Critters

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.

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.

Photo Update


I thought that I posted these last April when these photos were taken, but I couldn’t find them when I looked for them earlier today. Anyhow, these were posed to send to our friend Patty who is retired and living in North Carolina. We have been friends for a very long time and now that Patty is living alone, we try to correspond with her on a regular basis. Verna sent these in a letter to her just a week or so ago.

Top photo: Verna and Tucker. Bottom photo: Bob and Cabela.

Click on either photo to enlarge.

Tucker’s Cuteness

I decided to try and upload a video to YouTube as an experiment to replace the videos I used to upload to the blog using Flash™ animations which have no more support from most browsers. So this is a video I captured in my Android Phone a couple of weeks ago. It is now embedded in this post.

Tucker, our little Chihuahua mix pup begs to get up into Verna’s lap in this 30 second video.

UPDATE: A close-up of the little guy (click to enlarge):

Photo Status Update

 

It’s been a while since we posted photos of us and our dogs. Life goes on and things change, people get older and pets come and go. So this shows our current configuration of us and our pups – me, holding Cabela and Verna, holding young Tucker. Click on either image to enlarge.

The photos were taken in our courtyard with each of us posing with the big saguaro and ocotillo just outside the gate. In a few weeks, the courtyard will be nearly overtaken with the red bird of paradise (a.k.a. Pride of Barbados) shrubs and their beautiful flowers.

So, that’s our Spring 2022 status update. I don’t plan on doing status updates like this on a scheduled basis, but will probably get to them now and then. Enjoy the rest of Spring and the Summer, too.