A fellow ranger and I were discussing the constant quarreling at the hummingbird feeders by the newly arrived rufous hummingbirds. Emily said they reminded her of the fighters in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” They can fly so fast you can’t keep track of where they’ve gone. Or they can hover in a slow motion attack. She said she calls them “bully Ninjas” – although I think she used another adjective that was more creative. Wish I had written it down. Read the rest of this entry »
I was taken aback when I saw this golden-mantled ground squirrel in Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado drag off a discarded snakeskin and then start eating it! Read the rest of this entry »
This large and gorgeous moth is also known as the hummingbird moth. There are several types of “hummingbird” or “hawk” moths – in Maine I photographed the Hummingbird Clearwing which is also a sphinx moth. Read the rest of this entry »
When I took a mini-vacation recently, I had a change of plans when the birding area I wanted to visit had already raised its avian families for the year. So I headed back home via Wyoming and the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. I figured the little Fossil Butte National Monument would be a quick look-see, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I found to enjoy there. Read the rest of this entry »
Often called “pronghorn antelope,” this wild symbol of the open spaces isn’t really an antelope. Nor is it a goat, even though its scientific name Antilocapra americana means “American antelope goat.” And although it has horns instead of antlers, it is the only horned animal to shed them. (Typically only antlers are shed, such as those of deer and moose.) The males have the largest horns; females may only have stubs. Read the rest of this entry »
Western harvester ants do some heavy lifting when finishing off their distinctive homes.
Their nests are covered with an even layer of gravel – most of which is pretty much the same size. What to an ant must be like a 50-lb boulder to us is lifted with seemingly little effort. Apparently the gravel serves the same purpose as shingles on a house roof. It keeps the wind from blowing away all their hard work, and also provides shade from the summer heat and releases a bit of warmth in the cool nights.