Monday, April 29, 2013

What am I, invisible?

You know the old saying, "So what am I?  Chopped liver?"  Here's a new one, "So what am I? Invisible?"

I'm looking out the front window watching fishermen bring down their boats to the launch, then driving back with the trailers to the parking areas, then walking back to their boats. It was a beautiful morning.  Then one man stops, turns his back to me, and proceeds to urinate, for quite a while I might say, right in front of me.

Bullock's Oriole - these birds keep landing on the hummingbird feeder and trying to eat.

I'm thinking, does he not know someone is watching him?  It was daylight, he was right on the road edge, and certainly he could see me through the window.  Finally I see the universal movements indicating he has completed his task, he zips up, pulls down his jacket, and walks on. Good job, you idiot, now you won't wet your pants on the boat.  Oh, by the way, there's a restroom about a one minute walk up the ramp - that you just drove past.

Bullock's Oriole - isn't he beautiful?

Then yesterday, I'm sitting here in the afternoon enjoying the antics of a father and his three sons who had gone fishing.  The little kids walked back with their own rods and tackle boxes, so cute, and they walked over to their table for a snack and can of soda.  Bright day, my windows were open with my book on tape playing, and this little guy walks across the short parking area, in front of The Palms, looks back at his dad as if to check that he has the right place, and tosses their papers and soda cans into the rocks going down to the beach road below.  Most of the trash didn't make it very far.  I couldn't believe it.  Helloooo - I'm sitting right here watching you!

Without even thinking I opened my screen, stuck out my head and said, "Hey, don't toss your garbage down there."  He started walking back to their truck, so I opened the other screen, stuck my head out on the other side and yelled, "Hey!  You go back and pick up your garbage!"  And he did.  There is a big garbage bin right across the road on their way out.  Geeeeez!

Western Wood Pewee - thank you Hazel, you really know your birds. This is another new one for me.

I should make a sign to put in the windshield saying, "I'm in here and I can see you!"

Other than these two conspicuous "lawbreakers," everything is going great here at Caballo Lake.  Beautiful weather, beautiful birds, Katie and I are taking some nice walks.

Flock of American Coots in the lake

I've gotten some nice bird photos the last couple of days - I've had hummingbirds, but they are the same kinds we had at Rockhound, and the photos haven't been as good, so I'm not including them. There were a few birds I wasn't sure about, and one I mis-named.  Thank you to our bird ID experts Hazel and Judy, for helping me out with the types of birds I didn't know.  I have made the corrections.  :)

This pretty bird (same bird below) hopped around too fast for a good, complete shot.  Male Yellow Rumped Warbler.

Dark grey, light grey, white and a little yellow - any idea what kind of bird this is?  This is the best pic I could get.   Thank you, Judy and Hazel, you both agree this is a male Yellow Rumped Warbler. I've never heard if this one, he sure is pretty.

People kept sitting at the table in front of us, and Katie was keeping a close eye on them.  According to Hazel, this mammal is a Katie Dog.

Caballo Mountains reflecting on the lake

Male House Finch

Purple Martin or Tree Swallow?   I've never seen it before and my Field Guide isn't clear.  Per Hazel, Tree Swallow.

 Tree Swallow per Hazel.  Don't these birds have an unusual shape?

Western Kingbird

Green-winged Teal ducks - females

It was hot enough today to wear our Frogg Toggs - Katie was happy!

Friday's beautiful sunset.

From me and Katie, have a great day, everyone!  :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finally - we have landed

After a sleepless night because of the super strong winds all night long - I actually got about three hours sleep - I was pretty much done with windy weather and more than ready to leave Rockhound.  I was up at 6:30 and on the road by 6:45 am.  Don't get me wrong, I loved that park, but was so ready to move on to, hopefully, calmer weather a little northward.

We drove about an hour and a half, a very short drive for us, and arrived at Leasburg Dam State Park.  I was a little confused when we got there because the Visitor's Center was closed and I couldn't get a map of the park.  It's a small park with two loops, and after driving around both I didn't see any dry-camping sites. I finally talked to a camper who said the VC had been closed all week, and he thought all the sites were electric. 

I headed back down the road and on my way out I saw a Ranger fixing the entry gate.  He said there were five dry camping sites and gave me the numbers.  I went back into the park and found the sites, but most were already occupied and I didn't like the ones that were left. It was still so early in the day, I decided to move on and go to the next State Park, which was only a half hour away.

The next park was Percha Dam State Park.  It, too, is a very small park and was right along the Rio Grande.  I can see this being a great park once the water is let out of the dam, but so far this year the Rio Grande was dry.  I was in the dry camping area right next to the river, and it was all dusty ground and dry grass but there were nice trees.   If they could put some gravel on the dust covered ground, it would be a great improvement, but in this economy that's not going to happen.   I decided to stay for the night and leave in the morning. 

Katie and I took a walk at dusk, and Katie just stopped walking.  She didn't like the ground, either, and I had to carry her a little way before she would walk again.

Our campsite at Percha Dam State Park.

Look at the tire tracks in the dust. It would be bad if the wind picked up.  The dam and Rio Grand beyond. 

We took a walk around the park, the water in the foreground is the only water I saw in the river along the park's edge. 

There are some pretty trees in the park, lots of cottonwoods with pieces of cotton blowing all over the place.

Percha Dam State Park is one of the best birding parks in the state, and I could hear birds chirping and calling and singing all day long.  At dusk it was like a symphony, really beautiful sounds coming from the trees.  I think I'd love this park if they got a little water in the river and a little rain to hold down the dust.  I'd definitely try it again at another time.

There was a beautiful full moon rising and lots and lots of bird calls at dusk.

This morning we were up and gone, heading to the next state park, which was very close by.  After two parks that I didn't much like, I was hoping this third park would be a winner.

On the way out of the park, I saw a flock of birds in a nearby field. I've never seen these birds before. 

Flock of  Ibis in a field outside Percha Dam State Park

Onward to Caballo Lake State Park!

And it's a winner!  I couldn't believe it when I saw all the water in the lake.  I talked to a volunteer, Paul, this afternoon and he told me about the other dry camping areas, and Katie and I will take some walks tomorrow to check them out.  But for now, and maybe for the next two weeks, I'm as happy as a clam right here, parked above the lake with the mountains beyond.

Here we are right above the lake. There are many areas to dry camp, some overlooking the lake, some right on the sand.

Caballa Lake - there is a boat ramp with two boardwalks out to the water on either side.

Great Blue Heron fishing in the lake right below us.

So, we're here at Caballo Lake and very happy to be settled again.  It's still windy; according to Paul March and April are just windy months in New Mexico, but the ground here is more rocky than dusty, so I don't think we'll see dust storms.  He said they should soon be letting more water into the lake, coming from the snow in the northern mountains.  If so, this lake will rise and some water will flow into the Rio Grande at Percha Lake State Park.  I'd love to be here when that happens.

From Me and Katie, have a great Thursday evening, everyone!  :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Our last day at Rockhound State Park, New Mexico

Our time is up - tonight is our last night here at Rockhound.  This afternoon I'll dump the tanks and get fresh water and tomorrow morning we'll be traveling down the road again.  This is a great park, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is a rock hound or loves hiking, nature, bird watching, or just hanging out in general.  Deming is less than ten miles away, and has a Walmart and anything else you'd need.

While Katie and I were walking the other day, we again stopped to talk to Debbie, Jim, Gayle and Jim - I finally got a good photo of them all - shown below.  That evening we had a nice long happy hour - these are such nice people.  I'm really glad I ran into them again, and also was able to meet Jim M.

Rupert and Debbie, Jim and Gayle, Jim and Chica, and Elliot's tail.

Jim brought out Sophie, one of his and Gayle's new adopted kittens, and Chica really wanted to see her up close!

Lots of barking - Chica is a real fire cracker.  She has no idea how little she is. :)

I've gotten the best bird photos here at Rockhound and I can't resist posting more of my favorites.  I've seen birds here that I've never seen before.  This is the first time I've had hummingbirds at my feeder and beautiful birds in the trees nearby and haven't picked up my camera.  I just have too many great photos.  Here are some of the best.

Black-Chinned Hummingbird - look at that beautiful purple necklace glowing in the sunshine.

This Black-Chinned  "owned" that feeder - he stood guard all day, turning right, left and center, keeping watch.

Broad Tailed Hummingbird

Female Anna's Hummingbird - she has gold flecks on her throat in the sun.

I don't know what kind of hummer this is, I just thought it was so cute and fluffy.
Female Black-Chinned Hummingbird - see the mountains behind us reflected in the feeder?

Female Black-Chinned Hummingbird

Curved Bill Thrasher - these were a first for me, another X in my Field Guide

Scaled Quail - these quail are also a first - I've seen other quail, but not Scaled Quail.  Another X.

Scaled Quail

Scaled Quail
Female House Finch

Two Male House Finches - checking out the hummingbird feeder

Wilson's Warbler - another first.

Each bird is beautiful in a different way - and such gorgeous colors.  I've had a great time watching them.

Welcome to our newest Follower, Cheryl Ann.  She has four blogs, but her main one is Desert Horses, which is about her four rescue horses.  We all love rescue animals, and usually we're talking about dogs or cats.  But horses?  What a great thing to do, and how cool is it to have four horse?!?   Thanks for following along with me and Katie, Cheryl Ann, we're happy to have you aboard!  :)

Beautiful Rockhound sunset

Landscape view of the Rockhound sunset above

 From Me and Katie, have a great Tuesday, everyone!  :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

There's a Mouse in the House :(

Its seems we have had a visitor.  Katie had been interested in the drawers a bit ago, but that never panned out. I put out the traps, and nothing was ever caught.  Then last night - gang busters!!  It sounded like large rats on the roof - or above the ceiling, I wasn't sure which - but the scurrying footsteps sure were loud.  

Then suddenly there was the same noise coming from inside the refrigerator wall by the entrance steps.  Up and down - loud, up and down - really loud!  I went over and banged on the wall a bunch of times.  The noise stopped.  Then started again, so I banged again.  Then the noise came from the stove side of the refrigerator wall.  I banged on that wall.  The noise stopped.  

Then I heard little noises and put my ear to the wall.  Frantic scratching sounds.  BANG!  Quiet.  Frantic scratching noises.   BANG BANG BANG!  Quiet.

I don't know if they got out, but it sounded like they were trying very hard to get out. There weren't any more noises for the rest of the night.

This morning when I raised my shades, there was a furry critter scurrying around right outside the rig in the dried cactus - I grabbed the camera and got one good shot of our visitor.  At least I think it was probably the critter:
I think this is the mouse - and I think he's gone.
I went all over the rig, looking for nests and openings outside the motor home, everywhere but underneath the motor home.  I didn't see anything suspicious.  One of these days I'll crawl under with my steel wool and stuff it into any holes I find underneath.  In the meantime, I think I'll crawl up on the top of The Palms tomorrow in the morning when it's calm and look for any tiny openings that might have been the entry spot last night. 

Site O has been open for a few days, and I packed up and drove back to that campsite - hoping the rodent stays up in Site 3 and won't come down the road.  Luckily the hummingbirds seem to have followed me - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the mouse didn't.

Late this afternoon Hazel reminded me about putting peppermint extract on cotton balls and I remembered I had both items from a previous mouse scare.  I got them out, poured the extract on some cotton balls and started opening up drawers and threw them behind all the places I could find.  I opened up my "pot drawer" and this is what I found:

Mouse nest in drawer under the oven.
I had previously checked under the kitchen sink and behind the drawers, but not the drawer under the oven.  And that's obviously where he was.  

I carefully cleaned everything in the drawer, threw out all the napkins, and pulled out the drawer.  There was another chewed up napkin behind the drawer, and I cleaned up that area, too.  There was also a bunch of pieces of that grey "blown in" hole filler material around one of the pipes coming in from under the floor, so I think that's how it got in. I stuffed steel wool pieces into all the places I could find that might have been entry points.

Hopefully all will be quiet tonight.

Last night when the mouse was making noises, Katie kept barking.   I was trying to hear where it was, and yelled at her - sternly - more than once.  She went on the couch and just sat there.  Later I put a blanket over her so she would lay down.  And she just sat there.  Such a sad baby.
I was yelled at.  :(
We all had horrible winds and dust storms again a couple of days ago.  It started out as a beautiful, calm, clear morning, then the winds began.  Once the wind started and the thick dust was in the air you just stayed inside.  They closed the highways down for four hours.  When taking Katie out for a potty break, I wore a dust mask, but worried about all the dust Katie was breathing in.  She refused to go potty until the next morning.  The wind/dust kept up until around 9 pm. 
On a clear day I can see miles and miles to the far mountains.  This day I could hardly see beyond my campsite.
The next morning it was calm and clear and this rising moon was in the sky around mid-morning.  So clear and pretty.

I had planned on going out to dinner at a local Brew Pub in Deming with  friends Jim and Gayle, and Debbie, and also Jim M., whom I had just met.  The wind was so bad, we rescheduled to the next night.  The dinner was good and the company was great. Thanks for inviting me along!

Then the next day Hazel drove over from City of Rocks to have lunch with me.  We had a nice visit while eating our sandwiches and fruit salad.  Her greyhounds are so well behaved.  The weather was nice and we were able to eat outside with the dogs all sitting nearby.

The other day while walking Katie, we ran into our friends Gayle/Jim/Debbie/Jim M and stopped to chat for a while.  Jim M. recently adopted a new dog, Chica, and Debbie recently adopted another dog, Rupert.  Katie and Elliott, Debbie's other dog, had so much fun running around and playing chase when we were all in Colorado, and Katie seemed fine with the two newbies, too.

Elliott, Chica and Katie
Chica and Katie
Elliott says, "Hey, I want to sniff Katie, too!"
Our 14 days are up soon, so we'll be leaving Wednesday morning, if not before.  I really like this park, and have had some interesting times here.  This is a park I'll definitely visit again.  Now, if we can only keep the winds, dust storms, and mice away until we leave, that would be just fine with me!

Welcome to our newest Follower, Jim!  Jim's blog is Jimbo's Journey, check it out.   I just met Jim M. through my friends Gayle and Jim, and Debbie, all Lazy Daze owners, and Jim also has a Lazy Daze motor home.  He recently found a tiny Chihuahua who he named Chica, and she is pictured above.  She's a darling little girl.  It was nice meeting you, Jim, and joining you all for dinner.  I've added your blog to my blog roll, so I can keep up with your adventures. Thanks for following along with me and Katie!   

From Me and My Dog, have a good Saturday night, everyone!  :)