Wednesday, January 16, 2019

GOING ON VACATION

We're heading over toward Quartzsite, AZ this morning.  Might be gone close to a month.  Not planning on having dependable internet so this blog may be quiet for the duration.  I saw online that Quartzsite and all western Arizona got quite a bit of rain yesterday so some flash flooding occurred.

Went out behind the park hoping for a nice sunrise but it just got darker



Still some fall colour in January

Northern Cardinal


Seen while out in the RZR

Aileen spotted this rock squirrel along Price Rd

Bighorn Ewe


Javelinas


Biggest grasshopper I've ever seen, 2.5-3 inches long


Box Canyon


And I will leave you with this one.  Taken looking east along Price Rd, east of Florence, AZ

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

BEEN AWHILE

Quite some time since I last posted.  It seems like every time I plan to put out a blog post, something pops up and off I go on another tangent.  I’ve been out three days every week lately except for over the holidays and even then I got out a few times.  We have Escapees RV Club friends Al and Laurie from Keremeos, BC visiting the area for this week and staying a few miles down the road.  I took them out on the club ride Monday and I think they had a good time.  Laurie is the photographer in the family so she rode with me while Al and the two rat terriers, Waylon and Willie, rode with Richard J.  I even managed to find them a sheep, first one I’ve seen in a month.  We took them to the Boyce-Thompson Arboretum today and spent several hours wandering around there.  We took the long way home going south from Superior past the huge Ray mine then via the Florence-Kelvin Hwy.  It was freshly graded so very nice driving.  We had a couple of showers along the way.  Since they used to be horse people, we took them by the wild horse/burro corrals in Florence.

On Tuesday, Escapees friends, Dan and Bev, who are from Victoria, BC but wintering in Mesa, joined us and Al and Laurie for lunch at Mt, Athos Restaurant in Florence for a nice lunch.  We came back to our place to continue visiting until late afternoon.  We were able to sit out in the sunshine for a change.  Our weather has been all over the place this winter.  We’ve had two electric heaters going much of the time and we’ve had three good rainfalls in the past little while.  .31, .52 and .75 of an inch so the desert is really starting to green up.  I hope it translates into some nice flower blooms before we have to head north.
I may or may not post another blog before we leave next Wednesday.  We are heading to Quartzsite but don't know what we'll run into over there.  Apparently with the government shutdown, the long term visitor areas are closed to new arrivals.  That may put so much pressure on the two week free areas that it will just too crowded for us.  If that is the case then we'll be looking for somewhere else to spend some time away.  We plan to be anywhere from two to four weeks away and probably won't have much for internet as I decided to try going without this time.  Aileen will be able to check emails on her phone but not on my little cheap phone.

Banana Yucca southeast of Florence

Whitlow Ranch Rd east of Florence

Red-Tailed Hawk

On a ride the other day.  Almost made it home before the rain, but not quite.

We had a close call for snow a while ago.  It was down to the bottom of most of the mountains around us.  This is about three days later.

We got to see this horseman going cross country last Thursday while we were out riding.

Can you spot the horseman?  Click on the photo to enlarge.

Another Red-Tailed Hawk

In ten years, this is the first Bald Eagle I have seen here in Florence, AZ.  I was heading into town for gas after a ride when I spotted it.  It was very skittish for some reason.

A few shots of our riding area



Al, Willie, Waylon and Richard J

The Bighorn ewe that I managed to see way up on top of the rim of Box Canyon

She was on a narrow ledge and this shot is from the south while the above one was taken from the north

Life and death of Saguaros

South Butte from one of our trails

Aileen and I walked out behind our park the other night and caught some sunset images.  It was nearly dark when I took these two.


It was full dark when I took this one with the aid of my flash

Female Phainopepla

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

WE HAD A NICE QUIET CHRISTMAS

I've been taking a bit of a break from riding the past few days although I have been asked to guide a family group tomorrow who have rented three four seat RZRs.  They are family members of a friend of a friend.  I will attempt to give them a ride hitting some of our best areas so they take some fond memories home with them.  I tend not to ride at this time because a lot of city riders are out in our area and they generally ride way faster and are less courteous.  I'm hoping that since the rain has laid the dust, it may not be as bad.
On Saturday, we joined Ken and Marie and Richard and Judy for lunch at Mt Athos, the nice Greek restaurant in Florence.  We had a great time chatting and the food was good, too. We had Christmas turkey lunch with Ken and Marie yesterday and the weather co-operated enough that we were able to eat outside then play a game of hand and foot outside later.  Ken and I made a valiant effort but Aileen and Marie still beat us.

On Christmas night, we had .31 inch of rain in a short time.  An hour after this we went to the hot tub and pool and sat there looking at the stars.

Friend Rich got a little too much air.  There was a large rock on the other side that prevented him from tipping all the way, but he did damage his left tail light!

Along one of our trails

House Finch on a saguaro out in the desert

Immature Harris's Hawk

And a mature Harris's Hawk

The two of them

Ocotillo blooming with Mineral Mtn in the background

Closeup of an Ocotillo flower taken from the same vantage point as the above

Another Staghorn Cholla blooming out of season

Queen Butterfly

Queen Butterfly

This Red Admiral was in among the Queen Butterflies.  We read that the Red Admiral isn't very common in the Sonoran Desert which is where we are.  I guess we were fortunate to see one.

A couple of Mesquite snags below Box Canyon


Sunset down Ocotillo, our street,  from in front of the motor home the other evening

Cactus blooming in Florence Gardens in the sunshine

Same cactus plant when I came back on a cloudy day

As usual, Florence Gardens residents put on some nice lights