Sunday, January 15, 2017

THE DESERT GETS A GOOD DRINK

Boy, we've had a wet weekend here.   The desert will be very appreciative of it and perhaps there will be some nice wildflowers soon.  The desert was greening up very nicely from the previous rains we had but it doesn't take too long a dry spell before the plants start retreating again so this will prolong the spell.  The forecast is calling for showers again next weekend.  The people who work during the week and have weekends off probably aren't too pleased with the wet weekends and the only sunshine happening during the week.  Oh well, I remember going through years of that when I worked.
We keep pretty busy here.  I lead a couple rides and we play cards several times a week, ATV happy hour once a week and tomorrow is the ATV club's monthly potluck.  Then of course there is my photography that takes up lots of time both with the current photos and scanning and editing of old ones.
We are moving over to Quartzsite for a few weeks, probably leaving here January 24 then spending a few days in Yuma connecting with RV friends from Vancouver Island.  From there we will try to make it to the annual bloggerfest at Quartzsite that happens on January 28.  My aunt and uncle, Jacquie and Jim, will be in the area to visit with and I will be leading ATV rides February 7, 8 & 9.  Then it will be back here for less than six weeks before we go to Tucson for the Escapees RV Rally.  We'll probably have a couple of days back here after that then it will be time to head north to the border.

The Meyers Tow'd.  It was pretty surprising how well this little buggy did going up to the Top of the World.  Manual transmission and street tires, long wheelbase and low clearance.

On the way back down

Looking out over the hills to the flat lands from near the junction of the Martinez Mine Rd and the Top of the World trail.  If you click on the image to enlarge, you can see a canal wandering past Florence just left of center.  Box Canyon is beyond the first ridge. Three photos down you will see a closer image of that first ridge.

This is the trail leading up to top of the World.  That tiny speck you see peeking over the ridge just to the right of the left peak, is the left rock upthrust in the photo below.  We call it the Thumb and it is visible from the entrance to our park. 



At the junction of Martinez Mine Rd and Top of the World trail


Here's that ridge we were looking down on and over

Box Canyon

A male American Kestrel shot from my ATV seat

We stopped to play a bit on one of our rides

I climbed up for a view of the group having a rest break

We were lucky to have these Javelinas wander away slowly instead of running flat out like they often do




We happened on this Turkey Vulture on a recent ride

Friday, January 6, 2017

MORE NATURE PHOTOS AND EVEN ONE OF US

We have another of our card playing couples down for the winter.  They are renting in Florence Gardens.  We had three games last night with them and Ken and Marie.  We had all been together the night before for a belated New Years dinner.  We invited three single people to join us for the dinner and a good time was enjoyed.
I continue to enjoy my ATV rides, usually leading when I do ride.   We have been very fortunate in how often we have seen the bighorn sheep this year.  Yesterday for a change of pace,I trailered the RZR down south of Florence and used it for getting to some out of the way geocaches.  I quite enjoyed a quiet day on my own for a change.  I think the highlight of my day was finding a cache that the last five people/groups couldn't find.
We went to restart our Friday couples ride this morning but it went bust pretty quickly.  We were only about a mile and a half from home when one of the guys blew the side out of his rear differential ending his ride for a few weeks most likely.  I came home and took my trailer out and we managed to winch it on board.  No estimate of how much or how long yet.
I think our weather is going to be improving for the next while with temperatures hopefully surpassing 70F.  All the rain we've had lately is really greening up the desert.  I'm hoping we get some flowers popping out soon too.  We haven't made any decision on whether or not to go to Quartzsire or somewhere else for a change of scenery.  We are booked in to attend the Escapees RV Club Rally in Tucson mid March.  As soon as that is over, we will begin our trek north.

Click on a photo to enlarge

I spotted this prickly pear cactus growing in the crotch of a saguaro cactus when Mitzy and I were walking the other morning.

Harris's Hawk out in the desert


Out on the RZR when I spotted "one hung low"

Box Canyon

This one ewe was in heat and had a group of rams keeping her company

I guess its that time of year




This was the head ram







What are you looking at?  This was shot with my Canon SX50 at 1200 mm on the lens then 4 times digital zoom which I believe gives the equivalent of 4800 mm.  This is straight out of the camera, no cropping.   This little camera continues to amaze me.



We had our photo taken a while back for the Caliente book.  I thought it turned out pretty good.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR

We spent our New Year's Eve with Ken and Marie.  We played three games of Hand and Foot  stopping for supper in the middle.  The rain held off all evening.  It was interesting that a couple minutes after the fireworks in town ended, the rain pelted down. We continue to have showers every few days.  The desert is much better for it.  Perhaps there will be a good flower show in the spring this year.  We've enjoyed several dust free rides in the aftermath of the showers which is always a pleasure.  Another of our card playing friends from Clifton, CO are expected here tonight or tomorrow so we will be having more games soon.

With the lack of rain this past summer, the orange crop is not very good this winter.  I walk by these every morning with Mitzy and finally stopped for a photo.

The Creosote Bush flowers are starting to come out with the wet weather we've been having.

The Brittlebush flowers are very cheerful out in the desert.

We had a large group on Thursday so we split into two groups.  These are the ones who followed me.

87 year old Blue is still rolling along with us followed by Sandi in her green machine


Out in the hills looking back to the valley of the sun south of Phoenix

On our way back from the Ajax Mine

As we exited the bottom of Box Canyon, the hillside was covered with Desert Bighorn Sheep.  They put on a good show for us.


This ram was chasing another all over the hillside


Moving along


We were rewarded with this image from up on the skyline