IMG_8018The Peach-faced Lovebirds are back. They visit our yard every winter, arriving in group of thirty or so, and taking up accommodation in the desert willow trees behind the house.

Despite their bright coloration, we hear them before we see them.  They hide in the dense foliage of the trees, and announce their presence with their short shrill chirps. Continue reading »

Hackberry Spring, an unexpected detour

Hackberry Spring hikeToday, Liz and I hiked the Hackberry Spring trail. We had intended to hike only to Hackberry Spring and back, a short hike. We missed the turn off for the trail, and instead headed all the way to Garden Valley. Our five-mile hike turned into more than eight miles.

The hike to Hackberry Spring begins just north of the horse trailer parking on First Water. he path becomes rocky very quick, heading into a pass between two mountains. The trail follows a wash; and there was a lot of water in the spring as we wound our way along the trail.

The trail criss-crosses the wash, and with the lush vegetation was a bit convoluted at times. This trail is rockier than most, although still considered easy. Continue reading »

Black Mesa loop

Black Mesa hikeToday Liz and I hiked the Black Mesa loop. This is a 9-mile hike with a 900 foot gain in elevation, considered a moderate hike.

It took us 5 1/2 hours to complete – we took two 15-minute rest stops along the way.

The day was wonderfully overcast, lending to some great photo ops and a pleasant afternoon. We never got too warm.

Continue reading »

It’s a New Year

Field and Stream TrailerIt is now 2015, and I have to get used to writing a new date. Maybe by June I will stop writing 2014 on the paperwork I sign 15 times a night at work…

This week I finally earned a week’s vacation time – and I have three days of personal time – I took one sick day this past year, and used the rest of the 40 hours during the holidays so that we could have four-day weekends.

It is almost 80 degrees today – as the Midwest and the Northeast are getting hammered with a cold front. We had our snow last week – and two days of frost – our winter is over!

I continue with demolition of the inside of the trailer – half of the interior walls have been ripped out, exposing the skeleton. It appears that a run to the landfill will be in order later this week.


To the Big House

Liz and I took a day trip to the Casa Grande ruins this morning.

Entrance to the Casa

The ruins date to circa 1350 C.E., and were constructed by the Hohokam, the earliest known inhabitants of this region of Arizona. Evidence of the Hohokam dates back to 350 C.E., when they created a massive network of canals for irrigation. The Hohokam might have roamed the desert as early as 2000 B.C.

These canals are the basis of our modern canal system, and modern man has done little to improve on them. The Hohokam were an agrarian society, occupying villages year round, cultivating and growing cotton, corn and tobacco among other crops. Continue reading »