August 26, 2013

summertime means lizards

close-up of Arizona Whiptail Lizard photo by Jennifer Kistler 2013
Summer means lots of lizards around here. There are a couple that hang around our front porch, startling me as they scurry under the small bushes when I walk by, or sunning themselves on the posts (and one also likes to cling to a window screen in the sun). One occasionally walks across our back covered deck/porch and disappears over the edge. One day I had the hose running to fill up a bucket so the kids could refill their water guns easily, and we noticed one of the pretty striped lizards nearby. We all stood still and he walked right under me and started drinking water that was on the stepping stone. I slowly moved away and got my camera.

We think the lizards are really cool. The little creatures that live in or visit our yard are almost like having pets that we don't have to take care of, which is awesome! (Except the dangerous Arizona Bark Scorpions. They are really not welcome here.)

Arizona Whiptail Lizard drinking water off stone photo by Jennifer Kistler copyright 2013
thirsty lizard in our back yard

Arizona Whiptail Lizard photo by Jennifer Kistler 2013 Prescott AZ
Arizona Striped Whiptail Lizard

August 22, 2013

summertime means old cars

cool flame paintjob
Summer means old cars are out around here. Actually, it is sunny so much of the year, car enthusiasts can enjoy their special rides (even convertibles and ones with no side windows) almost year-round, which is how we ended up here. Really? you ask. Yup. We only knew about Prescott because my parents knew about Prescott (and then moved here) and told us about it. And they knew about Prescott because my dad is really into old cars, and he has several buddies (whom he met at various car shows and through other friends over the years) who live here.

So I suppose it's fitting that we should attend the Watson Lake Car Show this August. I've been to so many car shows over my lifetime (and participated in a few when I had my 1967 Mustang) that I almost don't care anymore. Almost. I still manage to find cars to get excited about seeing! Guess it's in my blood. Although it was quite hot (and I was glad my family didn't insist on staying all day), we saw a neat variety of vintage automobiles. We had fun picking what to vote for (for people's choice awards). And in the vendor area, Steven found a couple Hot Wheels he had wanted to add to his collection (that's what he's holding in the photo below).

my boys next to my dad's roadster

love the metallic forest green on this pickup...

...and it had a really neat stained-glass rear window

I'll always love the Mustangs!

car with stunning paintjob and decal honoring the 19 Hotshots

neat old log truck

August 14, 2013

by myself

blooming prickly pear cactus
The kids have gone back to school.

It's quiet here by myself.

I'm mostly fine with that. I need my alone time to recharge. Some solitude is good for the soul. But it is a little weird, especially at the beginning of each school year.

I'm alone with my own self-discipline (or lack of) and to-do list. Alone with my daydreams and nostalgia. It's a wonderful, and dangerous, place to be.

So I will do chores and get busy with work projects. I will rejoice that I get to pick my background music, without anyone complaining or making fun of it! And each day, before I know it, it will be time to pick the boys up from school.

August 1, 2013

on a summer evening walk

hummingbird moth photograph
hummingbird moth
Some summer evenings we go for walks in our neighborhood. On any given evening, we might see a sunset, lightning in the distance, a rainbow, a bat flying, quail, and usually plenty of wild bunnies (and a few airplanes). The kids have taken to keeping a bunny count each time. I don't usually take a camera with me, but sometimes wished I had.

Last night, we didn't even make it out of our own front yard without having to go back in and get my good camera. We had noticed an interesting large insect at one of our flowering plants, then another, and another. Hummingbird moths! (We looked them up later; specifically White-Lined Sphinx Moths.) We stood and watched them for many minutes. They are super cool bugs! We found if we approached the plants slowly and then stood still, they would fly very close. I think my boys wish they could be pets. One said they were awesome. When we came back from our walk we noticed many more around our front yard, at least a dozen. After being creeped out by huge beetles, a couple scorpions, and fire ants this summer, it was nice to see a bug like this. Maybe other people have seen them a hundred times, but we had never seen any and were totally excited about them! I think we're going to sound like tourists in our town for some time to come, with everything so new and different to us.

white-lined sphinx month photograph by Jennifer Kistler copyright 2013 Prescott Arizona
thankful that someone planted so many of these perennial flowers in our yard

hummingbird moth photo, another view
such a cool bug!

wild bunny photograph by Jennifer Kistler copyright 2013 Prescott Arizona
wild bunny in the late evening sun

evening rainbow in Prescott Arizona
rainbow over a neighbor's house