After the movers packed up our belongings, I took a quick picture with my phone before leaving the rental house for the last time. Or almost the last time, I was back yesterday to let the carpet cleaner in. As excited as I am about our new house, I was a little sad pulling away from the rental house as it was a great home for us during our first year in Arizona. That’s my Crosstrek out front, its utility proved itself multiple times both on the move a year ago and in this last move, even if I replace it with something a little better suited to my current commute I will always love this little Subaru.
At the back of the large backyard was this old bird feeder, it provided endless entertainment for both me and the cats during our year there. I saw 30 bird species over the year, many of which fed at or below the feeder. The most surprising visitors were the boisterous rosy-faced lovebirds, they aren’t native but a population has established itself in Scottsdale.
Our aging and somewhat senile pup misses both the grass and familiarity of the rental house so we’re toying with laying some artificial turf over a small patch of the granite pebbles to give her a comfortable place to go the bathroom and to be outside. We weren’t sure if she would like it but Home Depot kindly gave us a sample to try and she seemed to like it. We’re not going to install anything permanently, and it won’t come with rabbits like the real grass at the rental house, just want to give her a comfortable place to call her own to help her adapt to her new home.
I keep a spreadsheet of what animals I see each month not only in the parks I visit but in places I’ve lived. During our 16 years in the urban neighborhood of our Portland house I recorded 10 bird species for the month of March. In a few days at our new house in Scottsdale I’ve seen 13! Including this lovely male cardinal who sang to me on the day the mover’s arrived with our belongings. He serenaded Ellie and I this morning as we relaxed on the back porch. Verdin were building a nest in the buckhorn cholla in the common area below the house. Lesser goldfinches flitted about, curve-billed thrashers called out. A pair of Gambel’s quail fed near the house as Sam and Trixie watched eagerly from the windows. Phainopepla, mourning doves, house finches, house sparrows, gila woodpeckers, a pair of Harris’s hawks soaring overhead. I stood dumbfounded watching a robin, a bird I’ve known from everywhere I’ve lived but had no idea lived in Arizona. Yesterday on my first commute home from a work a roadrunner darted across the road (with no coyote in hot pursuit).
With all these birds so close at hand I may not go hiking anymore! (Just kidding)
We’re taking the pets up to the new house this afternoon and will spend our first night there, with the movers packing up the rental house tomorrow and delivering on the next day. This is Ellie enjoying a sunny day in the backyard of the rental house, we’ve had a great year here and have loved the house and the neighborhood but are very much looking forward to being settled into our new home.
A mourning dove perches in a palm tree in the backyard of our rental house. We have a couple of dwarf palms in the backyard of the new house but they don’t allow full-size palms (there are native trees in front and back).
One of the joys of our rental house has been the abundance of doves, from the larger white-winged doves to the little Inca doves. After the white-wings migrated out it was the mourning doves who were the dominant bird we saw all winter, providing endless entertainment for the cats who watched them from the windows.
I decided it was finally time to tell Ellie there’s no grass at the new house. She took it well I think.