Archive for Critters

Cabela’s Thirteenth Birthday

Teenage Min Pin

Eleven years ago, I came to live with my hoomins. We had to wait a couple of months while the little house got finished before we could move in. Meanwhile we lived in the big house and the Super 8. Now we’re always in the little house and maybe gone in the RV sometimes. I like it here.

Today is my thirteenth birthday, but I am not slowing down a bit. I still run and play at top speed and bark at stuff just because.

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Mule Deer

Western Mule Deer

I went out to the courtyard to water my little flower bed at just about dusk last evening. I looked up and saw that there was a deer in the back yard. I hurried back into the house to get my camera, went back out and took several images of the deer. This is one of the best ones I got. Click on the image to enlarge.

We don’t often see deer although there is evidence they come here frequently. Several of them (I assume) stripped our lemon tree of most of its leaves this past winter.

Don’t worry about the lemon tree, though. All new leaves have already filled in and we’re seeing little green lemons growing all over the tree. Harvest is not until next December but we expect to have another good crop of lemons then.

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Smoke Alarm Batteries

Smoke Alarm

We’re actually over a year late in doing this but today we replaced the 9 volt smoke alarm batteries in the six units installed in our house. During the night, Verna (and the pups) heard the mild ‘peep’ from the bedroom unit which indicates a low battery condition.

(Image: Office Smoke Alarm)

So, we got out fresh batteries and the ladder and did the replacements one by one. Since the alarms always manage to make a lot of ear-piercing noise during the process, we locked the dogs up in the Motorhome (A/C on) for the duration of the replacement. From previous experience, we know that the dogs would have gone crazy with the alarms intermittently sounding.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Black-Throated Sparrow

Black-Throated Sparrow

I was in the backyard yesterday with my camera* and caught this photo of one of our migrant visitors to the seed feeders up on the little hill out there. I think it is a Black-Throated Sparrow. We don’t see many of these and only do see them when they are either headed south in the fall or north in the spring.

From All About Birds:

A medium-sized sparrow with a large, round head, conical seed-eating bill, and a medium length tail. Larger than a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, smaller than a Horned Lark.

Most striking feature is the face pattern: neat gray bordered by 2 strong white stripes and a black triangular throat patch. Upperparts are grayish brown and the underparts are a paler mix of cream and white. The tail is dark with white spots on the corners. Juveniles look like adults but lack the black throat patch and have faint streaks above and below.

Hops on the ground, pecking for seeds and insects, and makes short low flights between shrubs. Often perches in trees and shrubs giving quiet calls.

I might add that they also visit the seed feeders in people’s back yards.

* Camera: Canon EOS REBEL SL1

  • COPYRIGHT © BOB POOLE
  • 1/400 Sec
  • F8
  • ISO 100
  • Focal Length 135mm

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Desert Garbage Disposal

Desert Cottontail Rabbit

The photo above is a shot of one of our local desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) about to partake of some of the Brussels sprouts that didn’t make the cut to become part of today’s dinner. Verna will usually take unused portions of fresh veggies and toss them in the little wash behind the retention wall on the northwest side of our back yard. The rabbits don’t seem to mind that they’re getting second quality goods.

When we lived in California, we would dispose of this sort of ‘garbage’ in our compost bin. The compost worms would take care of recycling the kitchen waste. Now that we’re in the semi-rural Arizona desert, we do the recycling thing still with a compost bin, but most fruit and veggie scraps go up in the wash where a variety of critters devour them. We’ve seen everything including lizards, squirrels (several varieties), rabbits, jackrabbits, javelina and coyotes in the wash taking out the garbage, so to speak.

Read more about desert cottontail rabbits on Wikipedia. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Cabela is 12!

Cabela relaxing at Desert Oasis

Today, our elder dog, Cabela, is approximately twelve years old. I say that since when we adopted her from the Humane Society here in town, she was estimated to be about two years old but her actual birth date was unknown. That was ten years ago this month at the time we were having our Arizona house built.

Cabela is probably a pure bred miniature pinscher “blue” but we have no history on her other than she was found near the rodeo grounds up in Constellation Park here in Wickenburg. We figure she was cropped and bobbed by her original owners who managed to let her run off somehow. I pity their loss. At the same time, we feel fortunate to have this little dog despite her high-strung personality and a tendency to bark at most everything. She truly must think she’s ten feet tall and bullet proof.

At twelve, Cabela shows few signs of growing old. She is quite active, can still jump and run at full speed and when on a leash can drag “The Daddy” along to where she wants to go. Despite being headstrong, she can be a nice companion here at home and still sleeps on the bed with us, sometime stealing the covers. She is quite the character and we love her.

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Beethoven Is Ten Today

Bay Bay at 10Happy Birthday to our beloved Beethoven (a.k.a “Bay Bay”) who is ten years old today. He is the youngest of the two Miniature Pinchers that run our household. We adopted him about eight and a half years ago and, needless to say, is a beloved family member.

Image: Bay Bay at 10 – click to enlarge

As older dogs go, he is still very alert and seems happy most of the time. Of course, he is showing some signs of having joint pain and has turned grey in his face. He loves to sit with his “parents” watching TV and being wrapped in a warmed-up blanket. We hope he is having a good day.

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