Thursday, November 21, 2019


Life continues to rocket along and we struggle to keep up.  We made the decision to look into replacing our little RZR570 for something smoother riding.  We had looked at a few machines at a couple of places.   When I took our 570 in for a major service on Tuesday, I had the dealer give me an out the door price and when he came in lower than anticipated, it didn't take long before we had a deal and I didn't have to pay for the big service after all.   The 570 had 10,603 miles on it and 904 hours so I had spent a lot of time in the seat.  It was a 2014 model and if it rode smoother I would have kept it for a long time.  I hadn't had to replace any of the components yet, just tires.
We took the new machine out today and are very pleased with it.  We went from 44 HP which was ample to 100 HP which is probably way more than we need but that's the only motor offered.  The seats are very comfortable.  We have been having lots of rain the past couple of days and it was sorely needed as they got next to nothing during the monsoon season.  For that reason, just four of us went out riding today and we had a great day.  We had one machine go past while we were having lunch and we saw four others at a distance so it was really nice not having other traffic.  There was no dust either which the other three appreciated.
We went for lunch with Ken and Marie and Richard and Judy yesterday at Mt Athos, the upscale
Greek restaurant in Florence.  We have played one game of Progressive Hand and Foot and the ladies beat Ken and I 24,600 to 12,000!
I think I have finally found a dependable supplier for my photo card stock in Red River Paper.  The first box I bought has been great with the photos looking very good.  They were out of stock when I went to re-order the other day but I was able to place my order yesterday.  I had a follow up email from a representative of the company inquiring how my experience was with the product and that was quite positive.

Male Phainopepla

The Thumb

Looking east from above Box Canyon

L2R - North Butte, Grayback Mountain, South Butte

Sundog the other day

Upper tangent arc and sundogs the next morning

House Finch

Looking west from out in our hills

Road traffic this morning

Lots of expressive clouds on our ride today

Many storm cells today but most missed us

Mesa and Apache Junction getting some rain

Ominous, but it went behind us so we stayed dry

Sunrise from in front of the motor home

Sunset from in front of the motor home, both a few days ago

On a warm day, we look for shade

This morning below Box Canyon

The newest member of our team

My friend Richard and I were up to Mesa yesterday and on the way home we saw several rainbows

Nearly home, this was off to the west

Monday, November 11, 2019


Last Friday we went to Madera Canyon with Richard and Judy on a day trip from here.   We went south of Tucson to Green Valley then went another thirteen or so miles southeast.  It was all paved and we gained over 2,000 feet elevation topping out at 5,400 feet at the end of the road.  Madera Canyon is a famous birding area with a large variety of birds recorded there.  Not too many the day we were there, but pretty neat just the same.  Richard and I even nabbed a few geocaches down there.
I’ve been out riding three times so far and the desert is not looking good this year.  Most plants are very distressed as there had been very little precipitation in our riding area.  On the other side of the Superstition Mountains from us, it is a different story.  There was a large fire that burned through the Superstition Wilderness over the summer and there must have been lots of rain because the Apache Trail which is a rugged and very scenic road was virtually destroyed in many places by washouts and mud and rock slides.  I just saw a Utube video taken by some mountain bikers who rode through and there are places it must have been a challenge to even get the bikes through.   It will cost many millions of $$$$$ to get it open.  I hope they do reopen it as it is one of the most scenic roads near Phoenix and there are a lot of tourists who go through and then tell others how scary it was. 
Our temperatures have been holding in the mid-80s during the day and dropping down to the 50s overnight.  We had some windy days last week and tomorrow is forecast to be windy again. 
I finally have some really great card stock for making my photo cards.  After the fiasco with the made in Mexico crap from Avery that they wouldn’t acknowledge any problem with, this stock from Red River is such a treat.   The Avery product before that came from Germany was excellent but it now seems you can only get Mexican and it isn’t worth wasting the ink on.  The photos were just terrible!  No other word for it.

Hummingbirds both taken at 1600 ISO and 1/2500 second

Some type of Hummingbird

I believe this is a Pinyon Jay

Yellow-eyed Junco

These two photos are of a White-breasted Nuthatch

Taken while we were heading north on AZ 286 looking east

The above photos were taken with my Canon 5D Mk2 and the 100-400 zoom lens

Horse-lubber Grasshopper

I thought the rock formation was pretty neat

Arizona Sycamore trees 

Yellow-eyed Junco

I think this is a Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

Near Arivaca, AZ
The above eight photos were taken with my Canon SX60

Vine climbing an Oak tree in Madera Canyon


The above three photos were taken with my iPhone

Red-napped Sapsucker

Not sure about the one on the right but the flying one is a Lesser Goldfinch

Acorn Woodpecker
The last three were taken with my Canon SX60 on video and the still image captured from the video

Sunday, November 3, 2019


We're pretty much back in the groove here in Arizona and the weather has been very nice.  Yesterday was up to about 86F but it cooled off nicely at night.  We've had lots of wind so that keeps the temperature more moderate too.   Our humidity is reading 1% so yes, it is a dry heat.
On Friday we took a road trip with Richard and Judy,  We went south from Casa Grande on AZ 15 then took 34, 7 and 86 over to Why, AZ then up through Ajo to Gila Bend and back on I-8.  Much of the route as through the Tohono O'odham Indian Nation.  Miles of flat desert interspersed with rugged little mountains and the odd little village.  We had a gorgeous blue sky day for it.  Our route took us 468 kms which is about 293 miles.
The highlight for us was seeing the wild burros as we hadn't realized they were out there.  We saw a total of 21 of them at various times during the afternoon.  We found a quiet spot off the road to have our lunch.  We did get reprimanded at the Border Patrol checkpoint for not having our passports.  Apparently when you're that close to the Mexican border, you are supposed to have your passports with you at all times.
I haven't had the RZR out yet but am planning to ride tomorrow.  We have been enjoying riding our bikes but the wind makes it difficult in one direction.

Female Northern Cardinal in our park

Cactus flower taken during our evening walk

Abandoned church along AZ 34

Wild Burros along AZ 34

Notice the extra ear?

Church in Ajo, AZ

Dove behind our park