Sights at sunrise

Sun behind the clouds at sunrise
It’s so hot I’m taking my walks at dawn to beat the heat. The clouds are blocking the sunrise.

We’ve had a hot week and I’ve been swimming rather than walking each day. Our pool in the backyard is a nice temperature so I jump in and kick or swim. I swim laps at the Y a couple times a week too.

It’s weird not to walk every morning after not missing a day since I recovered from knee surgery.

The other morning I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and got out the door for a walk at 5:15 a.m. It was beautiful with birds singing, but I felt a little unnerved with coyotes howling nearby. It sounded like a large pack. I almost turned back to the house, but courageously kept moving on. I actually turned back momentarily only to discover the coyotes howling sounded near my home. Onward and forward seemed like the prudent choice.

Here are the photos I took during my early morning walk.

purple mountains and desert plans.
I love the colors of the mountains and desert in the early morning.

bird on saguaro
A saguaro topped by a bird.
Century plant fallen over
I had been watching this century plant waiting for it to bloom. This was a sad sight.
Century plant standing
This was the century plant two weeks ago.
The oldest quail babies hanging out with their mom and dad in our pool bar. We have three families from wee babies to these teenagers.

If I wake up early enough to beat the heat, I go for my walks at sunrise. If I wake up later and it’s too hot — I jump into the water. Thankfully our pool gets a lot of shade during the day, so the water temperature is still cool.

What is your favorite way to start the day? How are you getting exercise?

Benefits of early morning walks

javelina in a neighbor's yard
Javelina

One of the benefits of walking at dawn is the wildlife we get to see. This morning it was this herd of Javelina in front of a neighbor’s house. I texted the photo to the neighbors to show them the shenanigans going on in their driveway while they were sleeping.

What is a javelina you might ask?

Javelina (Tayassu tajacu) also known as collared peccary, are medium-sized animals that look similar to a wild boar. They have mainly short coarse salt and pepper colored hair, short legs, and a pig-like nose. The hair around the neck/shoulder area is lighter in color giving it the look of a collar. Javelina have long, sharp canine teeth which protrude from the jaws about an inch.

One major adaptation for survival is the fact that javelina live in large family groups. The average group size is 10 or less, but a few herds have known to number up to 53 animals. Each group defends a territory which includes their sleeping and feeding areas. They communicate with their own family group and other groups using sounds and smells.

Javelina live in desert washes, saguaro and palo verde forests, oak woodlands, and grasslands with mixed shrubs and cacti.

They can be found in the deserts of southwest Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, southward through Mexico and Central America and into northern Argentina.

https://desertmuseum.org/kids/oz/long-fact-sheets/Javelina.php

Other creatures we have seen are tiny baby bunnies, quail families, coyotes and mule deer.

mule deer in the street
Mule deer that crossed the street at dawn.

We are going adventuring in the area this weekend and I’ll write about that next week.

Have you seen javelina before? What plans do you have for the weekend?

I’ve been swimming in the rain!

img_2489

Reflection in a mud puddle on my morning walk.

It’s been a strange week weather-wise for Palm Springs. That makes it harder for me to concentrate, because instead of the usual sunny blue sky staring back at me, we’ve had clouds, fog and rain. Lots of rain. My view from my laptop keeps changing and I have to keep looking.

I felt like I accomplished something because I suited up and swam in the rain. It took a special nudge to get me to practice when it’s freezing cold and wet outside. The water was 82 degrees and quite nice, but getting in and out of the pool was a challenge. I called my friend Linda, who I swim with and asked, “Are you going to the pool? Did you hear thunder?”

She said with her usual wisdom to get to the pool and “If it’s closed because of thunder and lightening then you can go home and say ‘at least I tried.’ Otherwise you’ll sit home and feel guilty for not going.”

So, following Linda’s advice, I went to the pool on rainy days and jumped in and swam. I had to keep moving, or it was too cold. But, the accomplishment I felt afterward standing in my hot steaming shower was great.

Every morning I went for a walk, regardless of that wet stuff coming down. I bundled up with a warm hat, gloves, and a raincoat over the top. I’d come home wet, but the views were amazing.img_2490This morning we’re back to sunshine and I made a point of getting outside to catch the sunrise with my camera. I was standing in the middle of the street in my bathrobe when I saw a little movement out of the corner of my eye. Trotting down the street were two well-fed coyotes. The big one looked right at me and came towards me. I stretched up tall and yelled, jumping up and down. They ran away but I managed to get one quick picture of the smaller one.img_2504

Then I decided to capture the sunrise from inside my back yard, behind the wall where the coyotes aren’t roaming. This is the mountain turning a gorgeous pink as the sun rises in the East. The palm trees glow, too.img_2505

When the weather changes how does it affect your day?