Mt Lemmon

Rabbit Sighting 20May10

Ok, not as dramatic as Bobcat Sighting.  And the rabbit was not sitting at my bedroom door, looking in, it was just hopping around my back yard.  Where was he before I yanked out most of the weeds?

Bobcat Sighting 22May10 7:20am

A bobcat walked through my back fence (posts 4 inches on center) and my cat, watching through the closed glass door, not only ran upstairs, but jumped onto the counter.  My camera, as usual, was upstairs, and when I returned the bobcat was gone.  Not only do I need a Google implant, I need a camera implant.  This from an old email:

The adult male Bobcat is 28 to 40 inches long. An adult stands about 20 to 24 inches at the shoulders. Adult males usually range from 16 to 30 pounds; females average about 20 pounds.  The largest bobcat on record weighed 48.9 pounds.

My cat is about 17″ long without tail and about 11″ at shoulder.  (It is hard to measure a cat who does not want to be measured!)  She weighs 11.6 lbs, so the bobcat in my yard yesterday was twice her height and probably 3 times her bulk.

The Bobcat is crepuscular (generally most active at twilight and dawn). It keeps on the move from three hours before sunset until about midnight, and then again from before dawn until three hours after sunrise. Each night it will move from 2 to 7 miles along its habitual route.  This behavior may vary seasonally, as Bobcats become more diurnal during fall and winter. This is a response to the activity of their prey, which are more active during the day in colder months.

This explains why I saw one in the morning when I picked up my newspaper at the curb, and yesterday evening after 5.

The Bobcat hunts animals of different sizes, and will adjust its hunting techniques accordingly. With small animals, such as rodents, squirrels, birds, and insects, it will hunt in areas known to be abundant in prey, and will lie, crouch, or stand and wait for victims to wander close. It will then pounce, grabbing its prey with its sharp, retractable claws. For slightly larger animals, such as rabbits, it will stalk from cover and wait until they come within 20 to 35 feet before rushing in to attack. Less commonly it will feed on larger animals such as small dogs and domesticated cats. (!)

Mt Lemmon

Drove up with friend K who had hiked, with family and friends, the Grand Canyon last month.  Hadn’t been up to Mt Lemmon since the year after The Fire (2003).  We first stopped by my old cabin which was one of the few spared by The Fire. Here are a few nostalgic photos.  Even the treehouse that I helped my daughter and her friend engineer was still there.  It looked like no one had been to the cabin for a while, but I was surprised that the present owners didn’t bother to cover the large windows with the plywood sliders designed to do the task.  The deck was full of pine needles and cones and the top of one of the pines had crashed into another.  The exterior wood hadn’t been cared for, maybe since it was built, over 20 years ago.

Driving through Summerhaven, I was surprised that the hillsides were still bare.  I guess I had expected the woods to have grown back in the past seven years.  They haven’t.  The cabins have.  Summerhaven is awash in new, often large, cabins, most with metal roofs.

We parked in Marshall Gulch, which is now open.  The Sunset Trail was littered with fallen trees that we had to climb over or under.  And in those spots where the fire had hit, there was not the accustomed shade.  The forest  had not rejuvenated there, probably due to a dearth of rain in the past few years. (This year has been an exception so far.)

At the end of the trail as we were sitting on a log (in shade) along a road to eat our packed lunch, a car drove up and K knew the driver.  We were invited to her cabin and regaled with stories and photos of the cabin rebuilding process.  A friend of hers who had a cabin two down described hiking with her husband, only a month ago, in two feet of snow!

The center of town was a disappointment.  Pam, the proprietor of the rustic cafe, who had made such delicious pies, had died two years ago, and the café, which the fire had missed, was now razed.  The lodge had burned down.  The cookie shop (chocolate chip cookies for $3 apiece!) had been rebuilt and enlarged, but had a line of people (at 2:00) waiting to order, so we gave up.  It’s too bad that no one wants to live in the tiny village and bake fantastic pies. But the small-town politics are stultifying.

Frankly, I didn’t want to take photos of the new cabins on the otherwise barren hillsides – too depressing.  Or the condition of my old cabin – too depressing.  But here are a few “artistic” pictures of dead trees.  The ones that haven’t fallen down from snow and wind.  This one above right shows one area green, the hill beyond dead.

Speaking of snow, when we drove up to Ski Valley (which is on the north side of the mountain) there were still patches of snow.  Usually it’s 30° cooler up there than in Tucson, and since the high today was supposed to be 93°, it was a delightful 63° on the mountain.

Here’s the typical photo of Windy Point rocks.  And if any of you want to join a naturalist hike:

http://www.scvntucson.org/Hiking_files/Summer_Hiking_Schedule_2010_no_names.pdf

The NY Times  23May10

Yea!! For the first time I finished a 6×6 Kenken.  (You will find these in the NY Times Magazine.  Similar to Sudoku.)

 

Example (and answer at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KenKen)

A typical KenKen problem.

The objective is to fill the grid in with the digits 1 through 6 such that:

  • Each row contains exactly one of each digit
  • Each column contains exactly one of each digit
  • Each bold-outlined group of cells is a cage containing digits which achieve the specified result using the specified mathematical operation: addition (+), subtraction (−), multiplication (×), and division (÷).

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