You can tell Spring is here since early morning in my back yard sounds like a symphony. I'm getting to know the birds at the Museum by their calls, which is pretty unusual since I'm not really a bird person. Shhhhh don't tell Jonathan that!! Or maybe it's BECAUSE of Jonathan that I love to watch them.
I even bought a book so I could identify each one. It didn't help me one bit with the kid above. They must be very sure-footed when they land ... ouch!!
This one I know ... a cactus wren. They must have feet of steel.
Why you ask? Because here's our favorite cholla ... the jumping cactus that will get you if you wander too close. Notice anything different?
There's a nest built at the top ... an amazing piece of architecture to be sure. The only reason I noticed it is because I was standing with camera ready when a wren flew down to it and disappeared. Unfortunately, I couldn't off-road to a suitable camera position without getting caught, but she's in there!!
As I was walking along keeping an ear open, I heard a baby squawking for breakfast. It took me awhile to find him at the very top of a 30 foot saguaro. I waited, but Mom never showed. He was still begging when I left.
Then I heard it. A very distinct call followed by a flash of red. This is a terrible picture taken right into the sun, but I wasn't going to miss a cardinal picture. I've probably only seen them once in my life. They just don't get any more magnificent than this guy!!
There's SO much more to see. Seriously, even their gift shops are magnificent. Too bad for me it was so early the restaurant was still closed. I opted for the coffee shop's finest stale bear claw and screaming hot hot chocolate. My plan was to await the restaurant opening at 11:00. I sat down on the veranda.
Who should appear but this beauty. Here I stalked a bird for over an hour trying to capture a cardinal image and all I had to do was sit on the veranda.
The female was quickly followed by the male!
Still not the best pictures. They were about 30 feet away and not interested in company nor would they sit still for even one second. I inched forward and sadly they flew away.
So that's it for the birds. The big aviary was locked up tight, I suspect for cleaning, and we were not allowed in. There is a hummingbird aviary and the biggest surprise ... a pet-the-stingray exhibit. For a few dollars more (I'm surprised they charge extra) you can get up close and personal with what I'm guessing is a fresh water ray. I did not take them up on the experience ... maybe next time.
Believe it or not, I've got two more days of images. As I said, the place is huge and they do give you your money's worth.
Here's a picture of the hot water heater. Yup .... those are all water lines coming up through the floor. There is lots of room in the back, so it would appear a pan is doable, but not by the current plumber.
The really big surprise of the day came when I answered a phone call from an unknown Arizona number. It was the boss of Riteway Plumbing (even though I called Vail Plumbing for the work). He wanted to know what he could do to make me get rid of that one star rating on Google.
Well nothing really, since the pan can't be installed, but I was gracious enough saying I appreciated him at least calling and getting my side of the story.
Last night I got ANOTHER call. Seriously, I rarely answer a number I don't know. It was the Plumbing Company Supervisor who asked what he could do to make me change the Google review. Well .... refund me the $179 I spent on the faucet install I said ... laughing because I knew they had no intention of doing that.
Guess what! A check will be mailed to me next week for $179.00. That was a shocker!! When I get the check, I'll change my review. I have to respect a company that actually reads and responds to every review. Now I can buy those two plants I spotted at the Desert Museum that will look amazing in my back yard!!!