Friday, October 30, 2020

Tres Rios bird watching


A fantastic day of bird watching (not so much bird identifying, since I'm a terrible birder) at Tres Rios in Phoenix.  Also not a great bird photographer, apparently.  I hardly have any good pictures.  But I have great memories.  And in my defense, birds are quick.  :)   

Not pictured:

American pelicans--totally cool

A ton of cormorants flying in Vs and lines

Red-winged blackbirds???

A male cardinal


Gambel's quail

Various hawks and/or other birds of prey I'm not confident enough to name


Here are the pictures I do have:

A pretty turtle (not a bird, I know) eyes me:

A great blue heron (I think) balances high in a tree:

An egret (of some sort) flies:

And for our final act, a different great blue heron (I think) walks a tightrope:

I also saw what I believe are the tracks of beavers!!!

Awesome day.

If you go:

You have to have a permit.  But...they're free and require very little work on your part.  Visit

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

"Gold" published in 50 Haikus

I somehow didn't post earlier that a haiku of mine is now published in 50 Haikus Issue #16

I wrote this while riding the train on my third return to the Czech Republic (now Czechia).  I was so happy to see the Czech countryside that poetry just started spilling out of me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Fall Leaves in Flagstaff, Arizona

This is the first time I've travelled since the pandemic hit--besides socially distanced camping and hiking.

We went to Flagstaff, Arizona, to see the leaves (October 9th, for future leaf peepers).  Apparently many people think that if you're outside you can't transmit or catch the coronavirus (you can, folks, if everyone's passing near each other on crowded trails--it's just not as likely), so I felt uncomfortable with the number of people not wearing masks.  I'd carefully take mine off when away from the trail so I could smell the wonderful fall smell and the fresh air, but I kept it on while in close proximity to others.

And this was the reward:

A kindness rock I found:

The San Francisco Peaks all dressed up:

Nature is so beautiful.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

A Hint of Fall--Pinal Mountains

 On a hike to Pinal Peak near Globe, Arizona, early October:

Views from the trail:  

Friday, October 9, 2020

Wildlife at last!

Mystery picture: 

Read on to see what I barely got a picture of here 

It's been so hot in Phoenix and the pandemic has altered our responsible travel options greatly, but last weekend I got out camping.  The wildlife count was incredible.

-Lots of big beautiful tufty-eared Abert's squirrels playing, eating, caching food, and chittering at us.

-Chipmunks and one small mouse thing that skittered away in the dark before I could get a good look

-Lots of birds I don't know, including one that had distinctive green coloration on his belly and one with really orange eyes.  

-A red-tailed hawk (or something similar)

-A kestrel, maybe, that flew right at us down the trail and then veered off.

-A whole bunch of wildly posturing acorn woodpeckers by the spring on the way to Pinal Peak.  They're beautiful with their black, white, and red coloring, and I don't see this species in lower elevations.

-Deer.  Four times!  Twice right from our campsite, once bounding away from us on the trail as we turned a corner...and then bounding back...and then bounding away.  One time we got to quietly watch them for a good twenty minutes before they wandered off.   

-And the most exciting?  The first night, after dark, we were sitting around the picnic table when something ran past and then up a tree, like a squirrel, and we thought, "Aren't squirrels in bed by now?"  We heard some more noises and then a couple of minutes later, my brother said, "The squirrel's under the table."  He shined his flashlight, and I said, "That's not a squirrel!  It's a ringtail cat!"  He was soooo beautiful with a tail longer than he was, striped in white and black.  He sniffed around, completely unafraid, jumped up on the table, nosed at our bag of garbage from dinner, ran up a nearby tree, scampered to a rock, ran back to the table, and then was gone.  Amazing.  I had never seen one in my life, and just that morning I had told Dad, "I would love to see a ringtail sometime."  It was so cool.  Then, the next night, he came back!  Our campsite must have been on his nightly rounds.  I loved it.

Did I get good pictures of any of them?  No!  But I swear we saw them.  It was awesome.  

Now maybe you can decipher the picture above.