Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Right Time at the Right Place

May 31, 2009

I’m surprised by how often I’m in the right place and the right time. My latest experience came this past week when I glanced out Jeremiah’s window to see a man on the park road looking at something. A closer look and I could tell that ‘something’ was a snake. Aha, another park wildlife to photograph, I thought as I took my camera went out.

It was a fairly long gopher snake (sometimes called a bull snake); the man was Sandy Williams, head of New Mexico Bird Records Committee, and former Game and Fish employee. Of course we struck up a conversation and I learned even more about birding. He was here as part of the New Mexico Ornithological Society; his purpose for being in this part of southern New Mexico was the annual Breeding Bird Survey. Knowing that New Mexico has about 525 species makes my bird list look really puny. However, I did add to my list this week: Scaled Quail, Northern Mockingbird, and Bendire’s Thrasher

Back to the snake. This one is between 4 and 5 feet long. I’ve since seen another fairly long one in another part of the park, and just now saw a 3-footer working its way through my campsite. They are harmless snakes, and help keep the mouse and rat population down. Remember, if you double-click on the photos, they will enlarge.

The park Visitor Center/Museum has had few visitors and I’ve had time to read. I finished reading a biography of Douglas MacArthur, Old Soldiers Never Die by Geoffrey Perret. This 600-page book points out the colorful, controversial aspects of this dominate character in American military history. The book jacket says, “…biography charts the brilliant, if flawed, career of a unique American character.”

And I read Mickey Rooney’s autobiography, “Life is Too Short.” The book chronicles his life – his broken romances and eight wives, addiction to pills, and squandering of a veritable fortune. Even with all this, he became one of the most talented performers in the history of Hollywood.

My current book (thanks to the park’s book exchange which is bursting at the seams) I’m in the midst of Nobody’s Fool, a biography of Danny Kaye written by Martin Gottsfried.

I cleaned up the book exchange – dusted, shelved books and tossed out some old battered paperbacks. That’s how I found some interesting books.

Someone forwarded me a very interesting Internet link – God of Wonders -
It was fascinating and beautiful reminder that God DID create the earth and all that is in it.

Also during the week I got some good wildlife photos, including finally a good one of the Bullock’s Oriole.

I was sad not to have my camera the day I saw a Houseboat on one of the oversize-trucks that use the state highway for hauling the big stuff around. It took up nearly both lanes. The escort vehicles (one front and one back) has signs that said: California houseboat transport. I’ve decided that being a transport driver or passenger would be an interesting job.

My dueling cottontail rabbits have been at it again! What a hoot! I tried to take a ‘movie’ of them, and did succeed. I'll try to add it to this blog. No luck downloading the video. Drats!

I close with a poem, copyright 1991 by Lou Roberts. It is on a bookmark that I found in one of the book exchange books:


It comes from within,

It shows on the face;

It makes people grin,

It eases life’s pace.

It might cure an ill,

It may lessen pain;

It fosters good-will,

It weakens a strain.

It quiets the mind,

It comforts the soul;

It helps one unwind,

It brightens life’s whole.