Thursday, August 31, 2006

Week 2&3 Aug 22-Sep 9

I had been hiking for several hours. Checking this canyon, peeking between those rocks, looking for something interesting. I found the Racecar Arch and the Molar. And then I went up the canyon to check a site we monitor. I figured what the heck I would just go further up and find the site on the way back. I found a mining claim from 1957 and some old corn cobs that the Natives ate. And then I happened onto the site. I walked around the other side and looked at an overhand and thought...if I were a native, I would hang here. I noticed a bird laying at the back. First impressions were it was a spirit from the past, a skinwalker. There had to be native stuff around here. I stepped back to see all the handprints they had left behind. They say the handprints represent ceremonial times...was it a skinwalker? I decided to leave the bird to rest in peace. You can see the bird just below the white line at the back of the overhang.

8/30--driving into uncharted canyons by me, I witnessed an abundance of wildlife today. And not one of them was caught on camera. First, we saw what we believed to be two coppers hawks. Then I dropped my coworkers off and traveled beyond. I was driving in a wash bottom when I came upon the red-tail hawk who casually flew it a snag and made it easily identifiable. The next few corners held a badger. First I just saw it moving away from the water in the wash and thought what the hell was that. I mean initially I thought it was a wombat, but those are in Australia. Then it paused on the bank as I scrambled for my camera. It gave me a dirty look and moved into the bushes. Then I went up the wrong canyon and came across a coyote running along the road and off trail. I even had my camera out, but it wouldn't stay still long enough. On my way out, I saw a grey fox. Initially, I thought it was the largest squirrel I had ever seen. Shit, do I need glasses? Anyway, it was a grey fox. And lastly, I saw either another Coopers Hawk or Sharp Shin. I would like to say sharp shin, only because I had already seen a coopers.

9/6--So I was driving back from the town to work this morning at some gosh awful hour. I had planned on being back last night, but the retarded rescue of the girl with a dislocated shoulder, who ended up walking herself out after we put a sling on that her friends could have easily done, required some hiking and by the time I got back to town, for safety reasons I stayed there. So I was driving back this morning to make work at 8am and was dodging all the animals...rabbits, deer, chipmunks, turkey...and I got thinking some serious thoughts.

1. No matter what time I drive that road, animals are darting across in front of my vehicle. ??? Do these animals ever sleep?
2. Do they ever run across the road when I am not driving it or other cars are not there? You always see dead animals. Why don't they dart across when no cars are coming?
3. And is it a game they play like chicken? Are their friends waiting on the other side hoping they make it across? Do they get initiated into some club for making it? And if they don't make it, then they weren't meant to be in the club?
4. What is exactly on the other side for them? Why must they go over there?

9/7--Driving along in the backcountry, I smell it quickly approaching. A rain in the desert is nothing like a rain in the mountains. A rain in the desert smells so damn good. But when it rains in the desert, it pours quickly and leaves a lot of water in minutes. I am driving on another road I had never been on and quickly starting wondering if I was going to have to cross any washes because by looking at the sandstone slabs to my left, they were pouring water into every drainage there was. I paused to take a photo of some water behind me on the road. When I turned back around I found this...

And those three photos were taken within seconds of each other. Not sure how much was coming behind that flow, I jumped in the vehicle and got the hell out of there.

Sorry for the weekly delay, but I haven't had a chance to upload photos until tonight. Enjoy as always.

Week 2

Week 3

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