Saturday, November 01, 2014

Interesting tidbits from Week 3 at City of Rocks

Part of the adventure of life is not always knowing what’s going to happen next, and the next part may be grander than your original plan. Be open to the unknown.

In between visitor center guests, I spend time learning from the many resource books with a goal of being able to answer questions. Among my lessons this week:
    • Vultures survive in the desert's relentless summer heat by urinating on their legs, which in turn evaporates and cools the bird off! (
    • Baby Black-tailed Jackrabbits are called leverets (not bunnies). The babies are fully furred and with their eyes open. (
    • Petrified poop is called coprolite. (we have some on the display table – no idea who/what it came from.)
    • A few blog readers were wondering where the other six known locations of similar rocks are: Rock City, Kansas; City of Rock National Reserve, Idaho; Yarwondutta Rock, South Australia; Colorado Plateau; Thailand; and Texas Canyon (I-10 between NM/AZ border and Benson).
And speaking of “our rocks” – from Jeremiah's vantage, they look like just a line of rocks. From the aerial photo it is obvious that there are many more behind the ones I see. (Sorry for the poor photo – could not eliminate the glare.) The photo shows the park road that encircles the rocks.

 In the visitor center we have
Oscar the large stuffed Western Rattlesnake.

Reportedly he liked hanging around the park, the rangers would relocate him to a different location and each time, he came back. Dead Oscar was sent to the taxidermist. His presence is an opportunity to educate people about what to do if/when they encounter one in nature. (Freeze, figure out where he is, and then slowly move in the opposite direction.)

The House Finches were the first birds to discover my window feeder and show up for their seed meals. The Canyon Towhee and Curve-bill Thrasher have discovered it, but still have not figured out how to get in for the goods!

The sunset a few nights ago was spectacular!

Changing gears – a change in plans
When I first arrived, Park Manager Gabe commented on how it seems to be either 'feast or famine' with volunteers – he will at times (like now) not have enough and then at times they are plentiful. I told him that if he gets offers from a volunteer that can stay longer than I can, I will leave. That has happened, so I will be leaving here two weeks earlier than expected. No specific plan yet. The only thing for certain is I will head for home approx Nov. 23. Stay tuned.

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes: Hugh Downs