Monday was a big day, pickleball wise. I was “observed” (graded) to determine advancement to the 3.5 level. The 3.5 level is considered to be advanced intermediate. Generally speaking, the 3.5 level is the level at which one leaves “social” pickleball and enters “serious” pickleball. Despite my being a bit handicapped with a bad left knee, the two observers recommended advancement! I immediately went to the RV and iced the knee. Kay also played pickleball, and continues to improve. Many beginning pickleball players come to the game with a tennis background and make a fairly smooth transition; Kay never played sports and thus handicapped, particularly regarding hand/eye coordination. What she lacks in experience, she more than makes up for with grit, determination, and perseverance. And, she practices several times a week!
Tuesday was an uneventful day for us, though we did enjoy some spa and pool time.
Kay played golf Wednesday afternoon, joined by a couple of men midway through the 9-hole round (their wives were joining them on the back nine). She shot near bogey golf, and is playing so good now that I’m afraid to compete with her.
Dropping me off at the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert, Arizona, Thursday morning, Kay ran errands and shopped at Sam’s Club and Costco. It was our last trip to the greater Phoenix area this season. The Riparian Preserve is the Go To place in central Arizona for bird photographers. The irrigation ponds for reclaiming irrigation water is an attractant to a wide range of shore birds, and migrating song birds travel through the area as well. Today, the usual birds cooperated, and “posed” for photos. Some of the more common birds included the Curve-billed Thrasher, White-crowned Sparrow, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Shorebirds make for some of the most interesting subjects, and most are either too far away, or hidden among the shoreline shrubs. These include the Least Sandpiper, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Egret, and American White Pelican.
Some of the more commonly found birds included the Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) Warbler, European Starling, Great-tailed Grackle, and Verdin.
Hummingbirds, particularly those nectaring, are an all-time favorite. The most common in this area is the Anna’s Hummingbird.
And, for some reason, I’m drawn to the Snowy Egret, most often hidden among the shoreline shrubs, but occasional close by searching for food.