Thursday, October 31, 2013

Friends, Maybe Not

On the Thursday hike Kobae returns to the house where he met two other African Spurs the previous day. Snappy, the male, kept circling Kobae and no one, including Tom, could figure it out. However, right after Tom shuts off the camera, Snappy quits moving and while he's stationary and eating Kobae rams him from underneath and sends Snappy flying and flipping over. Gonna take some time for Kobae to get used to those like him. So it ends. See you in March Kobster.

What Kobae Likes Most

For three days of hiking thru Tierrasanta in San Diego everyone with a dog knew of Kobae and his dislike of dogs and would then turn down another street when they saw him coming. On the the third day some one didn't know.

Kobae Makes Friends (Sort of)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kobae San Diego Tuesday

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

"Kobae is the biggest African Spur I've seen for 13 years old. His shell looks good, he eats well, he's fit, and it all looks good. He weighs in at 120.6 pounds. So 19 pound gain in a little over seven months at Base Camp." Make that 120 pounds. Kobae left the other .6 pound on the floor of the back seat of the truck to highlight his displeasure at having to go see the Vet.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Last Day

The temperature is dropping tomorrow and an early glimpse of winter is coming. Kobae spends his last day hanging out on the porch and 30 minutes or so doing what he dislikes the most. Time to clean him up for his San Diego appearance.

Saturday with Kobae

Kobae does a little over five miles on his journey past the Wind Caves.

Saturday Morning at Chicken Corner

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Breakfast at Tiffany's North

Tiffany's North is where the Sharp-shinned hawk has been spotted. Tom wishes he could get a good look at the Sharp-shinned to see if it's the same one that he battled all last winter and thought he had an agreement with. Wish granted.

Breakfast at Tiffany's West

There are actually three places critters get fed each morning. This is the west side of the lodge by the fire pit. Eurasian Doves look so much like Sharp-shinned hawks from underneath that everybody goes running when the first dove lands. When the dove sees everybody running it too thinks there's a Sharp-shinned hawk and takes evasive maneuvers.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Security tortoise relaxing in the doorway.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monday, October 21, 2013

From the Canyon Lands....Palms Up

Weather Holding

With temps holding in the high 60's the day that Tom normally takes Kobae back to San Diego for the winter will pass today and with few guests they'll do hiking until they can't. Sunday with Kobae.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What Kobae Likes Most (Triple the Pleasure)

What Kobae Likes Most

Kobae is sleeping on the porch. One of the disc golfers dogs is sleeping under the Desert Willow. It's really quiet. Good time for Tom to work on vehicles in the garage. Tom hears the dog bark.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Busy Across the River

Hiking and Hiking

As Kobae's days at Base Camp are winding down with a return to San Diego for winter the guy just can't get enough hiking in.

Just Doing His Part

Tamarisk is genuinely hated by almost everyone in these parts. Where a Cottonwood tree might drink 20 gallons of water a day, a Tamarisk drinks 300. The Feds dropped Tamarisk beetles in the area seven years ago to kill the Tamarisk. It's estimated that when all the Tamarisk are gone there will be enough extra water in the Colorado for 20 million more people. Kobae being the good citizen that he is, has found a way to make his own contribution.

Wednesday with Kobae

Kobae does seven hours of hiking on Wednesday.

Monday with Kobae

Kobae does five hour of hiking on Monday.


The Propane Guy

Comes once a year. Something about not liking the road. He probably likes it less this time.

No Agreement

It feels like him. Lands on the same rocks. Same mannerisms. Sees the white truck go down the drive way and attacks right after knowing Tom is gone. Talks up a storm when he/she's not happy. Tom was hoping it was a different Sharp-shinned hawk so he'd have an experience edge on the predator. Instead, they both learned from their nearly three month battle last year and it will be worse this time. He's bold enough to trap critters under the porch and then just stare at Tom to come get him.

Monday, October 7, 2013


It's in the 30's at night. Too cold for Kobae. He's deep in the ground and that helps but Tom won't take any chances so he runs an extension cord across the driveway and into the hole. Climbs down inside with only his feet sticking out, plugs in an automatic heater that he can set the desired temperature, then puts a cover across the opening that keeps most of the heat in. As Tom is walking out to Kobae's house with the extension cord he sees a couple of reflections from his headlamp above him on the hill. Turning back with the heater and cover he sees them again and realizes they are eyes. He is being watched. Returning with a second head lamp and a lantern the eyes, despite the additional light, have not left. Tom doesn't want to be down in the hole with only his feet sticking out when he gets dragged out of the hole by a mountain lion so he turns the jeep and truck around, turns their lights on and brightens up the whole area before the eyes finally retreat.


Last December, January, and part of February there was a Sharp-shinned hawk that became a huge focus in Tom's life. Each week it took a terrible toll on the songbirds that come to feed each morning. Despite Tom's best efforts twice a week or so it would chase songbirds into windows and while they were stunned take off with them. On many occasions Tom was able to rescue songbirds until they were able to return outdoors. The battle of wills raged for months and finally the Sharp-shinned showed up one day and offered Tom a present in exchange for calling the battle off. For 8 minutes and 10 seconds there was magic between them and they came to an understanding. Tom would see the Sharp-shinned in the canyons, by the river, and all around the lodge but true to the agreement, it never came back to the lodge. Over the last month and occasional guest would say they saw something swoop down at songbirds but Tom never saw it. Two weeks ago, two nights in a row, right before pitch black, a large bird swooped down and would land next to Kobae as he was eating. By the time Tom could get to it, it was gone. In the dark Tom could not recognize the type of hawk. But now, four of the last five days Tom has gotten an abbreviated look at it and it appears his old nemesis has returned.

Friday, October 4, 2013

In the Road

Oh Boy

Canyonlands closed. Arches closed. Mesa Verde closed. For the last three days there have been a record number of people coming up the driveway with foreign accents who are lost and looking for direction. Can't get in the national parks and monuments so they've rented off road vehicles and are exploring canyon country. Pretty much says it all.