We pulled into a beautiful little campsite and had it all to ourselves. Well we thought we did…until we realized how much life was here along this little red slick rock lined creek.
After spending time in the van, we were eager to relax for awhile on these beautiful rocks. Pia was enjoying getting herself cooled off in the water, and started exploring a bit upstream. Gladly I was following her very closely, (always cautious around these parts) as we were soon met by this big dude taking his daily bath…
He was at least 4 feet long, and when first spotted was in the middle of the creek, bathing, hunting, or just cooling off, not sure which. He was actually quite relaxed about having visitors, and we gave him a wide berth once we spotted him. And rest assured, I retrieved my camera with the zoom lens on it. No close up iPhone photo here. We spent probably about an hour, watching him make his way out of the creek, around a tree, under some rocks and across the road. (On the opposite side of the creek from where we are camped.)
Then the birds came out! We have been going wild with all the different birds here. Note that neither Fred nor I are expert ornithologist’s, but we do carry a good birding book, and a few bird apps on the iPhone. We love to just sit and watch them and try to identify the species. Since being here, we’ve seen: Summer tanagers, Northern Cardinals (a southwestern species) Bullocks Orioles, Yellow Warblers, White-crowned Sparrows, and I think a Lark Sparrow. That’s in addition to the normal Juncos, Jays, Ravens, etc. It is so fun for us seeing the red and yellow birds. There is so much variation here!
No photos of the birds, as I was just enjoying sitting and watching them flutter around. Sometimes it’s good to look at life without seeing everything through a camera lens.
When the days get hot here, the birds settle down, and out come the lizards. More new species to identify. We are like a couple of little kids in a zoo.
And…when all else is quiet, our camp is surrounded by cows. They too keep us entertained, coming to the creek to get water, mooing to each other, and generally being cows! It is amazing watching them maneuver their mass of hulk around on these slippery rocks.
Entertainment is quite cheap in the desert. ❧