April 26th – Like Watching Cartoons

Wile E Coyote in search of his nemesis….the Roadrunner…beep, beep. -KG

Phoenix/Scottsdale Arizona just does it right. There are miles and miles of paved trails that lead everywhere for ardent (and laid back) cyclists, walkers, skateboarders…self-propelled outdoor enthusiasts of all ilks. The trails lead along rivers, washes, lakes, under highways and over city roads. And lots of people use them…which is refreshing in itself. Many of the trails are bordered by wild areas that are home to a range of interesting plants and animals.

At a rest stop the Roadrunner walked by within 2 meters of us, completely nonplussed by our presence. -KG

And it is in this light, as I was teetering along on my bike, that I thought how sad it was that the youth of today had probably never seen the greatest cartoon show of all: The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. I used to watch it religiously when I was younger and am a better, nay, a much better, person for it. But when the show wasn’t on I would sometimes settle for the less cerebral but entertaining Roadrunner cartoon show. I don’t know how many times poor old Wile E Coyote just missed dropping an anvil on the speedy roadrunner or blowing him up with copious amounts of TNT.

What brought this train of thought to mind was the sighting of both a coyote and a roadrunner within 20 minutes of each other. The coyote was…well…wiley. Very aware of our presence and emboldened to trot by within just 50 meters but always with a keen eye on us just to make sure we had no evil intent. The roadrunner was even braver, strutting past within 2 meters, certainly not concerned about our presence in the least. And then, about 3 minutes later, it came back carrying a nice big lizard.

The roadrunner carrying a big juicy lizard. It made me wonder if it was taking the food back to a nest. -KG

And although I saw both coyote and roadrunner close together, I never saw an anvil or a box of TNT….

Further on down the trail there was a string of rock piles covering large pieces of drainage piping – artificial nest structures for Burrowing Owls. We were fortunate to see one!

A Burrowing Owl on a perch above a rock pile which contained a nesting structure made of large pieces of drainage piping. -KG


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