Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Desert Beauty

Before I actually lived in the desert I
heard all kinds of negative things about the desert. It was hot. There was nothing there. It was windy. And who in his/her right mind would want to live in the desert? Well, I live in the desert and I love it!
13 years ago I bought 10 acres of sagebrush covered desert land andput a mobile home on the place and moved in .
Some of the things I had heard about the desert were right on . It is hot in summer. At times the wind does blow mightly. But there is life and beauty and peace and quiet in the desert.
Our closest neighbor is one mile away. The only noise on our place is what we make. The early morning sunrise is a thing of beauty as are sunsets when there are clouds about. And the rainbows out here after a rainshower seem close
enough to touch as do the stars at night . After a rainy winter the wild flowers are breathtaking in their beauty and variety. The cactus in the photo above is near my home and is just one variety of cactus to be found around here.
And wild-life, of that there is plenty. Awhile back there were two red foxes who lived in a burrow just outside our fence. I put out food and water for them. They were regular visitors in our yard. Several times we have seen large turtles making their way across the place. Road Runners, we have them as well as desert grouse and quail. There are burrowing owls who live underground. The baby burrowing owls come up from their underground home and learn to fly from the ground up. They first hop up on low sagebrush branches and gradually learn to fly up to higher elevations. Neat to see.
Probably best of all , at least for me, is that there are no buildings or houses or city clutter, no traffic clogged streets and city noise. There is just wide open desert. I can see for miles in every direction and every direction is like looking at a beautiful picture.
Desert living is not for everyone but it works for me.
Till next time.
Marion Springer

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The perfect Christmas present

That is a picture of me holding my wonderful Christmas present from my daughter, Linda.

Maybe to most moms it wouldn't look like anything to get excited about, probably they wouldn't even know what the heck it is , but this mom was very happy to receive the five gallon fuel transfer pump for Christmas.

What the fuel transfer pump means is that instead of having to lift a heavy ( about 30 lbs. ) 5 gallon can of aviation fuel up to about shoulder height and use a funnel to pour the fuel into the fuel tank on my gyrocopter, now I can just turn the crank handle on the transfer system about 20 turns and the fuel/oil mix is transferred in less than one minute from the fuel can into the fuel tank on the gyro.

My son made a small cart type carrier on wheels to move the fuel transfer system about. Now it's just a matter of wheeling the small carry-cart with the fuel transfer system on it out to the gyro, give the handle a few turns and wow, the tank is refilled ! I am so pampered !

Down through the years I have received the most unusual gifts from my children. Coby gave me a set of screw drivers one year. Linda gave me a set of motorcycle handle bar grips another time. I hasten to add thatI used and much appreciated all those gifts. Those children had my number!

I overheard my daughter Donna ,when she was about eight years of age and her friend discussing their mothers. My daughter had the last word when she proudly proclaimed , " well, my mother is a TOMBOY !" So I guess unusual gifts are just right for a tomboy mom.

Till next time.
Marion Springer

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pigeon eggs - baby pigeons, etc.

As my grandma would say, I put the horse before the cart...I had intended to post first, a picture of a small egg incubator with a pigeon egg in it and second, a tiny baby pigeon just hatched and finally, the picture of a day old baby pigeon that did make it through my clumsy attemp to post photos.
Maybe another day I will manage to post a picture of the egg in the incubator.
Pigeon eggs are white in color and small, about 1 &1/2 inch in length and about 1 inch high. The babys when hatched are very tiny. When left in their parents care the baby will double it's weight in 24 hours. In the wild they develop incredibaly fast. Development is much slower when hand raised . The baby in the photo above is one day old. If he had been with his pigeon parents he would have been much larger than he is in the picture.
I found a baby pigeon that looked to be about a week old that had been attacked . It's scalp had been torn away and his skull was exposed. Remarkably, he susrvived the damage to his head. He will be forever bald with no feathers on his head but he is alive.
It has always amazed me that birds and animals seem to know who will help them when they are in distress ( see the recent post " The Hitching Pigeon" . ) I could cite numerous other instances where birds literally cried out for help. For example, several days ago I stepped outside and several pigeons flew toward me. One of them literally flew into my foot then he landed beside me so close that I nearly stepped on him. He had apparently been attacked and there was damage to his back. He let me pick him up and put him in a cage where I can care for him and eventually when he is healed , set him free. He surely did know how to get the help he needed.
Till next time.
Marion Springer