Who Knew? Animals in My Neighborhood!

It is not necessary for me to travel far to enjoy outdoor time and see a variety of animals. Living outside a city, and what I consider horse country, I do see birds in the trees and flying overhead, people walking their dog or out for their own walk, and/or some people riding horseback along the roadside to a local trail. It’s a relaxing time while runners and bicyclists also use the country road I am walking.

On one particular road these are the animals I see: horse, pigs, donkeys and longhorn:

The horse is in the same pen as the donkeys. I never see them interacting with each other and I guess that is the point of putting them together! On this road we have a couple of riding rings where I see young people practicing their skills on horse. I only have 2 memories of anything related to me riding a horse. One, my injured tent mate on a Nepal trek needed to ride a horse back to town. The narrow trekking trails would be the last place I would want to be on a horse, 4-6 feet higher than the ground … for me, that is to far to fall off a horse! I’ll trek on out thank you. Second, I must have been on a horse at some point in my life, yet I only remember my youngest sister losing a contact lens during the ride … hmm … maybe someone will refresh my memory as to where that happened.

The donkeys … enough said.

The pigs at this property I walk and/or bicycle by are interesting because they are the only pigs I ever see. In researching pigs I learned one refers to a pig as domestic swine if the animal is less than 180 pounds and a hog when more so. Often visitors to Arizona see a javelina and think they are a pig, but they not! They are peccaries. I can tell you about javelina: poor eyesight, great sense of smell and most active at night. I think one or two tromp through my side yard quite often; pigs … I know nothing! (Some day I will provide a javelina photo.)

On this particular walk there is an animal I refer to as a longhorn steer. This animal has huge horns, although the photo may not show it best. There is an electric fence to keep us all a safe distance from the animal. Those horns can grow to 65 inches across! In researching longhorns I learned they can be aggressive but also known to be a loving farm companion. I am not sure what that means since I never see a companion. (Someday when the longhorn is looking my direction I will get a better photo!)

I have to include another horse photo because this is my favorite horse. It resides on another one of my walking routes. I am always excited to see the horse, especially when it has no bug netting over its eyes! The horse sees me and trots over each time to say hello. Ok, maybe not hello but maybe to see if I have food! In any case, I have no food and do not even move closer to the horse, but simply walk by and say hello. I think it is a beautiful looking horse!

While on these couple of walks I was looking at all of these larger animals and cannot help but notice the smaller ones too: insects. That may be my future challenge to photograph the variety of insects I see on a walk … maybe when it warms up in 6 months … In the meantime, I hope you are keeping your eyes open to what nature has provided within your sight! Enjoy!

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