“See, Martha?”

An hour and a half ago, Bear let me know what time it was. I had no desire to argue with her because a cool north wind was blowing through the Valley. It was a good time for us to seek Refuge.

Bear and I each wear mosquito repellant bandanas which, when the wind is blowing, aren’t really necessary, but it’s undeniable that we look cool.

I took inventory of the water birds — the ducks — mom, dad and ducklings — were all in a row, more or less…

The duck family. Hazy today from fires to the southwest and blowing dust. We couldn’t see the mountains to the east. A milkweed plant is blooming in the foreground.

And on the other side of the road, the geese and their teenage goslings were swimming in a pond more sheltered that the one the ducks enjoyed.

The yellow headed blackbird who has been so defensive of something has abandoned his watch which could mean the eggs have hatched and the babies have flown or that something happened. I’m going to believe the first because he’s been good company and fascinating to watch for the past month or so.

It was just a glorious, cool, windy afternoon with a dramatic sky. Bear and I were in Heaven. Then, on the way back I noticed a car and became a little wary. I never know if there’s a dog. But it was something else, and very sweet. A solitary woman was reading all the informative signs. Finally she stopped and parked and took the little nature walk around the small swamp. She had a camera with her. From time to time she stopped to take a photo or read an informative sign. I felt very happy seeing her because I knew she was learning something new about that wonderful place and I knew a lot of birds were down in there.

I think I saw the Colorado state bird for the first time — I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem impossible. It’s a nondescript little sparrow called the Lark Bunting. The male is black and white during mating season and brown during the rest of the year. This reminds me of guys who pretended to like what I liked until we became a couple and then they never did my stuff with me again. Like the Good X who pretended to like skiing, but once we were together, he just liked going to used car lots to drive old cars and going to the swap meet… 😉

There was a lot more carnivore scat than I’ve seen lately. Some of it, I’m sure, from the two wandering farm dogs. One pile looked like bear, but I don’t see that there’s much for bears to eat. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen badger scat, coyote and possibly bobcat scat. Bear’s poop inventory is probably more accurate than my guesses.

11 thoughts on ““See, Martha?”

  1. I can see why you seek refuge in your Refuge. An enjoyable walk! I’m not sure how you tell the difference in animal poop, but an interesting side detail all the same. 🙂

  2. Gorgeous clouds and sky! Bear chose perfect conditions for your animal inventory stroll, although the wind might have tested her scent-collecting skills.

    Sorry about the smoke and dust.

    Love your comparison of changing bird plumage to human dating behavior!

    • There are a lot of wildfires in Arizona, one is on the rim of the Grand Canyon — 150,000 acres so far. There are fires in Southwestern Colorado on the other side of the San Juans from me, about a few hours to the west near Durango. There are other small wildfires all around Southwestern Colorado. Winter before last we had a lot of moisture and stuff grew. This past winter, little snow fall, everything’s dry so there is a lot of fuel. The smoke has been thick enough that it woke me up a couple of nights ago. Since “my” fire that smell sets of alarms in me.

      If I see square poop, I’ll know I’m not in Kansas anymore 😉

      • I just read up on them. Horrible. Creepy. Scary. I think I’ve got PTSD over the climate change disaster. It’s like watching a slow motion train wreck, only not so slow. Can you get P2 masks? They are best for particulates. I think they double as virus masks as well.
        It is estimated that about 450 people died during the Australian summer bushfires from smoke. It is not good for animals either, including the dogs. If levels are hazardous, you might need to keep the dogs inside. But you probably know all that. My dogs are now offended when I insist they spend some time outside.

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