Bird Photo – American Kestrel

I was walking by my picture window yesterday afternoon and I saw this bird perched on a wire near a telephone pole. I hadn’t seen this bird in our neighborhood before, but recognized its hawk-like persona and thought it might be an American Kestrel.

I posted the picture on the Bird Forum and sure enough some of the experienced birders there confirmed it was an American Kestrel. They ventured, perhaps, that this is a female because of the coloration. I am sorry that the bird was so far away, but these were the best pictures I could get.

An American Kestrel, Cave Creek, AZ

An American Kestrel, Cave Creek, AZ

An American Kestrel, Cave Creek, AZ

An American Kestrel, Cave Creek, AZ

Try as I might, I could not get that bird to turn around!

STATUS QUOtes — 20150425

“Every horse thinks its own pack heaviest.” ― Thomas Fuller

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” ― Frank Lloyd Wright

“Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.” ― Unknown

“There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.” ― Bertrand Russell

Through the Eyes of a Child – Video

Having an adventure alone is good, but the joys and thrills are multiplied when sharing it with someone. Better yet, seeing the world through the eyes of a child can remind one of the excitement of every day events.

This poignant video, The Years Are Short, brings that message home. I think it will touch your heart.

STATUS QUOtes — 20150424

“We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there too.” — Kristin Martz

“Like all angry men, he loved his grievance.” — Anthony Trollope

“No person has the right to dictate what other people should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit. [ed]” — Ansel Adams

“Karma never loses an address.” — Unknown

Pickleball Fun is Never Having to Say You’re Sorry


– Would you be willing to help? I would like to write a post about Pickleball Pet Peeves. If you would be so kind as to send your most annoying Pickleball Pet Peeves to me at, I will write a post about them in the near future! Thank you for that!

The other day I was on the Pickleball court and the match was going along well for our team when it suddenly took a turn and we lost a large lead. At that point, my partner missed a shot off of a great return. He looked at me and said: “I should have gotten that.”

Well, maybe yes and maybe no. There are times when the opposing team makes a very good or excellent shot and it proves to be a winner. On those occasions, I just admit to myself that they did best and won the point. Should I/we “have gotten that shot?”

Nobody wins all the points in a Pickleball match (at least not often). It is that Michael Jordan quote in action:

I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. - Michael Jordan
Quote Via

Even someone as great as Michael Jordan doesn’t make every shot or win every point. There are some times when you just can’t “get that shot” because it is too good.

When I play with someone and they miss a shot, I don’t expect them to say “sorry.” I don’t get agitated or upset. There is no sorry. I understand they are doing the best they can and I accept that a missed shot is a missed shot and let’s move on. I miss my share, and some would say more than my share, of shots too.

In our Pickleball group, I would guess that about 10% of the people are out there just to have fun and get exercise; win or lose. Another 80% are very competitive and want to win as many matches as they can and they put a lot of effort into the game. Perhaps the last 10% are ultra competitive and exert the most effort to win every point and take each point very seriously.

Of course we all like to win, but the best athletes in the world no matter what their sport, can’t win all of the time.

For me, and I believe many others, the enjoyment of playing Pickleball is when you never have to say you’re sorry. What do you think?

STATUS QUOtes — 20150423

“Every time someone gives you a formula for what you should be and what you should do, you should know they’re giving you a pair of handcuffs.” — Junot Díaz

“When prosperity comes, do not use all of it.” — Confucius

“Nothing is easy to the unwilling.” — Nikki Giovanni

“Politicians who complain about the media are like ships’ captains who complain about the sea.” — Enoch Powell

STATUS QUOtes — 20150422

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” — Plato

“I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.” — Jane Wagner

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” — David G. Allen

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” — Sheryl Sandberg

Birds at the Gilbert Water Ranch – 20150412 – Part 2

NOTE: The order in which the birds and narratives appear are not the actual order in which they were seen during our bird walk.

As a follow up to Part 1 of our bird walk at the Gilbert Water Ranch, in Gilbert, AZ I am posting some additional pictures and narratives. As you might expect at something called a water ranch, this is a habitat for numerous ducks and other water fowl although having it in a desert is somewhat unique. The Mallard pictured below watched us as we watched him strike up a nice profile.


We also came across what appears to me (and I’m no expert) a Snowy Egret. He was looking intently in the water for some victuals.

Snowy Egret

Every once in a while he looked up to allow me to snap this shot of him.

Snowy Egret

The group spotted a nest in this tree and there was a fair amount of activity around it. We saw a Verdin poised next to it. There was another nest nearby and we were wondering whether one was a fledgling nest while the other was home for adults.


Although I had seen American Coots on a number of occasions, this is my best picture so far of the bird with its white beak. I also like the color of the eye against the dark feathers; nice! While this bird looks somewhat like a duck, it has a classification of its own.

American Coo

This fellow looked to me like a Great Egret.

Great Egret

One of the last birds we saw this day, which was a surprise sighting since we were sitting around having snacks and reviewing which birds we had identified, was a Cassin’s Kingbird. He just appeared high in the tree and stayed for a while so we could marvel at his beautiful coloration.

TCassin's Kingbird

I will finish the bird walk next week with some more notes and photographs. Which bird photo did you find most interesting?

STATUS QUOtes — 20150421

“Hunger makes a thief of any man.” — Pearl S. Buck

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” — Dale Carnegie

“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.” — Lolly Daskal

“Always hold your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.” — Max L. Forman