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.
There are so many interesting animals and birds out there, that I feel I have barely scratched the surface of being have to appreciate and identify the wide variety of species we have in AZ.
The sandhill cranes are among the more interesting migrating birds that call AZ their temporary home.
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!
Northern shovelers with their platypus-type bills are among some of the interesting ducks we have.
Along with the pintail ducks that flock to our AZ lakes.
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.
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.
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!
We did an overnight in Sedona and enjoyed this amazing overlook from our campsite.
We ooh’d and aah’d along oak creek (https://kritterspix.com/2018/10/30/oak-creek-sedona-az/) and saw our first ring tail cat in the wild (see post ….https://kritterspaw.com/2018/10/30/ring-tale/).
Words just don’t do it justice. Hard to top this trip. Where will we head next?
It’s fall in Northern AZ. With all the snow (all 10″ between 2 storms) and wind we have had, most of the leaves have fallen to the ground on the Rim… so time to explore fall colors in other parts.
Sedona along Oak Creek makes for a fine diversion. The aspens were in full yellows and the ferns varying shades of reddish brown. It was the kind of scenery that gives you pause as it takes your breath away.
The cascading waters just added to it’s peaceful serenity. It’s hard to beat scenery like this. Arizona is truly a magical place.
One that we are fortunate enough to call home.
I thought I had seen it all… at least most of the animals there were to see. (Though I still have never seen that elusive mountain lion.) The other day we even got the opportunity to see a Ringtail Cat. Which was super cool. I didn’t get a photo, alas… they are nocturnal. I felt fortunate enough just to see this odd little weasel-like creature with a raccoon-ish big stripped tail bigger than his body. (You can see a photo of him here… https://kritterspaw.com/2018/10/30/ring-tale/). But I digress.
The other day, we were outside and this ‘swarm’ of white birds was circling overhead. They settled in the tree in our front yard! Moreover, they stayed!
I’m guessing they were migrating from here to there… where ever the here and there are. But in transit, they needed a rest, and found a good spot right here! Wow!
I can tell you, I got little else done that day!!!
So, they appear to be Great White Egrets… while they are ‘common’ birds…. they certainly aren’t common in our front yard here in the mountains. So I was delighted to have them find rest at our home.
They were here… then they were gone.
I was happy to entertain them… or moreover, have them provide my entertainment, albeit for a short respite.
Fall colors had me ga-ga like a little kid with a new toy, wandering around snapping shots of all the beauty everywhere I looked. But when I got home and looked at my photos, I got a lot of ‘scraggle’, like that below.
While I tried to be aware of all my photography rules: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify, I pulled out contrasting yellow leaf color against dark trunks and green backgrounds. But what I got was ‘scraggle’… busy, busy, busy. Somehow when running around snapping the photos I didn’t see the little twigs that added clutter and distraction.
Instead, I should have been keeping it CLEAN, by pulling out singular subjects and isolating them for a more interesting and uncluttered shot.
The shots I took that CUT THE CLUTTER, took the prize and won my favor and the viewer’s eye.
If you remember a post I did a little while back about Pat’s Fawn (https://kritterspix.com/2018/09/17/pats-fawn/), we’ve been fortunate enough to see it a few times and kinda watch it grow up, which has been a real joy. It’s starting to loose it’s spots.
But it’s still playful and skittish… and wonderfully fun to watch. Mom still dotes on her… except, apparently it’s a him.
I caught a glimpse of a little bump on his head where his antlers will be soon.
We can still call him Spots though, right?!