Thursday, June 21, 2012

Courting advice from the birds

The past gives us experience and memories
The present gives us challenges ad opportunities
The future gives us vision and hope
    -William Arthur Ward

Rain, glorious rain!
For three afternoons, we watched as thunderstorms appeared to give rain to the areas north, east and west of the park – but no much-needed rain fell here. Saturday, with a mostly full campground and an evening “celestial program” scheduled to be presented, the rain finally found the park. What a blessing – I swear I could hear the parched trees and shrubs saying, ‘thank you’. The rain and a blanket of clouds lasted until about 9 p.m. needless to say, campers chose to hunker down in their tents and RVs, skipping the program.

Horned Lizards fascinate me
I spent some time watching horned lizards this past week – and that sent me to for information. This desert creature – also called "horned toad", "horny toad", or "horned frog" – is neither a toad nor a frog. They are reptiles. Being cold-blooded, horned lizards depend primarily on their environment to control their body temperature – and they like it hot!
            Horned lizards have a spiny, wide, flattened body with a crown of horns on the back of their head. They prefer to eat ants, grasshoppers, beetles and spiders. Some of predators are hawks, snakes, lizards, coyotes and ground squirrels. Most fascinating is the fact that when a predator threatens the horned lizard, they can inflate their bodies to look like a spiny balloon and can squirt a stream of blood from the corner of their eyes.

White-wing doves with deformed feet
As I watched a White-wing dove try to balance on the top of the window feeder, I was surprised to see that his feet are deformed. Birds have three “toes” facing front and one facing back. This dove looked like he had “club feet” with shortened toes and no toenails. I’ve since discovered two more doves with problem feet.
            And on a brighter note – the white wing doves have finally figured out how to get into the window seed feeder. Here’s a photo – House Finch is puzzled!

People also fascinate me
-- My Albuquerque friend Adria arrived on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend. She has a van/camper. We had some sweet visiting time and walked the shoreline trail.
-- For three days, counting Adria and myself, we had six single gals – four had their own RV and two were traveling together. This called for special Happy Hours as we compared travel notes and RV choices.
-- Tonight we have two families in one large motor home – a brother and a sister and their families with plenty of teenage kids. They are on their way to the Grand Canyon.
--Ann, one of the single gals, has lingered here at the park. She has one of  those small Class B motor homes and I’ve been picking her brain as to her ways of stowing stuff.

Courting advice from the birds
Guys, are you having trouble getting a girlfriend? Here’s what three bird species do:
The Canyon Towhee – male droops his wings and quivers while ‘squealing’ in front of the female during courtship.
Yellow-headed Blackbird – flies with head drooped and feet and tail pointing down while steadily beating its wings.
Curve-billed Thrasher – male follows female during courtship, singing a soft song.

What’s on the ‘trash’ list this week?
  1. Several rubbery toys – kids or dogs?
  2. A golf club – a putter
  3. Three pennies to add to my DQ fund
  4. Two broken fishing rods – one branded as Shakespeare Microspin
  5. I think it is called a ‘stringer’ – a nylon rope with a pointed metal ‘needle’ on one end and a metal loop on the other end. (Obviously I’m not a fishing person.)
  6. And of course the usual stuff from previous weeks.

Love the hot mid-days
This week, except for Saturday, brought high temps in the 90s – perfect for staying inside Jeremiah to read and take care of minor projects. I finished reading Cussler’s Crescent Dawn; another story of intrigue and danger that makes the book hard to put down. Just started his book, The Jungle. A great way to spend a hot day. It’s Thursday and I finished reading the book this morning.

What’s next?
Less than three more weeks here at Santa Rosa, then I’ll be in Rio Rancho for three weeks. After that, I’m off to Navajo Lake State Park for two months. I continue to ponder possibilities after Navajo Lake.

"Choices are the hinges of destiny." --Edwin Markham