We don’t often see the Gila Monsters here, but they sure are pretty. Don’t touch, they’re venomous! (Fortunately, they aren’t very agressive.)
Spotted this guy out and about; he surprised me on the way back from the garden to the house. I was close then, but didn’t have the camera with me. Did manage to catch a shot before he disappeared under a bush.
Out and about, looked to be about three foot. Take it easy, watch where you put your hands and your feet. The good weather brings out our rodent eating friends. Pretty, but deadly!
Lately, we’ve had a visiting Golden Eagle. They really are striking, and often mistaken for the slight smaller red-tailed hawk. The flash of white seen in flight lets you know that it’s an eagle.
Well, after leaving the hose on to help water the pine tree, we’ve had quite a show here as all day long visitors come to our real oasis in the desert. We’ve even had multiple visits from as many as 6 javalina.
It’s quite hot here today, already 106 degrees at 11:30 am. We’ll probably try to keep these guys happy for a little while longer, but being on solar, our water is power meaning that we need to run pumps more etc. to keep the flow flowing. We may have to back off a little on the happy oasis.
Meanwhile, we’re quite comfortable in the house as the swamp cooler is doing a marvelous job, and we were all the way down to 68 degrees at dawn.
I have a leaky hose. It’s in a bad place in that I would have to shut off the entire water system in order to fix it. It’s not a big leak, and it keeps the wildlife happy as there is always at least a little water.
I keep the hose by a pine tree that was planted 20 years ago this coming Christmas. It’s flourished over the years, not the least because I forget that I’m watering it sometimes, and it gets a healthy extra watering.
Yesterday, I had turned up the water ever so slightly, and then ended up leaving it that way all night. This morning, there was an indented area full of water, and a deer!
Today, we’ll step away from the birds, and look at some other desert creatures that seem to thrive in this ever-changing, and sometimes rather hostile environment.
We hear them pretty much daily, and sometimes get a glimpse. The leave their scat around the ranch from time to time.
We leave them alone, but the local ranchers here treat them as pests. They do love your pets, so it’s best to be wary. Coyotes are sneaky, they’ll send one to lure your dog, while four more are waiting to trap and corner them. Watch out!
They seem to be fat and happy in the moist years, but scrawny in the drier years, as one would expect. This year, I imagine they are quite happy, as we’re seeing an abundance of rabbits.
Speaking of rabbits, they really are prolific this year. They’re cute and cuddly when they’re little, but soon they’re eating everything.
The snakes, coyotes, bobcats & Mountain Lions all eat them.
We have a variety here, including some of the deadly kind.
There’s a lot more, but time is short today, so we’ll leave it at that for now.
Here, where the Grand Mohave Desert meets the blue skies of the Sonoran desert, we find abundant plant life that lives together in a unique ecosystem that has characteristics of three deserts: Mohave, Sonoran, and Great Basin (in Nevada and north.)
We’ll talk about plant life and perhaps consult with our resident botanist, Jan Emming in a later post. Today, it’s all about the birds.
Besides an abundance of resident birds which include quail, jays, sparrows, and even orioles, we have infrequent visits by migrating warblers. Ever elusive, it’s hard to get a good picture, but you can sure hear them sing.
Here’s a few that we’ve caught over the years:
More birds here: Continue reading Frequent Visitors
It’s the time of year when out here on the ranch we start paying close attention to where we’re putting our feet.
It’s with good reason, as the desert has a host of things that want to bite or sting you, so it’s best to take heed.
A frequent visitor is the Western Diamondback. Usually not a super aggressive snake, you sure don’t want to step on one.
Years ago, I walked down to the garden first thing. On the way back not a few minutes later, in that morning reverie one can have before the coffee kicks in, I came less than 6 inches from stepping on a four footer. I was definitely awake after that, and so was the snake.