Archive for Photography

Mule Deer Sighting

Doe
 
Fawn

We don’t often see the local mule deer since they keep mostly out of sight. Today, however, one of the dogs got my attention to look out front. I saw the doe in the top image. She was standing pretty still, so I got a camera and took the top photo from the courtyard.

I then realized that the deer think our lemon tree leaves are a delicacy since we see evidence of them nibbling on it. I looked over at the lemon tree just in time to see a couple of fawns that were there take off. I got a fairly decent photo of one of them about to leap the back wall. The other was too far up the hill behind the creosote and other brush to get much of a photo.

Once both fawns were up on the hill, the mama doe easily leapt over the neighbor’s four foot wire fence and proceeded to join the little ones. They all disappeared from sight after that. Click on either image to (slightly) enlarge.

Comments off

Sphinx Moth and Red Bird of Paradise

Sphinx Moth

Last evening at dusk, I was in the courtyard photographing the sunset colors. I turned around toward the Red Bird of Paradise shrubs and saw several hummingbird moths browsing the flowers. I got the close-up above of one of the moths.

Hummingbird moths are actually an entire family of moths called Sphinx Moths. Family Sphingidae (Sphinx Moths, Hawkmoths) contains a very large number of related sub-families and species.

From the Butterflies and Moths of North America website:

The Sphingidae belong to the Superfamily Sphingoidea. Members of this family are commonly called “hummingbird,” “sphinx,” or “hawk” moths, and some can be mistaken for hummingbirds. Most are medium to large moths, with heavy bodies; wingspread reaches 5 inches or more in some species. The Sphingidae are strong and fast fliers, with a rapid wingbeat. Most species in the group are active at dusk, and most feed much like hummingbirds, hovering in front of a flower and sipping nectar through the extended proboscis. The proboscis rolls up when not in use. Some species lack scales on large portions of their wings, resulting in transparent or clear wings. In most species, the larval stage is called a “hornworm” because the caterpillar’s posterior end has a harmless hook or hornlike appendage protruding upward. Unfortunately, the caterpillar of some species can be very destructive to agricultural crops and ornamental plantings

Click on the image to enlarge.

Comments off

Devil’s Tongue Cactus Flower

Devil’s Tongue

Our Devil’s Tongue cactus had its first open flower today. Flowers open during the Second Spring Arizona pseudo-season. I snapped this in the rock and cactus garden west of the house this morning. Several bees were busily competing for the nectar. One of them is visible in the photo.

Ferocactus latispinus is the binomial nomenclature for what is commonly called the Devil’s Tongue cactus. Wikipedia offers the following information about this cactus:

Ferocactus latispinus is a species of barrel cactus native to Mexico. It grows as a single globular light green cactus reaching the dimensions of 30 cm (12 in) in height and 40 cm (16 in) across, with 21 acute ribs. Its spines range from reddish to white in color and are flattened and reach 4 or 5 cm long. Flowering is in late autumn or early winter. The funnel-shaped flowers are purplish or yellowish and reach 4 cm long, and are followed by oval-shaped scaled fruit which reach 2.5 cm (1 in) long.

Comments off

Cactus Flowers

Fishhook Cactus Flowers

Bishop’s Cap Flowers

During the spring and summer her in the desert, flowers opening on the various cacti keep us happy and my camera busy. I took these photos today of a little fishhook cactus with three flowers and my Bishop’s Cap with a bunch of open flowers. I didn’t bother to count them.

We continue to have our summer monsoons this week and the humidity really high. We can only stay outside for a limited time before retreating to the comfort of the cooler and drier air in our house.

Click on either image to enlarge.

Comments off

Cherry Red Flowers

Cherry Red Flowers

Not as impressive as the 21 open flowers from May, but still quite stunning. The three flowers on our “Cherry RedTrichocereus Grandiflorus cactus opened up this morning as expected and they became even more vividly colorful in the midday sun.

The cactus still shows a few more buds that we hope will be opening later this summer. Click on the image to enlarge.

Comments off

Night Blooming Cactus Flowers

First, the Argentine Giant (Echinopsis candicans) offered two beautiful flowers this evening:

Argentine Giant

Not to be outdone, the Queen of the Night Cactus (Peniocereus greggii) east of the driveway opened up this beautiful and fragrant flower:

Queen of the Night

Tomorrow, I will post the Cherry Red (Trichocereus Grandiflorus) flowers that are ready to open in the morning. Click on either image to enlarge.

Update: The Argentine Giant Flowers and the Queen of the Night Flower were still open this morning.

Comments off

Saguaro Flower Boom

Happy Cactus

Compared to last year, the number of flowers on the saguaro cacti around the area is many times more this spring. I didn’t get an exact count on our big cactus last year, (and won’t this year either) so the observation is subjective. Most of the older, mature saguaros have flowers on all the arms and new buds are still coming.

It could be the very mild winter we just had or maybe something entirely different that is the cause of the flower proliferation. It’s anybody’s guess. Regardless of the reason, we are very happy to see the cacti being very happy. ;)

Comments (2)

« Previous entries

-->