We’ve been very good during this loooooong quarantine, only doing essential shopping and initially walking in a closeby park, which we quit doing because there were plenty of social nondistancers. But one day last week I met a friend at Rotary Park in Scottsdale, where we sat six feet apart, and talked and watched the critters fly around and other people walk around. It was a lovely day and nice to have a break in the monotony.
We sat by the Butterfly Garden but only saw a couple of butterflies.
This little Lesser Goldfinch was the star of our visit, being very brave and seeming to enjoy our attention:
A good time was had by all. Then a few nights later, this was the Flower Supermoon, the last supermoon until April 2021:
And…just so I can file these 4 photos away, Tony and I went to Reach 11 in Phoenix right at the beginning of the quarantine. We easily socially distanced because there was hardly anyone around including birds and other animals:
Do you think life will ever be the “old normal” again? I don’t…
Much like the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve, located in North Phoenix, has over 18,000 acres of beautiful desert views including 36 miles of exciting multi-use trails. The wildflowers were just beginning to bloom but the tons of Chollas were glowing in the sun.
We were at the Apache Wash Trailhead where a mountain biker crashed into a rattlesnake that same day and was bit. We did see an ambulance but didn’t know about this until seeing it on the news that night. It’s rattler season.
The female Black-throated Sparrow is the nest builder (you can see her gathered materials in her bill) and a breeding pair is very territorial so the one on the nearby cactus must have been her mate.
Cactus Wrens, Arizona’s State Bird
These two were also together so I imagine they are mates, too.
Painted Lady Butterfly
There were really pretty views here.
A perfect plump Saguaro after all our rain
It was hazy but in the distance, we could see Four Peaks, 42 miles away, as the crow flies, still covered with the recent snow.
The day before, we drove around trying to get a good view of Four Peaks with the snow, away from houses and buildings. This was taken somewhere north of Fountain Hills…
It’s been in the 80s the last couple of days; the snow has all melted. Spring is coming to the desert.
We went for a late afternoon walk around Desert Botanical Garden the other day. We had some really cold days here and, with the holidays and all, we haven’t been on one of our day trips for about a month so we have to get back on the road again soon. Meanwhile…
I thought the birds would be a little more active. We did see a lot of quail, doves, starlings but I didn’t take photos of them. We also saw a cute little wren that I would have liked to get a photo of to identify it but it wasn’t cooperative.
Anna’s or Costa’s Hummingbird, female
There were very few butterflies. I imagine many froze during the cold snap. 😦
Being at the Garden reminded me that I didn’t meet any of my goals for 2018! I had similar goals for 2017 and met them all but 2018 was different. Spending 5 weeks in Indiana unexpectedly threw me off for the whole year. When I got back, I couldn’t get back into the swing for quite awhile, one of my cats got very sick, and then the summer was so hot that I just decided I would chuck my 2018 goals:
Volunteer 100 hours at Desert Botanical Garden. Not even close (compared to 102.75 in 2017).
Find 50 new Lifers (new birds). Found 36 (compared to 58 in 2017).
Go on many AZ day trips with Tony. Went on 16 (compared to 23 in 2017).
Ialso went to a few parks on my own and a few expeditions with my birding friend, Karen, plus I went to a couple places back in Indiana so I did see many pretty sights, gorgeous birds, and other wildlife so I can’t really complain. But I’ve decided not to be too specific in my 2019 goals: