Friday, September 26, 2008

Katydid What!

Hmmm..... twig?

Guess not.

We sure get some of the coolest insects around here. Click the above image to see the bigger view.

Katie did what! Good job Katie, keep asking the important questions. This Katydid thinks you should have the bitch slapped the lunatic from Wasilla.

This young dove is recovering from a nasty window collision. You should see my windows now, they are totally covered in "post its". I'm researching UV reflective window coverings, to keep these guys from flying into the windows.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Giant Agave Bug

A cool looking bug eh? He's pretty big too. I'd say he is about two and a half inches from top to bottom. I found this site over here that helped me identify him. Now with a name like "Giant Agave Bug", it may be safe to assume he is a native species.

Is That You Charlie?

For a minute there I thought this was Charlie, one of the stars of the first video posted on my blog. Then after getting a closer look at him it seems this may not be the case. I don't know how long it takes a Desert Spiny Lizard to regrow a tail after its loss, and this guy appears to be doing just that. It has been a couple of months since I taped Charlie wooing a female (with his original tail in tact). Who knows? Is that you Charlie?

Hello Henery!

Henery Hawk has returned this morning. He seems to be getting a bit braver each day. This morning he came all the way down to the waters edge on the pond.

I'm glad he's enjoying the hospitality, and the "Doves Du Jour".

"Hey Henery! , while your in there why don't you dine on Jeremiah!" That would certainly resolve the problem discussed in my previous post. Unfortunately I've only seen Jeremiah out in the daylight hours once. Hmmm maybe I can pray to the Owl Gods to take care of Jeremiah.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ribbet Ribbet

I just went outside and my darling amphibian decided to ham it up for a nice photo.
I've looked all around to figure out what this guy is, and the closest I can come up with to identify him is an American Bullfrog. So I guess I'll just call him "Jeremiah" for now.
*Update* Upon discovering that this critter is a North American Bullfrog, I decided to do some more poking around and discovered that this guy is no friend indeed. I spoke with a Research Ecologist for the USGS Sonoran Desert Research Station named Cecil Schwalbe of the Southwest Biological Science Center, who helped me properly identify the frog. I learned that this species is extremely invasive, and poses an enormous threat to many of the indigenous species. One of the species endangered by this marauder is the Lowland Leopard Frog. I have a very difficult time killing animals, so I've put a call out to the Arizona Game and Fish Dept., and someone should be contacting me soon. I'm wondering though, as much as I hate to kill anything, is there really much difference between being a coward and having someone else do it, to doing the deed my self? Perhaps I should "Cowgirl Up", keep a stiff upper lip, and put my shovel to good use. Then hop online and look up some tasty frogs legs recipies. Who knows perhaps just a little of salt, pepper, butter and garlic, may wash away the guilt.

The Raptors Return

The day before yesterday my heart stopped when this guy dropped out of the sky like a bolt of lightning and picked off a dove. My adrenaline started pumping like crazy. Sure would have been nice to have the camcorder running at the time of the kill. It happened so fast that I was only able to notice that he had a striped tail. I could not identify other features to describe him (or her).

He swooped down this afternoon, but was not as lucky as the other day. I was extremely grateful that he stuck around long enough today for me to snap a couple of pics. I wish I knew what species he is. I've done a little poking around on the net, but I've yet to find one with a tail as long as this one is sporting. As soon as I find out what he is, I'll update this post.
*Update* Well I believe I may have identified the Hawk. My friend Sierra mentioned that its possibly a "Coopers Hawk". Some refer to this species as a "Chicken Hawk", yet in my yard, I may as well refer to him as a "Dove Hawk". After poking around on the internet, I've found that this seems to be the case. One of the Photo's I found that resembles this critter the most, is over here at the Stanislaus Audubon Societie's web page. then I was fortunate enough to find a nice audio description of the predatory habits of this bird from this "birdnote" website. Here is a sample, so click on the play button below, and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Waterfall Party

Seems there was a bit of a party going on at the Waterfall today. Check out the Quail behind the rock peering over at the finches.

Loco Cuckoo!

I wasn't sure what the heck this was, so I peeked around on the net. I think it's called a "Cuckoo Wasp". I'm going to call it a "Loco Cuckoo". I was replacing some of the pavers on my patio, and no matter how much my tamper handle was bouncing up and down, this little guy tenaciously kept trying to land on the handle. I don't know why this guy was so in love with my tamper handle, but I'm just glad he chose to fall in love with my tool rather than my body. I love his emerald metallic body.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Crouching Catepillar Hidden Spider

Check out this Catepillar's cool markings. They look like eyes staring at you.

Here is the full Monty. This guy is actually pretty darn large. I'd say nearly three and a half inches.

This Spider was hanging out right next to the Catepillar. I didn't even notice the spider until I moved in for a closer shot of the Catepillar.

Juvenile Quail

Well I guess I cannot call them quail chicks anymore. Oh they grow up so fast! Sometimes I wonder which one of those darling little chicks I filmed has blossomed into this Juvenile .