My Landscaping Crew…
This Desert Cottontail trims bushes (he’s an arborist).
They don’t work during the middle of the day in the summer and I wish they wouldn’t trim things back so hard but their rates are really reasonable and they work year round, so I guess I can’t complain.
Bears in the Pool
Yeah, I know, the web has been buzzing with this swimming bear family today. I enjoyed watching them frolic, they are so curious and have a lot of energy. I’m glad the pool owners’ shared their video (though to be honest, I highly recommend muting it so you don’t have to listen to the kids).
Towards the end it seems like Momma Bear just wants some time alone. With 5 cubs who can blame her?
Which brings me to the question – how in the world did she end up with 5 cubs?! Talk about exhausting – the average black bear (Ursus americanus) litter size is 2-3. I’d be swatting their furry bottoms too! *
Advice from Tigger
Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.
Sounds like excellent advice to me! Thank you A.A. Milne for sharing the wisdom of Pooh and friends.
Since I don’t have any Tigger photos I thought I’d share a picture of one of the bounciest critters that lives in the Sonoran Desert, a Harris’ Antelope Squirrel (Ammospermophilus harrisii). They run and they climb but they seem to prefer bouncing. I wish I had a shot of them in the act but this cheeky shot will have to do.
Harris’ Antelope Squirrel, June 2010, Tucson, AZ
Finally, a Decent Storm!
It poured. The sun came out. It hailed. And then it dumped some more. My rain gauge recorded 1.5 inches – the biggest storm of the monsoons at my house. The great thing about the rain was that it came in pulses, which gave time for my soil to absorb the water. I ended up with a lot of puddles but not a lot of runoff which is exactly what I wanted. Both of my 5,000 gallon cisterns are now half full – yippee!
It’s All About Perspective
Herd a Bison – Metaphor for My Life
Discovered this oh-so-true-for-me quote in the recent Nature Conservancy magazine:
“You can herd a bison anywhere it wants to go.”
Stubborn is one descriptor often employed for me. I like to think of it as determination and perseverance. I know I was born this way, “I do it myself!” was one of my favorite childhood phrases. Over the years I think this trait has served me well (mostly).
Bison, National Bison Range, Montana, August 2008
I admit it, I am a pluviophile! Growing up in the Sonoran Desert molded me into a lover of water but especially rain. I watch the clouds and track the drops. Rain makes me and the plants and the wildlife very happy indeed.
The lack of rain during one of our 2 rainy seasons makes me crabby. I’m getting a wee bit fed up with the folks on the east side of town with their puddle photos. I’m tired of hearing about their inches of rainfall. Grrr!
Apparently, there needs to be a word that describes a rainless pluviophile. Come on, monsoons!
Snakes Alive, Part Deux
Tonight’s slithery critter earned a wider berth. I discovered this Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) when walking out to close the gate (forgive the poor photo quality, I used my cell phone). Good thing I spotted it, snakes aren’t terribly fond of being stepped on.
I think I’ll leave a note for my back yard kingsnake suggesting it move to the front yard!
A little excitement here this evening, we found a Common Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) in our yard. It was at least two feet long, glossy, and quite healthy looking. It quickly decided that it did not want to hang out with us and slithered under the fence. It feels good to have one living nearby since they are known to eat rattlesnakes.
Here’s a couple shots of the snake peeking out from its safe place. And the reactions from Bailey and Wylie. As you can see, old Bailey was not nearly as interested as young Wylie.