Thursday, February 28, 2019

time to go again

Time to pack up and break camp again.    We've enjoyed our time here at Catalina State Park (we always do), even with the snowy interlude last week.

Monday was the first really nice day and, luckily, that was the day we had an appointment with the windshield repair shop.   They arrived right on time and made quick work of removing Beluga's cracked windshield and installing the new one.

Yesterday Gay and Joe came over and we had a pleasant hike on the birding trail followed by pizza back at our site.

The trail is an easy one through a lush mesquite bosque, up a ridge with expansive views and big Saguaro and back down along and through the sometimes dry, sometimes wet Sutherland's wash.

Joe tests the water 

Yesterday the wash was running full and very cold.    Very cold.   In an effort to keep our feet dry we tried a trick I saw Hans and Lisa use on FaceBook a couple days ago.   For the first crossing  we all put tall kitchen garbage bags over our feet and held on to the ties as we walked across the water.   I think Gay stopped to take our pictures, I'd love to see them!     Halfway across we realized that the bags weren't working for us.    We all arrived on the other side with varying degrees of wet feet.

I didn't get any decent bird pictures as we walked along.   The few I did take were purely for identification purposes.   Hopefully Gay and her big honking lens got a couple good shots!

At the next water crossing (there were 4 all together) we (Dave and I) decided to take our shoes and socks off and wade through the icy water barefoot. 

Gay and Joe chose to leave their shoes on and just deal with wet feet for the rest of the hike.

Much better.   And, actually, for the last bit of the hike Dave and I just continued with our feet bare.   The footing on the trail was soft sand (it's part of the bridle path) and it felt quite nice for a change - don't judge.

Gay and Joe came back to Beluga for pizza and conversation before heading back to the KOA and their pups.

That's about the only exciting thing we did while we were here.   Mostly, we just  enjoyed our beautiful surroundings and those blue skies.

behind our campsite is the equestrian camping area often filled with beautiful horses

round tailed ground squirrels
We enjoyed the antics of our little neighbors, the ground squirrels.   They hustle about and dart in and out of their holes.   Often they sit on the edges and chatter to each other.    Sometimes they seem to just gaze at the scenery and enjoy each other's company.    One Happy Hour we sitting in our chairs, watching two little guys sitting outside their hole in companionable silence.   We laughed and said they looked like us, talking about who knows what and just enjoying themselves.     All of a sudden, out of the blue, a hawk swooped down and grabbed one of them and flew off!    The other one just sat there looking up and then it started it was calling the other.   Peeping like it was crying!   It carried on for quite awhile.....   It made us feel really bad.
  I know, I know...... Hawks need to eat too, anthropomorphism is dumb, I know.  It just seemed sad.

Today as we were coming back from Safeway we saw a beautiful Coyote in the field quite close to the road.   It seemed to be rooting around the base of a Mesquite so we stopped to watch.    Yep, you guessed it!  We watched it grab one of those little ground squirrels, give it a quick shake and then - down the hatch!    It's a tough life for a Round Tailed Ground Squirrel. 


Tomorrow morning we're off for a week stay in Wickenburg, Arizona.


  1. Wow! Mother Nature at work in a big way! How wild to see two ground squirrels scooped up in one short stay at the park!

  2. That's something not seen every day, those little ground squirrels must be tasty. A lot of critters seem to like them.

  3. Awww, poor squirrels. As someone who anthropomorphizes just about everything, this all made me sad. :( Those squirrels drove Thor pretty nuts while we were there. I think he, too, would have loved to snack on one if given the opportunity. And we saw plenty of Coyotes that freaked us out a bit while we were there. Nature sure can be tough.

  4. Life is tough when you're at the bottom of the food chain. We took the bicycles up the Santa Cruz trail yesterday and the round tails were out! We'd come up the trail towards one standing in the middle of the pavement, and they'd move at the very last minute. So cute, so damaging to one's landscaping. I love your pictures of all of it.

  5. I too feel really sad for the squirrels...especially the one peeping! But that was truly a sight to behold! It was great fun seeing you, Dave and Lew!

  6. Glad Beluga had a nice day for her new windshield. Dave will enjoy a full view again. I can't believe how much water there is. A good think except for the hikers. Poor little ground squirrels. They need to get faster.

  7. Peeping!! This was one of your saddest blogs...darn hawks. Lovely to chat with you today. Got caught up with IslandGirl blog. So sad to hear of Angel's passing. Looks like lots of colorful adventures await. Been checking out Wickeburg and new river..nice! Catalina looks so green! Thank you for keeping up this blog - a lovely way to ride along and stay in touch!

  8. I was reading along, enjoying happy hour with you—and then, swoop! I anthropomorphize everything, too (even stuffed animals, ridiculous, I know) so I would also have been sad. And at the same time fascinated at seeing Nature doing her "tooth-and-claw" thing.
    There is so much water in those washes in the park! I love that you left your shoes off to enjoy the soft sand.

  9. How about that, I just learned a new word "anthropomorphize," which I am also guilty of. I think we tend to do that because we are more exposed to what Laurel says " tooth-and-claw" thing.
    Wading in cold water never excites me (unless its a hot summer day) and I vowed to not ever do it again. Im impressed you did it shoes off!

  10. Always nice to have a whole windshield after living with a crack! Barefoot is definitely the say to go if you can see the bottom of the creek. Love going barefoot in the sand :-) That swooping hawk had to be amazing to see!! Poor squirrels, but that circle of life thing keeps things moving. Beautiful coyote, thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see how green Wickenburg is.