Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
The grand trophy for bird photos goes to Bill Wrightson for these great shots of a nesting nighthawk. As a lifelong avid bird watcher, I LOVE these photos and eagerly want to see a nest like this for myself. Thank you, Bill, for sharing!!
Here Mom is sunning herself in the nice warm gravel. Nighthawks are great insect hunters and catch most of their food in flight. They're awesome to watch in early morning or at dusk as they swoop through the air in pursuit of a juicy bug. They nest on the ground in gravel areas so Bill was lucky enough to come across a nest. Their camouflage is amazing at how they blend into their surroundings.
The Gray Fox is the only member of the dog family that can climb trees, usually to seek refuge or in search of roosting birds. It can reach a speed of 28 mph for short distances and has lived for up to 10 years in captivity; longevity in the wild is probably much shorter.The Gray Fox is smaller in size than the Coyote -- usually 32 to 45 inches long, and weighs 7 to 11 pounds. Its coloration is grizzled gray on top, with a white throat extending underneath; it is rusty-red along the sides. The tail usually has a black mane along the top, with a dark-gray or black tip. Gray Foxes have elongated muzzles and forward-pointing ears.Although primarily nocturnal, The Gray Fox may sometimes be seen foraging during the day, seeking primarily small mammals, but being an omnivore, it will also eat eggs, insects, birds, fruits, acorns and berries. If not using a hollow tree, the vixen (female) may dig her den into soil or enlarge the burrow of another animal. This den may be as much as 75 feet long and can have 10 or more exits. There are also numerous side chambers used for food storage and for the transfer of young, once a chamber becomes too soiled to inhabit.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
This has been a good season for our burrowing owl population! You can regularly see four of the cute feathered creatures at the entrance to their burrow right outside the front Palm Creek entrance. They're especially visible in the early morning or toward dusk when the temperatures are cooler.
-- - - - - - - - - -
Friday, September 18, 2009
Today's mail included the following notice about the upgrade to Dish network TV. Sounds like it will be installed and ready for you when you return.
There is still a lot of construction underway but it is truly amazing at how much has been accomplished so fast. Hats off to the organizers for a fantastic job. In this photo, you can see the Francisco Grande hotel in the background at the left side. The huge building in these photos is all sports complex for training rooms, offices, etc. We didn't attempt to go in since there was so much construction going on but I plan to check out more on my next visit.
As we were walking through the parking lot, we passed this worker finishing up on a very complex sprinkling system. Couldn't resist another picture. I'm always impressed to learn about the "behind the scenes" work and things like this that we seldom think about when we pass a pretty flower bed.
California Redwoods vs Las Vegas Locomotives
For more info about the league, go to their website at:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Most of the players, league officials, media, etc will be staying either at Francisco Grande or the Holiday Inn. Our son, Anton, is a bartender at the Holiday Inn and he's definitely looking forward to all the activity the sports complex will bring their way.
More BIG news: The weather forecast for the next four days calls for highs only in the 90s!!!! Hooray!!!! This I can handle!! Cooling down at night into the 70s. Awesome.
--- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A while back, I asked you readers for some advice on steam cleaning our new laminate flooring. Thank you for all the great feedack. Most everyone replied how much they liked their steam cleaner and how well it worked although some still had to dry the floor with a terry towel to keep it from streaking.
Don saw the Shark on sale at Target last weekend so rushed out and bought one for me to the tune of $129.35 including tax. We took it out of the box and tested it in a small section of the bathroom just to see how it works. It appeared to work just fine and is quite an impressive little machine. I was just leary about using it though based on what I read at the website of our flooring manufacturer so luckily opted to wait until I heard back from the company. The website didn't mention anything about steam cleaning but did say that the flooring should not get wet and should only use a slightly damp mop. I wrote them an email and asked about the steam cleaning. WOW!! Here is the reply I received from Quick Step customer service: "The steamer will ruin your floors and void your warranty. That amount of water on the floor is bad and will warp the boards. The steam will open up the joints and allow water to penetrate the HDF (high density fiberboard) and causing the boards to swell. This would be maintenance related damage and not covered under the warranty. "
Sooooo......is there anyone out there interested in buying a brand new Shark steamer???? We, unfortunately, already threw away the box so can't return the product.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
We had RAIN this week!!!! Beautiful precious rain for about half an hour....it was wonderful. The temp dropped down to 78 and it rained hard enough to wash everything nice and clean. We were practically dancing in the streets. Everyone I talked to the next day said they were out sitting on their patio to enjoy the fresh air and the smell of rain. I tried to take another video of the rain, but blogger says it can't recognize the file and therefore wouldn't upload.
Don and I had morning coffee on the patio for three days in a row cause it was below 80 in the mornings. Here's hoping we've turned the corner on the excessive heat and record breaking temperatures. Whew! It was nice to be able to sit outside and chat with the neighbors as they were out walking their dog or just out for some exercise. How many of you know the familiar face of Kelly Kerns and his puppy dog "Miss Murphy"? Murphy keeps our house on her rounds so she gets a friendly pet and a cheery good morning.
We had a very nice Labor Day event up at the clubhouse Monday with over 60 people in attendance. The park provided brats, polish sausage, and beverages and we guests brought a tasty side dish. We certainly have some excellent cooks in this park. Food was A+++ again. Thank you Diane Gaines and crew for another fun summer time event.
I doubt you can recognize many folks from the back of their heads, but no one was interested in looking up to the camera when they had all that good food in front of them.
A few weeks ago I wrote a quick paragraph about the well digging truck that was working here. Since then I've learned a few more facts about that well. The repairs cost the park about $35,000. Ouch! That well is an astonishing 1,207 feet deep!!! I also didn't know that Arizona has some strict laws about the amount of water that can be used on a golf course. I guess we have some way to meter how much goes to water the course and how much to regular landscaping. It would be interesting to learn more about what it takes to keep this place running. Perhaps I'll don a reporter's hat and scope out for more info.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Maintenace crews were busy out on the golf course, doing some repairs at the hot tub, and replacing light bulbs and washing light fixtures. Unfortunately, this gent didn't see me approach with camera in hand and when the flash went off, he thought a bulb had blown up or something. We laughed, I apologized and went on my way.
I also saw the ladies from the housekeeping staff out scrubbing up the BBQ grills and getting them ready for the Labor Day party.