The Perfect Tuck

Our cat Boo sleeps curled up on our bed on January 29, 2022. Original: _ZFC8913.NEF

Boo in my second favorite of his sleeping positions, the one I call The Full Louganis as his perfect tuck reminds me of Olympic divers. Despite appearances he does have arms, but our boneless Boo doesn’t always follow the laws of physics. I’m about 90% convinced he’s from this universe and about 70% convinced he’s from this planet.

Late Winter Morning

Our cat Sams sleeps curled up on our bed on January 29, 2022. Original: _ZFC8891.NEF

Sam sleeping on our bed late on a winter morning. When I get home from work he’s usually either sleeping here with brother Boo or sitting on my footstool, waiting for me to come home. As soon as I sit down he jumps up for a snuggle, he may have the expected muscle loss for a cat his age but he is as sweet as ever.

If I Could Change Careers …

Green and gray lichen grow on a granite rock on the Vaquero Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 9, 2022. Originals: _ZFC7597.NEF to _ZFC7630.NEF

If I could snap my fingers and change careers, I’d like to study lichen. It’s not that they are my favorite organism or anywhere near the top of the list, but rather I think they’d be endlessly fascinating to study and just as importantly, move at my speed. If you know anyone looking for a lichenthrope with no biological training and rather high salary demands, hit me up.

Their color is supposed to be influenced by their pigments, photosynthesis components, and how wet they are, but I suspect their favorite flavor of curry also plays a role. The lichen in the first picture clearly favors green curry, the greatest of the curries, while in the second we have fans of red and yellow. The gray lichen I assume understand that variety is the spice of life and enjoy them all.

Orange, yellow, and gray lichen grow on a granite rock on the Vaquero Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 9, 2022. Originals: _ZFC7499.NEF to _ZFC7524.NEF

Fast Friends

A female American kestrel perches on a dead tree on the 118th Street Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona on February 5, 2022. Original: _CAM4289.ARW

I was up before sunrise, though not as early as I would have liked, I blame the orange tabby who when he heard me stirring curled up under my chin and started purring. As I finally rolled out of bed and left for my hike I brought my macro lens for a shot I hoped to take, overly optimistic given the predicted winds, and as soon as I stepped out of the car I realized my folly. Changing plans I instead visited trails that by now feel like old friends, just happy to be out in the desert as the sun rose. Halfway in I met if not an old friend then a fast one, perched on a dead tree in the early light.

Meeting her took some of the sting out of later walking past my favorite saguaro and seeing fresh damage on some of her arms, and near the end of the hike passing a dead tree I had photographed before that had broken and fallen over.

Between Storms

Our cat Trixie sleeps on a throw pillow on the futon in our house in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 26, 2021. Original: _RAC9690.ARW

Trixie sleeps on a throw pillow in the fall, in between the sound and fury of the summer monsoons and the gentler winter rains. Even in winter if the rain comes with a bit of wind she may sneak beneath the blankets, just in case. So spare a thought for her and her brothers with the storm coming on Monday, as we’re getting the roof replaced. And unlike the house in Portland, there’s no respite two floors down where you can hide, this house is but one floor.

A Winter’s Yawn

Our cat Sam yawns while sleeping in a basket beside a window in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 7, 2022. Original: _ZFC7426.NEF

The warmth of the winter sun in the desert almost makes up for the loss of the wooden grate in the house in Portland that blew warm air on your belly as you slept.

Almost.