Turtle Race ?

Monday February 10th 2020

Yesterday’s cloudy and windy day ended with rain overnight. It didn’t last long, but it is the first rain in the area in over a month. Today was bright and sunny while the wind continued. The high temperature for the day was around sixty degrees. If you were sheltered from the wind it was comfortable. This evening as I write this blog entry the wind direction has changed and gusts have picked up in strength.

The overnight rain was snow at the higher elevation north and west of the valley.

Since we got some rain overnight, I wanted to check the water level at the Clark County Wetlands Park. Just before noon I drove to the park for the visit I didn’t make yesterday. The water in the Las Vegas wash was a little higher than it has been. This makes sense as all of the rain water in the valley tends to flow out through the wash. The wetlands park area didn’t have any higher level of water. In fact it may have been lower.

Today was a particularly good day for seeing wildlife. I think most of the usual critters were staying out of the wind and out of site. I did spot one rock with four turtles enjoying the sun. They were lined up as if they were about to start a race. The bird sharing the rock with the turtles was probably the race starter. Across the pond another rock held the race spectator; one big solitary turtle.

Four turtles lined up on a rock ready to slip into the water on command. Will the bird give the command?
This turtle on the other side of the pond was waiting for the turtle race to start.

As I continued my walk around the park, I came across another work crew clearing out some of the tall reeds that have died or gone dormant over the winter. They’ve already cleared out several areas of the park. I don’t know how they determine what areas to clear. It almost seems random the areas they choose to clear and how much they clear out. They may be concerned with fire danger. Several areas of the park have burned in the past.

Gambel’s quail crossing the path. This is the third one to cross. I didn’t get a picture of the first two.
A pair of American coots in the fast moving waters of the Las Vegas Wash.

My evening walk at the RV park didn’t result in any new sunset pictures. The time of opportunity is now near 5:30, but more significantly the direction of the sunset has changed. With the advancing season the sun now crosses the horizon a little further north. The combination of the location it crosses the distant mountains and the interesting foreground objects don’t make for a very bright or interesting picture. Maybe I’ll get some more here, but certainly once I get to the desert north of Phoenix next month.

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