Sunday, May 9, 2010

If You've Got Two Kidneys Then You've Got One To Spare

Forster's Tern or Angel Of Death?

So check this out.  Last night I slept in General Hitchcock Campground off the Catalina Highway (Mt Lemmon area).  A Whiskered Screech-Owl and the first Flammulated Owl I've heard in many years sung sweet lullabies, but shortly after I fell asleep I was awakened by a Whip-poor-will that was singing enthusiastically next to my car.  If you are not acquainted, a Whip-poor-will is a relatively large, nocturnal bird that simply says, with much gusto and volume, "whip-poor-will!" over and over and over and over again at night.  I've only ever seen/heard a few, so I was stoked to be sleeping next to one.....but it kept waking me up all night.

Early morning at Organ Pipe National Monument.

The deadly and powerful Mexican Jay.

At one point, it invaded my dreams.  I dreamt I was standing in a large house, listening to this Whip-poor-will, trying to figure out where the hell it was.  I looked into a large room to try to find it, and was surprised to see a beautiful, topless, large-breasted girl in a bed.  We started talking, whilst the Whip-poor-will continued unabated.  At this point, I was pretty stoked.  Who gets to see boobs and listen to Whip-poor-wills at the same time? 

Another Broad-billed Hummingbird.  They've thinned out from our cabin lately.  I'll miss them!

This is the massive Blue-throated Hummingbird, the behemoth of hummers that can be found north of Mexico.  They kick around the almost-as-big Magnificent Hummingbirds with impunity.  You can't really see the true scale of this bird in the picture, but its about the size of a Cessna.

Suddenly, I was bombarded with the awful sound that was my alarm clock.  The girl and her bed and the house dissolved into blackness.  It was a quarter after four in the morning, and I was sleeping in my filthy car in a parking lot somewhere on a mountain in Arizona.  The nearby Whip-poor-will, realizing the tragedy that had just befallen me, gave me some more cheerful encouragement before I drove slowly up the mountain.  Hopefully my nocturnal buddy had a better morning than I did.

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