Wookie’s New Friends (The High Desert week 6)

Wookie has been quite lonely without having Pearl here to play with. It seems like there are never any dogs at the park to play with either, so he made an unlikely friend recently. I am still not certain what the animal is. I first suspected groundhog or gopher, but after doing some research I now know that these two animals don’t even belong to the same family (and I still don’t know which one it is). Either way, Wookie is mesmerized by it and the animal is not the slightest bit afraid of him. They play back and forth. Now, every time that we pass the dog park he has to go inside just to see if the little guy wants to play again, and it usually does.

His other new “friends” are the hummingbirds. They are not native here and there is no vegetation for them, but my neighbors keep multiple feeders out to keep them fed. We have hummingbirds in Texas, but let me tell you, these are on another level. They are aggressive. I have had them dive at my head if I wear a bright colored hat and they have stuck their beaks up to my bright colored clothing. They dive bomb at Wookie, he really doesn’t know what do do about it. Neither do I, actually. They are beautiful creatures and I enjoy watching them out the window, but seriously, they are almost menacing when we are outside. I just read an article this week about the Ruby Throated Hummingbird and am now wondering if that is what they are. Evidently, this type of hummingbird is more aggressive than other types.

The dry air that originally greeted me has disappeared with the monsoon weather in this region. It rained almost every day and night for several weeks. This is not normal for the area and the locals have had a difficult time adjusting to the humidity. The homes here are not equipped with air conditioners. They have “swamp coolers”, which is entirely appropriate for a dry climate, but not a humid one. My colleagues at work have described their homes as having wet walls and floors. Many are sick due to the high mold component that is in the air (they are not accustomed to the exposure), and are experiencing respiratory symptoms.

I consider myself now completely recovered from COVID. The lingering sensation of having my head under water has resolved. I became hopeful two weeks ago when I started to hear “radio/speaker static” because it indicated that the middle ear fluid was finally moving/draining. By the next day I could hear again!

The award for “Most Interesting Pet” has now been trumped. On my first travel assignment, my neighbor had a very large pig that lived in their camper. This week, I saw my neighbor walking a very large tortoise/turtle of some type (50+ pounds). It brought back memories of a home health patient that lived in a motel room. She had turtles that she kept in her bathtub. I have so many questions…..

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