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Coyote Sightings

Above — Coyote image taken in April 2020 just northwest of our house. Click on the image to enlarge.

About a week ago when taking the dogs out for their morning walk, I observed a coyote walking across the neighbor’s driveway, about 50 to 70 yards west of our property line. The coyote didn’t seem to notice us at the time and the dogs didn’t notice the coyote. I mentally wrote the sighting off as a random indigenous desert animal just passing through the area. No harm, no foul. The dogs did their business and we went back inside the house.

Then, a couple of days later, I saw what appeared to be the same coyote walking across the same driveway at roughly the same spot at the same time as before. That made me think that the coyote might possibly have taken up the desert area west of here as it’s territory.

Even though there are houses in the area, much of the original natural desert remains which still provides habitat to the critters here including cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, Gambel’s quail, antelope ground squirrels, roadrunners, javelina, mule deer and a myriad of other wildlife. The desert also has it’s predators such as hawks, rattlesnakes and coyotes. We have heard about, but have not yet seen, instances of bears and cougars around town.

So, this morning while walking the dogs, we saw the coyote to the west as before, only this time, we noticed each other. It stood and stared at me, still 50 yards away, and I watched it as I removed the dogs to the east in the opposite direction. The dogs still did not notice the coyote. We went back in the house after the morning business without any further wildlife encounters.

Later in the day today, we saw the coyote again hanging around the same area as before. It is still noticing us, but does not seem to be interested in approaching us. We will make updates to this post if anything further develops.

UPDATE — 12/05/2022: Apparently, the individual coyote has moved on since it has not been seen in a week’s time. It could still be out there, but we have not seen it since posting this item.

Desiccated Cholla Remnants in 3D

A large portion of the lot here in the High Sonoran Desert is still natural desert vegetation which we chose to leave as it was before we built the house here. Some of the natural fauna will eventually wither and die as was the case for the remnants of a Buckhorn Cholla Cactus depicted in the anaglyphic photo above. I photographed a pair of images in January of 2021 to finally combine into this interesting 3D image. Click on the image to enlarge.

If you don’t happen to have a pair of red/cyan 3D glasses handy, you can view the 2D image here, although you will miss the perspective of the desiccated wood twisting and turning up out of the page.

Roadrunner Catching a Bee

We saw a roadrunner behind the RV drive this afternoon when coming home from our daily walk. I took several photos of it after going into the house and coming back out with my camera. At one point on its trek on the little hill back there, it caught a bee. I guess insects are part of their daily diet.

From Wikipedia — Greater Roadrunner (Geococcys Californianus) Food and foraging habits:

The roadrunner is an opportunistic omnivore. Its diet normally consists of insects (such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, and beetles), small reptiles (such as lizards and snakes, including rattlesnakes), rodents and other small mammals, spiders (including tarantulas), scorpions, centipedes, snails, small birds (and nestlings), eggs, and fruits and seeds like those from prickly pear cactuses and sumacs. The roadrunner forages on the ground and, when hunting, usually runs after prey from under cover. It may leap to catch insects, and commonly batters certain prey against the ground. Because of its quickness, the roadrunner is one of the few animals that preys upon rattlesnakes; it is also the only real predator of tarantula hawk wasps.

Image above: Catching a bee. Image below: Greater Roadrunner. Click on either image to enlarge.

A Decade of Feeding the Birds

Actually, we’ve been feeding the birds for longer than a decade. We used to have feeders in our California home for years before we moved to Arizona. It’s more like two and a half decades we’ve fed the birds.

We took these two images ten years apart to the day in our Arizona back yard. Above is a cardinal snacking on a seed bell, the image taken on 10/24/2012. Below is a cactus wren pecking at a seed block, the image was taken the afternoon of 10/24/2022.

I took he top image with my old Canon A710 IS compact camera which I still have and use regularly. I took the image of the cactus wren with my Canon EOS Rebel SL1. I took the cardinal photo early afternoon and the cactus wren late afternoon when the sun was behind the mesquite tree so the lighting is not as good. Click on either image to enlarge.

Wickenburg Town Founder in 3D

We posted about our Town’s Namesake, Henry Wickenburg, back in June of 2014. At some later date, I made a 3D image of the Henry Wickenburg Bust at the civic center and just am now getting around to posting it. Click on the image to enlarge.

More about Henry Wickenburg from Wikipedia:

In 1862 a gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma brought American prospectors, who searched for minerals throughout central Arizona. Many of the geographic landmarks now bear the names of these pioneers, including the Weaver Mountains, named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley, named after a settler.

An Austrian named Henry Wickenburg was one of the first prospectors. His efforts were rewarded with the discovery of the Vulture Mine, from which more than $30 million worth of gold has been dug.

If you don’t yet have your pair of red/cyan 3D glasses, you can see the 2D image here.

Water Heater Pooped Out!

Wouldn’t you just know it that the hot water heater had to poop out on a weekend. Verna noticed she wasn’t getting any hot water when she started to wash the dishes this afternoon. We have a tankless water heater and I went out to the garage and checked to see what was going on with it.

The heater, when working normally, will sound like a water pump is running only when someone has opened a hot water tap. Well, today, that sound is not happening. I looked on-line and at the owner’s manual and they both indicate that an error code should appear on the readout on the front of the heater. No error code shows up — just the temperature at which the heater is set, in this case 110°.

I will call our plumber on Monday morning. I don’t have any idea how long we will be without hot water since parts for repair may be hard to find. Meanwhile, we don’t have hot water unless we heat it up on the stove. I will report in updates to this post the steps it takes to restore our hot water.

Steps to restore Hot Water

The New Tankless Water Heater

  1. Call the plumber
  2. 10/17/2022 — Our reliable plumber “Pete” that we have used in the past says that he is semi-retired and doesn’t work on tankless water heaters. I called the plumber Pete recommended, “George,” who is very busy this week. He will “try” and stop by to evaluate the problem and will recommend work to be done.

  3. Troubleshoot
  4. 10/18/2022 — George came by today and inspected the unit. He recommended replacing it even though it suddenly started working again yesterday. We agreed to replace the water heater with a new and improved unit. George will get the new unit on Friday and likely schedule an installation next week.

  5. Removal and Replacement
  6. 11/03/2022 — After about two weeks, the number of emergencies subsided enough that George and crew were able to install the new tankless water heater. It took them from 0630 until 0900 to complete the removal of the old one and installation of the new one.

Conclusion

The new water heater (pictured above) looks roughly the same as the old one and works the same, but will be more reliable providing we do the annual flushing that we somehow overlooked the last ten or eleven years with the old one.