March 9, 2016

Not Spring, yet

We had snow in the hills yesterday morning, and it rained a little at the WD, but this week the temperatures are in the 70's with lots of sun so a feeling of Spring prevails. On our hike this morning we walked through a meadow of small yellow flowers, perhaps a gift from the rain goddess or El NiƱo?

In early Spring the desert is quite understated with its flowers: they are small and sometimes very inconspicuous but there are often a lot of them. It isn't until later when cacti, agaves, and yuccas bloom that the desert is showy. I love the small blooms: they are so resilient in this difficult environment.

March 5, 2016


Our friends Pat and Maureen invited us to come and spend a week with them on the east coast of Florida. We got home a few days ago after having had a great time. Neither Dan nor I had spent any more than a casual visit there and I loved the area of Florida where we stayed: it was Hawaii without being an island.

We spent a lot of time outside, relaxing on the covered porch, walking their dog, Ruby, kayaking and  bird watching. I added more than 20 species of birds to my life list, mostly shore birds. Florida recycles water by creating wetlands that attract wildlife and birds, and people visit to see the birds. What is not to love: be green, provide a habitat for animals and recreation for humans. Many of these places are in the middle of populated areas.

We kayaked close to home and a bit further away, and spent hours floating through an area reminiscent of a bayou.  Pat and Maureen had even arranged for an airboat ride. We saw alligators (on my wish list), turtles and more birds, including a pair of Sandhill Cranes and their nest with two eggs. Many birds were in beautiful breeding plumage.

A wonderful vacation! I feel like I have been away for a month.