Snowbirds, Hummingbirds and Quail – the Koss Report



In this instalment we re-join Bill and Pat on their 2013-2014 adventure…

Jan 6, 2014

It was cold this morning, 0 C @ 8am; just so you know this desert thing is not all peaches and roses, the sun was shining in a cloudless sky however. We spent a leisurely morning around the trailer, had lunch then decided to go explore a bit. Today’s venture was east to the towns of Brenda, Salome and Vicksburg. Only a few miles east on the interstate to the junction with Highway 60 and we turned northeast to Brenda, the town consists of three really nice looking RV parks and a café and nothing else that we could see. The road dips into a large at valley, it looks like much of it was cultivated at one time but most of it has gone back to desert. We passed a lonely looking old black and white longhorn bull resting by a fence line but not much else. At the next junction we turned back south towards the freeway, just not much of interest to see. There are several large feed lots along the way as well as some huge alfalfa fields. The cattle in the lots all look to be dairy cows but we did not see any milking barns. Back in Quartzite we stopped for coffee and pie at Sweet Darlene’s then a quick stop at the market for milk and headed home.

The wind has dropped away so we sat outside and enjoyed the sun. The hummingbirds were patronizing Pats feeders and she got a few good pictures of them feeding as well as sitting in the trees. This is the first time we have ever heard a hummingbird sing, well sing is maybe too generous a description, mostly clicks beeps and chirps. There are Doves somewhere in the neighborhood, have been on the lookout for them on our walks but have not spotted any so far. There is quite a bit of dust in the air this evening and the sunset turned tan, brown and deep purple as the light faded away to night.

Jan 7, 2014

Minus 2 this morning, winter is slowly taking a grip on the desert. A few clouds around, but we hope it warms a bit before lunch so we can go for a walk. I have been noticing an interesting type of plant that seems to only be found in desert campgrounds. It is called Tinkle bush and only grows near RV’s parked in the desert. It is a chameleon type of plant that may appear as Creosote bush, Thorn Apple or even a Mesquite tree. It is found mainly in close proximity to RV’s with a large garbage bag hanging near the door to receive empty cans. Tinkle bush can be identifed by its vibrant green, well watered colour compared to its look-alike cousins. They show up in greater frequency as the snowbirds arrive and fade away as they leave. Just another little known fact about life in the desert.

Finally warmed up enough for us to venture out. On our walk we spotted the Doves and bit later a flock of Arbutus RV Koss Snowbird QuailQuail flew across the road in front of us. Walked for about an hour before we got back home. Now the sun is warming things nicely so it should be an outside afternoon.

Jan 9, 2014

Yesterday on our walk we saw a desert hare. He was just bounding along, not scared and crazy, but you could tell he wasn’t happy being out in the open. Today we went for our walk in the cool of the morning and were surprised to see a cottontail rabbit bounding along. He had the same concern about being out in the open and ducked into a wash under the trees and bushes as soon as we was able. While we were out strolling an ATV convoy came along.

We spent a bit of time in town after our walk and had lunch around one o’clock. It was warm enough this afternoon for a bit of sun tanning and general relaxation. Today we tried out our new beer can-chicken roaster. Ours is a bit of a derivative as it does not actually have a place for the can of beer. The chicken turned out excellent although it cooks a little faster than on the version with the beer can, any way it was delish! After dinner we went back outside and enjoyed the last of the sunset and watched the stars appearing. Cool-ish now so we are back inside for the evening.

We’ll continue sharing the Koss Snowbird report on a regular basis.

Looking for a quiet and sunny snowbird getaway spot? Check out this Oasis.


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