Saturday, April 23, 2011

Guess Who's Coming To Happy Hour

Sitting in the shade of the shed! Say THAT three times fast while holding the tip of your tongue.

That's what we were doing ( the sitting in the shade part, not the saying stuff while holding the tips of our tongues) when Marilyn noticed movement up on the foothill that is our primary view looking out the front of the coach and toward the grander mountains off in the distance. We were sipping a beverage. It was the appointed time of Happy Hour. Marilyn ran to grab the binoculars...and sure enough there were two large rams moving across the face of the hill just below the ridge.

We left the iced drinks to melt in the heat, grabbed the camera, jumped on the bike (that is reference to the ATV- no I am not peddling anything) and darted off in the direction of the foot of the hill. There they were, moving left to right towards the higher points behind the park. Moving higher as they went to take the better vantage of the ridge. I scurried up the hill on foot to get closer and got what pictures I could. Then I bolted back down the hill and we rode around the backside of the hill anticipating the place where they might cross the flats and gravel yard to get back to the wash and then up into the mountains....

Now why call this post anything having to do with Happy Hour? Well, the water towers that are the holding tanks for the wells that the park uses are atop the hill. Below the water tanks is a float controlled watering hole provided for wildlife. And while the time when any given form of wildlife may choose to come in for a cool drink of water has nothing to do with it being "5'oclock somewhere," that is in fact the timing more or less of this occasion.

And lucky I was on this occasion that I happened to pick the very best spot around the back of the hill to wait in photo-ambush of the big rams. As it turned out they crossed gravel flats right smack dab in front of me. How cool is that! Actually, I may have preferred that I had a little more distance between them and me as they were big animals, with big horns, and had they decided to engage me rather than avoid me (they knew darn well I was there) I would not have been fast enough to run circles around the saguaro I was trying to hide behind to escape whatever they may have had in mind for me- sticking a camera in their face like that while they were trying to unwind from a hard day in the desert.

One thing to watch for in the photos, one of the rams had a horn broken off- so he was carrying only one. I don't know if horns grow back when broken in the same fashion as antlers are dropped and regrown the following season. But I had no intentions of tangling with a ram, no matter how many horns he was sporting.

And speaking of Happy Hour- I guess it really was. A jackrabbit and some quail were out and about at the same time. Cheers everyone!

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