A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Another Successful Hunt

The following morning we did our usual morning walk and Bean's went back to the same wash. 
 In no time at all she had another lizard, this one twice as large. 

 Again I fumbled with the photos and never got a shot of her carrying it in her mouth.  Soon the lizard stopped fighting and she dropped it where it just laid there doing nothing while she prodded it.

 It seemed like it was "playing possum" not something I ever thought lizards did.  
She eventually lost interest. 

 I picked up the lizard and couldn't see any external injury and it was barely breathing. 
 I placed the lizard on my arm and we walked back to camp where I had planned to pose it for some real nice photos.

 Naturally by the time I was ready the lizard came out from shock, 
showed some life, jumped off the table.

and scurried away beneath the RV.

We all know how astonishingly fast lizards are, it is amazing that this cat is even faster.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

First Blood

I took Beans out for her evening walk.  I let her pick the route and this time we followed along in a nearby dry wash. After a bit she spotted something and dove into a small sagebrush circling about it. She eventually backed out and continued on down the wash. I leaned in to take a closer look into the bush as if to see what she was after.  I was unaware she had caught her prey - a lizard, and was proudly carrying it with her on our walk. 

The lizard squirmed free and then I saw it.  As I was fumbling about getting my camera out the lizard's tail broke free from her grasp and wiggled about like a worm distracting Bean's attention while the lizard scooted away under my foot. 

The lizard's defense mechanism worked to perfection allowing it to escape while the sacrificed tail did what it was supposed to.  Poor beans looked all around knowing there was more to her catch than what she had in front of her and was totally baffled.

Friday, May 26, 2017

McCoy Flats

I discovered this place only because of the brown sign along the highway just outside of Vernal, Utah.
It is not listed on the freecampsites website I always refer to.  Three miles in on a paved road (I like that) is the trail head for numerous hiking and biking trails 

We camped across the road from the trail head with this view from our front yard.
We are the only ones camping in the entire McCoy Flats area.  Lucky us.
As you already know, it looks much nicer and more impressive than the photo.

I went for a hike into the foothills behind the parking area.
So many times I have come across a lone bone during my hikes which always makes me wonder
"Where are the rest of the bones?"

It is absolutely quiet as can be here with the only sound to heard are birds chirping.

There was nothing of any interest to find here, nothing much to see either.  Lots of hind ends of bunnies as they run away from me.  Two lizards and some prairie dogs chirping a warning but I could never locate the little guys themselves.  I guess so few people ever come here that they are not used to them as are the prairie dogs of Rabbit Valley who were very curious.

The evening of the first day here.
That night the wind really roared shaking the RV rocking me to sleep.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Enough of This!

Why we only stayed two nights at Pelican Lake.

These bugs are not sitting on the window but are actually flying around just outside the window.

This I'd rather see outside the window.

Good-bye Pelican Lake!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The South

This scene reminded me of when Sinbad and I toured the south at this time four years ago.

The South is my favorite part of America to tour and it is in the plan 
for Beans and I to do it possibly next year.

Then there was this to spoil the scene.  
Fisherman fillet their catch and toss the carcass at the waters edge.  
That is so wrong.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Following the Fence Line

The Trail of Unlucky Rabbits.

I like to follow along fence lines for I most always find something interesting.  Birds of prey will use the larger anchoring posts to perch on while eating whatever they have caught.  
Usually I find the bones of rodents left behind.

This time though I found a rabbit's foot which appears his luck had run out.

Further on another foot, possibly the same rabbit if the bird had moved on down the line 
or an altogether different kill.

Ah but this one here left no doubt in my mind.
You can see the larger anchoring post in the background.

The meat was still fresh so I suspect this rabbit hopped his last the day before, 
only he didn't quite hop quite fast enough.

 Birds always lighten their load upon take-off.

Unfortunately my camera did not focus on the fur but I decided to included this photo anyway as I've never run across this before.  The fur had long bristles attached which looked like those of a deer or pronghorn antelope which I saw one of during this hike.  I just cannot imagine the animal getting hung up on this barbed wire trying to get under it and ripping off a strip of hide like that.  
That had to really hurt something fierce.

I'd think an antelope could jump over wire three plus feet high.  
It wasn't a coyote for the coyote could squeeze under that low wire easily.  If he did get hung up they are smart enough the back up.  Now if he was on the run after something or for his life and hit that barb running full-on out, then that is a possibility.  Strange.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Beans and Water

We are at Pelican Lake which I feel would be better named Mosquito Lake.
Although there are gillions of them flying around I have not been bit once.
I don't understand it but that's fine with me.

Down by the lake's edge I wondered how far she would go.

After this photo she turned around and both front legs went in about half way.  It didn't phase her a bit and she carried on like it was nothing  It makes me wonder if she is one of those rare cats that would swim, not that I would ever test her on that.  I still think back to my dear little Sinbad who would never go near water at all.  This is a whole new experience for me...and her.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Western Heritage Museum

Another cold day and another attempt to be somewhere warm.
Inside I was mildly successful although they could have turned the heat up even more.

 It was a small little museum filled with lots of old stuff, 
well after all that's what museums are for.

Ah but again I was plagued with a hoard of second graders in attendance.
I will give them a better score than those at the dinosaur museum as they were better controlled much to the credit of the museum staff conducting their tour. 

This old organ I thought photo-worthy

for the back was open to view.  
I bet this organ with its vacuum tubes produced a better sound than modern day electronic models.

I was intrigued in the collection of bows and arrows made by the local Ute Indians.  
The kids ran me off and I intended to go back and take a picture but of course forgot to do so.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Outside With the Dinosaurs

 It was very cold outside (tiny snowflakes falling) which seems to be the situation all over in the southwest right now as some cold air mass has moved down from the north.  This made me think of the time of dinosaurs, the weather then wasn't all so peachy all the time.  No doubt freak cold air masses were forced down into their habitat by the jet stream occasionally.

The colors and patterns are all speculation by the scientists and artists.
No one really knows.

All my life, given the choice to go back to any period of time, I would choose the time of dinosaurs.

I think it would be fascinating to see them in real life,

ah but I would probably end up being a tasty little morsel for somebody.

Not a dinosaur but for as cold as it was this woolly mammoth is well suited for it.

And I leave you with utterly embarrassing monstrosity that greets you upon entering
Vernal, Utah.  Boy, if I lived here I'd start up a petition to have that thing replaced.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Utah Field House of Natural History

What better place to spend some time when snowflakes are falling outside?

Ahh, very nice and warm inside.

The exhibits were nicely done and I had the place all to myself.

At the senior discount ticket price of $3.50 I was really enjoying myself. 
Turtles and tortoises are quite abundant in fossil form for the carapace preserves very well. 
The inside of a tortoise I found interesting.

I liked this wall of plant fossils the best.
That would be so cool to have in your home.

A six-horned saber toothed herbivore. 
I'll not try to write out the scientific names for these animals.

Anyway, what they think they looked like.

Not all animals of the past were so strange looking and this little guy they felt traveled in large groups or herds for there are numerous individuals together in fossil finds.

All good things eventually come to an end.  A school bus of elementary school kids arrived and the screaming, shrieking and yelling reverberating off the museum walls as if being inside a large enclosed metal container forced me outside in the cold with the snowflakes.