Wednesday, December 26, 2018


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

Thursday, December 20, 2018


Time is marching on and this year is about finished.    Time is just flying by, maybe because we are having so much fun?  It has been ten years that we have been coming to Caliente already.  We have made many friends over the years but as happens, many have moved on, one way or another, but new friends keep coming along.  I will be heading out shortly with the ATV group to explore some of our neat section of the Arizona desert.  We will probably curtail our riding next week as the desert explodes with crazy wild riders from the city over the holidays. 

American Kestrel, one of the smallest hawks

Red-Tailed Hawk

Desert Marigold

Climbing Milkweed

Sacred Datura fruit.  The entire plant is toxic.  It has a large white flower in season.

Harris' Hawk taking a bow

Harris' Hawk regal pose

Red-Tailed Hawk a long distance away

A couple from when the Red-Tailed Hawk flew over me

Someone was spreading Christmas cheer out in a wash in the desert where we ride

Another Harris' Hawk on our Monday ride

Above and below Ocotillo blooms

Pink-edged Sulpher butterfly.  I took a short stroll at lunch time on our Monday ride and spotted this guy.  He was in the sun with a shadowed bank behind creating perfect lighting.

I took this photo of some of our ATV club members at our potluck this past Monday.  Several had already snuck out as we had over 90 sitting down for supper.

Saturday, December 15, 2018


Out on the trails three times this week.  Went out yesterday with Aileen and friends Richard and Judy for a slower paced ride concentrating more on photography.
There are a couple of spider pictures down near the bottom of the photos! 

Thursday ride with the club on top of the Little Spine

On Thursday, we found another Staghorn Cholla bloomng

The rest of the photos were taken yesterday in Box Canyon

Small Tarantula crawling over Richard's hand

I thought this rock looked like a baby owl sitting in the nest looking down at the ground

These two were on the drive home and I'm shooting directly into the bright sky.  I had to enlist the computer's help to bring out some detail.