18 September 2005

Living Desert

On Friday the 16th, we drove to the north end of town and visited the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/nmparks/PAGES/PARKS/DESERT/Desert.htm It was pretty interesting, although it was really hot and most of the animals were pretty sleepy. We had a good time walking the park and seeing a bunch of lizards, they were everywhere. Probably the most amazing park of walking through the park was the snake exhibit. They had a couple of different windows with Western Diamond Back Rattle Snakes, and they were not happy to see us. The first one we came across instantly started rattling and coiled into a strike position right in front of the window. Once we got our pictures of this guy we moved on quickly, he seemed under a lot of stress and I didn’t want him to strike at the window and hurt himself. I can honestly say that I’m glad that snake was behind glass because it was NOT happy to have us stand there and watch him rattle. At least I now know what it sounds like in real life…good to know while we are in the desert. I think these guys were glad that snake was behind glass too. Aren’t they cute? Again, all through the walk we encountered lizards, and one fearless cricket/grasshopper/whatever. Bill even tapped the ground right next to this with his shoe to get him to move off the trail so he wouldn’t get squished…he didn’t even twitch, so we moved on. The Cougar was probably my favorite part, when we walked up she was back in the shade and hard to see. Almost immediately she got up and walked right over to us and made chuffing/meowing noises at me…it was great, made my day. Probably the funniest part of the walk through the zoo was through the aviary…when Bill was dive bombed by some misc bird, flew right into his head. Scared the crap out of him and had me laughing so hard I almost couldn’t walk. I’m so compassionate. All in all, it was pretty fun, and we saw a lot of lizards, and I have to post this pic of this groundhog...just because I can.


PS - Update on the weather...we had a storm come through last night with high winds, lightening and thunder, and of course...hail! Figures. The hail only lasted for a few minutes at a time, but was so loud with the wind driving it into the trailer that Bill and I had to cover our ears...it was pretty crazy. It wasn't golfball sized like in PA, but it was really loud because of the wind throwing it at us. I've never experienced hail before when it was 90+ degrees out, so that was a first for me.