The quail family did not return and although I miss them, I'm glad they are now on their own. I found out that the whole thing about human smell and refusing to accept a baby handled by human hands is just a myth...most birds don't have a sense of smell...of course the 'circle birds' (the name given to vultures by my daughter when she was little) are an exception and I'm sure there are others in this category.
And so life 'before quail' resumes, full of other desert delights, like our trip to Mt. Lemmon yesterday. We decided to get out of the 100* heat predicted and drove up to 8000 feet to the tiny village of Summerhaven. This town is newly resurrected since it burned down in a fire several years ago. A decent restaurant, community center, a market and quite a few houses have been recently built and perched here and there on the mountainsides. Here is an example of the type of architecture. The area reminded me a lot of Tahoe and the high Sierra region of California.
On the way down the mountain, we took a walk by a lake at around 7000ft. The temperature at this elevation was pleasant, around 80* I would say. Young families were fishing all around the lake, catching very small rainbow trout. Although it wasn't allowed, my friend and I let our dogs swim for a few minutes, throwing sticks into the water where there were no fisher-persons. By the time we made the short walk back to the car they were dry!
The views from high up on the Catalina's ridges are truly spectacular-- This is looking down into the Tucson valley---->
Along the road there are also what is known as hoodoos, rock formations that are formed by wind. Many look like the easter island carvings. I find them fascinating and could study them for hours...
All in all it was a wonderful day and when we arrived home to 98* it didn't seem that hot! A light breeze was blowing and so we took our beer outside and sat in the shade under the porch overhang watching birds come to the feeders. A desert flicker came by and had a drink out of the hummingbird feeder! I was amazed but in this dry climate I''m sure they do whatever is necessary to get water...We had our dinner outside, watching the Catalinas' change from brown to mauve to purple in the twilight.
At sunset an orange line lay across the dark mountains to the west, the new moon forming a sliver of light like a smile in the indigo sky beneath Venus.