Yesterday we drove down to Green Valley, Arizona, to visit Greg's mom and step-dad, who live there during the winter. One of the most interesting things we saw was this:
Rudolph! It was one of those machines where you pay $.50 and then try to grab a toy with the claw. I never ever play those games, but I like it that this one is festive and seasonal and that all the Hermies and Clarices are all in a big pile in there.
But we also saw this in Greg's mom's backyard . . .
It's a snake head. (And yes, my gold sneakers are awesome!) They have caught two baby rattlesnakes already this winter. Eek! We live in too populated an area to get rattlesnakes (though it's possible). BUT we also don't have javelina, bobcats, deer, mountain lions, or other neat-o desert creatures and they do have those. We just have the yucky ones like cockroaches and black widows. Though apparently our neighbor Micky did see a coyote in the middle of our street at 10 AM on Sunday morning. She came over to warn Greg to tell me to take my pepper spray with me when I got walking in the early-ish mornings. And maybe a stick, she said.
The neatest animal I have seen since living here in Arizona is the Gila Monster that I saw when hiking with Cindy. We were in a sort of remote area by Roosevelt Lake, and I was walking sort of sideways backward because I was saying something. She started freaking out and said, "Slow. Walk away slowly," stuttering. I figured it was a rattlesnake, because walking away slowly is the rule for that situation. But I turned around (because how could I not?) and there was a huge lizard crawling out of the path up the hill. He was beautiful, orange and black and smooth. They walk funny; sort of like a sidewinder, except with feet.
Here is Roosevelt Lake.
And here is the Gila Monster. Keep in mind that he was BIG (I would guess at least 2 feet long - with tail a bit more), and Cindy was freaked out because they are poisonous. It was March 16th when we took this hike, evidently just when Gila Monsters like to come out of hibernation and sun themselves. This guy was sunning himself right in the middle of the hiking trail. They are very slow moving, so even though they are poisonous, they aren't really threatening.
You should feel really special, because I have spent the last 45 minutes digging around for those two photos. My computer crashed between 2010 and now, and Greg was able to recover most of my treasured photos, but he wasn't able to give them their old names or locations. I have been sorting through the "recovered - raw" photos and I actually found the Roosevelt Lake picture - amazing! The Gila Monster was not among the recovered photos, but I remembered that I sent that picture via e-mail, and I found it in my archives!
On another, less slithery, note, Stephen and Allistair have been "helping" me get ready in the morning.
My last photo for the day is ME! Thanks for being my friends and family members, and I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings!