Monday, December 16, 2019


We’ve had three major storms come through so far this winter dropping well over an inch of rain the first time, a little over an inch the second and about half an inch the last time.  The desert is very grateful and is greening up nicely in spots. 
We took another road trip with Richard and Judy on Saturday.  Using my 2007 Arizona atlas led us to some interesting spots and situations.  While traveling along one section shown as gravel, we encountered big mud holes extending the full width of the road.  Fortunately we were able to back track a bit and take alternate farm roads.  We mostly got where we expected to until mid-afternoon.  The map showed this particular road paralleling the railroad for about 25 miles before intersecting the road we were going to take to make a circle route back to Gila Bend.  Less than halfway along this section, we ran out of road.  The GPS in Richard’s Jeep was showing the road then it suddenly ended.  There was a small road continuing, but it looked more suitable to ATVs so we turned back.  Very fortuitous, it turned out, as a few minutes later a Bobcat crossed in front of us.  I zipped down a wash out of sight of the cat and was in position when it popped up on the railway track.  He gave me a few seconds to shoots six shots then off he went.  That was the first Bobcat I have been able to get a shot of and only the second I have seen.  So, it was an exciting moment.
After that eleven hour road trip, yesterday was a rest up day.   Our friends Richard and Judy were so impressed with our Polaris General they have now bought one too. 
Last Sunday we participated in a surprise 60th anniversary party for some neighbours.  It was interesting learning lots of facts about them over the course of so many years.  There was a video shown giving many highlights of their family, friends and activities.
We took our neighbor, Carol, for her follow up appointment up in Mesa one day and another day Aileen took our friend Marie shopping in Casa Grande.  So, as you can see, we don’t lack for things to do.  I posted several times on our park Face Book page and received a huge number of likes and comments.  It is gratifying to know that so many people are enjoying my photography.  It makes it worthwhile to spend so much time at the computer editing and organizing after enjoying my time in the field taking the photos.

Click on the images to enlarge.

Desert Bighorns in Box Canyon

A hummingbird I encountered on a walk in the desert behind our park

Heading out to Box Canyon one morning I encountered this nice Mule deer buck with his harem

Box Canyon

Can you see the reclining face top left?

I climbed out of Box Canyon to peek down the other side

A young Javelina, there was a large group of them scattered around the hillside and it was tough catching one in an opening as they tend to scurry across the openings and then stop beside a shrub.

Sixteen ATVs on top of the Little Spine

The Thumb from the Little Spine

Greater Roadrunner

Red-tailed Hawk and below in flight

American Kestrel

Greater Yellowlegs

Painted Rock Petroglyphs

Painted Rock Petroglyphs.  There were no other rock piles close so I guess they just 
kept adding new art.

Several women were out riding various mules, burros etc near Painted Rock

This Bobcat was one of my firsts.  Only the second that I have seen in the wild and the first I was able to photograph

Red-tailed Hawk on today's ride

The second of my firsts was this fox on today's ride.  First time I have managed to capture a fox in AZ.

Sunrise on December 6.  I was planning on sleeping a bit late but Aileen, who was out walking, phoned to alert me to this starting to develop so I hopped out of bed, into the UTV and across the highway to a vantage point.  It didn't disappoint!  These last five images are from the iPhone.  This one is using the steering wheel as a rest and capturing the reflection in the hood.

We witnessed this neat sky on one of our evening walks

The Ocotillo are leafing out.  Ocotillo leaf and wither at the whims of the weather.  If there is enough moisture, they will leaf out quickly after a storm.  If the moisture isn't sufficient, they will die down rather than waste their energy blooming.  They can leaf several times a year or stay dormant for long periods.

Spotted this cactus blooming in Florence Gardens on our way around yard sales the other day.

Thursday, December 5, 2019


Life continues to roar along at a fast and furious pace, it seems.  I can't believe it is already two weeks since my last post.  We have had several rides on our new Polaris General and are enjoying it very much.  We went out with Richard and Judy one day and had our supper near Box Canyon then drove home in the dark.  We are hoping to do that again soon.
We made another road trip with them last week traveling south to Oracle then north up AZ 77 to Globe and back through Superior.  It was lightly under 200 miles (315 kms). 
Today, we are taking our neighbour Carol up to Phoenix for a medical appointment then we will be taking her for a followup on Monday so I won't be leading ATV rides both days.
We've had some fairly cool weather including a bit of frost as well as two storms that dumped 1.23 and 1.08 inches of rain on us.  One of the storms had some pretty serious winds with it overnight and it wasn't good for sleeping as it sound like our roof over the motor home was about to depart with all the slamming and banging going on.
We celebrated the American Thanksgiving with eight of us eating in the park model.  We had a great day visiting and eating.  Aileen had bought a fresh turkey at Sprouts and by doing it online, they gave her a 10% discount on our total bill so the turkey cost about $5.  Such a deal!

The Thumb from Granny's Pass

The first Desert Bighorn this fall in Box Canyon

Curved-bill Thrasher

Cattle along the Gila River

These two shots are east of the Gila River

Logger-head Shrike out behind our park

Male Northern Flicker out behind our park

Abandoned mine north of Oracle, AZ on Hwy 77

Some healthy Saguaro cactus along AZ 77

Near Mammoth, AZ

Rock climbers near Superior, AZ

The large blue mountain is Superstition Mtn.  To the left of it, greater Phoenix spreads out for the next sixty or so miles.

Neat sky at Box Canyon

Supper near Box Canyon

Barrel cactus with fruit

The Gila River

Saguaro and fluffy clouds

The San Pedro River.  We had thought we were going to drive across and explore that road until we saw this.  We only got just over an inch of rain but near the headwaters of the San Pedro there was over three inches that fell causing this massive flooding.  The San Pedro flows into the Gila at Winkleman and the next day this water made it to Florence so the Gila was in flood stage too.

After our rain, the creeks above Superior had some nice waterfalls

Red-tailed Hawk

Mineral Mountain

Box Canyon

There were five of these Harris' Hawks, the other three were on another cactus.  Harris' Hawks hunt together in packs, unlike most other hawks.

Scrawny cow but nice coloring

Cactus Man