Thursday, January 7, 2016

Favorite Photos of 2015

Boy did 2015 fly by. It was an unusually busy year for us as we moved from California to the Tucson area.  So far, we are loving it.  The nature and wildlife here is exceptional.  So naturally, most of our favorite photos this year are from Arizona.

We knew that the Sonoran Desert was unlike any other desert.  There is so much life here.  But, we didn't know that there always seems to be something blooming.  That, plus the evening light as the sun shines on the Santa Catalina mountains, teamed up for our first favorite picture taken last spring.

Santa Catalinas at Sunset

The Desert Spiny Lizard.  We have a few of these in our yard and they are great fun to watch as they go about their daily workouts doing "push ups" in the sun.  I get tired just watching them.

Desert Spiny Lizard

Speaking of lizards.  The Regal Horned lizard is one of our favorites.  We have seen quite a few of these around the yard and in the nearby state park including one no bigger than a fingertip.  Talk about prehistoric looking.  To top it off, they eat all those pesky ants.  What a good lizard.

Regal Horned Lizard

We were lucky enough to have a family of Rock Squirrels in our yard last spring.  They were quite curious little creatures and this one wasn't quite sure what to make of me.

Peek a boo

The Saguaro cactus is the centerpiece of the Sonora Desert.  This photo shows just how green the desert can get even in the heat of June.  Between the green desert plants and the endless blue sky, there's a great view everywhere you look.

Catalina State Park

We had multiple animal families calling our yard home in 2015.  But, the two Gambel's Quail families that hung out were our favorites to watch.  Both sets of parents reared most of their young and many still come cruising by our feeder as adults.

Gambel's Quail Family

We did manage to escape the desert in August to make our first journey to Glacier National Park.  The scenic beauty of the park was totally obstructed by the smoke from wildfires.  But, that didn't stop us from enjoying a few very special wildlife encounters including this pair of Mountain Goat kids munching on wildflowers.

Kids in Flowers

At almost 7000 feet in elevation, Glacier National Park's Logan Pass was about the only place where landscape photos were possible.  In this shot, the Hidden Lake Overlook boardwalk trail seemed to stretch on for miles.

Trail to Hidden Lake

We couldn't have a list of favorite photos without one snake picture.  This shot is from our yard and is of a very feisty Black-tailed Rattlesnake.   As soon as I got within 10 yards it coiled up in the typical defensive position and let me have it with its rattle.  Thank goodness for telephoto lenses.

Black-tailed Rattlesnake

We have enjoyed a year full of hummingbirds and a few are still here in January.  The Broad-billed Hummingbird is one that has stuck around.  It has fantastic iridescent colors.

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Our final favorite of the year isn't even one that I took officially.  We have multiple trail cameras set up in our yard and have enjoyed seeing the plethora of wildlife that strolls through on a daily basis.  This bobcat shot in the middle of the afternoon is our favorite of the bunch.


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