Sunday, November 30, 2003

November 30, 2003
I saw a fox! I was walking alone in Sabino Canyon, which has a pavement road leading to the top, and just before the first tram stop I saw a long, low animal with a long, thick, bushy tail, limping, crossing the road ahead of me. My brain went a little numb trying to figure out what it was: Coatamundi? Tail way too thick. Raccoon? Body too long and lean. Fox? Oh, yeah, looks like a fox! Later I talked to a naturalist at the Visitor’s Center, and told him I’d seen a limping fox. He said one has been reported between stops one and two.

The weather was just gorgeous, what my father used to call a “patented Tucson day.” Clear blue skies, mid seventies, light breeze. My idea of what winter should be.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

November 24, 2003
There hasn’t been much bird action lately, with the weather growing colder and everyone through with mating and breeding. For example, I haven’t seen a mockingbird in weeks, despite the fact that the berries on the pyracantha (which I planted for the mockers) are bright red and inviting. I seldom see any cardinals, though the towhees are visiting every day to eat the striped sunflower seeds. (I’ve given up on the cardinal feeder for the winter. Am just using it as a seed storage bin.

A few days ago we had an amazing, thick, desert fog. It was so foggy we couldn’t see the mountains at all, not even an outline. Went for a walk along the River Walk, and it was just beautiful: quiet, moist, muted colors. As if the whole desert had suddenly gone pastel and blurred. It was also a little spooky. During the walk I saw three road runners, sprinting from the river, across the walk, and into the desert scrub. I hadn’t seen any road runners out there before, but have since seen a couple. I guess I just hadn’t noticed before. It’s always so much fun to see them—I love their size and the way they zoom along, sort of like the cartoon, but graceful.

The resident Anna’s male and broad-billed male, who is at least semi-resident, have been going at each other in the early morning. Instead of quietly sharing the five feeders and tanking up after a night of no food, they seem more interested in seeing that nobody eats anything. They yell and curse and chase each other all over the yard and beyond.