Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Desert Wildflowers and Migratory Birds

The time is flying by.  We are down to our last 2 weeks working as volunteers here in Arizona.  March was a very very busy month.  Wore this old lady out!  We had some days in the 90's which brought out the locals by the hundreds well maybe a bit less but .....the last couple of weeks it has been in the 70's and 80's during the day but pretty darn windy.  March winds right...Currently we are down to just 3 volunteers in the park, two of us in the office and just Al doing maintenance.  Our new friends Mark and Paulette left this weekend.  We miss them.  Mark and Al usually worked maintenance together and aside from looking like twins, they had a great time working together and got lots done!  They would confuse the campers thinking they had just talked to one of them only to find out it was the other.   


This the small cactus rock garden by our trailer.  We had fun making
rock cairns in it.  The cactus do not really like the soil by the lake so they do not grow too fast.  Al started watering them when we arrived so they are doing a lot better and a few might even have a blossom this summer...but not while we are here to see them.

A picture of Al and Mark working.  Notice how they would even dress they did not plan just happened.  Al called them my other "my other brother Darryl"  Mark would say they are the Roper Lake Mint Twins....remember the Doublemint gum add.....

There is a huge salt cedar tree/bush beside the trailer and behind us.  Right now they are blooming, a pretty purple flower that attracts lots of birds coming to eat the insects in the blossoms. 
 waiting line

All day long you hear the Yellow Headed Blackbirds, there are hundreds here.

The Hooded Orioles arrived about a week ago.  There are several at our campsite in the trees just chasing each other around.  The hummingbirds are moving back north now too.  We had at least 3 all winter but now we have lots more and more than one species.  So with the Orioles and Hummers flying around chasing each other, it keeps you busy trying to watch them.  Then the Gambel's Quail come marching through with their odd little dignified strut....

This is a Rufus Hummingbird....brown tones, we also have the Anna's and Broadtail Hummingbirds, should have lots more coming in the next week...we will find out!

Al and Mark saw this pair of white faced ibis while working the other day.  They stopped for a break before heading North they most likely wintered in Mexico..

Along with the heat it has been windy and gusty here .... and lots of cloudy days in between the sunshine.  The clouds were reflecting the sunset over the lake, so I had to stop making supper and snap a few shots.  Love the sunset colors in Arizona. 
Different night but awesome moon

 We had noticed a large hole dug into the rock along our trailer and were wondering just what it was.  The one day we saw these two little faces looking at us.  The bunnies had been hopping all around, but we have not seen them lately....people have been seeing snakes and some scorpions in the park since the warm weather arrived.  We have not seen any snakes...thank goodness....but have seen some scorpions.  But Al did find a large crab spider on the patio in back.  Yuck!!!!
So cute...the bunnies...not the spider

  I still find it hard to believe that the desert can be so beautiful and how animals and birds survive here.  Last week we went on some drives, out in the desert to find wildflowers, and we found them..

When we leave here we plan to spend a few days in the Benson area before heading North.  We want to go to the Saguaro National Monument, there should be some good cactus blooms happening there!  The above was one of the few in bloom here now.   If we have time, I still want to see the Hummingbird banding event either at Sierra Vista or Patagonia State Park too.  Time will tell...last year they were not catching very many at the time we were here.

So till next time.....we are on the countdown for our travel North! 

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