Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nooks and Crannies

Baltimore Oriole
Over the course of several months, I have been collecting a group of pics demonstrating how watchful one must be out in the wild.  Somedays, my eyes are sore from investigating every nook and cranny.  For example, during our education on cranes(post coming up), this beautiful Baltimore Oriole flew out of nowhere!!!  I had to take my eyes off the instructor briefly for this shot!!  This is the male with his bright colors out for the world to see.
And then there were the Barn Swallows.  For me, these birds are very tricky to capture on camera in Arizona but while in Wisconsin I had better luck as many of them were nesting up in the rafters.
Barn Swallow
Love this particular shot.  Again, they hid among the cranes.  Sometimes they stole the show:)
And while here in Tucson, our reptiles certainly put on a great show.   This little guy slinks around a post as I try to capture a hawk in flight!
Western Whiptail Lizard
Along a trail, the edge of my eyesight sees a slight movement.  I feel the power of the heebie jeebie take over me.  My body shakes.  I turn around and keep calm to film this guy along the edges of the reeds.
Common Kingsnake
Beautiful.  Dark.  Mysterious.  I watch from a distance as this Common Kingsnake sticks out his tongue to check out what's going on in the area.  Was I food?  No.  But I better move on.....:)
Sometimes appearing as a pebble, I discover what appears to be a juvenile Abert's towhee along the path.
Juvenile Abert's Towhee
Of course other things jut out from the sides and briefly make appearances.  But the sun holds their attention long enough for me to snap a pic.
Desert Spiny
The clouds start to roll in.  Darkness begins to fall.  But there is still action going on......
A Cooper's hawk feeds in between branches.  A night snack after a long hot day.
Cooper's Hawk
And as I leave the trails, my eye catches a Night Heron hiding in the reeds. Playing detective is really enjoyable since everything likes to quietly disappear in the nooks and crannies of our cities, parks and gardens.
Night Heron
Sometimes you may walk by and not realize that a branch is really an owl.
And that's what's exciting about each and every hike.  You never know what will turn up:)

39 comments:

  1. Hi Kreesh, i will be travelling to Mindanao tomorrow till Saturday, and with the way you post i will miss to see and comment!

    Now, i can confirm that our oriole is nicer than the Baltimore oriole, because ours has red beak. However, there is no sexual dimorphism in ours as in that one. I just don't know the size difference. Ohhh, and that snake is big! I also love owls although it is scary, eye to eye!

    I have a joke, as my sister is teaching in high school. They presented to class the names of the new school officials by enumerating their names. Then during the quiz she asked for the name of one official. When answer papers came in, she laughed loudly because in the test paper is: Ms Owl Perez (instead of Ms Au Perez)! haaaa haaa haaa!

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    1. The snakes are a bit shocking at times but they have their place:) I also think your oriole is one hot number in your part of the world.....but to be honest, is there an ugly oriole?:) Probably, but I'll let the pro birder jump in and confirm this:)

      I'd love to be called Mr. Owl. It is very funny:) My students make the lion "Rooooaaaar" for my last name. If it has to do with nature, I'm all for it:)

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  2. The Baltimore Oriole is a real stunner. You captured to resplendent colors so well...nice work!

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    1. Almost didn't get that shot, but the orange caught my eye and I was able to prep the camera up in time:)

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  3. Nice bird shots Chris...... specially the first two.

    Greetings, Joop

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  4. Great collection of birds and critters. The Oriole is one of my favorites along with the owl. I love the lizards too, the snake is cool too. Great sighting from the nooks and crannies. Have a wonderful day.

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    1. I have to admit that I don't pick up rocks like I used to....and I carefully move branches back:) I don't want anything jumping out at me and then giving me a nasty bite:)

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  5. You've become quite the birder, Chris. I just ordered a 300 mm lens so maybe I'll get some nice bird photos like yours! Can't wait to try it out on shore birds when I go to Galveston Island in a couple of weeks.

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    1. You are going to LOVE that lens. It's my absolute favorite. I can't wait to see what you do with that lens. Your pics are already amazing!

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  6. All the photos are lovely Chris but I particularly love the first one of the Barn Swallow. One of the things I love too about watching wildlife is that you never know what you might see and in addition you can see birds wherever you might be :)

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    1. I agree. Something is always hiding....it's whether or not I can see them:) They do a great job not moving very much:)

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  7. Love the birds, love the owls but you can keep those reptiles!

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    1. The birds are cool and the reptiles make me jump because they scramble through the leaves which makes me think a snake is lurking somewhere nearby:)

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  8. how great. love that owl on the post! and lizards, too.

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    1. I have seen some great lizards running around....I recently got a shot of a beautiful blue one!:)

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  9. Hello,
    Nice shots. The first two are amazing with the great colors of that bird. Very nice!!

    Greetings, Marco

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    1. Definitely a beautiful bird and for us they are seasonal as they are in Wisconsin. Thank you for stopping by!

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  10. Exactly...we never know what will turn up! I love the snake and the owl. I still have never seen an owl in the wild during the day.

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    1. Yeah yeah yeah:) But you've seen a bobcat on a saguaro, badgers, and hummers floating around agave flowers.....how about this? I give you my owl charming powers and you give me your critter charming powers?:) Last night while doing the dishes I thought about how wonderful it is that we both live in the same city and have such different and magical shots. Tucson is pretty amazing:)

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  11. I forgot how beautiful male Baltimore Orioles are. Nice captures of the Barn Swallows nesting. Wonderful series here, Chris.

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    1. Thank you Pam! While in Tucson, I gave up on taking pictures of swallow, but while in Wisconsin, I could observe them better and now they have become my new favorite group of birds to watch:)

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  12. Mr Baltimore Oriole is a mighty handsome fellow. Nice captures of the nesting Barn Swallows, owls and the rest of the menagerie, Chris.

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  13. Argh...that's two snakes I've seen on my blogging rounds today. That makes two too many. :-)

    The only Baltimore Oriole I have ever seen has been on a baseball field. So today's visit wasn't a total loss. :-) I'm joking, you know I love you.

    Hey, next time send some rain up this way. All we got was dust yesterday.

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    1. Sorry for not warning you!!:) But you know to be fair, they didn't warn me:) I can't stand taking pictures of them.....I freak out hiding behind the camera hoping that they don't charge me:) But most of them have been very calm and relaxed...so I may be getting tougher when it comes to our encounters. And you'll never guess....it's raining again here!!!! As I'm typing it's coming down in buckets!!!! I love monsoon but hate the mosquitoes:)

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  14. PS Maybe you can call your next post Crooks and Nannies. :-)

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    1. Ha!!! My first thought was my neighborhood:) I could do a post like that....we have a bunch of "those" people on one side of our wall:) This morning before summer school, I went over to the daycare center and turned into a grumpy old man and yelled at the kids for throwing toys over the fence at our house:) Most of the time they behave but I can always tell when there are new adults working because we find lots of toys on our side of the fence. Needless to say the caretakers are now aware:)

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  15. Fantastic Baltimore Oriole shots - just so colourful. I think your description of being always aware of birds and animals is what I call "field craft" or maybe just "spatial awareness" Some folk just walk around with their eyes permanently closed to what goes on around them, especially with the natural world.

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    1. I like that term "field craft". I'd like to sharpen those skills like many birder tour guides have done. I'm pretty confident I can take amateurs on tours now and have them see lots of cool things BUT for the harder to find....well that's for the professionals:) The hikes have proven to be very beneficial.

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  16. That are one of the best photos, glorious.

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  17. Your hikes are proving to be very productive! I knew Tracy was going to have a cow when she saw the snake. I wasn't up and on the blogs early enough to warn her. :)

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    1. :) Ah it's good for her:) Just wait!! That hike from the other day that was "meh" would turn out to be the "worst" of our hikes. And it wasn't a bad hike as I wasn't feeling very good. The following days afterwards would really turn up some incredible finds.

      It's raining here again...and I gotta tell you....after a hot day, it's welcome relief! Hope you guys get some rain.

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  18. You sure saw some interesting birds, great shots, thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Gillian!! Thanks for stopping by!!

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  19. Piękny spacer, piękne ptaki i ich zdjęcia,piękna jaszczurka,piękny wąż, ale go nie lubię i boję się. Pozdrawiam.
    A beautiful walk, beautiful birds and their pictures, a beautiful lizard, a beautiful snake, but I do not like him and I'm afraid. Yours.

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  20. Neat photos of your findings! It is always such a treat, over here at your blog!!!

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Thanks for stopping by!