Posted by: atowhee | October 11, 2009

Getting there is part of the fun

Driving along Lake Abert I saw far more birds than cars even though it is a federal highway.  There were four Harriers, cruising the shoreline, hoping to find an unwary duck or shorebird perhaps.  Then speeding past was a blur of brown, a Merlin travelling in a straight line at high speed, as always.HARRIER ALONG L.ABERT Here’s the best I could do with one of the Harriers.  Northeast of Lake Abert I drove through sand dunes:IMG_0184










And just up the road from that I had to swerve to avoid a pedestrian in the middle of the otherwise empty highway. I will admit I may have been going a shade over the speed limit which I imagine must be about 75 MPH on those vacant straighaways.  At any rate (of speed) I did a valient swerve, missed the nonchalant walker and then slammed on the brakes.  Here’s my picture of the guy as he sauntered off to the edge of the road, not the least concerned that I might have hit him, or hit the ditch if there had been one.COYOTE LOOKS BACKWiley the Coyote had been making his territorial fecal deposit directly the highway center line and my passing, at any speed, was totally irrelevant.  His look back at me said, “You are just passing through.  This is my territory and I have thus marked my claim.  I live lightly on the land, and you, interloper, could not live here at all.  And your dependence on the highway which is really mine just shows how unfit you are to compete with me here.  Adios.”     And then he slowly moved off, just his alert ears tipping above the sagebrush.

At one stop west of Adel, I was confronted by a pushy local, but his behavior succeeded in garnering a few potato chips, something he has learned to relish.  One of his partners preferred grapes.GMGRND SQRL

This is the golden-mantled ground squirrel, a mountaineer and lover of Ponderosa, as well as potato chips.

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