I loved to watch the wildlife at my last house – the deer, raccoon, javelinas, bobcats, rabbits (cottontail and jackrabbit), and all of the birds (especially the roadrunners and hawks).
There is a hill of desert behind the house I’m renting. Because it is separated from the rest of the desert, typical of developers, (unless a creature, usually a coyote, dares to cross the ring road around the subdivision), I can see only a few rabbits, cactus wrens (in the prickly pear, eating not the fruit, but the bugs after the fruit), doves, quail, and goldfinches. And ants – lots of ants. Also, recently the beautiful emerald green scarab beetles (also, according to Wikipedia, known as the figeater beetle, whose habitat is primarily the southwestern United States and Mexico). Their photo.
“My” dove (see her photo in this blog: https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/pause/) raised one chick and both of them left. (Not sure if there was a father around – sometimes the nest was not being tended.) Lazy, I didn’t get rid of the nest on the back patio beam. A week later, the dove returned, laid one more egg, and raised one more chick. They are gone now. Reminds me of friends who had one daughter. When she went off to college, being empty nesters, they thought it was the right moment for the second child. As she said: One morning woke up and realized it is now or never and voila! (Kids are 18 years apart.)
Our monsoon rains have brought out flowers on the barrel cactus and many fruit on the prickly pear cactus (called tuna in Spanish).
Here is a photo of insect eggs, yellow and gold, laid neatly in lines on my bedroom window. (Okay, I didn’t work hard enough to get their color – it was too bright outside.) Each is approximately 2mm long. I googled insect eggs and found no match, but all of these gorgeous others.
Just read The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty. In 1972 it won her a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It was a nice novel, but I didn’t think that it came up to the quality of The Orphan Master’s Son, Olive Kitteridge, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, or other winners that I have read. (But 1972 was when Marcus Welby, M.D, and My Three Sons were popular on TV.)
I am presently reading The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain. Bill Bryson married an English woman and now resides there and writes. This book is a walking tour through Britain (with humour and many snarky remarks). I last visited the British Isles, approximately 25 years ago, when my children were young. For the month-long vacation I had rented four cottages, two in England, one in Wales, one in Scotland (to see Blair Castle, but that’s another story), each for one week. I remember being surprised that there was a footpath going right past the front garden of our Welsh cottage. That’s when I learned that Britain has 140,000 miles of footpaths all across the island.
Can’t imagine our Agro-Giants allowing people to walk through their crops in the US. Plus, I checked, and Britain is about 57% the size of California. I googled people who have walked across the United States, and there have been 19 recorded from 1896 to 2015. A few more have bicycled; a young woman who I worked with in FEMA did it. She had a hard time getting in enough training beforehand as we were working 60-hour weeks after Hurricane Katrina, and the storm had decimated most of the roads. Also, my nephew rode across country back in his college days. If I know two people who have done it, there must be hundreds.
But the walking tour brought to mind the walk a friend had taken with another, from Tucson to Nogales, approximately 70 miles (back when we were all younger). Unfortunately, most of the way they walked next to a highway, breathing in the particulate matter and many noxious gases. Their wives met them in Nogales for dinner. (Google said that it should take 23 hours, 45 minutes for that walk, but I think they did it in half of that time.) Believe that was the end of his long treks.