Saturday, 26 May 2012

There Be Dragons

As well as the prodigious number of saguaro blossoms that I mentioned in my last post, this seems to be a great spring for lizards too. We always see lizards draped about on various rocks absorbing the heat they need to put a spring in their step but over the past few weeks it seems there are lizards everywhere, to the point where we have to be careful where we tread.

As you know, I am a great fan of the much maligned reptile group so I am most happy to welcome these scaly characters into our yard. Especially when they are as spectacularly colourful as this particular individual.

Clearly he was quite aware of just how splendid he looked as he, very obligingly, allowed me to photograph him from numerous angles. For all you lady Desert Spiny Lizards out there, this could be the man for you!!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Monarchs of the Desert

After a great monsoon season, a relatively mild winter and some more gentle showers during early spring, it is time for the Saguaros to burst forth. Now most of these desert monoliths are crowned with opulent wreaths of buds and flowers.

Masses and masses of them swathed round and round the tops of most of their limbs.

The buds don't all open at the same time, each day a few will burst forth in a magnificent display that lasts a few hours before withering away to be replaced the next day by another set.

But when these flowers are so many feet up in the air, how do you get a reasonable picture of one of these succulent blooms?

Well that is when an extremely tall spouse with very long arms comes in handy! We managed to find a relatively short Saguaro in bloom and by standing on his tip-toes he got this beautiful 'birds eye view' of a blossom!

Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Wildlife Cam

These photos are not going to win any prizes for composition or clarity but I am enjoying my new wildlife camera. My Hubby bought it for me for Christmas but, as with all these things, it took me a while to get round to setting it up. I like the idea of something taking pictures of the animals without disturbing them. I haven't captured too much with it yet but it's early days.
The usual passers by are the ever present Gambel's Quails

Next most frequently snapped are the rabbits - spot the ears!

And soon follows the rest of him

Another pair of ears kept me guessing, I thought it might be the Bobcat but they usually have white patches on the back of their ears so I will have to wait and see if the rest of it puts in an appearance sometime soon.

 It captures night time visitors too. Don't the Javalinas look foreboding in the dark?

Then there is the member of the household who just can't seem to remember that the camera is on!

Hmmmm can't seem to find this species in any of my field guides!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Desert in Bloom

No commentary needed, I will just let the pictures illustrate the beauty of the desert right now.


Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Nature Red in Beak and Talon

I have seen many predators hunt, kill and feed in my life but the strange mixture of excitement and sorrow never varies when witnessing the harsh cycle of life first hand.

The hunter, ever vigilant scans the area not missing a single detail

A study in focus and concentration, his existence depends upon his success

 Suddenly he spots a target and faster than thought he takes to the air, disappears from view and then, returns, victorious!

 The end is swift and a male Gambell's Quail has breathed his last so that the hawk may continue to thrive

 What was until recently a living being now is transformed into sustenance, held in place by brutal talons and skillfully carved by razor sharp beak.

 Though it may not always be easy to watch it is, after all, life.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

In Pursuit of Lunch

When you are low on the food chain you have to take care when you venture out to eat. The Round-tailed Ground Squirrel appears under the gate into our yard.

And carefully looks around to see if there is any danger nearby

You cannot be too cautious, there is always someone watching, somewhere

When the way seems clear, a quick run out into the open to the yummy quail block

Where a couple of mouthfuls are hurriedly munched and then cheeks filled with more goodies

Before running back into the shade, safe from the hunter in the skies

To enjoy a tasty meal

Nature Notes hosted by Michelle at Rambling Woods

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