Wildlife Sightings

People ask me, ‘where do you go to get your animal pictures?’

momby firevert-Edit_IR.jpg

It’s actually not an easy question to answer, as there is no straight forward answer.

I can tell you that ZERO of my wildlife photos are taken in a wildlife park or zoo.  They are 100% taken in the wild.  As all things wild, they are unpredictable.

Rufus.jpg

Many wildlife photographers get a lot of their photos through their livelihood, as biologists or working in nature conservatory for AZ Game & Fish or Forest Service preserving an animal’s habitat.  These sorts of jobs help the photographer, often early in their career, to learn the habitat and tendencies of their subject.

red tree turn_IR.jpg

I have not had that advantage.  I have had to learn the hard way on my own.  While, I have stumbled across various animal habitats, like the pair of great horned owls at Whitewater Draw, that’s the exception more than the rule.

Great Horned Owl Hort_IR.jpg

Sometimes it’s easy to go to where you know there will be animals, like Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, where the sandhill cranes flock to every November / December.

craneyellowmtnPSPSi.JPG

birdsssPSPSi.JPG

But for me, that’s more the exception than the rule.  Sometimes, I get animal shots in my own yard.

elk feedi.JPG

Often, though, it’s a matter of getting out there.  You have to look, to see.  We make frequent trips to the rim, leaving early morning when it’s still dark out, to get to the rim at first light when the animals are still moving around.

_MG_9973_IR.jpg

Besides the rim, we go out on photography trips just in search of that great landscape or animal shot.  Knowing that antelope can be found in the plains, or that there is a herd of big horn sheep that frequents the Greer area, can be helpful.

antelopefam_IR.jpg

IMG_0440_IR.jpg

ramtree_IR.jpg

Other than that, one just has to get out there.  You don’t find animals sitting on the couch eating bon bon’s, unless you’re watching the National Geographic channel. Ha! : )

bearpose_IR.jpg

In any case, luck favors the prepared.

Just this week, we were wandering around the woods (as we often find ourselves), actually looking for water where there was none.  We found lots of dry holes instead of Lakes, but we did encounter well over 1000 sheep crossing the road.  That’s not something you see every day – or ever before!

IMG_1298_IR.jpg

IMG_1383_IR.jpg

Sometimes, you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Late Arrival

_40A3567_IR.jpg

I was just talking about the animals fattening up for the winter..  https://kritterspix.com/category/pix/

I know, it may not seem like winter just yet, particularly for those in Phoenix.  But it was 39F here this morning… so winter is coming.

_40A3694_IR.jpg

Yet, somehow, we got our first little visitor.  Usually the babies show up in June – not September.  This scrawny little fawn, still with her spots, made a brief appearance.

_40A3728_IR.jpg

She’s got a steep learning curve ahead of her, and a lot to learn in a short time.  Not to mention that she needs to put more fat on her little bones!

_40A3638_IR.jpg

Momma, you hear that.  Bring her back for a visit more often.  We’ll do our part.  : )

 

 

Pez

pez_IR.jpg

Allow me to indulge in sharing a fun visitor we had.  Meet Pez.

I first noticed Pez, this tiny little baby bunny in our front yard about 6am.  I checked on her periodically through the day, and she barely left the comfort of this rock overhang.

BunnyBabe_IR.jpg

What an absolute cutie.  I fed her a little carrot shavings and a lid with water.  When I approached near her, she ran under the rock overhang – good girl!

Last I checked on her in the daylight was 6pm.  She hadn’t moved for 12 hours!

By morning, I’m happy to report she was gone, never to be seen again.

I’m sure mamma came and picked her up.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I was delighted to have her for the day, but equally glad for her to re-united with her mom.  Thanks for the visit, Pez, you made my day.  Come back and visit any time – but don’t eat my flowers!

Javelina sighting

It’s not very often we see javelina.  They are more of a mainstay in Phoenix area and southern AZ, in warmer climates than they are in Northern AZ.

javiturn_IR.jpg

But we got our first glimpse of these unusual beasts.  Officially known as collared peccary, they are similar to wild boar.

javi pose_IR.jpg

Javelina are prey to mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes.  As such they are pretty skittish and aware of all sounds and smells around them, particularly as they are known for their poor eyesight.

javi_IR.jpg

This small herd of 5 we encountered appeared to be 2 adults and 3 young (perhaps less than a year old).

Javi flowers_IR.jpg

We’re always happy to see animals, no matter what they are… the more ‘exotic’ the more exciting, especially if I manage to get a photo.

SNOW!!!

watcher_IR.jpg

We set a record for snow this week!  Single day snow of 35″.  That brings our estimated total this year (since Jan 1) to 90″!  We are LOVING it.  Particularly, after our recent fire, we can sure use the precipitation.  Wooohoo.

sno pines_IR.jpg

It snowed an inch an hour for from 8am Thurs to 8am Fri.. and then some.  It was a sight to see… and very happy we were here to see it.

IMG_20190221_155348351_HDR~2_IR.jpg

elksnow_IR.jpg

Snowy faces all around!

snowyface_IR.jpg

Check out more pix here….. https://kritterspix.com/2019/02/23/snow-elk/

 

 

Eagle Fest

Blue Drift_IR.jpg

It’s that time of the year when the eagles are nesting, breeding generally in January / February.  Pinetop / Lakeside in Northern AZ hosts an Eagle Fest hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish for an educational experience to learn about the eagles, their habitat, behaviors, and a field trip to see the eagles ‘in action’.

FlightPlay_IR.jpg

Female bald eagles lay between 1 – 3 eggs, with only a 35 day incubation period.  The fledgling(s) only stays in the nest for 45 days before being kicked out to fend for itself.

eagleflight_IR.jpg

The juvenile bald eagles, or eaglets are born a light gray and turn brown in color.  It isn’t until they are 4 – 5 years old that the iconic white head and tail feathers appear.  Bald eagles can live to be 35 years old or more.

Juvi_IR.jpg

Our field trip was at Rainbow Lake, in Lakeside, AZ.  It was fascinating to watch all the waterfowl ‘walking on the water’ as the ice melted on the lake.

walkgonwater_IR.jpg

We watched mergansers catch fish and chase each other around to try to steal the fish from one another.

Merganser Chase_IR.jpg

That is… until the bald eagle got hungry and dive bombed the mergansers to make their catch their own.

Eagle Fly_IR.jpg

Just goes to show… the bigger bird gets the worm, er… fish.

Duckdance_IR.jpg

Snow Burn

_40A1727_IR.jpg

My sister tells me she enjoys my blog and hasn’t seen a post in awhile… so I guess I have been remise.  Hi, Karen 🙂

So we went out to our burn area behind our house to take some photos of the burn area in the recent snow fall.

_40A1528_IR.jpg

Our singed trees are loving the snow and the soaking water it yields.  While many trees won’t come back… some will.

_40A1548_IR-2.jpg

We’ve gotten probably 24″ since Christmas all together, so it has been very welcome precipitation for our forest.  The snow has slowly melted in, giving the ground it’s much needed moisture.  We’ll take all we can get.  Bring it on.. and bring more!

_40A1683_IR.jpg

_40A1632_IR.jpg