I must confess...I haven't been out and about here in the desert much this summer. First, I'm so busy with my horses that I'm spending my mornings up in the mountains with them. Second, by the time I get home, it is just too hot here to even be outdoors! Finally, it's been so humid here that I haven't wanted to venture outside! But, recently our mornings have been dry and the temps haven't been that bad, so I may head out this morning and get some pics. I took these photos in May (see the saguaro blossoms?). Yes, our snakes are out and about now, especially at dawn and at dusk. The second photo shows a guzzler, which is a cement-filled hole in the ground for the desert animals to get a drink of water. As you know, water in the summer is especially important for animals. I feed many different kinds of birds in my front yard and I daily fill up their water bowls. I have doves, sparrows, and a scrub jay who visit my yard! SOMEDAY maybe I'll be lucky enough to get a photo of the jay! This isn't his territory. He actually should be up in our local mountains, but he has claimed my yard and my neighborhood as his territory and he shows up every morning and every afternoon for his meals! Nature Notes for July 29, 2010.