Since I’m recovering from my second wicked cold of the year (dagnabit) my time outside today was limited. The cats and I spent the afternoon in the yard. You can see that they lead a life of leisure!
Since the temperatures have been unseasonably warm here the plants and wildlife have been busily doing Spring things for many weeks. One of our neighborhood Harris’s Hawks kept a close eye out, looking for dinner like a rabbit or packrat. Thankfully, Bailey is too smart and Wylie is too darn heavy!
As the sun slipped away, a warm breeze wafted over us carrying the sweet, exotic scent of orange blossoms (my favorite scent in the world) while coyotes serenaded. A perfectly lovely way to end our first day of Spring.
Vanity plates* on vehicles are quite common here in Arizona and I amuse myself when stuck in traffic by trying to figure them out. Some remain mysteries but this one made me laugh. Even more so since according to Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division, “All plates are reviewed for acceptable content.” Someone wasn’t paying attention!
*Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would buy a vanity plate in Arizona. It is an additional $25 annual fee and Arizona does not require a front plate – which leaves all that extra space for someone to express themselves. Oh well, I’m sure it is good for the state’s coffers.
Don’t gray, drizzly days just make you want to curl up and rest? That’s exactly what this coyote did in my front yard this morning. I feel privileged to have witnessed such a relaxed moment…
No matter the size, cats share a number of behaviors. A trail camera in Saguaro National Park filmed a mountain lion during a light rain a few years back. Reminds me of Wylie, its the first thing she does when I let her outside – rolls in the dirt!
In an effort to update their species counts the Park has deployed these cameras at various locations in both districts and they have hundreds of excellent photos (and a few videos) in their online archive. It is a relatively inexpensive, non-invasive way to document wildlife plus they get to witness some rarely seen behaviors.
Here kitty, kitty…
A few shots from outside today:
Wylie loves spending time in the garden…
Zebra-tailed Lizard, watching me watch him/her…
Monarch Butterfly on the aptly named Butterfly Bush.
Spent a few days with the family up in Show Low in September. It was lovely to get out of the heat and cool off a bit! There was even a splash of fall color starting to show. We rented Pine Hollow cabin where we whiled away the hours – roughly equal parts playing cornhole, eating, and exploring.
There are a lot of young snakes and lizards out this time of year. Good timing actually, since the monsoon season had a couple months to encourage bountiful vegetation which in turn inspired prolific output of insects and rodents. Enough food to fill the belly and promote growth before hibernating during our long, cold winter. Yeah, so the last part I may have exaggerated a bit.
This young Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer) was in my carport this evening. Hopefully it will catch and consume any small rodents before they start chewing on the wiring in my Prius. In case you haven’t heard, Toyota and several other auto makers use soy-based coating for some of their wiring systems (no matter what you may think of tofu, rodents apparently find it delicious).
I recently had some minor rodent damage to my car repaired. Thankfully, it was under $100. However, it did prevent my windshield wipers from functioning which I discovered when driving home, at night, in an intense monsoon storm. What could possibly go wrong in a situation like that?!
So, eat up, me hearty, yo ho!
Gophersnake, 10-12 inches long