Settling in, in Arizona

Tomorrow will be one week since we arrived in Carefree and we’ve spent most of the time working on getting things situated with the house (as of now, we still don’t have our POD and thus, most of our stuff). I had my Nikon on the RV with two lenses (but not my monster one) and finally got out a couple mornings ago to manage some shots – like the Verdin eating Prickly Pear above. I’m salivating at what I might get with the 500mm lens.

Cactus Wrens (above) are abundant here, and visit our yard and feeders many times a day. Speaking of the yard, I filled the tube feeder that the previous owner left and it is flat out mobbed the entire day. It has a mix of millet, sunflower, and a couple other seeds, and it is completely empty by 4pm each day. It’s mostly House Finches and House Sparrows, but there are up to 20 Gambel’s Quail that eat all the spilled seed knocked out from the bigger birds that visit, like the Gilded Flickers, Gila Woodpeckers, Curve-billed Thrashers, and Cactus Wrens. I’ve also had Northern Cardinal, Lesser Nighthawk, Anna’s Hummingbird (many, constant), Phainopepla, Great-tailed Grackle, and several other species from the back yard. I’ll post some pictures once I really get set up.

It’s not all about birds… we’ve found two scorpions so far, a very small one in the house, and this brute just outside by the BBQ. This bad boy was about 4 or 5 inches long, and we left it alone. Bats are fairly abundant, including flying around the back porch right over our heads two nights ago. And two days ago, a single deer came wandering around just out back. Hares are also EXTREMELY abundant, and I will not be able to resist sharing some pictures in the near future.

Marie and I have managed a 6AM walk every morning, and here are a few views from our strolls. Above are a couple of saguaros framing a boulder pile.

Above is one of the main boulder piles.

We found a dead Lesser Nighthawk the other morning, it looked like it hit a wooden fence and perished.

And, I’ll leave you with a bad cellphone picture of a small tarantula Marie found in the street! Fantastic.

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