Roda’s Critter Connection Challenge

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Now that spring is in full swing, I am actually finding some critters again!

Believe it or not, this is the same hummingbird in all three pictures! Apparently, this species will “flash” his colors when he is irritated, or trying to find a mate. I am guessing he was mad, as opposed to attracted to me😳

My iPhone8 camera was fast enough to capture him as he went from green to fuscia, and the transition color in-between! The hummingbird accomplishes this cool trick by flipping some key neck feathers at break neck speed (see what I did there, 😝)

Have a great week everyone!Β πŸ’•

Roda’s Critter Connection, Winter Edition!

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I really lucked into this one! I was sitting in our front room and this roadrunner hopped up on the wall in the back yard. He ran along the top and hung out just long enough for me to grab a picture.

It has been cold, by Tucson standards, and we have not seen a whole lot of critters, so this was a gift!

Have a great week everyone πŸ™‚

Black & White & Color, Photo Challenge

Here is my contribution to Linda’s challenge today. I generally take a photo of each sunrise here in Tucson. I am partial to the beautiful colors, but was a little curious how the image would be affected if it were in black and white. Very different pictures!

Grab your camera or phone and join Linda from Everyone Else has the best titlesΒ and Take the “Black and White and Color” photo challenge!

 

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Roda’s “Critter Connection” Challenge, Day 6

This is the last desert critter that I have to post. I admit it has been easy to spot these guys in the hot, bright environment. We have been back in Redmond for two days and I have not seen quite as much wildlife. It is cooler and darker here, I hope I will be able to catch a glimpse of something in the garden!

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Our very first night in our new home in Tucson was rather eventful. The home was vacated by the previous owners about one month before we could get there to take possession. We didn’t consider this to be a problem until we realized that there was also 4 weeks of no pest control and the house was devoid of furniture or movement which usually deters pests. Additionally, we had no beds so we would be sleeping on the floor while we waited for those to arrive. I was taking a shower that evening when I heard my husband shout out “we have a scorpion in the bedroom!” I hopped out fast and saw the little moving critter by the baseboard a few feet from where we were planning on sleeping. My hubby jumped into action and whacked it with his flip flop, killing it instantly! All we had to gather it up with was a paper plate.

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This turned out to be one of three that my husband had to “take care of”, but after that we did not see anymore in the house. Just the tarantulas!

Rhoda’s “Critter Connection” Challenge, Day 5

Every morning we check the pool for dead animals that have fallen in overnight. It is sad but it is not that uncommon for desert critters to accidentally fall in and drown while trying to grab a drink. What is interesting about the grasshoppers is that they tend to float on top of the water with no real plan to get themselves out later. They are also huge!

So, my hubby goes along the side and rescues as many as he can by flicking them onto the patio. This guy immediately tried to fly away and managed to hit the wall and then tried to walk away.

Now that we have left for a month, I wonder how the rest will get out!

Roda’s “Critter Connection” Challenge, Day 4

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The other day we were walking by our gate which leads into the backyard and there appeared to be some grass stuck to the iron work.

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When we brushed it off, it landed on the ground and, to our surprise, began to crawl away! We realized it was a type of stick bug, brilliantly camouflaged for the desert grasses that are everywhere near our property. Β A little research lead us to the Walking Stick species most commonly found in the desert.

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I actually think he is pretty cute!

Roda’s “Critter Connection” Challenge, Day 3

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So a funny thing happened on my last short training run. I only had 4 miles on the schedule and I was still trying to get acclimated to running in the heat and the elevation of Tucson, so I went down to my favorite running path at the Rillito River trail. There is no actual river, it is a dry lake bed, but that’s not the point of this story.

It was fairly early because I wanted to avoid the higher temps later in the day. I started out westbound with the sun to my back and, as I was going along the paved trail, I noticed several runner/walkers on the adjacent dirt trail. I started to consider moving over to the trail myself to try out something new. The only reason that I decided not to run on the loose, dry sand was that I was concerned that the surface would be too soft and would stress out my already sore calves. So I plodded along to the 2 mile mark and turned around for the home stretch. I was now pointed directly into the east rising sun. I had my sunglasses on but still could only see a few precious feet in front of me. I was on my last half mile, running on the right hand side of the path when “something big” caught in my left peripheral vision. I had run right past the business end of this beautiful rattlesnake! He was not as far over the center line when I blew past him, but I had to stop and fiddle with my camera to get a shot of him as he continued to advanced across the path. This snake did not care about my presence, or that of the rest of the folks that gathered to watch him cross the road. It never coiled or warned us with his rattle. He was totally unconcerned about the humans and knew he had the right of way. To my credit, I did mange to pause my running app (because every runner knows that keeping your stats intact is far more important than protecting your life) and got a couple shots, at distance, of this impressive 4 footer!

I now have a better reason to not run on the dirt trail by the side of the running path!

Roda’s “Critter Connection” Challenge, Day 2

another spider

I realize this makes two consecutive days that I have highlighted a spider and that was not my original intent. But when I went to get the mail from the box, which is at the end of our very long, very steep driveway, I ran across this guy. He managed to get the prime spot along the driveway that gets the most insect traffic. It is a really windy day here and this shot was hard to frame, but I think you can appreciate the large abdomen with its interesting markings. I have no idea what species this is but I will be watching to see if he gets this prime spot again! Location, location, location!

 

Roda’s “Critter Connection” Challenge

The amazing and efferveiscent Roda has issued a challenge! Check out her inspiring blog and this post:Β https://growingself.blog/2017/09/19/critter-connection-challenge/ Β Β if you want to play along at home!

I was not sure that I was following the spirit of the challenge as it is to capture critters through photography, while they are interacting with nature. But I checked with Roda first to approve my photo for the day, and she said to go for it! This black, male Arizona Desert Tarantula decided to pop through an impossibly small drainage hole near our pool. This was just the second night in our new home here in Tucson and we had no idea that these even existed!Β I am by no means a squeamish girly, girl but I will confess to hopping on top of the nearest bench when this started toward me!

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I guess you could say this arachnid was interacting with nature, if you count my husband as the organic life form since he was the one to use the broom handle to coax this little beast back into the hole.

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We quickly jumped on the computer, once our heart rates slowed down, and found out that these are really quite docile and not prone to attacking unless aggressively provoked. It was true that this guy just turned around and lumbered back down the hole with very little persuasion. We figured we had dodged that bullet until the next morning!

My hubby told me that he had a “surprise” in the other room and I should look under the cup in the middle of the floor. Fearing a scorpion (that post is tomorrow!) I did not take the bait. This is what he had trapped early in the morning.

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This little lady, we know it is female due to the color, decided to get into the house! She was smaller but, UGH! Not what I wanted to see first thing in the morning! She calmly walked into the waste basket and was released outside to continue (hopefully) feasting on the scorpions! This was not the only “interesting” and potentially harmful creature we have encountered in the desert, but those pictures will have to wait for the next Critter Connection installment!

Have a wonderful and tarantula free day everyone!