Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A purge, pictures, and procrastination

The problems last night with Blogger and pictures continued again this morning, but seems to be cleared up for tonight.  I have slowly been going through the multiple set of drawers that I have in the front of the rig instead of the passenger's seat.  I had that seat pulled out before I hit the road fulltime, and bought three plastic sets of drawers to fit perfectly in that space.  There's lots of stuff in those drawers that I haven't used much or at all, so I decided it was time for a purge.  If I haven't used it in the last four years, chances are I won't miss it!  I'll continue to work on another drawer or two this evening.

Following are the pictures that I hoped to post last night of visitors to the Hard Rock Bird Cafe...
A small flock of white-crowned sparrows moved in yesterday, and were still coming in tonight.

I enjoyed getting a few pics of the female black-chinned hummingbird at a location other than the feeder.

I guess she had an itch!  If you look closely, you can see her foot under her wing scratching away.

A male house finch showing off his vibrant colors.

I have really gotten to know and appreciate the lark sparrows this spring.  Around here, it's one of those species that once you see the first one, then you see them everywhere.  :)   Blogger is messing with my alignment tonight, but at least I can upload pictures...so far.  :( 

After heading to Marble Falls and Liberty Hill to run some errands late this afternoon, I stopped in the office early this afternoon to pick up the key for the van for tomorrow's tour.  I ran into Rob, and he had a list of things he wanted me to do.  I said I'd take care of a couple of them, but declined the whole list.  I told him that after tomorrow's tour, I'm essentially done with this tour of duty.  I need most of Friday to get everything in order for my departure on Saturday.  I'll be well over 3,000 hours of volunteer time put in at National Wildlife Refuges.  Enough is enough for now! 

Early this evening, I decided to quit procrastinating and take care of pre-departure chores of checking the water levels in the three batteries and getting all six tires up to proper pressure levels.  Emma was outside on her tie out as I gathered the needed tools for these jobs.  I grabbed the tire gauge, kitchen baster, my beverage, and funnel and headed out the door.  Emma was giving off that unusual bark again, so I dropped everything and looked around.  Sure enough, about five feet out of her reach in the driveway was a visitor...

another diamond backed rattlesnake!   Since she couldn't reach it, I dashed inside for my camera.

If you double click on this photo, you can see that it has it's tongue out testing the air.

At the non-business end, I counted 12 rattles on this rattler!  It was a little under three feet long, and was stretched out just to the right of my car.

A close up of it's body shows how it got it's name.  Beautiful diamonds....It didn't curl up and rattle at us, but remained stretched out for close to 30 minutes!  Of course, I didn't get close enough to threaten it, either.  :)

If you click on this photo, I hope you'll see the blue-ish scales on it's head.  I had no idea that it would have these blue tinges.

As I concentrated on putting distilled water into a few of the battery cells, he silently slithered away.  I'm thinking I've had enough experiences getting up close and personal with a rattler!  :)

After finishing with the batteries, I forced myself to check the air pressure in the tires, and found that five of them needed a little boost of air.  I got the compressor out of storage and tried to set everything up.  I get so frustrated when I can't do things for myself.  :(  For some reason, I couldn't get the air hose attached to the compressor after twenty minutes of trying.  I finally had to go next door and ask Adrian for some help.  Even he struggled to get the hose attached.  I just wish I had the strength that I used to have.  Together, we got all the tires taken care of, and that is a real relief to me.  I truly enjoyed crossing those two chores off of my list!

I had planned to show you the latest batch of wildflowers that are gracing the roadsides in the Hill Country, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow.  As I write this, I'm being serenaded by several Chuck-wills-widows outside my window.  What a fine way to end this day!

Thanks for stopping by....talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Great pictures of the snake. Just curious, Have you tried Livewriter and Picasso, Live Writer will publish right into Blogger and you can be off line to compose your blog, also it puts pictures into the blog and you can put captions or tags and stuff on them, I also switched to Picasso on the advice of other bloggers that use it and found it to be easier than the Paint shop program I had been using. Glad to hear that Emma kept her cool and didn't tangle with the rattler, Rigg's would have went bananna's if he saw it. Be Safe out there, sounds like you are doing a good precheck and walk around like commercial drivers do. Sam & Donna.

  2. YIKES--I hate snakes of any form especially rattlesnakes of which we have plenty here in Montana. Our granddaughter was bitten by one in our driveway when she was six years old (now 19 and finished with her first tour of Iraq).

  3. I can't wait to see what you get into next!
    Could you show a pic of how those drawers fit into the front seat area!

  4. We ran into our very first diamond back last saturday. In our garage! I took it's picture before we not so gently relocated it down the hill with a rake! If the picture is ok I'l be posting it on a blog.

  5. Tis the season, Kirk & Pam had a rattler near their rig a few days ago also.

    Nice pictures.

  6. Sounds like we won't cross paths this time around. If you get the chance before you leave, stop by. We'll be working this weekend. If not, safe journeys to you and Emma! Perhaps we'll see ya on the road sometime/somewhere!


  7. Judy,

    Great blog. Don't worry about not being able to do all the things you used to do. Lean on friends and neighbors. It gives them a sense of worth. Help them out with their self-esteem.

    We saw our first Western Diamond Back rattler Easter Sunday. Awesome creatures.

  8. We, too, lived in Shady Hill alongside of the Fox River. We lived there from 1984 to 2009. This is a small world

  9. Judy,

    Your posts are very interesting and your photographs are of professional caliber. Nice job. I am afraid you will spend more money and waste a lot of time in getting the old camera replaced than it is worth. I just bought a new Canon Powershot SX20IS from B H Photo in New York City. Very close to $500 and it is incredibly easy to use and delivers fantastic shots. the zoom works very well without making the photos seem all grainy. The nice thing about B H is that if you call before Noon, they usually ship the same day.

    How is your new rig? What did you buy? Did you hear the news from Shady Hill about the guy who commited suicide? Sad story.

    Also, did you see my comment on my blog about talking to your relative at Camping World?