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Monday, September 28, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Prickly pear mustache

No that isn't a Kool-aid stain around his mouth. This Desert Tortoise has been gorging on Prickly Pear Cactus fruit. The fruit is pretty sweet and yummy--even if a bit prickly which probably doesn't bother a leathery tortoise.

Below is some prickly pear cactus with their juicy red fruit!



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Cooper's Hawk strikes the window.

Poor Cooper. He smacked pretty hard into our front window which is one that hardly ever has any bird strikes. Fortunately, no permanent damage. He flew off after a couple of hours of dazed recovery.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bordered Patch butterfly

A remarkably variable butterfly in the southwest. Above forewing can have white or orange spots. This one has orange.




Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tiny Checkerspot butterfly - dark variation

This is the dark variation of the Tiny Checkerspot butterfly on one of my Shasta daisies. Last week, I spotted the lighter Tiny Checkerspot.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Reakirts Blue

Reakirts Blue. Note the conspicuous row of white-ringed black spots and the black dot on forewing and bottom of top wing.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Tiny Checkerspot butterfly

Spotted this Tiny Checkerspot on some Mesa Tansyaster wildflowers in my yard. Distinctive markings on this  butterfly are the pale spot along the leading edge of forewing. Below has alternating bands of orange and white.




Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Queen butterfly

At first glance, this butterfly looked like a Monarch but lacking the bars on the forewing, it is a Queen. In the Southwest, these butterflies often outnumber Monarchs.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Cloud shadows on the Rincon Mountains

Looking across my neighborhood, Redington Ranch, the clouds make shadows on the Rincon Mountain range.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

My boy.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Janusia wildflower



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Amazing Ants

Like the fable, the ant and the grasshopper, this is the time of year when ants are putting up food for the lean winter months. (Yes, there is a winter in the desert!) Ants are just amazing creatures, and it's kind of comical to watch what appears to be self-locomoting seeds cross the street. Then upon closer inspection, you realize that there's an ant underneath. What strength and determination.

I was so engrossed in the ant, I didn't have the camera lined up as well as I could have, but still an impressive shot!





Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

White-winged doves are gone for 2015

White-winged doves usually depart for warmer climes around Labor Day and this year was no different. Their numbers at my bird feeders have been dwindling over the past couple of weeks. Friday, September 4, I didn't seen any, and none today either. I believe it's safe to say that the messy voracious birds are gone until next year.

Zenaida asiatica -Tuscon -Arizona -USA -8a


Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sabino Canyon - Bear Canyon Trail

It was a perfect day for a late summer hike. Cloudy skies kept it from being too hot and the streams were running high from the active Monsoon rains.



This regal horned-lizard was hanging out on the road. Their camouflage never ceases to amaze me.



Cattails growing along the bank of the stream.



The streams were flowing high due to the active monsoon season.



Wildflowers like this Coulter's Hibiscus (Rose Mallow) were blooming everywhere.







An old pock-marked saguaro.



I have never seen these flowers before. I'll have to update this post when I ID them. Love the light green leaves.



A basket of very cute bats at the gift center.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Clear enough to see the Milky Way

Tonight after the day's storm ended, it was clear enough to see the Milky Way. It's been a long time since I've seen a cloudless night sky.

Night-sky-milky-way-galaxy-astrophotography - West Virginia - ForestWander


Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

How green the Sonoran Desert is!

The south face of the Catalina Mountains is lush with green from our active monsoon thus year. Those clouds signal more rain is coming later today.



Copyright © Deborah A. Ayers - All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015