11. October 2016 · Comments Off on Envoys · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

The young desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) –perhaps a bit larger than the palm of a hand– stopped by briefly, then went off into the tall grass. Sitting quietly next to it for a moment while taking photos was very peaceful, they have an ineffable deep and old animal-sense about them that I treasure, and their eye and head position language are expressive and endearing. Very simple and direct way to find out what nature really thinks of you.

The Leilia Hackberry Butterfly flew right at me from some brush and caromed off my shirtfront. It was brisk and breezy in those shadows; I suspected it was looking for warmth, so held out my hand. It climbed aboard and rode for a mile or so, down one wash and up another. I cupped my hand to block the wind as I went. I found it some grasses in sun with less wind and other butterflies feeding nearby. Photos taken with left hand wrapped across the top of the camera, not the easiest focusing and framing I’ve done.

As always, honored to spend time with my most estimable neighbors.

30. October 2014 · Comments Off on Turn Of Season · Categories: Places · Tags: , ,

The yellowing of the ocotillos might seem like fall colors, and in a way they are, but it’s more about the end of monsoon. Not long after the ocotillo photo was taken, it rained and they returned to green while the water supply lasted. Some are bare, with others close by are still in leaf. It’s a possible indicator of where the water drains first.

The insect and arachnid denizens are mostly gone, the weather is turning cooler, especially at night. Perfect weather for sleeping under the stars right now, just an occasional midge to fend off. After the waxing moon sets, the milky way stands out in the crisp air, delaying sleep through sheer fascination. And just as I’m about to give in to sleep, there’s a sudden streak of light from a falling star. All putting me in my tiny place, which has its consolations.

Speaking of which, we’re settling in on our new server, please advise if here are glitches in your visit here.

06. October 2014 · Comments Off on Flibbertigibbet Grounded · Categories: Places · Tags:

Butterflies usually avoid direct approach in my experience. They like to fly past at a good clip, or dart around the periphery of human reach, but they don’t like to be still when a large animal approaches. I wonder if they don’t accelerate well with all that windage, so survival odds are best if already moving. This one was too cold to fly this morning.

Butterfly Waking Butterfly Waking



24. September 2014 · Comments Off on Slow Mornings · Categories: Places · Tags: , ,

As the nights get cooler, the summer stock sleep in late. The paparazzi take advantage and get close.


14. July 2014 · Comments Off on Blending · Categories: Places · Tags: , ,
13. August 2012 · Comments Off on Fallen Sentinel · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

Sunday’s walk started out cheerfully, a yellow butterfly in a wash, avidly camera-averse, or perhaps it’s just my morning waft. Grey morning, hints of rain that didn’t manifest, but as usual wonderful to be out in the desert alone in the morning quiet and smells.

Then I ambled out of a little canyon only to find a dead acquaintance sprawled on the ground. Its youth probably preceded Arizona statehood and the noisome railroad line that runs nearby, might well have been noted as an up-and-comer by covered wagon and stagecoach riders on their way to get water from Cienega Creek. I noted it because there was an aluminum shaft sticking out of one of its arms, took my slow morning brain several days to ID it as an arrow.

It stood at the entrance to a small canyon I frequent, there are several mammoth saguaro in this area, and I internally bow to their venerability and surreal majesty as I pass by every day. This one was large enough that the area looks different now, it’s lost some definition. I got to see the arrow close-up, its fletching tattered and mostly gone.