The Azure Gate Bed & Breakfast
Innkeeper(s): Dennis & Christine Widman
Pronghorn Story 12 Dec 2013, 5:44 am
On one of my trips to eastern Arizona I took a diversion to Eagle Creek. The diversion was a 22 mile (one way) road to an area supposedly full of wildlife.
When I reached the site, there wasn't a drop of water in the creek ... not even a sparrow to photograph. Feeling as if the extra four hours was going to be a waste, I started back down the same old dusty road but this time I noticed a vast field (maybe 500 acres) of grass which could be good Pronghorn terrain.
Low and behold, I looked out the window and about 200 yards away I saw something other than grass. I stopped, looked through my binoculars and saw a male Pronghorn lying down with just head and antlers showing. I started walking toward the Pronghorn taking photos every 30 steps or so, thinking, "Well, this probably is the last photo" -- but no, the Pronghorn didn't move. When I was 30 yards away I saw a Fawn lying down behind the Buck.
Now I was really excited, and started taking photos of the little guy too. Dad and Baby were only about 10 yards away now. Dad suddenly got up and started walking away (more photos), but the Fawn just lay there. Dad, who was now about 50 yards away, made a sound; a low deep sound. The Fawn stood up but instead of walking toward Dad, walked toward me -- to within 15 feet.
Had this Fawn ever seen a human being? (Typical curious kid I guess). When Dad made another call, the Fawn turned, looked at Dad, and started running away as did Dad. I said "thank you very much" to each of them and walked the 200 yards back to the Jeep.
I got in my Jeep, turned on the engine, put the transmission in drive, looked out the window and noticed that the young Pronghorn had followed me all the way back, and was now only 10 yards from the car. I put the transmission back into park, turned the engine off, got out of the Jeep again, and took many more photos.
Soon the Buck came back as well, although a bit further away. He made another sound, crossed the road after which the Fawn followed. Soon they were far away again.
I re-lived the amazing 90 minute experience while driving the five hour trip home. I was so lost in the memory, the trip went by in a blink.
Was I the first human the fawn saw?
Here's the male running:
Pronghorn in Arizona 11 Dec 2013, 12:26 pm
For the next few days, it will be "5" Star Pronghorn Photos. This one taken in the Eagle Creek wilderness in eastern Arizona. Nice buck walking among the grasses:
Prickly Poppy 10 Dec 2013, 12:23 pm
Most of the year this 'weed" looks dead or dying or otherwise nondescript. However, when it blooms it can produce a "5" Star Photo:
Prickly Pear Cactus Flower: The Best for Last 9 Dec 2013, 6:25 am
The last -- and my favorite -- of the "5" Star Prickly Pear photos. I especially like this photo because of the rich dark burgundy and black background that offsets the yellow flower. The burgundy inside the flower matches the background for added beauty. I took this photo at Saguaro National Park.
|Prickly Pear Cactus Flower|
Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers 7 Dec 2013, 5:15 am
Back to my alphabetical series on my "5" Star Photos. I left off with Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers. How about this bouquet?
|Prickly Pear Cactus Flowers|
Sweetwater Wetlands 6 Dec 2013, 4:07 am
Continuing my little trip around some of Tucson's birding spots I checked out Sweetwater Wetlands. Again nothing unusual, however I came back with some nice photos anyway:
Fort Lowell Park 5 Dec 2013, 6:57 am
Next up and my rounds about Tucson was Fort Lowell Park. Again nothing rare, but as often is the case there is a photo to be found. This time a Black Phoebe. It reminds me of another photo I took at Fort Lowell Park of a Vermillion Flycatcher sitting atop a "NO SWIMMING" sign. They make for fun photos:
Lakeside Park, Tucson 4 Dec 2013, 7:00 am
I had a chance to check out some of Tucson's parks yesterday. And, although nothing out of the ordinary, sometimes the ordinary becomes extraordinary. These first two photos from Lakeside Park and good examples:
Tomorrow: Sweetwater Wetlands.
Prickly Pear Cactus Blooming 3 Dec 2013, 5:28 am
Prickly Pear Cactus is everywhere in Southern Arizona. It grows like a weed. If a pad breaks off, it will grow roots and become a new plant. But it is also susceptible to drought. And, it is also the home of ground squirrels and other burrowing animals. While the cactus serves to protect the animal the burrowing leaves the roots exposed which eventually kills the cactus. Between the current drought and the burrowing there is quite a lot of dead cactus everywhere as well.
Yet, starting in late March and into May, the Sonoran Desert becomes alive with Prickly Pear Cactus flowers. On any given cactus there will be 20-40 cactus "pads." On each cactus pad there will be 2 to 8 flowers.
Here is the first of several "5" Star Prickly Pear Cactus photos. I especially like the composition of this one with the cactus off center allowing for the contrast with the grasses and wildflowers.
|Prickly Pear Cactus Blooming|
Praying Mantis 2 Dec 2013, 5:47 am
Not exactly a Bobcat, but this Praying Mantis was just outside my office and set up perfectly for a photo. He even looks like he's "praying" for me to take one: