See update at end of post.
Saturday, March 30
Sweeping the covered patio at the back of the house isn’t a chore because I enjoy it. It doesn’t take much effort and the results are immediate. The gentle movement of the broom across the shaded tiles is soothing.
Reggie and Roger sunbathe in their beds.
“Does that sun feel good, boys?”
Sweep, sweep. My mind is far, far away until I’m pulled back by an unusual sound.
What is that? Not very loud, close by . . . over here somewhere . . . .
I look up.
“Oh, you poor thing!”
A hummingbird is in the channel that reaches up from the ceiling to the skylight. Repeatedly he crashes against the prison walls in futile, frantic efforts to escape.
(Obviously the photo above greatly enlarges the hummer. He’s only a couple inches long, if that, and he’s flailing around about 6 feet above my head.)
“You can’t get out that way, sweetie. Hang on. I’ll get the ladder.”
I easily cup him in my hand and bring him down out of there.
What a wonder! His face is so tiny!
I set him on the top of the half-wall of the patio.
Above is the feeder that he frequents regularly. He rests absolutely still on his belly, wings outstretched, feathers all puffed up.
Gee, he’s exhausted. And he looks a wreck.
Less than ten seconds go by and he comes to life. Up to the feeder he goes.
I return to my sweeping.
My presence doesn’t seem to bother him. He drinks and drinks and drinks, rests a moment, and drinks some more.
I’m glad I filled that feeder with fresh sugar water yesterday . . . .
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Sunday, March 31
“Reg, Rog, you be good. I’ll be back in a little while.”
I shut the gate and start up the Perfect Tow Vehicle. The weather this week has been absolutely perfect. These probably are the prettiest days of the year in southeastern Arizona. Highs in the high 70s to mid 80s, occasional soft breezes, no wind, and lots of sunshine.
I love the seasons of Arizona.
I stop at the mailboxes, pick up Saturday’s mail, and then head for open desert. Those ubiquitous yellow flowers that adorn our backyard and brighten the neighborhood line both sides of the road like carpet runners.
Eventually the pavement ends and the road becomes dirt.
The PTV bounces over washboard through a rolling landscape of tall, dry, almost white grass that fills in the spaces between prickly pear, yucca, numerous mesquite, an occasional barrel cactus, and pale green rabbitbrush.
I’m reminded of our many desert camps of the past.
Three adult deer cross the road ahead of the PTV and jump a fence on the other side. They disappear in a tangle of mesquite before I can get a shot. Then a youngster crosses the road and jumps the fence, giving me another opportunity. His winter coat is shaggy.
Not a great shot, but it’s something.
Further on, the road takes us past the entrance of a long driveway leading to a ranch house.
Cattle graze on a distant slope. The PTV rattles over a cattle guard. Up ahead, two horses!
They lift their heads as I bring the PTV to a stop and raise the camera.
~ ~ ~
I don’t linger.
Although there are hardly any vehicles on this road, it winds this way and that and goes up and down like ribbon candy. People use this road to go to the mountains. A rear-ending of the PTV is not a photo op I’m interested in!
About a quarter mile further a small sign advises “Do Not Enter If Flooded.” The PTV ventures forward and we come to a wash across the road and it is flooded. I park the PTV to the side and contemplate the situation.
Just then a white pick-up appears in the rear-view mirror.
The pick-up rides high on its axles above big tires. He passes me and hesitates for a split-second before entering the water. This gives me an idea of the water’s depth (about 12-18 inches).
When he attempts to go up the other side, he loses traction. Realizing he’s digging a hole in the mud, he stops accelerating and drops back to try again.
This time he makes it.
Oh-kay…. The PTV would handle that water, but the mud could be a problem. I don’t want to ruin this lovely excursion. I’m turning around.
On the way home . . . .
I stop at one of the properties in our neighborhood to take the photo below. This dog’s yard is twice the size of that shown in the photo and poppies have sprung up all over it. (I have more to write about poppies in a future post.)
“Hey, there. Do you know how pretty you are in that field of poppies?”
UPDATE: MONDAY, APRIL 8
Those of you who found my message yesterday (near the bottom of comments) already know the reason this blog went quiet was a mishap between my laptop and a full cup of coffee. Despite my efforts at repair, whenever I open my Acer laptop all that it transmits is the “good morning” aroma of Folger’s Classic Roast.
Desperate to reconnect with y’all, I made a hasty purchase of an HP computer.
At this point I hate the dang thing. Besides inflicting all the usual annoyances of an unfamiliar computer in which various sorts of garbage have been preloaded and must be eliminated in order to make order out of chaos, this HP laptop irritates the socks off of me.
I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll keep trying to like it or if I’ll return it. (I was told upon purchase that returns are allowed up to 15 days.) I wish I had ordered another Acer from Amazon like the one that served me dependably up until I baptized it with my morning brew.
If I return the HP, that’s what I’ll do.
So if you don’t hear from me for a while, I’m either struggling with the HP (or life in general) or I’m waiting for my Acer to arrive.
Computers. You know the old saying “Hate is close to love.”
I’m dealing with some other “life stuff” these days, but eventually all will settle down and the boys and I will be back.
As always, I appreciate your patience, support and loyalty to my blog.
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MORE LINKS TO AMAZON:
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