Archive for Personal Shit

Apache Junction Lost Dutchman Days

Bare backYesterday, Liz, Mike and I attended the 51st annual Lost Dutchman Days festival. The event has been around longer than Apache Junction has been incorporated -AJ was incorporated as a city in 1978.

AJ has a population of around 34,000, and amasses 34 square miles. The population grows three-fold from October through May when the snowbirds migrate from colder climates.

Apache Junction has no city property tax. While taxes are levied for the board of education and fire district, as well as Pinal County, the city is funded by sales tax.  This consumption-based tax system is the fairest, in my humble opinion. Those that have, pay.  Those that do not have, are not forced to spend what little they have. Read more

First Water Creek and the old corral

hike routeWe took a short hike this weekend. It was less than 2 1/2 miles, an hour and a half.  After several 8-mile hikes, this one seemed rather short.

We decided to revisit the abandoned corral, and then hit the Second Water trail, follow the First Water Creek to Great Enchantment Trail and back to the trailhead. Read more

Ringed-neck Turtle Doves

ringed-neck turtle dovesWe didn’t hike this past week. Liz had a busy week at work and needed to use Saturday to do some necessary procurement of edibles. And with the frequent recent precipitation, our back yard was in dire need of tending. This week I promise I will get out to the mountains.

The recent rains have certainly replenished the spring beds and washes; and speaking of spring – the desert will be in bloom in the coming weeks.

ringed-neck turtle doveIt is free dump week in AJ, so I made a run yesterday afternoon. Take advantage while you can! The local landfill has a free dump week once every quarter.

With the warm weather, I spend most of my free time on the patio. A pair of Ringed-neck Turtle Doves has adopted me, visiting me daily.  With each visit they get bolder, encouraged I am sure by the handouts – I feed them kibbles of dog food.

At first they sat on the wall, watching me, and waiting for dinner. One day I wasn’t paying attention, and the male flew under tha patio and hovered to catch my attention. Now, he just flies up to the table next to my chair, and stares me down until I provide some chow.  I think it will only be a matter of time before I have him eating from my hand.

As you can see, my life has been less than exciting the past few weeks. Sometimes that is a good thing.

 

Lovebirds

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. Read more

Ringed-Neck Turtle Doves

Ring-Necked Turtle DovesWe have a variety of winged wildlife frequenting our yard. Most are desert birds, with plumage of varying shades of gray and tan. Even our hummingbirds are a Sienna brown.

The larger doves seem to control the territory, and dictate what other birds they will tolerate in their kingdom when they are around. Read more

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.

 

Happy New Year

IMG_7828Snow on the Superstitions

The last time the Superstitions had a cap of snow was two years ago; Liz and my first winter here.

Prior to that snow, it was 35 years since the last snow. Read more

A Year In Review – or, “I made the mistake of looking back.”

shooting

Target shooting in the desert

The year started meek and mild – the temperatures were warm enough in January that I was wearing a tank top when I took Liz shooting in the desert.

I started a new job in January with a major home improvement operation, on the merchandising Team. On the plus side: 40-hours a week and generous benefits. On the minus side: I work nights, and the pay-scale is retail grade.

Read more

Stowaway

desert pack ratI suspected we had a stowaway in the Field and Stream trailer we recently acquired when I noticed new debris scattered on the freshly swept floor every day.

Jade had been frantically sniffing and inspecting the trailer, and we were going to get a Havahart trap to capture the beast.

Pack rats are cute, but a real nuisance. Beside carryng disease such as plague, they wreak havoc on wiring and love to steal shiny objects.

Jade cornered this little fellow, about five inches long – not including his tail – and I was able to capture him. I have him safely contained, I hope, until tomorrow when I can relocate him back to the desert where he will be able to live a hopefully long and happy life away from humans.

Packrats – the original hoarders…

My latest projectThis week we bought two used tires to replace the dry-rotted tires on the trailer, which was parked temporarily at Mike and Tami’s.

Mike has an impact wrench and a heavy-duty hydraulic jack, which made changing tires almost a cinch. I say almost – the original trailer tires had a slim profile, which allowed them to slide under the sides of the trailer easily.  The modern profile tires proved a bit of a challenge to squeeze into a space into which they di not really fit.  The first wheel evoked quite a bit of cursing on my part – but after we figured out the trick, the second side went much more smoothly. Read more