Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunset Drive

When I used to drive a safari vehicle, it was roofless, windowless and doorless. Needless to say it gave my clients wonderful, all round views of all the creatures and scenery. It is, of course a tough act to follow.
My best birding buddy Kathie's husband Gus has a very special baby. It is his pride and joy, so I felt very honoured when he agreed to take Kathie and I for a sunset drive in Saguaro NP East in a rather splendid 'safari vehicle.'

 This snarling, gleaming, black beast was woefully under used pootling along at a couple of miles an hour whilst Kathie and I ooooh'd and aaaah'd over the dozens of nighthawks swooping overhead and listened to the Purple Martins warbling song as dusk fell. But my goodness we were riding in style!

As the sun began to set it started to throw a beautiful golden glow over the land.

It just got more and more dramatic each minute.

Even after the gleaming orb slid below the horizon.

No matter which direction we looked in, the sky was a glorious palette of spectacular colours.

And, as if the sun and the skies weren't putting on a dramatic enough show. A wonderful cloud creature reared up from behind the mountains.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

So Close And Yet..................

When I started my other blog I made one simple rule, if it doesn't occur on our land it doesn't go on the blog. There have been several times when I have been tempted to cheat but I have managed (so far) to stick to my rule :)
Often in the evening after we have watched the sun set we walk down our driveway and stroll round the neighbourhood. As it starts to get dark it is always intriguing to see what appears. There seems to be a fairly regular Bobcat but I have never yet managed to get a photo of it. Other creatures are equally elusive.

Some creatures announce their presence from on high, like this Cactus Wren.

 Whilst others I have to look very hard for and follow their calls to their parents.

Others are quiet and extremely well camouflaged, toning perfectly with the desert colours.

One thing I am always on the look-out for is snakes. They love to slither onto the warm asphalt which provides great photo opportunities.  This juvenile Western Diamondback was barely a foot and a half long with a little button rather than a rattle on the tip of its tail.

 But what a handsome little chap!

I also have to sometimes act as traffic controller. Standing with the snake waving my flashlight to ensure the snake doesn't get run over. I was happy to ensure that this Long-nosed Snake got safely across the road.

All very close to home but not quite close enough for my one simple rule.