Seems to be the season for big doves to be making little doves. Everywhere I look, I’m confronted by one of nature’s favorite pastimes – procreation of the species. In this particular case, Mourning Doves teaming up to manufacture future generations. And from what I can determine, they seem to be pretty good at it. So, it really didn’t come as any great surprise when one afternoon I noticed a small gray dove sitting on a shabbily constructed nest in a pine tree outside my front porch. After all, a gal has to have some place to call home and raise the kids. In addition to her enjoying the safety and shade of the tree, my neighborhood is cat free. Nearly a perfect environment to start a family or just hang-out and make small talk with other pregnant doves. When arriving and leaving the house, I observed her routine for several days, which consisted mainly of sitting in one position for awhile, then turning and sitting in another position. I never saw her leave the nest, which made me wonder when did she eat or drink? Then one day I discovered her secret – she wasn’t the only one sitting on the eggs. A near identical looking dove was also helping out with the prenatal chores. A few more days passed and suddenly a couple of fuzzy heads could be seen bobbing above the rim of the nest. The miracle of birth had taken place about twelve feet above the wife’s carefully cultured geraniums. I felt like a new grandpa again. Not being very scholarly in the affairs of the Mourning Dove, I decided to conduct a little research into the matter. Never know when I might be asked to give a lecture on the dating, mating and household habits of the common Zenaida macroura. The Mourning Dove, sometimes called the Turtle Dove, is grayish-brown in color, medium-sized, weighing 4-6 ounces and is one of the most abundant birds in North America. Its name originated from the distinctive call uttered by males to attract a love interest. Similar in size and appearance, the adult male displays a bluish-gray crown while the female has a more brown coloring. Also a popular game bird, millions are hunted yearly throughout the United States and Mexico. In colder climes, they migrate along established flyways, with spring migrations headed north from March to May while the fall flights south usually take place from September to November. Mourning Doves in the warmer areas of the country do not usually migrate, as food and unfrozen water remains available through the winter months. When dating, the male will fly overhead and gradually glide down in circular motions to introduce himself to his prospective girl friend. Once on the ground, he will begin strutting around with a puffed out chest, bragging of his accomplishments and flashing an American Express Gold Card, good at any local feed store. Sort of like I did in my earlier years, only American Express denied my credit card application. Following recording of the marriage contract, the male dove will lead the female around to prospective home building sites, but the female makes the final decision where the nest will be constructed. From hence forth, the male will no longer be in charge of his destiny nor will his opinion be valued on anything. Again, a redundant theme throughout most living creatures, especially the bipedal primate homo sapien. After being relegated into forced servitude, the male will begin the arduous task of gathering twigs, pine needles, blades of grass or similar material and transports the items to the new building location. The female, now totally in control of the project, places the material into selected positions. Gradually, the flimsy little nest begins to take shape and within a day or two the home is complete. Actually Mourning Doves are not overly particular where they live. They will build nests in trees, shrubs, vines, roof tops, rain gutters, flower pots or any location they deem suitable. Sometimes when they can’t find a place to their liking, they will simply nest on the ground. Which might partially account for their exceptionally high infant death rate. Almost 70% of the young doves never celebrate their first birthday, while their parent’s average mortality rate isn’t much better at 58%. I suppose nature has factored this circumstance into the equation because doves are prolific breeders, sometimes nurturing five or six broods a season. As mentioned previously, I was perplexed by her lack of absence from the nest. She always seemed to be sitting every time I checked on her. At least I thought it was her. Turns out, it wasn’t. The male has been delegated this responsibility as well. When the wife goes shopping in the morning, the hubby will sit and assume the incubating chores until the afternoon when the mother returns from Walmart. Then, she takes over and will sit until the following morning. This routine will repeat until the eggs hatch. Being responsible parents, they both feed the babies (squabs) a milk-like substance for the first few days, and then gradually augment the fluid with seeds for the next couple of weeks. The kids will remain at home for another week or two until they can fly or the parents finally kick them out. Remember, by this time there is probably already another batch in the oven and mama needs to clean house and make room for the stork’s next delivery. After seeing the family life and struggles of the ordinary Mourning Dove, I’m even more thankful I’ve pasted my prime. Mike Bibb Safford, Arizona

Jul 9, 2013 by Lannette Phipps

Heating RepairSummer comes but once a year albeit all year. To be completely truthful there are a few months when we need to pull out a pair of sweats and windbreakers (or hoodies as you may know them). I, myself, am more of the “Lizard Princess” who needs my Uggs, thermal undies, and a down jacket at well. Yes, most of the blood has left my body I fear. And then there are the super miserable summer months known to residents as August and September and known to all visitors as “vacation in Rocky Point”. Though both lots get to kick back, drink a cool one, swim in the ocean, or take a boat ride for the day, the latter do not have to try to dress for work when they are dripping sweat. Ever try to pull on a pair of pantyhose in August or September? Me neither. You’re tan so why bother. Okay, well then try getting into a pair of skinny jeans – there! – that works for both guys and gals. I used to consider May and October to be the perfect months in Rocky Point, Mexico: perfect weather; beautiful nights; lots of parties and fun stuff to do; the beginning and ending of summer. Whether it’s global warming or I’m just getting older, May and October are no longer my perfect months. My perfect month in Rocky Point is now defined as one where I am neither too cold nor too hot and the wind isn’t whipping sand into my house at a rate of a gallon per hour.

So, having lived in Peñasco for something like 17 years now you would think that I would do things well in advance since I know the heat and/or winter is coming. The central heat needs to be checked, cleaned, maintained, etc. well before I go from the sandal-to-slipper-to-Ugg migration. And the space heaters need to be checked and the propane tanks filled (yes, we light this house on fire when I’m cold). That’s what Wayne gets for building a house of all tile and windows and 11 ft. ceilings – a very cold Lannette (and Breezy, our Great Dane). Needless to say the same holds true with the air conditioning – vehicle air needs to be blown out and checked, the mini-splits in the home office and bedroom need to be checked, cleaned, maintained, etc., as does the central air in the event we invite anyone over and need to use the main part of the house. So why is it most of us wait until we can no longer stand carrying a paper towel around patting our head and drying our sweat-stache every few minutes? Because we think it’s going to pass.  We always think it’s going to pass., “Ah, it’s only a wave – it’ll cool down yet it’s only May”! I believed those optimistic persons until this year. It wasn’t a wave. It didn’t cool down. AND MAY SKIPPED US DAMNIT! I don’t care what my Dad and Cousins say about it being hot as Haiti in Phoenix and our weather is great! Well, I do care because I know it has to be miserable up there amongst all that concrete and asphalt and non-stop vehicle traffic while here the ocean is but a few steps from the patio.

What all this is getting to is that I would like to introduce you to Nicolas Armendariz owner of Oceanside AC. We have used him for years now and he has come to our rescue at Laguna Shores Resort time and time again never making us wait more than a day or two. No, we still have not learned our lesson to check things in advance – preventative maintenance smart people call it. Hey, they worked last year! Nicolas has gone way above and beyond helping us troubleshoot problems with one of our mini-split A/C’s. First problem being that the contractors never wired it to any electricity. Hmm, no wonder it would never turn on. But, hey, the remote works. Actually I think it was Wayne who first discovered the problem and called in Nicolas to help. He spent many hours at the house wiring, testing, fixing, re-testing and so on until it was working perfectly and not dripping down the bedroom wall shorting out the electrical socket. That was a few years ago. This year I actually did turn on the mini-split in May to check it. Sand had been blowing into the house for days and I was sick and tired of being shut in with no air. So I found out that though the air blows, it didn’t blow cold. Nicolas to the rescue. He was so busy with other A/C repair jobs that it took him one or two days to get out here to Laguna Shores. He was in the middle of fixing a bazillion A/C units at a large resort and left his worker there to continue while he came to our house to recharge the mini-split and seal it once and for all so that it will forever blow cold air. He was too busy to check our central A/C, but promised to return after his big job was done. One of the great things about Nicolas – besides that he fixes air conditioning – is that he is on time and calls when he is running late. His English is excellent and his Spanish even better (ha-ha). His rates are extremely reasonable (cheap even) and he does great work. We have recommended him to many friends and now I am letting the world know about him. But hopefully he won’t forget us…you can be sure I will call him super early next year! Nicolas can be reached locally on his cell at (638) 110-1301 or if you want to call from the U.S. and have him meet you at your condo or home call (602) 288-8380 or (602) 903-2667. His website is www.oceansideac.com and he will keep you cool this summer.

In addition to cooling and heating, Oceanside A/C also does plumbing repairs, electrical and appliance repair. Their website is very user friendly and the rates and explanations are clear. They offer a wide variety of repair services – everything from garbage disposals to programmable thermostats. Leaky faucets, circuit breaker problems, RO, hot water heaters, toilets, water lines, and appliance install, as well as repairing all major appliances and microwaves. Plus they have very affordable yearly maintenance plans.

This article is brought to you by Laguna Shores Resort, a master planned oceanfront community on the Sea of Cortez in Rocky Point, Mexico offering vacation rentals, fractional shares, custom home building services as well as condos, lots and homes for sale. Located just minutes north of town off of the Coastal Highway, Laguna Shores Resort is like no other master planned community in Puerto Peñasco with their many amenities, low-density housing, desal plant, and underground utilities. Visit their website to discover rental specials and information about the resort and Rocky Point, Mexico atwww.lagunashoresresort.com or call toll free from the U.S. at 1-800-513-1426. Become a Fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LagunaShoresResort

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