Friday, June 24, 2016

Goodbye to Elephant Butte State Park

Here's a photo of our site at South Monticello, where I got all the photos of the lizards.  It was getting really hot, and even though we had an electric site and could run the air conditioner, it was just too hot to stay longer.

When I was backing into the site, I could see something weird in the back-up camera display.  I stopped The Palms and got out to see what it was.  Someone before us collected a lot of rocks and organized them according to type, and they were pretty cool to see.  I enjoyed seeing them every day and left them for the next camper to enjoy, too.

First there were regular rocks, probably river rocks?  They were pretty and all different colors.  They were arranged from smallest to largest. 

Next were flat, slate type rocks.  You could make a nice slate patio with these.

The last group were the largest, and they all had  fossil impressions.  (From CSUS, Lab #1: Fossil Preservation:  Imprints are left when an organism is pressed into soft sediment. The original hard parts may be gone, dissolved after burial. Very shallow imprints are called impressions, as of the fern leaf. Larger organisms may leave molds or casts. A mold is the imprint left by the organism, and is a negative of the organism. Molds may be external - of the exterior of the shell, as on the slab of snail and clam external molds.)  

I've never seen these on our walks, whoever left this collection must have taken a LOT of walks in the area.

You just never know what you're going to come across!

Below is one of our last sunsets.  Looking east it was pastel colors,

and looking west,  the sun had just gone down, leaving us with a beautiful sky.

And that's it for Elephant Butte State Park, South Monticello Point Campground for this year.  Onward to the north!

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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Lizards at Elephant Butte

This is just a quick post to show you some of the lizards at South Monitcello Point Campground (SoMoPo) in Elephant Butte State Park in New Mexico.   I'm not a lizard researcher, I just like to see them all, so I didn't check to see what kinds of lizards they are.

This first guy was just beautiful in the sunshine.  I've never seen one so colorful.  

This next guy was kind of exciting to see, too, because I think he's a Horned Lizard.  I've never seen one of these.  He's a little fatty and has horns.  He wasn't moving very fast, just went a little way, stopped and rested, moved again, etc.  These are the best photos I could get:

Can you see his little horns?

Here's another lizard - he was a good size guy with super long toes:

This lizard has pretty distinct markings:

And a very long tail when compared to the others:

And a final lizard - he had pretty markings, but I couldn't get his face.  Those aren't eyes on the top of his head, I think he's wearing goggles:

They are all a little different.  Most had some colors, but it wasn't obvious unless they were in the sunlight.  They had different feet, faces, tails, etc.  Interesting creatures.

Katie has always gone nuts over lizards - she gets so excited when she sees one.  She'll try to chase them with her tail wagging like mad, of course she's on a leash so she can't chase too far, poor baby.   Lately, though, she doesn't seem to see them like she used to.  I saw all these before she did.  The movement isn't registering, so I'm wondering if shes starting to lose her eyesight, or her peripheral vision.  I hope not.  She's only ten, which isn't that old for a small dog.

That's it on the lizards.  I love to photograph them.

From me and Katie, have a great Father's Day tomorrow to all you fathers.  And for everyone out there, well, we have Fathers - whether they are still with us, or with us in our hearts - and we can remember them tomorrow with love.  :)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Want to see a video of the inside of The Palms? :)

While Jeanne and I were doing our Arizona BLM camping, Bob Wells, from Cheap RV Living, came to visit the group for a couple of days.  He was filming some videos and asked us if we'd like to do some, talk about RVing and maybe show how we live.  Most of us said yes - I was nervous about it, but heck, I wouldn't get this chance again, right?  Bob's a really genuine guy and I was pretty sure he wouldn't post anything that made me or The Palms look bad, or embarrass me.  
So, the next morning he came over with his video gear and we filmed.   When we started, I was still nervous, but when he called me Marbara, it  kind of broke the ice.  He said, "Did I just call you Marbara?"   LOL  Then we started again.  He first asked me questions while we were standing outside The Palms, then we went inside and I gave him a tour - for you guys.  :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sedona/Cottonwood/Camp Verde Boondocking Photos

I'm so behind posting photos - I'm going to put a bunch here that I took in the Sedona/Cottonwood/Camp Verde area when Jeanne and I were boondocking there on Forest Land. The weather was great, and we had a really good time.

Sedona has a Farmer's Market on the weekend and I found some great local honey there.  This is the beekeeper/owner of the honey that I bought.  I've never been a honey person, but there were a couple of booths at Quartzsite, one in the Big Tent and one outside.  They had the BEST honey.  Next year I'm going to buy gallons!  Now I'm looking for local, fresh honey wherever I go, and this man had a couple of kinds that I really liked.

While we were walking around the town of Sedona we walked past some REAL flowers - not desert blooms, but real city flowers like my mom used to grow, and like I had, too, when I had a house.  I had to snap photos:

When I lived in Camino, CA, I had a hillside that was full of these Iris.  It was beautiful when they were in bloom.  I used to cut them for a large vase on the dining room table.  

One day while camping in Cottonwood, it was SUPER windy and Katie had to go potty.  I put her Doggles on her, and she was a good girl and kept them on until she was ready to climb back into The Palms.  It's been a while since we've needed them, but that sand was really blowing!

Here's Katie yawning with her Doggles on.  It's so tiring being famous!

Speaking of Katie, she stepped in a red ant nest again, and here she is holding her leg up in the air.  She was panting like crazy - and looking a little crazy, too - with her ribs heaving in and out.  Her leg was shaking, her tongue was sticking up, and she wouldn't let me near her.  

I prepared the baking soda/water solution in my squirt bottle and waited until she settled down a little.  Every time I tried to get near her, she acted like she was going to bite me.  Finally I got a squirt of the solution on her foot, then more a minute later.  Not long after, she was up and running around.  That stuff is AMAZING!

I had two commenters asking the ratio of baking soda to water and answered them in the comment section.  Thought I'd copy it here for people who don't read comments but could use the info:  "Wil and Zooperson: The recommended ratio is just to make up a paste and apply to the bites. That would work for a person (or a pet that will just lay there and let you smear it on). Since Katie won't let me NEAR her and I do believe she would bite me - she is in so much pain and distress - the first time I watered it down, put it in a clean squirt bottle that's made for ketchup or mustard. I held it above her and just squeezed. She let out a scream when it hit her, but almost immediately calmed down a little, and I squirted more on her foot. The bite was between the pads of her foot, and the liquid landed on the top of her foot, but it dripped down and got the right place. She went from intense pain to normal in an amazingly short time."

We took a drive up to Jerome, AZ one day.  I loved that town, it reminded me of Placerville, CA where I used to live.  It's sitting on the side of a mountain, and all the old buildings have been either kept up really well, or refurbished.  An old, old town which is a tourist attraction now, but there are still homes all around the town.  I'd love to live there.

I didn't see a lot of different birds, but here are a few:

Black-throated Sparrow

Red-tailed Hawk

Verdin - the first bird I checked off in my Field Guide

These flowering cactus plants are the first I saw in 2016.  All of a sudden the plants around us in cottonwood were in bloom.  I thought these were the prettiest:

Now this next picture is kind of creepy, I think.  He looks like a kind of cricket or non-green grasshopper, but he was pretty big.  He blended in well and I'm surprised I saw him.  The "kind of creepy" thing about him is his face.  Don't you agree?

Next - I have to post another hot-air balloon photo.  Everywhere we camped, we saw them, and often they were headed right toward us, or landed on our road.  It was pretty exciting.  They are so large and beautiful, just floating along in the breeze.  I don't get out of bed at the crack of dawn, so I missed a lot of the balloons that other people nearby saw.

And now I have to post some cattle pictures.  It was really fun camping out in the middle of nowhere and having cattle traveling by us.  They would stop, eat, rest, MMMMOOOOOOO, then move on.  I loved having them nearby.  Sometimes I would hear them in the morning, or after I'd gone to bed.

A couple of funny stories:  The first one was when Jeanne and I were camped near some other people and we were all sitting outside in the early evening chatting.  Then we heard REALLY LOUD, AGRESSIVE MOO-ING.  It went on and on, right across the street from our camp sites.  We got up and walked over and saw this huge bull, roaring and roaring and roaring.

It went on forever, and then he walked around behind our campsites:

Still making a LOUD roaring moo-ing noise.  He was obviously in some distress and wanted us to know about it.  Finally he moved on.

A day or so later, look who I saw right below our sites:

There he is - with a cow and new-born calf.  I think the cow was below him in the valley giving birth when he was up on the ridge of the valley across the street making all that racket.  Worried, proud, warning us off?  If I spoke Bull language, I'd probably have a REALLY good story to tell you, but this is as good as it gets.   

Then the other cattle story was when I was going into town and headed down our road.  I had to stop for a real-life cattle crossing:

There was a car in front of me, and when it was coming down the road, some of the cows backed up to give it room to pass.  The other cows just stayed where they were. They weren't moving an inch - look at their faces - "Can't you see we're trying to cross the road?"  They had some calves with them, too.  You can see a white calf hidden behind the large black one above.

After the car passed it was so funny.  The little one started out, then they all just stood there looking at me.  I decided I had all day and was enjoying watching them, so I parked there taking photos until they were all across the road and walking away:

And finally, a beautiful moon-rise one evening.  there were so many gorgeous sunsets and moon rises, but I especially liked this one:

That finishes the pics I wanted to post from Sedona, Cottonwood and Camp Verde in Arizona.  I loved boondocking in all the places we found and I'm sure I'll be back.  There was at least one camping area I didn't travel to, but that's on my list, too, for next time.  It's a beautiful, interesting area with lots to do, and just perfect for doing nothing, too.

From me and Katie, have a wonderful Monday, everyone!  :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Some sad news

I have some sad news to report - Since Jeanne doesn't post anymore on her blog I asked her if I could let her friends know and she said yes.  She lost Riley yesterday, June 1.  I know a lot of you know Jeanne and her dog, Riley.  He was a Sheltie, a rescue dog, and a beautiful boy.  We called him Mr. Chill because he was so low key, nothing bothered him, and he was so well behaved.  Everyone loved him. 

Riley at Ridgway State Park in Colorado

I've got one quick story to tell you about Riley that was pretty funny. He never caused any problems that I ever saw except this once.  Jeane and Riley and Katie and I were up in Camp Verde a month or so ago boondocking on National Forest Land that was open to cattle.  It was late afternoon and I was in The Palms and suddenly heard Jeanne screaming at Riley to STOP!!!  COME HERE!!!!,  @#*!#&!!!!!  I ran outside to see what was going on.  I've never seen Jeanne so upset.  She was running frantically across the campsite, and across the road to get to Riley.  Yelling all the way.   And there went Riley, running across the road on a mission - he was going to "herd" three LARGE cows who were standing there, grazing.  Talk about an Oh, My, God situation!

At first it looked dangerous, but it turned out to be so funny - not the Jeanne/Riley part, but the cow part. The closest cow was the biggest, and when he saw Riley racing toward them -  he was almost tap-dancing, trying to get out of Riley's way, running into the other cows to get behind them.  Then Jeanne grabbed Riley's collar right before he got to them.

I can still picture that scene and it makes me smile every time I think of it.  Jeanne was worried about Riley getting hurt, and it turned out the cows were afraid of HIM!

Of course, Riley was a herding dog, and that was probably his first chance to test his skills.  And he was looking pretty good!  And pretty darn happy!  Jeanne grabbed him and brought him back to her campsite.  Even though he was in big trouble, I'll bet Riley had many wonderful dreams of that evening.

And honestly, those of you who knew Riley would have been surprised at him.  He's always so quiet, lays down and waits if we stop and talk on a walk, or waiting for another dog to pee.  And here he was - Herding Dog Riley.  I was proud of him.  

Jeanne with Riley in Katie's stroller.  He was always so agreeable, and sat nicely for this photo.

Riley had been having seizures and on Wednesday Jeanne brought him to a Vet, who did what he could to treat him, but the seizures wouldn't stop and Jeanne made the only decision she could for Riley.  He was 14 and had a good, long, loving life with Jeanne. 

Not all my friends believe in God, but I do, and I believe He loves the animals He created.  I'm sure Riley is young and healthy again in pet heaven, playing with Bennie and Jake and all his other friends, and hopefully herding some cows, too. 

Such a beautiful boy.  Rest in Peace, Riley.