Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Skywatch Friday: Welcome Home Sky

Sycamore Canyon Sunset 7-2-09

In last week's Skywatch post I mentioned that I hoped to see a beautiful sunset upon returning from the rainy east coast. Well, I was sitting in my livingroom Thursday evening when I noticed a lovely golden light being cast on the new house that is going up behind me. I grabbed my camera, ran out the door and started snapping. This is the sunset that greeted me....

...and this is the golden light it cast.
I have not doctored these photos at all. This is truly the way it looked, from the new house across the wash...

...to golden Mount Fagan above. It was my "welcome home" sunset, and the next night...


...I got my welcome home toad!


This is a Sonoran Desert Toad, and the first I have seen this year. These toads only emerge during the Monsoon to mate and reproduce before disappearing in to the dry desert soil once again. The large watery bubble you see behind the ears are really parotoid glands that emit a protective poison. This prevents the toad from being eaten by predators, but it will also be absorbed through your skin, so you don't want to handle one of these creatures. You also don't want your dog to pick one up in its mouth or you will find yourself on the way to the vet's! Caution! This poison can kill a full grown dog!


I gently guided this creature out through the gap in the drainage block of the block wall, then foolishly blocked its return by placing a couple of bricks in front of the holes. It was all well and good until another thunderstorm rolled though during the night and I found myself outside at 1 a.m. ankle deep in water removing the bricks so the run off could drain out!


Happy Monsoon Arizona!


Our temps are headed into the 112 degree range this weekend.
I may be longing for some of those east coast rains before too long!






22 comments:

bobbie said...

What a beautiful welcome home you got, Kathie! Stunning pictures! I'm glad that Mother Nature cooperated for you.

Roy said...

A beautiful sunset Kathie, can't say the same about the Toad though. {:)

Vickie said...

Wow, about your heat. The colors of your sunset images are beautiful. And I can see it definitely pays to know about the wildlife you are viewing, though, messing with his entrance route didn't work at all!

Arija said...

Kathie, did you run out in the middle of the night in the sll together or did you have your baby-doll jamies on? It must have been a sight for sore eyes!
Wonderful sunset to welcome you home.
Are all the health roblems ironed out now and what happened to the four little Owlets by the roadside?

Gaelyn said...

So glad you got your welcome home sunset, and what a beauty. You do live in a golden community. Plus a welcome home toad, not to be kissed obviously. A bummer about having to get up in the rain. We just get threatened with rain. You could have had a pond. Great captures as always.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Oh my goodness, aren't those colors lovely. Interesting info about the toad. Kind of a dull life he leads spending all his time underground. His visit to you might have been the high point of his life;)
Marnie

Kathiesbirds said...

bobbie, since mother nature can be tempermental, you just never know. This was a wowser though.

Roy, I think it's cute!

Vickie, we keep saying we are going to buy some wire mesh to cover the entrance and we keep putting it off. Earlier this week I actually saw a baby bunny go through the opening slick as snot!

Arija, once again I put that camoflage poncho to work. It was pouring rain and I slipped it on over my nightie! It kept me dry while I moved the bricks. It's proving to be awfully useful.

Gus' wrist is healing up but it has not improved as much as he hoped it would. Thank you for asking.

And as far as I know, the 4 owlets fledged while I was in WV. They are on their own now.

Gaelyn I was afraid I would have a pond and that it would swamp my AC, which would then no longer function. With temps heading into the 110's this weekend, I really NEED my AC!

Roses and Lilacs, I would not want to lead the life of a toad. Thanks for stopping by.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Welcomed home by golden sky-


and an enormous, poisonous toad.

James said...

I used to lick those toads then listen to the Seeds. j/k
Seriously though your sky photos are stunning I love the rich colors.

Kathiesbirds said...

Lynne, if you only knew HOW enormous it was!

James, I'm concerned about you! Thanks for visiting my blog!

DrillerAA09 said...

Outstanding photos. Well done.
You can keep that 112 degree heat though.

Deborah Godin said...

That's a gorgeous sunset, and the light reflected on the buildings is just jaw-dropping!!

GreensboroDailyPhoto said...

The golden light was fabulous. And, how nice to have a toad. That's why we refuse to use roundup to kill weeds on the patio. Great contribution to our Sky Watch Friday round-the-world tour!

Regina said...

Beautiful sunset. Great shots.

Dewdrop said...

Gorgeous sunset. Glad you got one so splendid... try to stay cool.

Celeste said...

Ooops sorry about your mini flood Kathie. Wonderful photos as always, you should check out Michelle's blog at Rambling Woods, she did an amphibian themed skywatch post this week too. :)

Larry D said...

Wonderful light in the sunset photos! Very interesting about the toad.

Cindy said...

Wow!!! I love that sunset. That's one gorgeous photo.

Dee said...

There is nothing quite like that golden light and the amazing sunsets the monsoons bring. July is truly magical in Tucson Arizona!

Wren said...

The light is beautiful, but capturing it so well in the photos takes real skill.

I did LOL at the frog and the drain, because it sounds EXACTLY like something I'd do. It seems like it's a good idea at the time, but at some point the law of unintended consequences takes over.

Karen said...

Beautiful....

I love that golden glow that is being cast over those houses. Turns them into objects of beauty..

Very cool shots..

dAwN said...

Oh so u were greeted home with a lovely sunset!
oh my..that frog..deadly to dogs? I would imagine dog owners have to keep an eye on thier dogs this time of year..I know my sisters pups always like to nudge frogs and sometime foam at the mouth after touching some frogs.

Hot hot...come back here...its much cooler.