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Warm Days, Cool Nights

Autumn has come to the Valley, which means the nights can actually drop into the low 60's (which is rather chilly for us - I wore a sweater this morning!) while the days still swing into the 90's, although only 96 today. It'll be in the 80's by the middle of the week. Up and down, up and down. It should stay like this for a few weeks, perhaps well into November, depending.

The sunsets are AMAZING. Tonight's was a blaze of color, turning Camelback Mountain into a lovely deep rose while the sky was on fire with reds and golds as the sky swirled, deeper and richer than a watercolor, more true than oil, it stretched across the entire sky in broad brushstrokes, daring artists to capture it in any medium (I mourned the fact I never can quite get my little camera to do it -- too much color, not enough expertise).

We finally managed to see one of the little ground-digging rodents that we know live in the park; we've always thought the holes were being made by ground squirrels, but this critter was wholly new to us, with a wide nose, almost naked tail, very tiny ears, and little round body. Doing a little research, I think it's a pocket gopher, which appear to be scattered across the southwest and are protected like most desert wildlife, although you can exterminate them if they're causing damage.

As far as I can tell, they only live in our park, although we saw this one above-ground being harassed by a mockingbird in a yard next to said park; the bird flew away when we came up, while the little gopher started trying to dig a new hole and showed us its formidable teeth as though to say, "Back off!!!" We did so, keeping Bo from lunging forward to investigate this critter.

Ritz bought back garlic flavor. I am happy.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 8th, 2013 02:15 am (UTC)
Awwww, it's a cute little thing!
Oct. 8th, 2013 03:11 am (UTC)
It had some WICKED teeth, Ms. Critter-Keeper! (Although I will admit I almost--almost!--wanted to pet it!)

Oct. 8th, 2013 03:13 am (UTC)
Rodent teeth can be pretty impressive. They grow constantly and have to keep getting ground down (which is why rodents gnaw all the time), and they're sometimes orange, so they can look intimidating for sure.
Oct. 8th, 2013 03:20 am (UTC)
Oh yes, I know!

I'd love to have mices (or a Rat), but space...!
Oct. 8th, 2013 04:10 am (UTC)
i'm SO glad the heat broke here. It was about 55 today and as the wind blows in on me now I'm thinking it's around the high 40s. I'll sleep good tonight. Glad you aren't melting into the sand any more out there.

Aw the pocket gopher is cute. I use them sometimes in my summer lectures.
Oct. 8th, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't miss summers.

I didn't even know we HAD gophers around here!
Oct. 9th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
I'm sure you don't

I didn't know they were there precisely but them and kangaroo rats make it into the lectures on how things adapt to surviving the desert
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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