Friday, 28 October 2011


From Ghoulies and Ghosties
And Long-legged Beasties
And things that go Bump in the Night
Good Lord Deliver Us!

-Traditional Scottish Prayer

Happy Halloween everyone.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Battle Royal

The Broad-billed Hummingbirds are monopolising the nectar feeders right now. Males chasing off other males and pursuing females.

And the females, not to be outdone, chasing off other females and even the males who try to feed on the nectar.

All the chasing requires constant stops to replenish the energy levels.

Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Our New House Guest

We had been sitting chatting out on the patio for about twenty minutes when something landed with a splat next to our table, it was a rather healthy sized poop! We looked up into the beams of the roof to see who had 'dropped' it and there was someone staring back at us!

Clearly we weren't the only ones enjoying a relaxing afternoon in our backyard. And now these noisy humans had come along and disturbed the peace.

We actually sat with our wide-eyed friend until darkness fell and he went off to find himself some supper.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Rewards for Bravery

The Antelope Squirrels are always front and centre when it comes to picking up fallen seeds underneath the feeders in the yard but the Round-tailed Ground Squirrel is always much more hesitant. Normally all I ever see is a flash of tail disappearing under the gate as I walk into the yard.

I was sitting quietly reading when this beautiful little individual finally plucked up enough courage to forage amongst the rocks and aloes. It kept a very close eye on me though and if I so much as moved a muscle it would scurry into a gap in the rocks before cautiously reappearing for another snack.

What a sweet little face. I am so glad it is learning that I mean no harm.

Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

Friday, 14 October 2011

Lots of Legs

This poor old centipede is missing a couple of appendages at either end but all its legs seem to be intact. Another reason for being careful when moving rocks in the yard!

Monday, 10 October 2011

A New Visitor

As the seasons change, the bird species that visit the feeders change too.

I heard this shy little character long before I saw it. A sweet, mournful whistle that I hadn't heard before.

I eventually spotted her perched in the trees but it was several more days before she finally plucked up the courage to come to the feeders.

A female Black-headed Grosbeak refueling on her migratory route.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Life Blood

It is easy to become complacent about the weather in the desert, day after day of clear blue skies and sunshine but the brief monsoon season is really what keeps this unique habitat alive year upon year.

The anticipation as the storm clouds start to build and the faint rumbles of thunder can be heard in the mountains is palpable. Every living thing seems to be holding its breath, waiting for that first huge, warm rain drop to fall.

And then it finally arrives after many days and sometimes weeks of false hopes. The deluge begins, the wonderful smell as fresh droplets hit warm, dry earth. The washes start to run, the cacti swell and the desert drinks long and deeply of the sweet, refreshing rain. Nature breathes a collective sigh of relief, satiated and washed clean.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Another First

When I started this blog I was quite adamant that the only pictures I would post on it would be ones taken in my own yard and though I have been sorely tempted to cheat on a couple of occasions I have stuck to this rule because I want it to serve as a catalogue of our yard not Arizona in general.

So although I had seen Horned Lizards elsewhere I didn't post them on this blog. (If you want to see much better photos, they are on my other blog.) My patience has finally been rewarded and although I didn't get very good pictures, this Horned Lizard was in my yard.

He was very shy and would not let me get anywhere near enough to get a good shot but I was pleased to see him none-the-less.
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