Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Secret Room!!!!!

Back to the animals at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  As I walked quietly along the path, I saw a coyote trotting off down the hill ..... BEFORE I noticed the very thin netting around the enclosure.  A little further along, this lady was napping in the warm sun.  Although Patty and I have seen some beautiful coyotes in her area, these guys give you a chance to see them up close and personal.
They're looking pretty healthy, but were still a little shy as they moved around the enclosure.  This beauty heard a golf cart coming and thought it was dinner time!!
A little larger, the Mexican wolf was pacing around his enclosure.  He's really not growling here ... this was the end result of a big yawn!
You have to look pretty hard to find some of the animals.  Just like in the wild, they like to hide.
The mountain lion hung out at the mouth of her cave.  What a beauty she was!!  Just staring at the visitors staring at her!!
There are lots of finches flitting around through the trees and bushes.  Being finches, they move at lightning speed everywhere, so it's hard to get a good side view.  There are many places to sit and relax on the hike around the area.  Once the kids leave, the birds will come out.
Here's a big pile of bobcat!!  There's actually two snoozing here on the ledge, but even with my close-up lens, I couldn't see what legs belonged to who!!
Most rest areas even have sun shades.  As you look across the valley, you can actually see two small mountains in Mexico.  
It's like a treasure hunt, trying to find the animals.  This little fox was only visible from high above through a tiny space in the trees.  Most of these critters hunt at night and sleep during the day.
Otters in the desert?  I guess so, as this sweet little girl was eating the last of her breakfast.  Like most kids, she ate the sweet apples first, then finally grabbed a piece of broccoli.  I'm not sure they can find broccoli in the wild, but it keeps her healthy!
The bighorn sheep were finishing off breakfast as I looked down into their enclosure.  This big brute was VERY interested in the female!!
Here's another example of keep your eyes open and listen for what Mother Nature has for you.  This cactus wren kept flying to the top of a saguaro, so I just sat and waited.  I thought she was getting food from the hole .....
Then I heard all the squawking ... she (or he) was putting food INTO the hole and in her baby's mouth ... or maybe this is Mom sitting on eggs!!   I'm sure no one noticed as they all walked by without looking up.  
Around towards the end I entered the bird aviary.  Same goes here ..... you really have to have patience and listen quietly .... and you will be rewarded with amazing sights.  This Stellar Jay was digging a hole under the rock where he was hiding his peanuts.  
With beak open, he would dig down, and swipe the soil away until the hole was to his liking.  Then he would carefully place the peanut and cover it back up.  It's just amazing to watch Mother Nature at work.
I've never seen a roadrunner up close, except in cartoons.  Hidden in one corner, this beauty was doing his thing, bobbing up and down.  Who knew they had blue feathers in their tails??  He definitely blends in with his surroundings!
The last little aviary held hummingbirds, LOTS of them, only visible to those who stopped and remained still.  When the three kids came through the plastic chains yelling there was nothing in here, I shushed them loudly and pointed to this beauty as I explained they needed to be quiet to see them.  
They tiptoed the rest of the way, pointing out hummer after hummer!!  So did Dad, I might add!!
There was a tiny nest in one tree, with this too-large baby across the walkway.  Mom was still feeding him until he gets his wings under control!!
Walking through the gift shop at the end of my hunt for the animals, I found lots of treasures.  You just have to look UP.  On the very top shelf was an old Navajo Wedding basket, used in their wedding ceremonies.  There are lots of these made in Thailand, but not so many REAL ones left.  This one, as you can see by the patina, was actually used in a ceremony where they fill it with ground corn which is shared by everyone at the wedding.  I bought it!!  I didn't even have to think twice.  It's creases are still filled with ground corn.
While admiring the pottery in the next room, I heard a gentleman say one piece needed to go to the "back room".  I tilted my head to hear more!!  Back room I said? .... you have a secret back room?  He just looked at me.  Could I SEE the secret back room??  Curiosity got me in trouble again as he said ok, if I was really interested!!

Down the stairs, around the corner and into the ROOM, I found treasures galore.  Pots and jars made famous by the potters of Mata Ortiz.  It's not ancient pottery, but it IS pottery made with the exact same ingredients and exactly the same way as the ancient people made them.   Handmade clay coils, very thin walls and fired with burning dried cow manure, then painted with paints made from all natural vegetation.  

The Secret Room got me in trouble.  I oohed and ahhhhed over every single piece as he took them down and placed them on the velvet cloth.  I left VERY happy and VERY broke with a large jar made by Jorge Quintana, one of the masters of this kind of pottery!!  Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of my jar before it was carefully packed away in a box that will ride on my soft bed all the way home.  I took this image from the internet, as it resembles the one I purchased, although mine has much more of the black painted designs.  
It was a spectacular find, the Secret Room, but I don't recommend you enter unless you leave all your valuables at home!!  This room will get you in BIG trouble!!  I'm going back for more pictures, but I will definitely stay AWAY from the secret room!

Being as it was Saturday yesterday, I knew the car races would be going strong.  After the first run however, I knew it wasn't just car races.  This was DRAG RACING!!!  When I couldn't stand it any longer, I jumped in the car and drove around the corner.  I'll post those images tomorrow!!  

After a quick dinner of frozen mac n cheese (don't buy Chili's version, it's bad) the puppies and I watched TV as I dreamed about my new jar!!  


  1. Vyaadka happy man. Ms Nancy getting ready, make wedding preperations with basket full of ground corn. Vyaadka not sure what ground corn for but if it make Ms Nancy happy then Vyaadka happy.

  2. It's an old Indian American tradition Vyaadka before you get married an Indian Maiden has to grind up all the corn into a fine powder and I mix it with a little bit of plaster and the best man has to take and make a paste for the bridesmaids and the bridesmaids have to stuff it in the right and left ear and then up both sides of the nostril have to stay that way until it hardens it's an old Indian tradition so that case the new sqaw bride is not a good cook you can't smell it if she burns it,,, and if she's one that likes to henpeck you, you won't be able to Hear as well so there you go that's why the Indians use a lot of corn flour that's their secret recipe for success
    You know it works because anytime you ever watch any old 40s and 50s Indian western movie they always use sign language and smoke signals don't let the smoke signals fool you that's actually the wife trying to cook but she's covering it up with a blanket
    And when she calls he can't hear her and come home to eat,, much rather have vodka with white man,, more fun
    that your history lesson for today

    Sent from my corn pad