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I was in Albuquerque last weekend and came across this roadrunner at a local park. It was a little shy and kept a constant distance from me and wouldn’t turn around or give me a profile view for nothing. I lived in New Mexico for years and I don’t think I ever saw one. When I worked summers in the oilfields of west Texas I saw lots of them. Of course back then we didn’t have smart phones snapping away at anything that moved.
As explained in my last post, recently I traveled up to South Dakota for a family reunion. It kind of goes on for several days with different things at different places. One of the things we did was we convened at a family member’s farm and he had arranged for his neighbors to come and give horse drawn wagon rides to everybody. You can bet that I was in the first group.
The horses are Belgian mares and furthermore they are both pregnant but they did a great job taking everybody on a ride. The neighbor takes his team to different events around the state and you can tell it is a labor of love for him. The wagon and the horses tack were perfect. He doesn’t pull reins to get them to go one way or another, he says “Haaa” and “Geee” and they respond.
Stuff like this is making memories especially for the little ones on the ride. Big smiles from them, and big smiles from everybody!
Last time I was at the reunion, four years ago, the same neighbor came over with a stage coach. Check it out here. That was also lots of fun.
I went on a bike ride earlier this week along the RiverParks Trails here in Tulsa and took along my superzoom camera. I captured this flock of great blue herons egrets fishing along a channel in the Arkansas River.
I always like catching birds in flight.
Another mixed flock of birds fishing in a different spot.
This heron was all by himself.
Upriver were some geese.
A couple of egrets checking out the action.
Another shot of an egret with a heron.
And a butterfly flitting around our backyard.
Lizzy the cat checking on the cicada action on the back porch. She likes to watch them. Our pom Kodi likes to eat them. Yuck!!
Hoof prints found during a hike on Turkey Mountain. They have asked for people not to ride horseback on the new trails but some people insist on doing their own thing.
A summer heat dome has settled in over Tulsa. Very hot and humid but I am kind of used to it so instead of exercising at a gym I am spending a lot more time outside. I mean you know, it is summer in Oklahoma and that is just the way it is. So I’ve been out in the woods a lot more lately and I am not seeing much in the way of critters. I am sure they are resting during the heat of the day. Well, I came across a little turtle hiding in plain sight.
Our Pomeranian, Kodi on the other hand is a fluff ball so we only walk him early in the mornings otherwise he gets a little overhead. So we play endless games of fetch in the house. Him being the prince of the house decided to jump over to our coffee table the other day. We tried telling him that it is a coffee table and a dog table but he wasn’t going for it.
I visited Springerville, Arizona for a high school reunion. I had some free time so I went on a hike on a trail built and maintained by the Arizona Wildlife Department along the Little Colorado River as part of the Becker Wildlife Area. I saw lots of birds who were too active and in too much cover for me to get photographs.
I did capture this fuzzy photo of what might be a swallow of some sort. I got it posted on iNaturalist and they are pretty good about figuring out what the various critters are. Update! The consensus from iNaturalist is that this is a Northern Rough Winged Swallow.
There was some private land adjacent to the trail. I got this far off shot of what might a longhorn cow. It was in a pasture with some angus cows.
This section of the Little Colorado River is managed for trout fishing and they have done a lot of work to stabilize the banks. Here is a weir put up to divert some of the water for irrigation. Downstream of the weir was a deep pool and it seemed a very popular spot for trout fishing.
The river also has several beaver dams so there are pools above the dams and running water below.
Our family lived in this area back in the late 60’s early 70’s. My brother and I liked to go fishing in the river upstream of this area. We didn’t catch any fish but the ice cold water felt good on our feet on hot summer days.
They didn’t have these cool riverside trails and bridges back then.
The trail out and back was only about a mile long but it was an enjoyable walk. A fellow hiker I encountered said that a rattlesnake was seen on the part of the trail I was headed towards. I thanked him for the information and went on my way. This part of Arizona is thick with rattlesnakes. We saw several on our property when we lived here and my brother and I felt duty bound to kill them all. I leave all snakes alone now. This is where they live and they have their role in nature. Anyway, I didn’t see it. I’m sure it saw me!