Thirsty Coyote

A coyote stops by for a drink at sunset.  Almost in a classic downward dog position he drinks from the watering hole.

He can sense our presence even though we’re inside the house behind the glass window in the living room but he is curious and comes closer in this second video.

It’s unusual to see just one.  But lately, on a number of occasions that’s what I’ve seen.

When we hear them, it almost always sounds like there’s a whole pack.

 

Spur Cross Wildflowers

A few people have urged me to post again on this blog so here goes.

I’ve mostly been sharing on our Love Cave Creek AZ Facebook page.  If you like this blog, please like LoveCaveCreekAZ on Facebook.

Here are some photos from this morning’s hike at Spur Cross Conservation Area.  Because of the amazing amount of rain, the whole place seemed to be in bloom today.  It was tough to capture it because I only took my telephoto lens.

Spur Cross Ranch Conservation
I don’t recall when I have seen so much green hiking Spur Cross.  You can see that there’s water in the creek.  And despite the incredible number of blooming wildflowers, and all the color that just popped, it’s difficult to tell from this photo.

SpurCross-5968water
The water in Cave Creek was crystal clear and flowing beautifully.

SpurCross-5969BugsOnLupine
Here are a couple of bugs enjoying the Lupine.

SpurCross-5986butterfly
I couldn’t tell if this was a moth or a butterfly.  It greeted us as we stepped into the dragonfly trail, in the Jewel.

SpurCross-5992lupine
One of my favorites.  Lupine.  I long to have these in my yard.  I sometimes see them in a purple blurr as I drive down Cave Creek Rd.  They don’t last long and they come in what seems to be every shade of purple.

SpurCross-5980 Chuparosa
Chuparosa among the rocks.  This photo does not do the redness of the flowers justice.  In the left side of the photo (out of focus is a Globemallow bush).

Pincushion cactus growing between the rocks
These very small pincushion cactus look like they are growing between the rocks.

SpurCross-5961 Chicory
This white flower demanded attention.  I think it’s a desert chicory

There is an entire album of photographs in the Spur Cross Conservation Area Facebook Page.

I highly recommend a hike.  Come early and bring plenty of water.  There is a $3 park fee per person and there’s plenty of free parking.  If you plan it right, you can then stop in the amazing town of Cave Creek and grab lunch at one of our local hangouts.

And, if you love birds, here’s the link to the latest Backyard Birds Album on our Facebook page.

May we all soar in 2016

LoveCaveCreekAZ - May we all soar

May you be happy and well

May you notice the quiet moments and stillness of the desert

May you walk in beauty

Happy New Year!

This year, the harris hawks visited to remind me about the importance of community.  May this community thrive in 2016 and beyond.

Harris hawks are the only ones that hunt together.  Check out our other posts with photos of these highly intelligent teachers:

Jan 30th, 2015 – by Chad: http://lovecavecreekaz.com/wp/harriss-hawks/

Dec 4th, 2012 – by Yolande: http://lovecavecreekaz.com/wp/hawks-at-noon/ 

If you would like to join us and contribute to LoveCaveCreekAZ, we would welcome you.  Just comment below or interact with us on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LoveCaveCreekAZ 

 

The Old West

There’s something magical about taking a walk in the desert at sunset.  The moving light casts shadows on the ground that change quickly making you sense the rotation of this earth.  The landscape despite having lived here for years can still at times looks surreal to me.  Like an enchanted land of fairies just beyond what is visible.

Cave-Creek-Backyard-131

Looking at the backlit landscape I am transported to my idea of the “Old West”.

Saguaros, Chain Fruit Cholla and Teddy Bear Chollas are in abundance.  The Sonoran Desert is not a sandy desert.  There’s plenty of green life here.

Cave Creek still feels like the stereotypical “Wild West” to me.  It’s dreamy to encounter someone on horseback at the 4 way stop sign in the middle of town.

October has always been the month where the weather turns cool.  Cool enough to bring out the hoodies in the evenings and early mornings.  The 50 degree temperature changes register in the body that endured the heat that kept us in tripple digits for an entire summer.

This time of year, the air conditioners get to rest.  The evening temperatures insist that we open the windows that are dusty but less muddy than usual.  The monsoons this year were too dry leaving the plants and the earth parched.  Last month, I noticed that even the leaves of the jojoba bushes in the yard were yellow and leaning towards brown and I was worried that we may lose a few of them.

But it finally rained and everythign is green again.  The Texas sage has bloomed purple.  And even the Ocotillo have started to put out their bright orange flowers.

Nedra is happy that we are taking longer walks.

Nedra---Cave-Creek-Backyard-150

Cali too.

Cali-Cave-Creek-Backyard-142I am grateful to call this place home.

 

Morning Walk May 23 – Wild Primrose and Owl

We’ve had incredibly gorgeous weather here in Arizona this May.  More rain than ever before and temperatures that had me reaching for that extra cardigan in the evening hours.

This morning, while walking the dog in the wash, I purposely wanted to check on the primrose that was about to bloom yesterday.

On the ground I found this.

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Looking up from where I was standing, one of the adult owls was resting.

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I did not see it the whole time walking towards the primrose.  I looked but I did not see.  The owl blends in well but perhaps I was too focused on one thing to see what else was there.

I’ve been meaning to write a post with an update on the Great Horned Owls, because to our delight, they nested in a make shift box my neighbor built for them.  They had two babies that have successfully fledged.  I’ve been sharing photos on our facebook community page.  We would love it if you like us, and while there, or even if you aren’t on facebook, you can check out the photos in our Great Horned Owl 2015 album.

365 degrees of beauty – Cave Creek sunrise

I am in awe of the beauty that surrounds me.  Feeling blessed to live in Cave Creek and to have the opportunity to be present to these types of moments.

 

 

365 degrees of beauty. Cave Creek sunrise.

Posted by Love Cave Creek AZ on Sunday, December 21, 2014

 

You can see the video on facebook by clicking here.

May you walk in beauty.  May you be well.

Roadrunners – Meep Meep

There’s a pair of roadrunners that are living on or near my property in Cave Creek.  I don’t know exactly where but I have spotted them with some regularity that I suspect that they have managed to nest here.

About a month ago, as I was coming up to the driveway, on my way back from an early morning meeting, I saw, in the middle of the road, what looked like a roadrunner on top of what appeared to be another bird struggling by flapping a wing against the asphalt.  I stopped the car and tried to get a photo with my phone trying my best not to disturb the wildlife.  I wondered if the roadrunner was trying to kill whatever was underneath it.

Oblivious that it was two roadrunners mating, I was not quick enough to start the video rolling until the deed was done.

Here is what I’ve called the “After Mating Dance”.  Sorry, no sound track.

I still can’t believe that I watched two roadrunners mating.  I don’t know why I’m surprised since not long ago, I saw two rattlesnakes doing it.

Here are some photos of one of the birds that I managed to snap yesterday.  I can’t tell if this is the male or the female as the two look very much alike.

Roadrunner - view from inside the house through the window.
Roadrunner – view from inside the house through the window.
I could not believe it was still on the wall when I got outside
I could not believe it was still on the wall when I got outside
The roadrunner takes off at lightning speed
The roadrunner takes off at lightning speed
I got lucky here.  In full sunlight, you can really see the colors
I got lucky here. In full sunlight, you can really see the colors

I can’t wait to see the babies (if indeed there are babies).  For now, it’s been a treat to have the roadrunners hanging around.  I would love it if you shared this post and the beauty of Cave Creek.

Harris’s Hawks!!

Harris’s Hawks are a year long resident of the Sonoran Desert, and one of the most abundant birds of prey in our area! Although they aren’t a rare sighting, they are very interesting birds! You will usually see them in groups of three or four, and these groups consist of one dominant female, two subordinate males that both breed with her, and sometimes one juvenile bird as well. They are one of the only few birds of prey that hunt cooperatively, using strategies similar to wolf packs to capture small birds, mammals, or lizards. Look for their dark body and chestnut colored shoulders on top of light poles, telephone poles, or saguaros!

Often  seen on top of telephone poles
The beautiful Harris’s Hawk!!