Sunday, November 19, 2017

BOYCE THOMPSON ARBORETUM

We've been thinking of visiting the arboretum for nine years and with my sister Sue and husband John visiting, it finally was made into reality.  What a neat place for photography and just wandering along looking at all the plants that came from other parts of the world with similar climates to here.  We spent about two hours wandering and could have spent much more time.  Since we wanted to be around to help friends unload, we didn't take a lunch with us.  When we got back to our park, our friends had just arrived so the four of us helped them unload.  I think Ken and Marie were happy to have the help. 
I took John riding with me on Thursday and we were the leader so a mostly dust free ride for us.  It was quite warm so I found us some shade for lunch then headed homeward shortly after. 
Yesterday, I took Sue and John to the Mesa Market.  It took us two hours to get through two thirds of the complex then our stomach alarms went off and we left in search of a restaurant.  We found it in the form of a Chinese buffet that was fairly good. 

The overcast day made for nice lighting

There were a few flowers and some bees to enjoy them

This Northern Cardinal sat still long enough for one shot

This Northern Mockingbird was a little more patient with me

Boyce Thompson House

Looking down the valley from the last shot

White-tailed Antelope Squirrel

John and Sue along the creekside trail

This was a new bird for me and also a very difficult one to capture as he kept flitting from branch to branch.  He was also very tiny so difficult to find in the viewwfinder

These two are looking upstream from a suspension bridge


Fall colour was starting to happen

Making honey

Eucalyptus tree

An old Dodge Power Wagon

These two are of the wool shed


Susan peeking in the wool shed window, photobombing photographer included

So nice to see these butterflies


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

COMPANY COMING

Yes, a rare occurrence, but we actually have company coming to visit for a couple weeks.  My sister Susan and husband John are flying into Phoenix tonight .    This will be quite a change from the blustery, stormy weather they are leaving on Vancouver Island.  Over eighty days since measurable rain here and it is very dusty on the desert trails.  I was glad to be the leader on yesterday's club ride.
We are looking forward to playing tourist with Sue and John while they are here.  John enjoys ATVing so we will be out on the trails fairly often, I'm sure.
Aileen is really enjoying her new three wheel bike and Mitzy thinks its great to ride instead of walking all the time.  Aileen and I are still working on my Mom's diaries and while Aileen is about four years ahead of me getting them typed, I finished proofing and printed 1999 yesterday.  It ended at page 5,334.  Yes that is a lot of text!  The diary was started by my Dad in 1946 then taken over by Mom shortly after.  There is an amazing amount of family history in the diaries which often makes interesting reading.  We have been working off and on with her diaries for over twenty years, but we are starting to see the end approaching.  Mom's mental state is deteriorating as she writes in 2004 but she is still trying to document hers and Dad's daily life.

Grandma's new ride

Mitzy thinks this is great

Male Gila Woodpecker

Female Gila Woodpecker

Morning break on yesterday's ride

Playing in the rocky wash.  Maureen took this of me with my camera.

Linda having fun

Way in the distance I thought I was looking at a cow.  When it didn't move, I put the zoom on it and discovered it was a Jeep that had rolled hundreds of feet down the hill.  Looks like it has been there for some time.  I'm guessing it was probably stolen and driven out here and sent over the edge.

Down a tricky spot

The cows we are seeing the past couple of years are in much better shape than they were before that.  A new rancher took over and he seems to be doing things better.

The view along one of my favourite ridges just above Box Canyon

Interesting sky this morning

When Mitzy and I were walking in the desert behind the park this morning, this Hummingbird was keeping an eye on us.

We also got this long shot of a Loggerhead Shrike on our walk

Monday, November 6, 2017

SETTLING IN AND ANOTHER BIRTHDAY GOES BLAZING BY

Things have settled down here for the time being.  Our friends and neighbours continue to stream in from points north so the park is getting busier.  Aileen and I cleaned Ken and Marie's carport the other day so it will be ready for when they get here. 
I was asked if I would bring my RZR on a ride on Saturday.  One of our friends daughter and family were down from Ontario and we ended up with five machines which meant there was a seat for everyone.  The photos down to the rain on the RZR hood are from Saturday's ride  The rest are from today.  I led the first "club" ride, I guess, today but there were just four machines out.  Three of us were ride leaders!   There will be more riders showing up every ride day now.
The temperatures are continuing to get to the upper 20s C which is in the 80s F.  Some of us are more happy with that than others.  There is a slight cooling trend in the forecast so we'll see what happens.  It has been cooling down at night so fairly good for sleeping.

This Staghorn Cholla was really out of season with its nice blossom.  It was the only one we saw in two days riding.

We did see a couple or more of these Ocotillo blossoms

We were fortunate to see these Javelinas on a seldom used trail.  They stayed around long enough to give us time for some photos.




The view along what we call the Top of the World trail

While we were taking a break, a rain shower came by and visited us.  What you see on the hood is the full extent of it.

Saw a pair of these Harris's Hawks along the trail today


After our cloudy start this morning, the light improved this afternoon


We managed to spot this one lone Desert Bighorn Sheep high above Box Canyon today.  Unfortunately, the sun was directly behind him and I could pull any detail out of him.  He didn't stay long enough for me to adjust my exposures.  This was taken at 1200 mm then further cropped in the computer.

These photos of South Butte were taken a couple miles apart 


This Roadrunner ran across the road in front of me then perched on the railway tracks and waited for his portrait to be taken.