Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Radagast Factor

Antelope Ground Squirrel
Learning to "speak" bird and animal takes time. In this final two part series, I finish up my notes and observations about "talking to the animals".  While on a trek to Saguaro National park, I was hoping to find the elusive Crissal Thrasher.  Still a no show for me!  Maybe I have a new Nemesis bird!  While trying to call  out a Thrasher, I attracted this above Antelope Squirrel.  And for several moments we were chatting back and forth together.  He got super close to me and I forgot about where I was.  Kathie was with me on this outing and snapped me back to reality because the Thrasher was staring at me.  Oh how that must have appeared!  She had thought I was looking at a bird and it turns out, I was hanging out with a ground squirrel.
Maybe these are the steps into "crazy":)
Curve-billed Thrasher
Here's the Thrasher staring at me.  Don't judge me!:)
Sunset at Catalina State Park
I'm having too much fun out in the wild.  I never go home empty handed.  This post today includes two of our wonderful parks from around Tucson.  One is Saguaro(with Kathie) and the second set of pics come from Catalina State Park. All in search of the Crissal Thrasher! I should mention that the best time to find Thrashers is early in the morning or at sunset.  Now you can find them anytime really, but they make nice appearances at these times.  I feed one Thrasher here at El Presidio.  In fact, in Arizona, you can find Bendire's, Curve-billed, Crissal, Sage and Le Conte's Thrashers.  I have yet to find the last 3. And there are two others outside of our state that I still need to find.
On our trek through Saguaro, this Cactus Wren perched perfectly above the sign.  I had to take the pic:)
But the title of the post?
Sunset at Saguaro National Park-East
Well if you read "The Hobbit" or saw the movie, you might recall a certain brown wizard known as Radagast who was the protector of all things wild.  He was put on Middle Earth to protect the forest and the critters.  Many times he had difficulty understanding the outside world and couldn't relate to mankind, dwarves or elves.  He was considered by his peers as the odd wizard.  However Gandolf respected him.  Saruman not so much.
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
I don't think there is anything crazy about connecting with nature.  Whether someone is a tree hugger or a birder, it's one of the best ways to forget the negative outside world.  Commune with nature!
Townsend's Solitaire
And if you go alone, you may hear the "quiet" presence of life around you. Stop.  Look up.  Look down.  Look all around. And you may just find a Townsend's Solitaire staring back at you.

Here's a clip of Radagast helping Gandalf, Bilbo and the Dwarves out. 


  1. i'd have been enamored with the squirrel, too! :)

  2. Beautiful photos, Chris. I always love seeing your birds --but that sunset photo is terrific.... Isn't God's beautiful world just awesome?

  3. Chris, love the cute squirrel and the Curve-billed Thrasher. And the sunset is absolutely gorgeous!

  4. Of course I'm loving the little tree rat (squirrel) very sweet, and that sunset shot is spectacular. Speaking to nature is a solitary activity, like prayer.

    I hear you got a few flakes... Hope your taking pictures of the snow covered cactus.

  5. Everything in Nature looks back at us with wonders...
    One more nice post Chris!

  6. Dobrze, że znalazłeś ptaka, którego chciałeś, a przy okazji śliczną wiewiórkę. Pozdrawiam.
    Well, you found the bird, which wanted, and by the way beautiful squirrel. Yours.

  7. Great post and photos Chris. Love the Hobbit clip too :) So agree with your comment that watching nature can help make you forget the negatives of this world or your own problems.

  8. I've really enjoyed reading your post Chris, beautifully complemented by some lovely images - scenery, birds, and ground squirrels.

    When I visited USA in 2008, one of the things that I was really taken with, other than the birds, was the amazing variety of squirrels and chipmunks!

  9. Nothing like nature to put the world right!

  10. Great post... Enjoyed the Hobbit clip too.... I always enjoy your photos --whether they are of birds, sky, other nature photos, etc.... Gorgeous...

    Cannot believe you all got SNOW.... Amazing.

  11. I can see why at a distance you thought this tiny squirrel was a bird, how funny!! It's a sweetie and and your photo of the Curved -bill Thrasher is a corker.Stunning sunset also Chris!
    Best Regards

  12. That ground squirrel is so cute.

  13. Wonderful photos, as always! Two favorite places of ours to visit. Hope you see the Cissel Thrasher soon! Loved the Solitaire!

    Have seen the movie...loved it! Am reading the book to our grandson right now.


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