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.