Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Wings - Finally!

Rufous Hummingbird
"Uplift!" - Rufous Hummingbird

Time flies;-) I will be a better blogger, I will be a better blogger... I do have some new photos to share of an old subject for me - hummingbirds! We finally have enough hummingbirds coming to our feeders here that I've been able to start photographing them again. Good thing, because I am seriously out of practice. We have Black-chinneds and Rufous here. The Rufous have just started coming through (and upsetting everyone because they really are the feistiest), while the Black-chinneds were the first to arrive after our feeders went up. Maybe it's the out of practice thing, but to me, they both seem to be faster than the Anna's. We had some Black-chinneds and a few Rufous in Cali, but I rarely caught them with my camera. So, I'm determined to get them now. I really want the Bc's full throat flash - that purple is my favorite color! In the meantime, here are some shots from the past week, and I hope you enjoy them:-) I'm so happy to have my favorite subject back!

Rufous Hummingbird photograph
"Tough Guy"

"Ready to Rumble!" - Rufous vs. Black-chinned (they never quit fighting!)

male Black-chinned Hummingbird
"Incoming!" - male Black-chinned, see that purple?!

female Black-chinned Hummingbird picture
"Hover" - female Black-chinned

Rufous Hummingbird photo
"Attack Mode!" - one very feisty Rufous!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Wings

I have several recent sightings from different locales to share. I swear, I spent more time trying to id everyone than I did editing the photos, lol! I am still not positive on every identification, so if anyone has corrections, please leave a comment. My eyes are going buggy... ;-)

Hunt's Bumble Bee, bombus huntii
"Hang Tight" - Hunt's Bumble Bee (Bombus huntii), spotted in the Johnson Canyon area of southern Utah.

Checkered White Butterfly
"Spotted" - I think this is a Checkered White Butterfly (Pontia protodice), the markings seemed closer than the Western White. Also spotted in Johnson Canyon, and I think s/he was a bit weary.

"Like a Rock" - My guess is Western Tailed-Blue (Cupido amyntula) on this little cutie. Spotted in northern Arizona near Jacob Lake, so about 8,000' elevation.

Small Wood Nymph, Cercyonis oetus
"Woodland Nymph" - Small Wood Nymph (Cercyonis oetus), also seen near Jacob Lake. There were lots of these little ones flitting around, almost impossible to catch, but one finally landed and stayed for a minute - yay!

"Bitty Blues" - Arctic Blue (Plebejus glandon) is my closest guess for this pair. I'm not certain, but I'm basing it on the wing marks. Spotted up in Cedar Breaks National Park, elevation 10,350'!

Bombus nevadensis, Nevada Bumblebee
"Look Out Bee-low!" - I believe this is a Nevada Bumble Bee (Bombus nevadensis), also spotted at Cedar Breaks. Still have to id the flower, which I think is a type of penstemon. However, I'm saving the flowers for another day, so keep an eye out:-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Snake

I tell you, there's nothing like an unexpected sighting, especially when it happens right outside your door! I had mentioned to my mom that she should toss the fresh corn husks from our dinner out for the critters here. She went out the back door, tossed one over the railing, and the wind took it down. She happened to look where it landed, and realized she'd hit this snake with it, lol! He froze, she called me, and we stood on the deck trying to determine what sort of snake it was, since half of him was under sagebrush. After some minutes, he finally moved, and we could see he was safe (well, except to all the little critters who are coming to get the seed). I believe he's a Great Basin Gopher Snake. He slithered off, I went inside, but then thought I'd check one more time, and was lucky enough to catch him again. Had one chance at a sunlight shot, which is the last one here.

It may sound strange, but it was an honor to watch him in his stillness. I've written about snakes here before, Snake Medicine, and was quite happy to have one show up in my life again:-) And while the idea of him hunting the little creatures who come here for seed isn't as appealing, I feel it's all part of the circle of life, and he needs to eat, too.

gopher snake
Great Basin Gopher Snake
gopher snake face