schedule (wink) but it will give me something to look into when I get some spare time (wink again).

In the meantime, go look at a video I uploaded to U2B with Damsel and our new pup, Tucker . . .

AZ – The Venomous Critters Capital of the U.S.

Image: Map of U.S. showing venomous animals per state – click on the image to enlarge.

One of the guys in our AZCDL group posted this map on social media. I’m not sure about the source of the data, but this map recognizes that we’re clearly the venomous critter capital of the U.S.

I did some more research on this and found that we have many venomous critters, most of which we’ve not seen here in our little corner of the desert.

Of the thirty or more venomous animals, we have only personally seen the following few:

To be accurate, the toad isn’t actually venomous, but secretes a toxin when handled which can cause problems (i.e. psychedelic hallucinations or illness or death) for the handler. Luckily, neither we nor our dogs have been affected by any of the venoms or toxins of the local wildlife.

Of all the dangerous critters in our desert, only a few are venomous. There are cougars, bears, javelina and coyotes around this area – all can be dangerous for us and/or the dogs. Fortunately, we have only seen the latter two species on our property; javelina and coyotes unless infected with something tend to shy away from two-legged mammals. In case any of the former species show up (bears or cougars) we’re always carrying our 9mm and .38 cal. protection to discourage any advances by them.

Meet Tucker

As we mentioned in our comments from last month’s post about losing Bay Bay, we were going to look for another dog to rescue. Well, today the Humane Society of Wickenburg had an adoption event at our local Tractor Supply store and just like that, we adopted Mr. Tuxedo whom we will call Tuck Tuck for short. He is a long haired Chihuahua with mostly black fur and a bit of white here and there. He is about a year old and was found wandering around in Wittman, about 20 miles southeast of Wickenburg.

He has only been “home” for a couple of hours, but is fitting in nicely with our activities and with the other dog. He is a very affectionate little guy and seems to demand a little attention which we happily have given. He has a good appetite, can be frisky at times, is leash trained and mostly housebroken. We are looking forward to taking care of him for a long time. In the (clickable) image above, he is resting his head on Damsel’s leg while getting rubbed. Just now, as I was typing in the story, he came into the office jumped into my lap and is resting as I finish this. I think we’re all happy about our new mutual relationship.

UPDATE 03-16-22: Since the adoption last week, we decided to dump the “Mr. Tuxedo” name and just call him “Tucker.” He is already recognizing and answering to the new moniker.

Return of the Turkey Buzzards

buzzard.jpg

We know that spring is about to begin when we see cactus flower buds starting to form and the migrating Turkey Buzzards return from their winter repose down in Mexico.

Despite the cooler weather we’re currently experiencing due to a cold frontal passage, we see new cactus flower buds on our Beavertail and Hedgehog Cacti as well as seeing Turkey Buzzards soaring in the skies above. It should start warming up soon probably towards the middle (Beware the Ides) or the end of March. By June, we ought to be in our “dry heat” season during which the Buzzards remain and will so until after October when they again depart for Mexico’s warmer climate.

The photo above is an old one which I took in May of 2011, soon after we made the permanent move to Arizona. That was before we assimilated. Now, after nearly a dozen years, we can foretell seasonal changes via flora and fauna indicators. Click on the image to enlarge.

So Long, Beethoven

“Beethoven” A.K.A. “Bay Bay,” sadly, is no longer with us. He passed last evening (Valentine’s Day) at the Vet who performed the euthanasia. The poor little guy had acute kidney failure and had lost most of his appetite and finally stopped eating last week and he stopped hydrating on Sunday. We had little choice but to take him in for the procedure. He had lost nearly half of his body weight since a month ago. Damsel and I are devastated and miss him terribly.

We adopted him when he was a year and a half old on September 29, 2011 and he had been our constant companion for over ten years, so we can’t complain about having been with him for quite a long time, as dogs go. Bay Bay’s 12th birthday would have been in a couple of weeks on March 2nd.

So Long, Little Buddy – See you on the other side …