Thursday, June 28, 2012

What a week! How blessed I am!

Open your eyes to the wonder of the great outdoors and eagerly seek solutions to all challenges that come your way!

Youth Fishing Clinic
The park hosted its 6th annual youth fishing clinic this past Saturday. The NM Game and Fish, the Corps of Engineers, local businesses and the park Friends Group worked together to provide lunch and a fun fishing day for youths. A large, above-ground swimming pool was erected and the water filled with 200 good-sized and hungry Catfish. About 100 children, 12 years of age and younger, registered to fish and get gifts. A large portable grill was set up and one of the seasonal employees cooked burgers and hot dogs for everyone – probably feeding about 200 people. Lucky me, I got to be there to take photos and enjoy the event. I could not resist getting a photo of the boy “kissing” a catfish!

And here's the "loot" that was given out.

Dogs make this job fun
Scooby-do, Shelby, Spot Wally, Lupita – all names of dogs that have been here these past few days. All were happy to get dog treats that I keep in my pocket. I asked about Spot Wally’s odd name and of course there was a story to hear. The dog owners found this puppy – half dead – in a Walmart parking lot. Taking pity on the dog, the owners gathered him up and after a few days in a pet hospital, the dog went home with them. Here’s what this sweet – and lucky – dog looks like.

More about birds
I’ve paid more attention to the White-wing Doves when they sit on my window feeder and now have seen several with deformed feet. These feet are deformed in varying degrees, some on just one foot, and some on both. One, who has been unsuccessful staying on top of the feeder, has one foot that has no toes and the other foot has three deformed toes. I make sure to put some birdseed on the ground so ‘gimpy’ can eat. I emailed Eric, the owner of Jay’s Bird Barn in Prescott, and he suspects the deformity is genetic. Ranger Shank thinks it might be the result of frostbite.
A pair of Western Kingbirds has built a nest toward the top of a dead piñon tree – dead as in no needles to block the blazing hot sun. Two campers from Southern Arizona, Eileen and Ann, have a window in their RV that gives them a clear view of the nest. They report four hungry babies.
Three Ladderback Woodpeckers entertained me one afternoon. I’m grateful for the bird blind, allowing me close-up-and personal viewing.
Two “orange and black” flashes landed on my hummingbird feeder. They were a pair of Bullock’s Orioles. By the time I got my camera out, the female flew off.

 Hot, hot, hot! High temps in the 97 – 99 degrees
It’s a good thing that I’m an early bird and up before the sun peeks over the eastern hills. I take care of morning chores in the park, and by the time the heat arrives, I can be in Jeremiah keeping cool. It sort of cools down after 4:30 and most incoming campers arrive after 5 p.m.
The heat apparently is keeping the tent-campers away. I know from past experience that it is pretty miserable in a tent in hot weather. Lucky me, few campers in the primitive loop means less trash pick up for me.
With the heat and drought, the park is now in a “no-burn” status. And in a few days the lake will revert back to just being a river.

Ann from southern Arizona, traveling in a small Chinook van-type motor home, has been camped nearby for a couple of weeks. With her ability to easily go the seven miles to town to the grocery store, she offers to bring anything I want. So, I’ve had access to perishables and sugar (by the time I leave I’ll have gone through 15 pounds of sugar making ‘nectar’ for the hummingbirds). I’ve also picked her brain about the pros and cons of small motor homes.

Frank was one of two surprises this week
As I walked up to greet two campers and noticed they had a small dog nearby. Since I keep a pocket full of dog treats, I asked if the dog could have one. Camper picked up his pet and I noticed it was hairless. When I saw the pet's face, imagine my surprise when the “dog” was a hairless cat named Frank, and yes Frank enjoyed the dog treat. I never knew that hairless cats had been “developed”.

My other surprise was a trip to the local Dairy Queen and a stop at the famous Blue Hole
Imagine my delight when Ann and Eileen invited me to go into town - they were going to see the Blue Hole and then have a Dairy Queen treat. No hesitation on my part, that's for sure. Two photos from the day: Eileen and Ann and then Carol at Blue Hole.

Trash pickup report
n      Slim pickin’s this week; just a nickel and a penny. DQ total, after a surprise trip to the local DQ is now down to 78 cents
n      A 3+ foot long heavy metal pipe with a 10 to 12-inch disk welded on one end. I have no idea what it is/was for. A ranger hauled it away for me.
n      And more of the usual stuff..

Today – Thursday
Looking at my 7-day reservations report, I’ll have a full campground (electric loop) Friday through Sunday, then again on Tuesday. Surprisingly, as of today, there are only three reservations for July 4.

That’s it for this week. Here’s your thought to ponder:

We all have so many reasons to celebrate – so look for them!