Monday, October 04, 2010

Desert sojourn, day 25

The weather really turned today. Though the sun was, as always, hot and oppressive in mid-day, there was a constant breeze. By 5:30 p.m. when I went outside to read, I actually had to go inside after half an hour because I was too cold. I've turned off all the fans and vents; now, at 7:40 p.m., I think it's about 60 degrees out, or even cooler. Practically a 30 degree difference from this time last week.

I had sort of a critter interaction this morning, if you want to count domestic pets. While I was out on my morning walk, just after sunrise, a pickup truck came bumping along the dirt road. The driver stopped and asked if I'd seen a black and white husky that he'd lost. I said no, but twenty minutes later when I was back in my neighborhood, there was the dog. I called him, and he came over and obediently sat down while I looked at his tag. Unluckily, his only tag was from a rabies vaccination at a vet in Wasilla, Alaska. Well, he was a husky, that made sense. While I was on the phone with them and they were looking up the vaccination records, the man in the pickup came along again, and the dog jumped in the back. The man explained the dog had gotten out when someone left the house earlier in the morning.

If that's not much of a native critter sighting, one very common critter I haven't mentioned yet is the quail. They're all over the place, especially in the early mornings and late afternoons, tootling along on the ground, sometimes in the classic line formation, sometimes in a sort of squad. If they're startled they take off with a very noisy flutter, much noisier than pigeons. But generally they just putter around. They're very cute.

The other very common critter is the cottontail rabbit. They're all over, too, big ones and little ones. Very shy, but you you can't help but notice when they bolt from cover and sprint across the sand until they're out of sight.

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