I see the sitemeter turning, turning, big wheel keep on turning. . . and I feel guilty for not posting an entry. Yesterday’s sunrise was lovely . . .
The crew and I are still here, boondocking on a lane off the Darby Wells Road near Ajo, Arizona. The famed Arizona sun has been elusive of late, peeking through clouds but hiding most of the day. I put on my Nanuck of the North winter coat with hood up, place the crew in the pen, and sit alongside to read most of the morning. The hummingbird feeder, a great success yesterday, is rejected by the local hummers. Hmmmm. That’s me humming pensively, not the hummers.
I wonder if it isn’t sweet enough.
I pour in some more sugar. A hummingbird gives it a taste . . . one sip, two sips, three … and whoosh! He flies straight up about forty feet and does a bank turn down and away, all at lightning speed. Gee, talk about a sugar rush.
Whereas the hummingbird feeder is a success, the seed feeder is a bomb.
The feeder, carefully crafted out of a plastic water jug and artfully tied up with a piece of clothesline, apparently doesn’t appeal to the local seed-eaters. It’s not the fault of the seed, as the ground-feeders are happily chowing down. Not one bird at the hanging feeder all day.
On the ground there is much action.
A persistant male finch with dusky crimson head and chest and his modest female companion peck away oblivious to the stares of the crew, a few skittish sparrows repeatedly hop from low branch to ground and back again, and a very contentious bunch of doves hop at each other, bickering. Yes, doves. All the antagonism originates with one very aggressive bully who can’t stand the thought of any of his kind enjoying some seed. I have to chuckle at a female dove who circles around a bush to grab a few seeds unbeknownst to the big shot who’s busy jumping with wings outstretched at all who would dine at HIS table. He’s so intent upon defending the seed that he doesn’t get to eat any of it.
Rick rumbles by in his Jeep Wrangler with Lady riding proudly in the passenger seat.
Yesterday Lady came visiting, whining outside our door, which thrilled Spike, who’s always ready to socialize. Rick soon followed. Bridget and Spike were on-leash due to the threat of coyotes. A panel of their pen was open. Lady went in and lay down as if it belonged to her. Rick and I are puzzled at first and then decide she likes not having to be constantly alert. The pen feels secure.
Speaking of territory, a couple walked up to our campsite yesterday.
I greet them with a hello and mention my name. They introduce themselves as Kathy and Wolfgang. The first thing Wolfgang says is, “How many channels do you get on your tv?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t turned it on. But the guy on the hill — Rick — he gets about four or five English and a few Spanish stations.”
Wolfgang is looking at his cellphone. I tell him I get a Verizon signal and cellphone.
“Do you mind if we park on the hill next to you?” he asks.
“No, not at all. Go ahead.” They walk on down the lane, apparently to prepare to move. Soon they’re hauling a big trailer into the spot that Al and Kelly of the Bayfield Bunch recently vacated. I was going to move us up there, but I’ve grown to prefer where we’re at.
Back to today . . . or forward to today . . . whatever!
I get restless reading and watching birds, so I take Bridget and Spike on a long walk.
It doesn’t help. There’s just enough breeze on this cloudy day to make the outdoors uncomfortable. I decide to drive the Perfect Tow Vehicle into town. Its warm heater will soothe the three of us and I need to pick up a few things I forgot the other day.
I notice for the first time that several businesses have put up “closed” or “for sale” signs. Times are hard all over. I’m one of the fortunate ones. I don’t have the troubles a lot of people are suffering through. As I drive past the tiny homes with the cheap glitter and tinsel of Christmas decorations, I’m thankful I’m not worrying how to feed a family and put presents under a tree for children programmed with high expectations. Yet, at the IGA, the casual chatter is cheerful among smiling folks comfortably acquainted.
I turn onto Darby Wells Road and make a quick glance at the bench seat.
Bridget and Spike are fast asleep. Driving past big ol’ Coffeepot Mountain (above) and the saguaro raising arms to the sky (those that have arms), Christmas seems far away. As soon as I get us home, I’m going to eat that fried chicken breast from the IGA deli and share some with the crew. They’re gonna’ love it.