Saturday, April 24, 2010

Camera Critter #107

Rock chucks aren't thought of in a friendly manner around here. Know formerly as Yellow-bellied Marmots, they tend to destroy property and are generally a nuisance.

However, in the Dry Canyon of Redmond, Oregon, they are in their element.

I was able to capture this critter in mid chirp as it sounded the alarm call on my approach.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is a great way to view critters the world over. Go to the homepage here to see more. Then join the fun and add your own critter.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Camera Critter #106

In my area, there is a large number of active birders. They make good use of the internet sending out rare bird reports, and at this time of the year, announcing new arrivals for the summer.

I, myself, am not as involved in birding as other are. I record birds I see through my camera and if it's a rare bird, I will make an announcement of it. But I generally don't keep track of when birds arrive around me and the like.

However, the other day I noticed a bird I had not seen in my yard before. I snapped a photo of it and knowing what it was, sent it to a friend of mine who is active in the birding community. He has my permission to use any of my bird photos for educational purposes. Unknown to me, it was the first reported reappearance of the species this year.

First of the year Chipping Sparrow for here

However, I don't think the fellow like me taking his picture as he immediately turned and stared me down.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is a fabulous way to see critters the world over. Go to the homepage here and check out more. Then join the fun and add your own.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Camera Critter #105

It's only one image, but it's what I am truly waiting for...summer on the high desert.

I don't know the species of the sweat bee above, but I loved the coordinated colors of the shot the moment I saw it.

The high desert summers are almost as bland in color as the fall and winter. For the most part, there isn't a spring here...unless you count the migrating birds as proof of spring. It's late in the calendar version of spring that life begins to blossom here. Colors pop up in the dull brown backdrop all around...and those colors sparkle and jump out at a person.

I just can't wait for the explosion of color here.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is a great way to see animals from around the world. Go to the homepage here to see more. Then join the fun and post your own Camera Critter.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Camera Critter #104

Last week, I introduced everyone to the local lizards known as the Common Side-blotched Lizard. This week, it's the Great Basin Fence Lizard, a subspecies of the Western Fence Lizard.

This was the species of lizard which got me interested in them. Every time I wandered the badlands in the area of the airport looking for 'other critters,' I would see these little guys and one day, I took a good look at one and you know what? I liked what I saw.

All of these lizards (including the one's from last week) were photographed along the Dry Canyon Trail. It's a popular place for people to walk and enjoy nature. I meet a lot of people during the walks and sometimes I get into conversations. On a safari walk a couple of weeks ago, I ran into a gentleman who noticed I was photographing the Side-blotched Lizards. As we talked, he mentioned that I needed to be careful around 'those lizards' as they are dangerous. He went on to tell me they were baby Gila Monsters (see last week's post here). I tried to explain what they really were, but he insisted since he had lived in Arizona and saw them all the time.

Well, if the Side-blotch Lizard is Gila Monster, then the Great Basin Fence Lizard must be a baby Komodo least that's the joke I have going with the wonderful host of this meme. Just look at the critter in the image above. He could easily pass as a dragon!

But the best thing going for the fence lizards is their undersides. The males (and to a lesser extent, the females) have a wonderful blue color on their throats and bellies. When I saw this gal peek over the top of a nearby rock, I mumbled, "Raise up and show me your throat."

Well, as can be seen in the next photo, she did just that. The color isn't as gorgeous as that of a male, but it still looks nice.

And then I my wait brought me this fellow shown below. This critter slowly crawled up the side of the rock, noticed me, stopped, evidently decided I was no threat and came out in the open and posed for this image.

There is another species of lizard common to my area and someday soon, I'll do my best to get some images of them. They are known as Sagebrush Lizards. They resemble the fence lizards, but are marked in a different way making them easy to tell from the other lizards here. They are also a lot more skittish.

Misty Dawn's Camera Critter Meme is a great way to see critters from all over the world. Go to the homepage here, then join the fun and post your own critter.