The calm before the storm

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Now that our snow is all melted, and soaking into our forest… it’s time for some more.  We are forecast to get snow for the next 3 days.   Never knowing quite what to expect, irregardless of the forecasts, we prepare ourselves for what might come.

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While some might stock up on groceries, gasoline for vehicles or generators, or perhaps ready the snowplows…. we see it as an opportunity to see if we can catch some animals in transit.

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Animals can sense when a storm is afoot better than any Harvard grad.  They tend to move around during a storm… so we set out to see if we could catch some animals.

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Unfortunately, it was pretty slim pickin’s out there.  But it made for a fun morning outing nonetheless.  Bring on the snow.

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Snow Elk

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We got quite the winter storm this week…. and I don’t know what it is, but storms always seem to bring the animals.

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Of course, we are always delighted to see them.  I always tell them… ‘I’ll make you famous’… if only they knew!

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These poor little guys were hunkered down looking for warmth and food.

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Even the dry twigs seemed like tasty food for these guys who were rummaging through the snow looking for something to eat.

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Of course, kids will be kids, and all they cared about was playing in the snow!  Typical! : )

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You can check out more snow pix here…  https://kritterspaw.com/2019/02/23/snow/

 

Sandhill Cranes

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I have never been much of a bird watcher, but being retired, and living in the ‘wilderness’ has made me so much more aware of the animals and birds around me that I ever was living in the big city going to work every day.

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There are so many interesting animals and birds out there, that I feel I have barely scratched the surface of being able to appreciate and identify the wide variety of species we have in AZ.

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The sandhill cranes are among the more interesting migrating birds that call AZ their temporary home.

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Then their are the snow geese that come for the summer – and I’m not talking about the east coasters that come in travel trailers and crowd Phoenix during Noreasters back home!

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Northern shovelers with their platypus-type bills are among some of the interesting ducks we have.

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Along with the pintail ducks that flock to our AZ lakes.

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At Whitewater Draw in southern AZ, you might find yourself saying ‘who?’ to any number of bird species in this small, confined riparian area that serves as home to a snow bird of another feather.

Twin Bucks

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We have been getting some much needed snow fall this week… just in time for Christmas.  It’s hasn’t amounted to much accumulation, but we’ll take what we can get.

The snow has brought in this pair of twin bucks, who are just, pardon the pun, endeering.

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They have brought a smaller little buck with them, and they seem to be hanging out together in their own little pack.

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The little one has smaller antlers, but is definitely a new buck… and just as cute.

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He seemed to be enjoying his first snow and the wonder of this cool white stuff dropping from the sky.

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We so enjoyed their visit.

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Best of Animals, 2018

A year wouldn’t be complete without my wildlife photos that I strive so hard to capture.  This year has been especially unique with some terrific ‘up-close-and-personal’ shots of a wide variety of wildlife, including bison, antelope, and big horn sheep.  Picking the top shots is the hard part… what an awesome problem to have. : )

antelopelk_IR.jpg1.  Antelope   Greens Peak Loop near Show Low

blue_PS_IR.jpg2.  Blue Heron    Carneros Lake

ramtree_IR_IR.jpg3.  Big Horn Sheep    Greer, AZ

deersmirk_IR.jpg4.  Mule Deer    Grand Canyon South Rim

_40A5780_IR.jpg5.  Mule Deer    Grand Canyon North Rim

bison fight_IR.jpg6.  Bison    Raymond Wilderness Area

Greatapproach_IR.jpg7.  Great White Egrets    Happy Jack, AZ

_40A6663_IR.jpg8.  Baby White Tail Deer Fawn    Happy Jack, AZ

daisibull_IR.jpg9.  Bull Elk    Happy Jack, AZ

pygmy on_IR.jpg10.  Pygmy Owl    Happy Jack, AZ

 

Best of 2018

I did a Best of…. back in 2016.  Not sure what happened in 2017, but thought I’d provide a couple series of Best of’s for this years photos to share.

flames_comp_IR-2.jpg1.  Tinder Fire    Of course, the most memorable (and terrifying) event of the year was the fire that stormed up our hill on April 29, 2018.  We were fortunate enough to be spared… many weren’t so lucky.

burnmist_IR_IR.jpg2.  Post Fire     The post fire made for some surreal photos and devastating landscape, which I’m happy to report is starting to come back.

raybeamstar_IR.jpg3.  Renewal    Trips to the Mogollon Rim brought new light, old growth, and peaceful respites.

_40A5228-HDR_IR.jpg4.  Sublime Point   The North Rim Sublime Point offered an awesome vantage point for nature’s wonder.

rocktreesplit_IR.jpg5.  Bright Angel Point    The popular Bright Angel Point along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon makes for magical scenery.

Maple Blanket_IR.jpg6.  Maple Blanket    An early October snowfall chased the fall colors off the trees creating a blank of fall color on the new fallen snow.

Aspenleaffall_IR.jpg7.  Sedona Fall    Oak Creek Canyon burst with yellows and reds along the serene creek.

maplestream_PS_IR.jpg8.  SnowMelt    Snow melt creates run off among the woods of Mogollon Rim.

_40A3974-Pano-Edit-Edit_LR-Edit_IR.jpg9.  Ruins Doors    This magical place overlooks the valley below as it has for centuries, seemingly untouched.

Ramrelease_IR.jpg10.  Ram Release  While this is more an animal highlight than a photographic one… it was a special moment for us this year, to be a part of re-locating big horn sheep to their natural habitat only a few miles from us.

For more Best of 2018 check out post ….kritterspaw.com/2018/12/27/more-best-of-2018/

Elk Profile

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I remember when I used to visit my husband’s folks in Morman Lake, AZ.  They would be all excited to share ‘their’ elk with us.  With a binoculars in hand, if you squinted real hard, you could see the little dots of elk crossing in front of the fire house, about 1/4 mile away.

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John’s mom still remembers fondly how close they got to see the elk.  I laugh.

If she had any idea of how close we see the elk today!

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