Saturday, July 11, 2009

Counting Animals

My visiting grandsons are 13 and "almost 15". Before they arrived I asked myself "what would they enjoy?" I wanted to ensure they have a memorable vacation. When I asked Dalton, 13, what he most wanted to experience he said he wanted to see wildlife.

Birds were a certainty -- jays, orioles, hummingbirds, ravens and others come daily. Lizards are abundant in the yard and come on the deck. Rabbits and jackrabbits are common as are squirrels. Proghorn have been scarce lately. We talked about various animals and I began thinking of places to maximize the possibility of seeing wildlife.

Thus far we have seen several species of birds include California Condor and Redtail Hawk. While going to some Native American ruins slightly over a mile from the house we saw Pronghorn. We stopped by an area where I knew Prairie Dogs have a colony and added them to the list of sightings. There are three animals that I hoped we could find fairly easily -- Elk, Horned Lizard and a rattlesnake.

On Friday we walked a couple hundred yards sound of the house and picked up about a dozen pieces of pottery. I kept an eye out for snakes but saw none. Yesterday we visited the Museum of Northern Arizona and saw pottery that was similar to the style we found. When we returned home Dalton walked south to search for more pottery. He walked too close to a rattlesnake that sounded an alarm and got his attention. We added the snake to the list.

Elk and Horned Lizard remain on the list.

There is a herd of buffalo on a preserve about 30 miles east of where we live. I think we may visit the preserve. Watching Bison without a fence separating us from them should be memorable.


Blogger Tim Hodgens said...


what a wonderful gift to Dalton to ask him what he most wanted to experience during his visit. How can he not forever remember this visit?

Were binoculars part of the viewing?


7/12/2009 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Tim, we carried binoculars but never needed them. We were fortunate to see everything, including the Condor, at close range.

7/12/2009 09:04:00 PM  

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