Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Best of 2011

The whole point of this blog was to only photograph flora and fauna that ventured onto our land and despite a number of temptations I have stuck to it. To close up the year I have picked out one or two favourites from the last twelve months.
To start the ball rolling we will do Reptiles, this was a tough one but in the end I had to go with this glorious male Desert Spiny Lizard that I spotted sleeping in a tree one night during the monsoons.

A natural progression from here of course is to Amphibians, something I really didn't expect to find in the middle of the desert but again the rains provided and the monster that turned up in our yard was truly impressive - A Sonoran Desert Toad.

Next the Mammals and, despite some serious and far bigger competition, there could really be only one - my favourite cheeky little visitor, the Antelope Ground Squirrel :)

And on to Birds (sorry no fish!) Again I have gone for attitude rather than scale and so the 'mighty' Broadbilled Hummingbird is the avian representative.

The Invertebrate lovers amongst us will cry foul but I am not going to do a representative from every group, two stars will suffice, for colour the Flame Skimmer is my choice.

And for grand scale the somewhat daunting Arizona Blonde Tarantula

I couldn't possibly do a 'best of' without some Cactus representation and the king of them all is the mighty saguaro. Rather than the classic arms akimbo shot I went for something a little more intimate

I love photographing cacti when the sun is sinking, the soft light against the severity of the spines is such a great contrast and none highlight that better than the fearsome cholla

So animal, vegetable or mineral (they are all gems after all!) these are some of my favourite sights from 2011.
Happy New Year everyone.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Love or War?

You know how cats can be when they meet in the darkness, lots of growling, snarling and caterwauling. Well double the volume and that is what we just had outside our kitchen window. I was just outside checking the last of our Christmas lights when I heard what sounded like several javelina galloping down the path beside the house, straight towards me. I thought cats were supposed to be soft-footed! There were several blood-curdling screams and I wondered if something had caught a javelina but it was too dark to see. Then I saw two shapes rapidly climbing up a mesquite tree. Lots more screaming and then quiet. I decided to pop inside and get a flashlight and see what the drama was. It turned out that there were two bobcats in the tree, one chased up there by the other. The aggressor climbed back down and sat under the tree, leaving its victim/beloved in the top of the tree. If you look very closely amongst the branches in this picture you can just about make out the shape of a cat.

We were able to get a couple of lovely photos of the bobcat at the bottom of the tree by opening our sliding glass doors, it was not the slightest bit bothered by our close proximity, or the flash going off!

The treed bobcat started to growl very loudly which caught the interest of the cat on the ground and he started to circle the tree.

The snarling and growling went on for several more minutes before the cat on the ground seemed to loose interest and wandered off into the thickets. This gave the treed cat the opportunity he had been waiting for, he scrambled down out of the tree and disappeared into the darkness. And peace and quiet once more resumed.

Nature Notes hosted by Michele at Rambling Woods

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...