October 18, 2015

Blacktail, again

It has been an unusual Fall for us with several visitors and it is not over yet. We have much enjoyed the change of pace and the socializing, but our biking routine has suffered. It is cooler now, and we are waffling whether we start back on the bike or adopt our winter routine of hiking more.

Last winter we replaced our bike ride to Pearce with a hike around Blacktail Hill. We walk out the back gate, it takes about the same amount of time, the trail is a loop, we have a great stopping point for a short break, and Emma can come along. It is a winner.

We found the summer has been great along the trail: there is lots of grass and the trees are sporting new growth. It is good to be back there.

October 15, 2015


Our friends have returned home and the weather has changed. I think of October weather as Goldilocks time, just right. But so far the month has surprised. We have had a cool snap and today we had some rain. Still, having the house open all day and night is a great way to live.

As I was writing this, look who showed up to the water dish? Wish you were here, Pat, with that long Canon lens ...

October 12, 2015

A hike out back

It is Pat and Maureen's last day of this visit and Pat suggested a hike close by. Maureen wisely opted to stay home and photograph birds and small mammals around the house. Dan and I usually bike this time of year, rather than hike, but it was a bit overcast so we headed out the back gate.

Poor Pat, being a flat-lander as well as a coast dweller, was being drug up the hills and we are also feeling the effects of not having been in hiking shoes for awhile. Even Emma was glad when we got home.

Still, it was nice to see the desert after the summer rains as there was lots of grass and there were still some flowers in bloom. One event of note: Emma, being ahead of us, was warned by a Mojave rattle snake (correction: a Blacktail rattlesnake - thanks, Aaron) that we gave a wide berth coming and going (photo by Pat Murphy).

October 9, 2015


The fun part of having company is that it is a great excuse to abandon our routine and get out. Pat and Maureen being outdoor-type people we took them to the Chiricahua National Monument yesterday. We love that outing, and the scenery is surprising and unique.

The Chiricahua Mountains are the opposite boundary of the Sulphur Springs Valley, the Dragoon Mountains being the west side, where we live. You drive about 60 miles across the valley through a true western landscape and then pop into a canyon with these interesting rock formations.

We are at the back end of a cold front and it was cool and windy, but we still opted for a picnic at Massai Point.

October 7, 2015

We are having a cold snap

Granted it is Fall but suddenly the daytime temperature is 60 degrees today. Clouds are rolling and rain is threatening. Is this in honor of the arrival of our Floridian friends Pat and Maureen? Do they bring cool weather like Linda brings rain?

Animals are feeling winter coming and we have been live trapping woodrats at the rate of one a day. We catch them on the potting bench, we catch them in shop/shed. This morning I noticed that we have a volunteer with rodent catching in the latter. He was relocated to the desert however.