Monday, 4 January 2016

The Best of 2015

My goodness, where do the years go? Here we are again looking back through the last year. This is a tradition that I follow every year. I find it fun to look back and remind myself of all the delightful critters that have allowed me to photograph them.
I am starting with the resplendent reptiles, it was a good year for our scaled friends, I think they did well with all the rain. 

This was our accidental catch. A very forgiving rattler that my husband managed to catch in a trap he had put out for a packrat. She didn't bear a grudge and posed obligingly after leaving the trap.

On the opposite end of the scale, this is a little baby rattler, barely twelve inches long. Being so diminutive he was a little more hesitant about posing for the camera but with quietness and patience I was able to get some nice pics.

No such demure behaviour from this spiny beauty, he struck the pose like a supermodel! I just love these characters and never tire of photographing them.

I did say it was a great reptile year and this was an absolute gem. A baby Gila Monster! At approximately six inches long it was probably not much more than a hatchling. I feel truly blessed to have seen such a unique little treasure.

The last reptile has been my nemesis for years. The Coachwhip, so fast that a photo seemed a forlorn hope until this year when, for some reason it decided to stick around for the paparazzi! Even going so far as to trace my steps up to the pool one day and watch me take a dip. Maybe it was the snakes revenge for me following him around?
And now onto the ones with exoskeletons.

I do love having these beautiful 'fluffies' around. I know they not everyones cup of tea but I think they are magnificent.

Something more conventionally pretty. I liked this shot because of the contrast between the fierce spines and the delicate butterfly.
An old favourite reappears as the sole representative for the amphibians.

The splendid Sonoran Desert Toad. This hefty lovely took up residence on our back patio, hanging out under an agave during the heat of the day, taking a dip in our little pool in the evening before heading out to hunt for dinner. He had a special place in our heart as he only had one eye.
And now onto the feathered ones...........

What's not to love about the oh so expressive Roadrunner? 

This isn't the best quality photo but it was indicative of the day. It was grey and wet when this flock of Western Bluebirds appeared. What a perfect way to brighten a day.

I just love this shot! Mrs quail looking absolutely irresistible.

Some colour here, a little Verdin feeding amongst the aloe blossoms.

This super fancy Black-throated Sparrow posed very obligingly outside the window one morning. I don't often enthuse about sparrows but this one is so smart looking with that sharp black and white colour scheme.

This was a new yard species right at the end of the year. A Peregrine Falcon feeding on an unfortunate dove.
Now onto the sky category.

We had a stunning supermoon this year that I just had to try to photograph. Such a magical sight.

My much photographed twisty twig makes the grade this year. I love this view and take endless shots throughout the seasons.

The mountains always provide a dramatic backdrop to the vivid colours of sunset.
The next group is plants.

One of our agaves threw up a flower stem this year and as the months went by it got taller and taller. Inevitably it was christened Audrey II.

The chollas flourished with all the rain, I like this macro shot, pretty but spikey!

A tiny little hedgehog cactus that goes virtually unnoticed for the majority of the year has its fifteen minutes of fame when it bursts into spectacular bloom.
Finally, the mammals.

It's tough enough to photograph the shy Round-tailed Ground Squirrel but getting a shot of them coming out of their burrow? I struck it really lucky with this one.

The naughtiest photo for the year. Wiley Coyote making it quite clear whose territory this is!

And finally our beautiful resident pussy cat. I am probably going to bore you all with endless photos of this gorgeous Bobcat that has decided that our back patio is the perfect spot to sleep during the day after spending the night hunting.

Shhhhh! Let sleeping dogs cats lie.
Happy New Year everyone.


eileeninmd said...

Hello, you had an amazing year and wonderful collection of photos and critters. I love them all! I wish you all the best in 2016, a happy healthy New Year.

Guy said...

Hi Celeste

What wonderful photos, The lizards and snakes are great.


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