One of the first new friends we met is the Gambel Quail. (foto) They are the desert busybodies, perfect matches for the town gossips in a
Victorian novel, complete with dowdy hats. They bustle around calling “Where!?” to each other, pursuing the latest tidbits. They never seem to find anything, but never tire of calling “where!?” and scurrying off somewhere else to snoop. Eventually they quiet down and go home, content that their watchful ways have kept the universe in order.
In contrast, the Roadrunner would not fit into any Victorian novel. It comes straight out of the swash-buckler genre. (foto) They strut right into the alehouse with a “Move over. What’s for lunch?” attitude. If not served immediately, they issue a short, gargled “Ooooh!”
as if to demand an explanation. Their beak is a stout cutlass which they roguishly brandish within inches of the hapless bar-mate whom they’ve graced with their display of bravado. Not even Errol Flynn was as fast, nimble, or daring.
advanced fighter jets. He can fly eight feet straight up, instantly stop and hover, and then dive through tangled mesquite branches to perch and show off his colors. No bragadoccio here, though. He’s simply the beauty of the neighborhood, and is gracious enough to pause a moment so you can admire him. Oh, a suitable movie set? Maybe Disney’s Fantasia.
friends are symbols of the desert, the dove is the emblem of human settlement here. Every other street and housing development name includes the word “paloma.” Multi million dollar homes are built to look modest and unobtrusive – just like the dove. Even the grocery stores reflect it’s earth-kindly nature – any sign that contains the words “natural,” “whole,” or “holistic” is bound to be a food store. If I had my say-so, the dove would be the state bird of Palomizona.