Category Archives: Nature

Going Buggy

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I took another walk the other day when it was 92F, feels like 96F, and a bit humid. All quiet on the roadrunner front but I did see a few critters on the ground that would make good roadrunner snacks.

Pallid-winged grasshopper?

They were pretty large and at first, I thought they were locusts. A little research led me to identify them as pallid-winged grasshoppers. I tried to get as close as I could without them seeing me, but they flew off. Roadrunners would have to be pretty wiley to catch them.

Pallid-winged grasshopper by Judy Gallagher

You can see from the photo above that these grasshoppers could easily camouflage themselves.

Took a longer walk today, 91 F, feels like 91F according to the weather report. Ever wonder how they determine what the temperature feels like? I imagine a weatherperson standing outside and saying, ‘Hmm, feels like ______.’

During my walks, I can hear insects buzzing but cannot always see which ones are making all the noise. The wildlife often stays hidden. Did see a couple of roadrunners today. They can pop into view unexpectedly. They usually spot me and take off pretty quick.

We had an interesting speaker at my book club meeting this week. Her topic was Jane Austen who is one of my favorite writers. Usually, this topic would have held my attention, but I spotted a large roadrunner through the picture window behind her. I was tempted to call out, there’s a roadrunner behind you, or run over to the window and grab a photo. I didn’t do it, though. I don’t think she would have appreciated it.

Roadrunner trying to keep a low profile

*If you really want to know, the weatherperson determines how hot it feels by using ‘the heat index.’ This is the temperature combined with the relative humidity. You can see the chart here and read more about it. When they say how hot it feels they are referring to shady with light wind conditions according to National Weather Service. If you are in the direct sun or there is a hot wind blowing that is going to feel much hotter.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image of Locust from the tomb of Horemhab c 1422-1411 BC via wikimedia.org

Morning Walk

If we were having coffee, I would tell you it is good that I managed a morning walk today when the temperature was still below 100 F. The only other people out were some gardeners and the pickle ball players. The slight breeze helped keep it cooler along with a smattering of cirrocumulus clouds. It felt good to move. I had gotten out of the daily walk habit when I was away from home last week.

I was thinking about the roadrunners as usual and had doubts of seeing them, but I spotted one up on top of a wall. And then there were two. I was unable to get a shot of them together. I did manage to get a photo of one climbing a tree again.

There is something that I did not notice when I was taking the photos. It looks like another bird in the crook of the tree. It is not moving. Could it be a dead bird that the roadrunner killed? If you click on the photos, you can enlarge them.

Roadrunner 1 on wall
A better profile
Roadrunner 2 in tree. (Click to enlarge) Is that another bird in the crook of the tree?
After this shot the roadrunner hopped up to higher branches and disappeared.

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image of Roadrunner via the National Park Service Death Valley.

Hope-ful

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. -Thich Nhat Hahn

Full of hope, not really, but working on it. I usually lean toward optimism. Just tired from the events on the last year plus. The pandemic and all the other problems that we see on the nightly news. But we will get through this. It will just take more time.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is ‘hope.’

Image of ‘Hummingbird’ by JLG on Pixabay.com

Weekend Coffee Share #26-Abundance Of Roadrunners

Coffee’s ready. Grab a cup and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you we coped with the extreme temperatures here in the desert. Now the heat dome has moved northwest. We continue with temperatures in the 100s F. We are doing well with air conditioning, but it makes it harder to fall into a routine with outdoor activities. It can be in the 80s at 6 AM. It gets hotter in the afternoon, so the evenings are still hot too. I do go to an indoor Yoga class. This week I am deciding if I need to wear a mask there again. We heard the announcement by the LA Public Health Department that people, even vaccinated people, should wear masks while in public, especially when indoors. This Delta variant is causing concern and I read the Biden administration is sending out ‘surge teams’ of specialists to assist communities where the virus is spreading rapidly. Our county here has not made any announcements about wearing masks.

I hadn’t seen the roadrunners for a while during the high heat, but just spotted one crossing the road yesterday. And today, so excited to see three of them. One was right near our driveway. I thought it was going to go in our yard, but it must have gone next door. The most wonderful sighting was on the patio outside one of the restaurants in our community. I think people must be feeding that one because he was not as shy as the others, and I was able to get a few closer photos of him. He was just beautiful and my photos did not capture all the colors around his eye, but you can see a blue streak on his tail. It was good to see that the roadrunners are surviving the weather.

This roadrunner had some striking colors. Can you see the blue streak on his tail?

A nice closeup. Can you see there is some color around his eye?
The roadrunner takes a bow

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Weekend Coffee Share #21-Feeling My Way Around

Coffee’s up. Come on in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you it has been a hodgepodge type of week. Definitely not a settled routine. The weather had something to do with part of it. It has been getting hotter, hovering around 100 degrees most days. So I have not been inclined to walk during the day. I am not an early riser so I have to walk in the evening. I thought I would be walking more in the daytime and would be able to see the roadrunners. I did spot them last week, which was great. Still not getting the photos I would like.

A better view but working on getting more

I did record the sound the roadrunner made. It was hiding from me but you can still hear it.

Roadrunner makes a rattling sound?

I may have to change to a morning person to catch the nature around here.

I realize I am really still in the process of getting acquainted with my new environment. This will be my first summer here. We are scheduled to open up fully in California on June 15 even though the county I now live in has not moved into the least restrictive tear yet. The latest push to get everyone vaccinated is a million dollar lottery. I hope it works and gets more people vaccinated. I don’t like the idea of going out in public unmasked with people who are not vaccinated. In the summer here going out in public will most likely mean being indoors.

Tumbleweed Social Club

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer.

Weekend Coffee Share # 19-The Sky Is Not The Limit

Coffee’s up. Come in and pull up a chair. The coffee is strong this morning. I do have tea if you prefer it. If we were having coffee I would ask if you can relate to this. You know how we like to think we can do anything if we try hard enough. I recently enrolled in a ‘beginning’ Yoga class and found that it was too challenging for me. When I was younger I was able to do it. The instructor moved us through the poses pretty fast and some of the poses would be too hard on my shoulders and actually triggered vertigo. I felt like I was going to fall down from vertigo on the way out of the class last week. I had been trying to stick with it to see if I could improve over time. The vertigo episode made me realize that this class is probably not for me. I have a problem quitting something. I don’t like to admit I can’t do it. I have to tell myself that we all have limitations. There is no shame in accepting that we can’t do something. It is better to accept this than have a bad fall and possible injury if I continue with the class. You are not a failure if you try something and realize it does not suit you or you do not have the ability to do it. I can still do some gentle Yoga classes. The Chair Yoga class is working out well. You might think, like I did at first, that chair yoga means sitting in a chair doing yoga poses. Actually, you do not spend hardly any time sitting in the chair. The chair is used as a prop and for balance. I am glad I decided to try it again. The class is not overly crowded. We are spread out and all wearing masks.

I’m so excited to tell you that on one of my walks this week I spotted not 1 but 3 roadrunners. The first sighting was of a pair of roadrunners. One was larger than the other. I am guessing they could be mates or a parent and child. The larger one ran out first and the other stayed near a bush. Eventually the smaller one joined the larger one on the green. I had to shoot photos pretty blind because of the light and distance. I am not allowed to walk onto the golf course unless I am playing golf. The third road runner was making its way near some houses on another street. Unsuccessful in getting a photo of that one. I feel so lucky to have seen all three of them though. It really made my day.


Hallelujah! A pair of roadrunners
Single roadrunner looking to right

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image ‘Coffee swirl’ by Will Keightley on Flickr.com, reminds me of vertigo.

Weekend Coffee Share #18-Camera Shy Bird

Coffee’s up. Come in and pull up a chair. If we were having coffee I would tell you I continue my quest to capture a photo of the Roadrunner. There have been several sightings but he will not stop long enough for me to get a shot. One bit of news is that he has been coming closer to my house. My husband has been the one to spot him lately and say things like, ‘the Roadrunner just ran across our driveway,’ while I was retrieving our trash can from the curb. The tricky bird ran behind me. I turned to say to my husband, ‘are you kidding me?’ We looked in the direction our bird friend headed and I spotted him running off at the end of our cul-de-sac. On a recent morning, my husband reported the Roadrunner was on the wall in our yard and had flown up into a neighbor’s Shoestring Acacia tree. Try as I might I could not see the bird. I am now on high alert for any signs of him around our yard.

I have been taking walks about every day and noticing more interesting cacti and succulents. The first one, below left, looked like a giant asparagus to me. It turns out the Yucca is part of the Asparagaceae family like the common asparagus we eat. I think this is called ‘The Lord’s Candle’ or Yucca Whipplei. If it blooms I will be more confident in my identification skills. The next plant, center, is a Madagascar Palm, (it’s not really a palm but a succulent), or Pachypodium Lamerei, which looks to me a bit like a pachyderm trunk. The name Pachypodium comes from two Greek words, ‘pachys’ meaning thick and ‘podion’ meaning foot. The word pachyderm translates to thick skin. The little flowering tree on the far right looks interesting. Does anyone know what it is?

Shoestring Acacia Roadrunner hideout

Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie at Natalie the Explorer. Image of ‘Coffee with foam’ by Lotus Head in Johannesburg, South Africa on wikimedia.org That’s a lot of foam. Looks good.

Weekend Coffee Share #17-Burrowing In

Coffee’s ready. Please join me and pull up a chair. We have Pete’s French Roast this morning. I am out of half and half so we will need to use milk. If we were having coffee I would tell you I met some of the neighbors this week. One lives next store, a nice lady with two small friendly dogs. Things are opening up here in California but I still don’t see all the neighbors out and about much yet when I take a walk. We found evidence of a new resident in our backyard. I spotted a hole in the ground near the grapefruit tree. It has some sand piled up near the lower edge of it as if something has been digging. I’ve been keeping watch and haven’t seen anything coming out or around there. I think there is a bit more sand pushed out today. I noticed there is slight cave in of the ground above and another small hole near the big one. We are not sure what to do about it yet. We do plan to ask the gardener. I did a bit a research on which creatures make burrows in the sandy soil of the desert. I don’t think it is a tortoise but it could be a rodent. I read snakes do not make burrows but would occupy a vacant one. I don’t want to use poisons because that can hurt birds like The Roadrunner. If he finds out we have a critter in our yard, he may come in and hunt it. Roadrunners will eat things like that.


Weekend Coffee Share is hosted by Natalie of Natalie the Explorer.

Featured image by Ermal Tahiri on Pixabay.com

Blow The Coop

I have been writing about my re-emergence into the world. In the past couple of weeks I have made those long put off appointments for a haircut, routine medical tests, and started taking some live in-person exercise classes. We are still taking precautions in California like mask wearing and social distancing. Each foray into the world has been a learning experience in increasing my comfort level around people again. There has been visibly more activity in our neighborhood. I see more people on foot or driving around. It seems like there are more repairmen trucks parked in front of neighbor’s residences.

One thing missing from view when I have been outside is my friend The Roadrunner. I was thinking this could be due to all the increased human activity scaring him away or he/she was injured or killed.

I have gotten in the habit of taking my cell phone with me every time I go on a walk so I can take photos. I always keep an eye out for The Roadrunner. As I mentioned, I haven’t seen him, until today. I was on my way to the mailbox and he was crossing the road near there. I was so excited to see him I said it out loud, ‘I’m so glad to see you.’ We stood still observing each other. I did not have confidence to point my cell camera and get a good photo for fear of spooking him. He ran over to a palm and disappeared. I gave the palm a wide birth so as not to startle him or have him charge me. The palm was next to the mailbox and there was a wall behind it so I am pretty sure he was in there somewhere. He did not come out and I did not want to go in after him. Next time I will try for the photo even if I am shooting blind.

Thinking about all the places where the pandemic is surging. Sending thoughts and wishes for strength and healing. Let this terrible time be over.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is words that sound like ‘oop.’

Tres Fatigue

For our SOCS prompt today we were to “open a book, a newspaper, or whatever is handy and close your eyes and point. Whatever word or picture your finger lands on, make that the basis of your SoCS/JusJoJan post.” I have a book of short writings on self-care. The one for January 22 is ‘Listen to Fatigue.’

I mentioned in my past post that I’m in the process of moving to another house. ‘We are downsizing,’ she said hopefully. In reality, I think we are taking everything with us to a smaller house. Packing up is tiring. One member of this couple has a very hard time letting go of stuff and it’s not me. Oh well, if I am being honest, I would say I have a hard time letting go of some of the stuff. As a result we are taking a lot of stuff to our new place. Today we made an extra trip to the desert to drop off some of it. We made the round trip in one day and I am pooped. On the positive side, it was good getting out of the house and seeing the sky, clouds, hills, and mountains. I have been spending most of my time indoors and have missed out on seeing nature. The beauty of nature always restores me. That and getting some sleep. Good night.

‘Lone Cypress’ (17 mile drive Pebble Beach, California) by Anita Ritenour on Flickr.com

Above is a scene from another very beautiful drive.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday, #SOCS, is hosted by Linda G Hill.

Featured image ‘Tired’ by Christian Krohg via wikimedia.org