Tuesday was our day to wait for the mobile propane people to come by and fill our tanks. But at 4:30 AM (temperature was just below freezing outside) – I awoke feeling cold! Our trailer was cooling down rapidly and the electric heat pumps don’t work when it is so cold – ergo no propane! So out came the toaster, door open & a continuing series of “toastings” to help warm things up! We cuddled the kitties under the covers, dressed in our warm clothes and waited until the sun came up when it gets warm enough to start the electric heaters. By about 9:30 we were all toasty (no pun intended) and no longer needed the propane. However, we took our empty tanks next door to another RV park to get filled up (didn’t wait for the mobile propane truck). The fellow who filled them (from Vulcan, AB!) told us that the indicators don’t usually work in the cold…so what’s the point, eh? Anyway, lesson learned, no harm done.
Thursday we went into Tucson to the Saguaro National Park (west side) & visited the “Living Desert Museum” – which is like a zoo, basically. Here are some of Bill’s photos (hence the title about cheating). First we enjoyed the different species of cacti – Yucca, Prickly Pear, Organ Pipe, Boojum (w/ 2 small Saguaros beside it) & Totem (w/ Pipe Organ and a Saguaro). The last 2 taken w/ my phone, since Bill wasn’t that interested in them and I thought they were way cool.
Here is a pretty butterfly (don’t know what kind).
There were some great mammals. We couldn’t resist this series (& there are many more) of this magnificent Mountain Lion (rescued by the museum at 4 months).
They remind us so much of our own cats.
Sometimes they remind us of our dogs – a beautiful Grey Fox.
Captive birds are harder to accept (since I don’t even like people keeping things like parrots in cages)! But they are all rescues and would have died otherwise. American Kestrel and a very common bird here and at home – a small raptor, only 9″ long with 22″ wingspan.
This Stellar’s Jay was very accustomed to people & posed very close for his photo to be taken.
The hummingbirds have their own house. This is an Anna’s, showing iridescence on a female’s back as well as the red gorget (throat patch) & head on a male.
This Costa’s has a purple gorget.
Having witnessed the free-flight of a Red-tailed Hawk last year in the “Raptor Free” demonstration, we attended the one for this year also. Little did we know what birds would have us in awe!
First a Gray Hawk (just 17″ with 34″ wingspan).
Then a Barn Owl.
A Peregrine Falcon can’t be trained to a glove, but can be coaxed into a “false prey”. Boy they are fast – fastest animal on the planet when they go into a stoop (dive) – 240 MPH.
The stunning finale was a family of 6 Harris’ Hawks (Kathryn – these are for you!).
Bill did manage to photograph a couple of truly wild birds also – one of the prettiest wrens in NA – Cactus.
And a Curve-billed Thrasher, sitting on the fence.
As usual the Prairie Dog display left us laughing – talk about anthropomorphic (must be drying their nail polish)!
Hope you didn’t mind the tour thru the museum. More later!