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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Potty talk

I got up at 5 AM, so anxious was I to get to CMO and get some projects done. And I started them as the sun was coming up. The beautiful sunrise to the east created a magical glow on the mountains to the west.

Since the forecast was for wind, I pushed myself to get as much done as possible before it got windy. It never got windy. Was a perfect day, overcast, calm, and between 70-78° all day. I got done all I had hoped to. If I can still move tomorrow, I plan to finish what I didn't get done today. Like finish the trail I roughed in to the male Lucifer Hummingbird's territory. Visitors are all surprisingly eager to go see it, so I want a safer way to get there. Roughed in is better than the previous "bushwacking" but hopefully I can do better. Locating the Lucifer is difficult and I'm not able to do it, but some of the really sharp birders can. Here's a picture of it to give you an idea of how hard it is to find in the vastness of the canyon landscape. 

I took the photo with my 400mm lens zoomed in all the way (after someone else spotted the bird). This is just one tiny segment of the area searched and you have the advantage of knowing it's in the photo. In real life, one has to search through the equivalent of a hundred of these photos for it. Give up? He's in front of the cluster of white flowers near the center of the photo.

Here is a heavily cropped shot of him flashing his gorget. Same location. You get the idea. He's way across the canyon. One viewer remarked that "isn't it strange that we have to actually see the bird? We can't content ourselves with a photo or video of it." Yup, it's strange.

About the potty. Years ago I bought an outhouse blind for photography as well as for privacy as a privy while camping. Usually when I'm expecting large groups I set it up so they don't have to walk nearly a block to the guesthouse, plus the toilet at the guesthouse is out of order more often than not. The other day I set up the outhouse tent (it's not simple and easy to do) and left it up overnight for the next group I was expecting since there was no wind and none forecast. Well, a horrible wind blew it down and ripped off the zipper door. 

It was either trash it or figure out a way to use it without the door. I always hated the door anyway. People had to step over the bottom of it, then struggle to zip themselves in, and back out again. I got really tired of taking it down every night. So I invented the "potty shed."

The little cabin my late husband and I built so we could enjoy sleeping in our oasis ended up becoming a storage shed for tools, pumps, bird feeders, bird feed and lots of other stuff after he died. It was a filthy eyesore. Now the outhouse tent is installed where wind can't affect it and it's shaded from the sun. No doorway to step over. No more oven-like conditions to deal with. You just go inside, hook the screen door if you desire, then clothespin the curtain to the line anchoring the tent. Pretty nifty. I only use it two weeks a year basically, but like the outhouses at Black Gap and other places, you just sprinkle lime in them occasionally and they stay odor-free and shouldn't need cleaning. I have a trash can for all the paper.

It was a lot of work. I had to totally remove everything from the cabin, saw apart the bed shelf, dig the [deep] hole for the potty, and all kinds of stuff. 

Pitaya cactus

Rainbow cactus

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