Someone Wasn’t Paying Attention…

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.

A Cat is a Cat is a Cat

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…

Eat Up, Me Hearty, Yo Ho!

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!img_0900

Gophersnake, 10-12 inches long

Cheeky Bugger!

This past spring I noticed that a family of Rock Squirrels had moved into my front yard under a yucca. I watched their young romp and scamper and grow. Over time they’ve become quite acclimated and clearly view my yard and front porch as their territory.

Recently, they’ve taken to playing on the outside sill of my living room window. They seem to understand that my cats can’t harm them through the glass. While it is entertaining to watch their antics it is a teensy bit unnerving to look over and find them watching me.