It's rained every day since last Saturday (eight days ago) but meteorologists say the real monsoon won't start till Tuesday when the rains are supposed to fall for real. As far as I am concerned, based on the daily storms since Wednesday, the monsoon in this part of the state has already started. It's not been a day too soon as the fires have helped contain some of the area wildfires.
The nice thing about this precipitation is that it's bringing out the wildlife, both the good kind and the not-so-good kind.
Yesterday on my way into town I saw a Gambel's Quail cross the road of a busy country road. I slowed down for the bird, and then saw at least ten chicks behind the mother bird. I swirved to the right to avoid the little critters, then slowed down and then stopped, much to the chagrin of the pick-up driver behind me. (Screw him). The driver going the other direction also stopped and I hope I didn't hit any other chicks. They were so hard to see as they blended into the scenery.
We used to have a covey of quail in our back yard, but they have long since moved on once the quail realized we moved in with three cats. I enjoy the morning cries of the male Gambel's Quail.
This morning as I was putzing around the garden supply bench in the back yard I was spooked by a little striped lizard, the Arizona striped whiptail that was determined to catch a cricket. It caught the cricket twice but twice the cricket managed to jump out of the lizard's mouth. The third time's a charm as the determined little lizard managed to bite the cricket and swallow it as it ran off for its next meal.
I've been seeing a lot of the striped lizards in and around the yard. Now that I know what it likes to eat the lizards are welcome to any and all of the crickets!
We have been getting lots of crickets and June beetles these last few weeks and even more so since the rains. There's one in my van and there are several in the house. I see new dead beetles and crickets all over the house. Sometimes the beetles annoy me when they buzzbomb me while I am reading or writing in the house. Those slow-moving beetles are rather awkward as well, bumping into the lights above.
A few nights ago a toad, a TOAD jumped across the living room. What was it doing in the house? I captured it and set it free in the front yard.
I also saw a beautiful Oriole a few days ago, with its bright orange belly giving away its hiding spot in the photinia along the northern fence line. A few other interesting birds have also appeard near the bird feeders.
http://www.reptilesofaz.com/Lizards-Subpages/h-a-arizonae.html (this site claims the lizard is only in northern Cochise County, but what I see in my back yard is definitely this little guy)