Sunday through Wednesday, January 24-27—Empty Shelves, Rain, and Wind

After “3.0-3.5 Partners Pickleball”, we drove to Chandler to shop at the PGA Superstore and REI. Both were big disappointments, perhaps because of COVID. The PGA Superstore was set up nicely for golfers, but entirely too busy for any sales staff to provide assistance. The tennis, and thus pickleball, section was severely lacking in merchandise. There were few clothes, and that’s the main thing for which we were shopping. The check-out person said they compromised on tennis/pickleball merchandise in order to install a practice tennis facility! REI, my favorite all time store, was an even bigger disappointment as there seemed to be a significant void in inventory. It’s apparent to this buyer why online stores are so popular.

With a couple hours of daylight left, we made our way to the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert with a goal of getting better photographs of the Roseate Spoonbill—no such luck as she was deep in sleep. Several other birds availed themselves to photographs.

Northern Shoveler
Anna’s Hummingbird
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Roseate Spoonbill
Green Heron
Ringed-neck Duck
Great Egret at sunset
European Starling in cactus

A major cold front made its way through the area on Monday with heavy rain (at least for this area) and high winds (gusting to about 35 mph). Temperatures plunged into the low 5os during the day and high 30s at night. The resulting day of few activities was a welcome relief and allowed catching up on journal writing and photo editing. Snow-capped mountains, the Four Peaks, about 40 miles northeast of Phoenix and part of the Mazatzal Mountain range, were highly visible to our north and east.

Winds moderated a bit on Tuesday, but still made playing pickleball dicey—one could hit as hard as desired into the wind, but had to barely touch the ball when hitting with the wind. Further moderation of wind speed occurred Wednesday morning but increased as the afternoon wore on; temperatures remained unseasonably cool.

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