Compare Contrast Videos from the DNA

Next Educational Video Coming SOON From The
Desert Nature Alliance
“Compare and Contrast:
Coyote vs Your Spoiled Dog”
In this video we will explore some obvious and not so obvious ways we treat these two canine relatives SO differently. Get ready. I’m not going into this one with soft gloves.
If you haven’t already, head over to YouTube to our channel ( oh so Stace and the Desert Nature Alliance) and watch a few of my education conversations. All are designed to be used in conjunction with classroom learning,#stem and #steam education. the DNA has created lessons to help you follow along.

You can find lessons on our website Not designed for small children or sensitive viewers due to the graphic nature of some of the discussions and examples shown, yet entry level so all of us who are interested in science, nature, biology ect. can share ideas, learn and grow. Use our videos for your own lectures or classes ! Please contact us with ideas or topics we could cover. Videos from us directly to your classroom are available. Please support our mission by donating today 💚🌵☀️ #compareandcontrast #coyote #domestic #wild #canine #dog fund us now on tik tok, Instagram, FB, WordPress, Linkd, and our YouTube channel.

Guided Tour of Our New Storefront for the Desert Nature Alliance

As a newly developed nature based nonprofit who devotes itself to loving this desert here in Gold Canyon AZ and keeping us all safely enjoying it, I would like to invite you to follow me on this tour and experience what we have to offer. Being small and brand new, any support you can offer is greatly appreciated.

Come Visit Me!

Open Thursdays and Fridays 12-8pm Saturdays and Sunday’s 9-6pm.

The Closet

One day a mom was in her kitchen doing the dishes when her little one came running in very upset. Seems the toys in his closet kept telling him to be quiet. Not really understanding what he meant his mother smiled and nodded and said “uh huh…”. The little boy insisted his mommy listened, yanked on her pant leg and said “the toys say shhh!” With a smile and a hug she assured him everything was fine and sent him off to play.

Later that day she found the little one sitting in the hallway outside of his room. “Why are you playing out here?” the mom asked slightly puzzled. “My toys yelled at me really loud to be quiet so I got mad and left.” Again just thinking this was a normal child whose imagination was running wild, she smiled and told him maybe he should just go outside to play.

The little one happily ran to the back yard with the family dog chasing close behind. His mom went back to her chores thinking nothing more of it. He just needed some fresh air.

That night as the family was settled in for bed the little one came to his mommy’s side to wake her up. This time the closet was moving! Hearing this strange statement, his dad rolled over semi awake and confused. The mom assured him it was just an overactive imagination from a little boy who has been playing all day.

She wandered the little one back to bed, re-tucked him in and said good night once more.

Only a few short hours later the little one was back to his mother’s sleeping side. “…something is moving in the closet…” he whispered into her ear. Fast asleep she did not stir.

Tears of fear streamed down the little one’s cheeks.

He wandered to his daddy’s side of the bed. “…something’s moving in the closet daddy…” the little one whispered so quietly that it was never heard.

The next morning the mom came out to the kitchen to find her little one had slept on the couch. Feeling guilty she had never even really checked his closet, she walked down the hall to his room to investigate.

Besides a few toys left laying here and there, the room was neat, the bed barely slept in. The toy chest in the closet overflowing. His mom now on her knees rummaging through the piles of stuffed animals and cars. Arm deep into a huge pile, searching for possibly a windup toy that is the cause of all this fuss, the distinctive sound sends chills through her spine. Her hand frozen in place with intense penetrating fear. The closet didn’t just “shhh” her. It rattled! There’s a rattlesnake in there somewhere!

Seering hot flashes of pain shot through her arm. Screaming for help she is repeatedly bitten by an angry and surprised snake. Her husband rushes to the room frantically dialing for help. Out of her mind with fear and pain, she flings her arm out of the closet sending the large snake flying across the room. In a dizzy haze she runs to her little one crying on the couch where she collapses at his feet moaning “I’m sorry…”

Rescue and paramedics arrive with lightning speed and were able to save the young mom’s life though her recovery would be long and painful.

Just hours home from the hospital, trying to settle back in after such a horrifying event, the phone rings. Her husband answers and listens to the news. The snake recovered from their home was determined to recently have given birth.

an old wives’ tale

Two days ago a bird inadvertently flew into the house. I left the back door open for a few hours because the weather in the morning was so fantastic. I tend to forget we live high enough on a hill that it puts us directly in the flight zone. If birds aren’t crashing into the windows, they are actively bobbing and weaving trying to avoid the house as they fly by.

My dog Cotton came to my side, nose poke and a whimper, to alert me that I needed to see something or he had to pee. Either way I needed to get up and follow. There was the bird, out of breath and desperately confused as to why the view was perfectly clear but an invisible force was preventing flying through it. The bird flapped and banged, then stopped to regroup, refusing to turn around to the open door it came in from.

It took a minute but I was able to coax the bird gently to simply turn around then off it flew. Besides a little poo on the window sill and a couple of feathers, no harm no fowl.

Thinking this encounter was cool, I sent a few emails off to a couple of my close friends including a picture of the bird.IMG_6503.PNG

One friend responded about an old wives’ tale that I was not familiar with. (my brain then had a full secret conversation: is an old wives’ tale an old tale a wife tells or a tale from an old wife?)

My friend explained:

“Old wives’ tale that a wild bird in the house was a foreshadowing of a family death.  When I was young, a sparrow flew into my grandma’s house and you should have heard the wailing and shouting about an upcoming death.  More than 20 members of my family were there and I honestly thought they were going to contact the mortuary and beginning making funeral arrangements, they were so sure a family death was imminent.”

But then she assures me no one died for like a long time after that!


My brain immediately pictures the ghost birds that slam into our windows.image


Then yesterday morning TWO birds were trapped in the living room, never mind the fact that the front and back doors were wide open. Nope, let’s flap and bang into the windows so hard we injure ourselves.

IMG_6592.PNG One bird flew out on it’s own. The other is the one I believe left blood drops on the window sill. I was able to ever so gently hold it long enough to aim it in the right direction and then it was gone.

My husband and I cleaned up the aftermath of poo and feathers and blood, then sat at the table shaking our heads over cups of coffee when another bird flew straight through the house! In through the front door, out the back.

In the past two days we have had three birds inside the house and a fly through.  Is there even a wives’ tale that covers this? Any wives’ tales about huge tarantulas on the front door? How about Coyotes wandering in your yard? Or Javelinas walking up the path?  Does Eight Turkey Vultures circling overhead mean anything to an old wife?


So if one bird in the house means death, then what we have goin’ on over here must mean death and destruction of epic proportions! Dinosaurs will die AGAIN! The destruction foreshadowed is that epic!



It just might mean if your doors and windows are open and you live up on a hill birds are going to fly into your house.


…but what fun is that?

The Stamp Mill


I have some fun “PDR” or “positive desert reporting” for you this gorgeous Monday! At exactly 10 am this morning I watched the 20- Stamp Mill ore crusher demonstration at the Superstition Mountain Museum. If you have not watched the demonstration of this massive machinery get ready to mark it on your calendar!

Like most women I know, I love gold and have spent my entire life just fine with not knowing exactly how gold is found, produced, made, or whatever. I just like gold in the shiny jewelry form… handed to me in a pretty box.

But reality is, if I had to go climb a dangerous, cactus covered mountain and blast holes into it hoping to find rocks that possibly have gold hidden inside only to lug those incredibly heavy rocks back down that mountain on a mule…? Then go smash those rocks hoping there is enough gold inside to have been worth risking my life for?!?!

This is not going to happen. Not ever. Certainly not for jewelry.

It truly amazes me that anyone did this. But they did. Countless men have lost their lives following maps and trails into the Superstition Mountain searching for gold. The Museum is filled with books retelling true stories about the famous and not so famous gold miners. The more I read the more I am fascinated.

These stories of mining gold become eerily real as you stand there with the amazing Superstition Mountain as the back drop while the men running the Stamp Mill explain the process then proudly fire up their rock crushing machine.

It happens once a month, it’s free and the scenery is spectacular.

October 10 @ 10 am Demo is the last Monday. November through April Demos are once a month, twice daily on Saturdays.

November 12 @ 11 & 1

December 3 @ 11 & 1

Shut the Front Door!

My friends, there are things crawling around this world that freak me out to the point of feeling like I’m having an out of body experience. I can’t breathe. I go into a mild form of shock.

It is safe to say, sitting somewhere right at the top of the list of things that have this effect on me are big spiders. Enclosed in a glass box, I can barely look at them. Loose and running around my front door? Uh…

You almost lost me last night.

A good friend and golf buddy of my husband was amazingly cool enough to help us get a ping pong table. He has a truck with a trailer and drove all over the valley to pick it up and bring it way out here in Gold Canyon. He brought his adorable girlfriend along for the trip so we could all go out to eat afterwards. She has never been here and he was excited to show her the views.IMG_5650.JPG

We had a great evening. Lots of laughs, good food, weather is spectacular. The sky full of stars.

Fun night.

I will admit, I had a few drinks. Partially not my fault! A shot was ordered for me that should have never been ordered! Not because I don’t drink, but because it tasted awful and temporarily blinded me! It blurred my vision I swear! True, it might have been the combo with my prickly pear margarita, like I said, I didn’t order that shot of poison but I drank it anyways ‘cuz I’m a good time. That kind of behavior gets me in all kinds of trouble.

Happy and relaxed we walk up the path to the front door, ‘round the corner and…

(cue the screeching horror music)IMG_1404.PNG

There is a HUGE blonde tarantula on my front door!

My chest still hurts from the fear and panic and loud horror music screeching in my head! (This is the first time I have met the girlfriend, she is very sweet and fun and has loved every minute of being in Gold Canyon. I cannot have a melt down and wet my pants and scream and run and hyperventilate…omg. No! I have to hold it together so I don’t scare this poor girl more than the tarantula is!)

All of my life I have been terrorized by spider dreams. Since I was a kid I would wake up screaming about spiders all over me. My Mom would say I just played too much that day or I was too hot. But the dreams have stayed with me my whole life.

If you regularly play along and read my stories of my mayhem you know that not too long ago I had huge scary ants freaking me out. Well… friends, my fear of fast moving tarantulas goes WAY beyond my fear of two walls covered in super-sized ants.

WAY beyond.IMG_1403.PNG

Also, if you hang out with me regularly, you know I love nature and all living creatures so even though this beautiful, yet terrifying tarantula was causing me to lose consciousness, I didn’t want it killed, I just wanted it moved away from my front door! It can live… just not with ME!

OMG not with me!

How am I supposed to close my eyes knowing THAT is a real possibility? HUGE blonde furry… I can’t.

I don’t sleep as it is. I normally wander around the house at night barefoot, no contacts in, wandering outside to see if I can catch the javelinas or the coyotes on video, never once having any awareness that huge blonde tarantulas live all around me.

Oh yeah, I am not exaggerating when I say “all around me” because I just got through looking Arizona/Mexican Blonde Tarantulas up on every site I could find online!

Actually I’m glad I did. I really am going to want them to stay around this crazy ecosystem I live in. They eat scorpions and other randoms on the ground. They are harmless unless you consider the heart attack-inducing fear they can produce.IMG_5640.JPG

More than likely this one was a male but of course I could be wrong. They leave their burrows in search of a mate this time of year plus it has been raining so that is probably why it was so far from it’s home. We also had our porch light on that attracts insects so it’s possible it was just out for a late night snack?

Or it has been doing this nightly and this was just the first time we have caught it?

I will be changing that light bulb today.IMG_1405

Coyotes on the driveway, javelinas in the planters, deer, rabbits, snakes, scorpions, eight turkey vultures circling overhead, hawks, lizards, squirrels, rodents moving into my cars engine, bees, huge swarming ants and now I can add TARANTULA to the ever growing list of what lives here that I have seen and dealt with. Four months.

Four months. This is why I started a blog.

I love this place.