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Low-Flying Turkey Buzzard

Turkey Buzzard

While we were outside today enjoying the warm spring weather, a turkey buzzard dropped down from its normal higher soaring altitude and buzzed the back yard. I got this shot with my Canon SL1 EOS and the 300mm telephoto lens.

We call them “buzzards,” but the nomenclature “vulture” is more official for Cathartes aura. This is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

The turkey vulture received its common name from the resemblance of the adult’s bald red head and its dark plumage to that of the male wild turkey, while the name “vulture” is derived from the Latin word vulturus, meaning “tearer”, and is a reference to its feeding habits. The word buzzard is used by North Americans to refer to this bird.

The bird didn’t stay long and swooped away on its quest for desert cadavers. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Cartoon Cowboy Mural

Cartoon Cowboy Mural

The Cartoon Caricatures mural on the building at Yavapai and Frontier near the Chamber of Commerce Train Station has some improved graphics and colors these days. I took this photo on Friday. You can compare it to the one I took in November of last year (at the link above). Click on the image to enlarge.

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Saguaro and Sun Dogs

Saguaro and Sun Dogs

Just before we departed for an errand this afternoon, we noticed some solar rainbows positioned to the left and right side of the sun. I took my camera behind the big saguaro out front and used it as a shield to capture the image above.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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East View Panorama

East View Panorama

We took a walk after lunch today down the road to the east about 500 feet to the pavement on Mariposa Drive. While we were down there, I snapped a pair of images to make this panorama of the view we see.

At the left in the image is a local hill with natural desert vegetation topped by a saguaro cactus. Moving to the right side of the image, you can see lower Casandro Wash as it flows toward the east. Above that in the intermediate distance is the town water tank next to a cell tower. In the far distance, the Hieroglyph Mountain Ridge dominates beyond town limits.

Click on the image to view the full sized panorama.

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Early Spring

Early Spring

We have been fortunate to have had spring-like weather since mid-January. The cactus flowers are blooming and the desert critters are out and about acting as though it were spring.

In the composite photo above, a curve billed thrasher looks around while sitting atop one of the bird feeders, a courtyard cactus is having many flowers and a house finch is trying out the new bird feeder in the mesquite tree in the back yard.

Moving to Arizona was one of the best things we’ve ever done. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Dusk in the Wash

feeding-time.jpg

At dusk every evening these days, we take a bunch of bread, veggies and fruit up to the retention wall in the back yard and toss the goodies out for the quail, rabbits and other creatures that inhabit our back yard. The rabbits come running when they see us and begin devouring the stuff. The Quail, being a bit more wary, will snap up bread pieces and run up the hill with them without getting too close to us humans. A few of the bunnies will come very close to us in order to get the goodies. However, when there is a sharp noise or other disturbance, they quickly retreat to shelter in the underbrush.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Cactus Transplant

Star Cactus

We put our astrophytum ornatum (star cactus) in what will be our xeriscape plot next to the south side of the garage. The cactus was in a clay pot and needed to be transplanted soon, so we did it today.

The plan is to plant several small barrel cacti, like the star, to form a border along the walkway with taller cacti and other succulent plants behind the barrel border. We have identified a number of cacti we already have that we want to plant there and will add others as we acquire them from time to time.

It’s just another slow retirement project we will enjoy doing. Click on the image to enlarge.

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