Seeing Things, Saying Things

Musings About Writing, Photography and Teaching

Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Not Welcome in Our House

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The aviary at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, Arizona, allows you to walk in the habitat of the birds that live there.

I entered the double-door facility with an eye toward photographing some of the residents.

The birds are probably used to being seen and having people walk through.

I’m sure it is my imagination, but the bird in the top photo, which was on the ground, seems to be casting a disapproving eye on me as I snap the picture.

The bird in the tree above in the second photo appears to be striking a predator-like pose.


Written by csanders429

May 21, 2018 at 7:04 am

Bee and Butterfly

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Look carefully toward the center of this image. It may not be obvious at first, but there are two things that fly collecting something from those flowers.

There is a butterfly and a bee juxtaposed against each other. It even took me a couple minutes to pick out the bee because it is not so obvious.

There is also a bee toward the bottom of the frame that is more visible.

The image was made at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, Arizona.

Written by csanders429

May 14, 2018 at 7:04 am

Are You Looking at Me?

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The prairie dogs always seem to be active at their exhibit at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

I’ve always thought it odd that prairie dogs reside in a region known as a desert, but apparently the creatures live there, too.

The prairie dogs didn’t look at me for long. There were goodies to munch on and other things to do. They never seem to stand or sit still for long.

Written by csanders429

March 22, 2018 at 6:03 am

Beavers in the Desert

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I didn’t know that the Sonoran Desert had beavers until I visited the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

When I think of a desert I think of an arid land devoid of water.

The definition of desert at describes a desert as “a region so arid because of little rainfall that it supports only sparse and widely spaced vegetation or no vegetation at all.”

Yet the Sonoran Desert has ample plant life, including the iconic Saguaro cactus plants that often define the American Southwest.

Apparently there are pockets of water in the desert in which animals such as beaver can flourish.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department reports that beavers can be found along several permanent streams, some of the larger river stretches, certain shallow lakes, and even a few dirt-lined canals.

I photographed this beaver swimming along in a display at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson.

Written by csanders429

January 19, 2018 at 6:58 am

Hummingbird Please Fly Away, Fly Away

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The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson has a walk-in aviary that allows visitors to get close to the birds.

I knew from a previous visit that there were hummingbirds inside the aviary.

Perhaps you’ve seen photographs of a hummingbird hovering in flight.

My objective was to create such an image. I quickly learned that doing that would be more difficult than I thought.

Hummingbirds don’t hover in one place for long. I would spot one hovering but it would dart off before I could even compose and focus the image.

The best I was able to do was capture a few birds sitting on a branch. Even those images were not the greatest.

Like any form of photography, there must be a trick or two to photographing a hummingbird in flight. It probably takes patience, experience and time.

I didn’t have all day to capture a hummingbird in flight. so I had to move on after about couple dozen attempts. This was my favorite hummingbird that I did manage to photograph.


He Hardly Moved All Day

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During a visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum last October I was hoping to make photographs of an ocelot moving around in his grotto.

But the temperature that day was in the 90s and the ocelot didn’t feel like doing anything but sleeping. I can’t say I blame him.

I returned to the wildcat exhibit three times throughout the day and ocelot had barely moved. This was the best I was image I was able to make.

The lesson I took away from this is that I need to visit the museum on a cooler day.

Written by csanders429

June 13, 2017 at 7:31 am

The Cat I Really Came to See

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Not long ago I posted a couple of photographs of a pair of bobcats at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. I noted in that post that the cat canyon is one of my favorite exhibits at the museum near Tucson.

But the wildcats were not necessarily the kitties that I really wanted to see.

The cat I coveted was an ocelot. It can be found in the Sonora Desert, but there probably are not many of them in Arizona.

On its website, the museum reports that although ocelots have been documented in Arizona, the state is the northern limit of their range. An endangered species, the loss of habitat may limit how many there are in Arizona.

On the day that I visited the museum’s cat canyon, the ocelot was barely visible. I used my longest focal length lens to make the image that accompanies this post.

I was hoping that the ocelot would get up and move around so I could get better photographs of it. But despite three visits to the cat canyon during my time at the museum I had no such luck. This was as good as I got. Maybe next time.

Written by csanders429

January 31, 2017 at 8:36 am