A male Gila woodpecker peeks out of his nest in a saguaro in the blue light before sunrise along the Jane Rau Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona in April 2019

On that April morning we were up before the sun, he and I, one to mend a broken heart, one to feed his hungry children. Ordinarily I would have loved to watch the comings and goings of this Gila woodpecker and his mate as morning broke but Ellie had died a week earlier and standing still meant being alone with my thoughts, a place I was not yet ready to be. I quickly moved on but with each passing week I was able to slow down more and more until I could happily stay in the moment for as long as my heart desired.

Not a Fan of Monsoons

Our tortoiseshell cat Trixie sleeps on the cat tree at our rental house in Scottsdale, Arizona in December 2018

Like all the cats, Trixie spent most of her life in the Northwest so the thunder and lightning of monsoon season are a new and unpleasant experience for her. We haven’t had many storms this summer but a mild one the other day really scared her for some reason. She hid in Boo’s favorite spot in one of the bathroom cabinets and wouldn’t come out for her dinner, we let her be and a while later I coaxed her out to eat. She ate about half and then slunk off, keeping as close to the floor as possible. I later found her in my bathroom closet, she had pulled out several of my heavy sweatshirts and made a nest. She looked so comfy had I been Trixie-sized I might have joined her. I gave her extra attention when she finally emerged and by morning she was back to normal.