Monday, August 24, 2009

Toad Lickers Caution

This weeks Illustration Friday challenge is "Caution". The poison toad in my last post gave me the idea for this animated illustration. I was wondering what type of hallucinations would go through a Colorado River Toads mind if he gave himself a bath like a cat. Use every ounce of caution you can muster up around these toxic toads.

Toadlicker's Treasure

The folks around here are pretty familiar with this guy. He's a Colorado River Toad. These toads have a toxin in their skin that can be fatal to dogs, or any other animal who tries to make a meal of them. Humans however have been know to lick these toads to reach some psychotropic state. Me, I think I'll pass thanks.

Speaking of psychotropic states. I think I heard stories of folks ingesting Jimson Weed for a mind bending experience. I'll pass on that buzz as well. This little patch of Jimson Weed invaded the middle of my yard last year and I cut it way back to nothing last fall. I allowed it to come in again this year, as its blossoms are so beautiful.

Spectacular Sunsets

Monsoon season is definitely my favorite time of year.

The thirsty desert drinks in the rainfall...

and I drink in the beauty of the multi-colored skyscapes.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Summer Roundup

Well, looking back on my last post date, it appears that this blog has been become rather stale from sitting on the back burner for so long. I’ve had my hands full of all kinds of stuff. I figured I’ll jump back in and post a bit of a summer roundup. I dug through the shots I took over the last couple of months and picked out a handful to share.
This place got pretty wild earlier this season. A friend of mine was walking her dog across the wash behind my yard when they were attacked by a small pack of Javalina’s. My friend escaped unscathed, but her dog succumbed to an infection from a puncture wound. The dog was given antibiotics, yet he still sadly passed. It was a sad note for starting off the summer. Then one late afternoon I was sitting out on the patio when I saw a Bobcat mosey on by right on the other side of the fence. I t would have been awesome to have had my camera with me at the time. The cat later decided to prowl about in a neighbor’s yard who managed to get some shots of the varmint before he disappeared. A few days later I gazed over towards the golf course and some big critter caught the corner of my eye. At first glance I knew it was too large to be a dog. At second glance the next critter that came to mind was “moose” (flashbacks from life in Alaska, I guess). Then after getting my eyeballs targeted in I realized I was watching a family of deer out on the green. I think they wanted to play through.
I bought a couple of bird feeders, and have been tossing out seed every morning around the crack of dawn. Now the word seems to have gotten out to every bird in the valley that breakfast is getting served up here daily. Mornings now remind me of a few of the scenes from Alfred Hitchcocks “The Birds”. It’s pretty much been the usual cast of characters, and the baby Quail chicks are as darling as ever. I think Henery found a spouse. She parked out on the wall long enough for me to get a shot. I call her “The Bride of Henery”. I’ve also been getting more frequent visits from an Oriole. Any how I hope you enjoy your visit and some of the pics. Click on the deer shots if you want to see their larger version

Here is the Altamira Oriole stopping in at the waterfall.

I did some poking around, but I could not identify this bird who explored my patio. I'm wondering if it is some sort of Flycatcher.

Oh Deer!

More Deer!

Even more Deer!

I'd like to introduce you to "The Bride of Henery".

About a week and a half ago, up popped the tallest thunder head I ever did see.

Its anvil covered a huge chunk of the sky.

A really cool looking Dragonfly was gracious enough to sit still while I got off a nice shot.

A pair of Morning dove fledglings decided to make my bakers rack their little home away from home. The shelves are not to far underneath their nest, and the pair of youngins decided to spend the better part of the afternoon checking out the backyard from their little balcony. They did not freak out from my presence. In fact they did not even get flustered when I moved a pot a bit closer to one of them so he could chill in its shadow.

When Henery the Hawk swoops down to see whats on the menu, all of the birds, reptiles, and other critters, either bolt, or freeze. He swung down the other day and this little squirrel hit the deck and froze till he figured the Hawk threat had passed.

When he's not frozen in terror, he can be seen literally "hightailing it" throughout the yard.
Well that's about it for the summer roundup so far. I drew the illustration of the Daylily at the top of this post in honer of the pot full of Lily's blooming outside as we speak.
Thanks for popping in!