Sunday, October 17, 2010

Field Work

Ever since I was a kid I have always wanted to do Field Work, go out into Nature to learn and observe how it all works.  From the Lichen, Rocks and Insects to the Snakes, Birds and Mammals, I love it all.  It has always been a comforting thought that at all times the Natural World is stirring about, doing its thing.  Animals are all over, everywhere, all of the time.  The Wild is always The Wild whether you are currently observing it or not, it is always accessible.  Isn't that awesome?  I sure think so.  

So I have decided that it seems like a good time to start to live my passions. I am now going to be conducting my own Field Work studies.  To begin I am going to keep it basic, just some surveying, aka. looking for stuff.  I am going to get a real feel for the Desert, record and identify as much flora and fauna as I can.  I want to begin to catch some of the smaller animals like lizards just to take pictures, I feel as if it will be a fun exercise for all parties involved, The Lizards can test out their reflexes and so can I.  I let them go, me having awesome shots and them having to think up a new game plan to evade predators.  Plus with their Two Minute Memories I think they will be just fine.

Along with taking a survey of species I find along the way ( I rather like experiencing it rather than studying from a book) I am going to be looking for Rattle Snakes.  I have been in Arizona since February and many times throughout my life before that, hiked miles of trail and I have never seen one from these guys other than behind some smudged zoo glass.  The respect and fascination that I hold for these animals is immense and I am no fool so I will not be trying to handle one of these guys.  For your comfort as well as mine I will be carrying Chinese Herbs specifically for Rattler bites.  I have seen this stuff work miracles, no antivenin, no cutting and sucking the venom out, this formula will do the trick and save me the Hospital visit and alot of agony God forbid I get bit.

I feel as if it is extremely important for people to follow their dreams.  Our society places so many restrictions on who can do what not to mention how many distractions there are out there.   It is never too late to start living.  This is all going to be a journey of many different levels for me, especially to break past the limitations I have set over the years within my mind on what I can and cannot do.  I am working on my determination and discipline and am going to take this all to a brand new level :) .

I am new to Blogging World and I am planning to really get into this.  I want you to be as interested as I am with all of this so Please, I am open to suggestions as how to present and put together all of this information.  Plus, if there is a specific topic or species or anything that you would like to know more about I am totally up for your ideas.  I will run with them, I love teaching and I can't wait to share my passions!

Keep On,
--Follow Your Map

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Journey Begins

It is finally cooling down here in Phoenix.  It has been my first experience of the Sonoran Deserts Summer and yeah... it gets pretty hot out here... With the cooling of the days I have been inspired to venture out more, Ive tried a couple of times to get out and go hiking and every time the heat just knocks you down.  Have you ever seen a plastic cup melted into the street -Or- have a pebble jump into your shoe and burn your foot when you stepped on it?  It has been quite the experience. I am so excited to be able to go back out again and start hiking in daylight and taking some pictures of the wondrous nature and animals that call this desert valley their home.

Here is a friend of mine, The Cactus Wren. Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus.   I met him on the trail at North Mountain Park here in Sunny slope.  He posed for me for quite a while before hopping off on the tops of cactus.

The Cactus Wren is the state bird of Arizona and the largest of the North American Wrens.  Usually braver than the other Wrens they are less likely to flee when humans are around which really helped me get these shots.  They mate for life and will defend their territory, which means that you can find them in mainly the same areas year round.  

They are more than comfortable hopping along the tops and through the spines of cactus, be it a Cholla (pictured above) Saguaro or Prickly Pear.  They will nest inside holes within Saguaros, guarding it with cactus spines or the tips of Yucca Leaves -OR-  within Cholla's building a nest in a fork of the branches.  

All in all they are beautiful birds and I have much respect to any animal that can make the desert its home year round and look forward to running into him or her once the weather cools down again.  

Thats all for now!  Be back soon with more.  Enjoy Life.