Saturday, August 29, 2015

Strange One

The only creature I know out here that moves slower than Kobae.

Kobae Had a Good Week

He got to chase some dogs, hump the stairs, hike down to the river (no video I was constantly trying to keep him out of the mud), hike through the muddy creek bed, and crush some really thick bushes.

Monday, August 24, 2015

No Longer Sharp-shinned Free

I heard the alarm calls of White-tailed antelope squirrels in the front and back yards at the same time. Just a pass through by the Sharp-shinned probably checking to see if I was still on guard. A few months ago I put a post on the blog titled "I Saw A Ghost". The guy in question didn't show up but a bunch of his friends did. Came to play disc golf but missed the sign at the turn off and did the 20 miles round trip to Chicken Corner so didn't quite finish by dark. Ghost's friends had a little dog that Kobae got to chase around and after running it off did his victory celebration on the stairs. Or something like that. Spotted mama still running the front porch.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


We are Sharp-shinned free for the third morning in a row. I'm hopeful my last tennis ball throw which didn't hit the Sharp-shinned but knocked some leaves off the tree right next to it has startled it enough that it will search for other locations to hunt. In the last Sharp-shinned battled that went on for months, it was personal. I'm hoping this doesn't get there. On Friday Kobae wanted to get down to the beach but the trail was too steep for him so I spent the morning cleaning the hogans and the afternoon down at the river cutting tamarisk and weeds as well as building some better stairs down to the beach. The mosquitoes have diminished to the point of not having to worry about sacrificing a pint of blood to get down there. Mom ringtail drops her kids off each night in the rafters of the back porch likely knowing I'll feed them hotdogs and take care of them while she goes out to hunt. They are up there until about 4am each morning when she returns to lead them back down to the river where all the night people live. The primary reason the ringtail mom has put them on the back porch is there is also a mother on the front porch with kids to feed and at the moment she rules.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


The Hayduke Trail is 812 miles from Arches to Zion. Not the easiest route, not the safest, not the most logical, but probably the most spectacular and one of the most difficult. Sometimes on designated roads but mostly GPS coordinates is what you have to go by. Four to six times a year Haydukers come by here for some shelter and perhaps a meal or so before they head down some of Lockhart Basin on the way to Needles. The book says there are a couple water spots on the way but having driven it several times now I've never seen one in the summer. The Hayduker leaves at first light. AmeriGas delivers propane once a year and today is that day. Once I see the truck come over Hurrah Pass then I head up to see if I can help.The Canyon Wren has the most distinctive call of most any critter out there. It's also pretty territorial so more than once I've been lost in the Behind the Rocks area and used a Canyon Wren I heard on the way in to give me direction for the way out. For the last few months one has been frequenting the area up by the hogans but only recently has moved down to visit the three feeding areas of morning. Today we have first contact. Soon, we'll be friends. If the high temp is below 95 the heat breaks about 4pm and starts downward. If above 95, it's closer to 5pm when it breaks. Kobae comes out when it breaks. A few times on our hikes Kobae wants to go where I don't want him to like into the tamarisk. I have to walk where I don't want him to and he fights me. Stepping on my boots and trying to bowl me over or force me off balance. As he gets heavier and I get older the odds are shifting in his favor. Today unintentionally he picked up a new weapon. Everywhere he wanted to go involved cactus and many of them stuck in his feet, legs, and neck. When he would attempt to venture into a place I thought was dangerous for him or me and we'd begin our foot shoving match he'd stick me in my ankles with the other end of the cactus which I was surprised to find out is also pretty sharp. Returning from down by the river Kobae as usual makes his own trail back to the lodge.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


With first light I move to the living room where I can see out the front door to Tiffany's #1 and hear Tiffany's #3 behind me. It's always tough when young White-tailed antelope squirrels are getting broke in. Everyone is spooked by the last week of Sharp-shinned attacks and some of the new White-taileds are sounding the alarm when it's really just an Eurasian dove coming into the feeding ground. After a couple false alarms the offending squirrels are ignored from then on. As with the fable crying wolf too many times. When the heat came and the food disappeared it was the first Sharp-shinned free morning in quite awhile. I'm still on a reading frenzy so I read most of the day and watched the various watercraft come down the river from the back porch. Kobae came out about four and we made it about a quarter of the way up Hurrah before I had to turn him around with the approaching dark. A Hayduker showed up as did two campers. The haze from the fires out west is at it's worst.

Nightly Ritual

West Coast Smoke

It takes a few days for the smoke from the west coast fires to get here but when it does it makes for interesting sunsets.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Battle Continues

Day after day repeats itself. The Sharp-shinned makes runs at the songbirds and then returns to it's observation position as if I'm not there. I'm throwing tennis ball after tennis ball at it and it ignores me, even sits on the railing right outside the window. The sound of the White-tailed antelope squirrels sounding the alarm is a morning constant.

It's Starting Again

Three or four years ago I had a persistent Cooper's hawk that hunted the morning little people everyday. Constant harassment, betraying it's position (they hunt on the ground), and driving it off finally worked. Two years ago a Sharp-shinned hawk would come up to 15 times a day in a very long battle of wits, or lack of, that lasted months and I got emails from blog followers saying I'd lost my mind. That ended in Feb 2014 in what may be the best video of roughly nine years here titled "Morning of Magic". Somewhere around the same time a Loggerhead Shrike daily put fear into the songbirds, squirrels, chipmunks and the like that have breakfast here each morning. A couple hundred snow balls sent it packing. Now it appears to be Sharp-shinned time again. Four consecutive days, four or five times each day, the hawk cometh. I do not know why the arrow in the video shows up on the right side of the screen sometimes preventing making the video larger. If you click on the DSCF number instead of the arrow it solves the problem.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Two Kayak Delivery

Time to take groceries to Johnny. There are a lot so Linny volunteers to take one kayak.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Two Trains: Virtual Hike, Oh Boy

Sometimes I come back from a hike and watch the Go Pro video and it seems a little bit steeper than it really was. On this one, the opposite. There were several places I was nervous but when I came back and watched the video it looked like mostly a walk in the park.

Two Trains

Most Evenings: Hiking with the Man

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Linster and Kane Creek

As we hit Kane Creek, Linny wants to drive. She says she couldn't do any worse than I did and that's true so......

Amasa Back

The Mcneils, Linny, and I hiked up Jackson Ladder this morning and visited the pottery locations and ancient village I found a few years ago. Was nice to see everything still there.

From Hurrah

The McNeils Hiking with Kobster

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Beach is Back

On Wednesday there was no sign of a beach. Today (Saturday) there is a great beach. I worked on the trail to get there for 15 or so minutes and gave two pints of blood to the mosquitoes. After I get a transfusion tonight I'll finish it tomorrow and we should be all good.

Kobae, Courtesy of Mike

Courtesy of Mike