Your browser has JavaScript turned off.
You will only be able to make use of major features of MoreLife if you turn JavaScript on.
Go to Personal Section Entry Page

Spring & Summer 2007 Mostly Arizona Animal Critters

After dinner in front of the fire in January 2007The first picture of 2007 of both Paul and Kitty together, taken on January 21 with the Casa Grande living room in full winter light decoration. Since she does most of the picture taking, she doesn't set up the camera for a delayed shot of the both us together too often - just every 3 months for the photos that are on our Personal Introduction page.

Watching the animals from the dining room table while eating is an enjoyment Kitty never experienced before she and Paul began doing so in 2002 with their first trip together to her Casa Grande house after becoming a team in 2000. Now it's a regular part of their single daily meal - with the binoculars close at hand for detailed observations.

We had trimmed branches off the mesquite tree that is just off to the left out of range on these photos. Purposely we left one branch so that we could observe what use the small animals in the yard would make of the many small green leaves. The rest of the branches were added to the large pile that serves as habitat for at least quail and rabbits. (We started this pile in Spring 2003, with original intentions of it being just temporary until we rented a mulcher, but it quickly became home for many of our yard critters. See photos of then new pile - 1/4 down page.)

7 Gambel's quail and 1 rabbit feeding on newly cut mesquite branch2 more quail and a second rabbit join the feast

Kitty took these photos less than 2 hours after the tree trimming took place. A group of quail and a rabbit were having a feast.

Still some leaves left worth muchingAnything worthwhile down low?Still a few leaves left

By the next afternoon at the same time the branches were just about bare, with the lone rabbit getting what s/he could of the last few small leaves.

Bare branches 2 days later

Two days after the cutting and the bare branches are being ignored by quail (except one) and the rabbit, who is stretching tall for some choice creosote flowers.

Almost all of the animals of a particular species are practically indistinguishable from one another except for size and gender in some. However, we noticed in late 2006 an injured quail, and quickly nicknamed it "Peg Leg", who mostly hopped, using the left leg only slightly. S/he was always somewhat alone - trailing the others but not outright rejected that we could see. After a few weeks we realized by the coloring that this was a female quail and so sometimes Kitty referred to her playfully as "Peggy Sue".

Peg in mid-hop on her right leg, left held upPeg hurries her stride/hop to catch up with male (mate?)

In early May Kitty was quick with the camera from the dinning room when she spotted "Peg" who we had observed for a couple weeks previously was somewhat in the company of a male. Somewhat, since we never observed him coming real close to her as we would see with other quail pairs. She always seemed to have to try keep up with him, as she was doing in these 2 photos (taken in quick succession). Unfortunately since returning to AZ at the end of October 2007 we have not seen Peg. But we're always on the lookout, and that she's still alive.

Gimpy crossing in front of our dinning room windowGimpy avoids weight bearing on lame left rear legWe first saw this injured rabbit - left hind leg - in early 2007 and named him/her (hir) "Gimpy". S/he was not as regular a visitor to our backyard as Peg, and here too we have not spied hir since our return. Hope s/he was not the victim of the dog attack that appears to have taken place behind our out-building during our absence - a length of spare ~6 inch diameter hard plastic pipe stored there had been given a real workout judging by all the dog tracks and broken pieces of pipe.

Here's a series of photos taken over about an hour in late May of an area with several ground squirrel holes, some apparently interconnected judging by many of the movements of the young juvenile ground squirrels that took place on what may have been their very first ventures from inside their protective warrens.

Mama in the foreground left, 2 juveniles in rear - one still in protection of holeMama munching food scraps in foreground, 1 juvie to the rear next to holeMama did something and the juvie joined sibling in the holeMama leaves scraps and heads towards 2 juvies peering from holeMama out of sight and 4 juvies peering from 3 holes ready for the big world

During our 2 week trip back to Casa Grande in early July, Kitty photo captured some interesting critter activities in our backyard.

Partial stretch eastwardRelaxed, full out stretchReadjustment to the southwestHeads up a bit to check out activity in the yard to the northAll's quiet. Just lie here and baskThis ground squirrel spent at least 7 minutes soaking in the cooler temperature of the patio stones (compared to the dirt out in the sun) in the filtered shade of the mesquite tree outside our bedroom. Kitty decided not to pull back the vertical blinds to get an unobstructed photo since any noticed movement would have sent this little fellow (?gal?) scampering.

It is very common to see quail, doves and rabbits cool themselves in the dirt under our various trees and bushes. Soon after Kitty observed the ground squirrel above, she spied this quail activity at the base of the same shade providing mesquite.

Female quail digs a trough in shade of mesquiteThis gambel's quail - female - Kitty quickly determined by her duller coloring and non-black chest feathers - is busily digging a trough. She nestled into it for only a minute or 2 in it and then moved to what she apparently decided was a better spot.Change of mind - at base of tree is better She can be seen right at the base of the mesquite, behind a moderate sized aloe vera plant. If you can't see her, check the next close-up.
With closeup, easily seen behind aloe vera

'So this is where you've been'Along came a male, most likely her mate - about 11 minutes after she started the trough digging.Male quieted down close but left the female her spotFemale arose quickly and male was up too - just his head at the rightFemale shakes her feathers and is ready to goThe female was in no hurry to conclude her dirt bath or simple cool rest. It was 15 minutes after the male appeared that she finally quickly arose, shook herself and then followed him northward.

A few other different items that caught Kitty's attention during those 2 weeks when she had her camera closeby.

Dove convention in the shade off our back porch areaRabbit snuggled between our fire twig pail and house wall, view from back doorView from living room window. Is this a comparitively cool spot?Startled, likely by us, rabbit takes off quickly past our dinning room windowOne juvenile gambel's quail with parents - What happened to its siblings?


Previous Page
Photo Index
Next Page

MoreLife is Always "Under Construction"
Initially posted 11/24/2007
Page last updated 11/24/2007
Any questions, comments or suggestions regarding the content of this website
should be addressed at MoreLife Yahoo.
For comments on webpage format, contact Kitty Antonik Wakfer