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Delight within the Desert – The Different Finish of the Leash

Immediately is all pictures from our journey to Arizona. We simply obtained again, and it was good to be in my house state for a go to. I admit to not eager to dwell within the desert any extra (too many thorns, too scorching in summer season, too little inexperienced), however there’s nothing like going again to the place you have been raised.

There’s one thing magical concerning the desert, together with the attractive sunsets and the rock formations. Right here’s a traditional pile of boulders exterior of Carefree, AZ within the night, with an enormous steel sculpture of a chicken perched on high.

The realm north of Phoenix and Scottsdale is a riot of rock formations, together with this large one, the scale of our barn, that fell from a cliff on the opposite aspect of the highway.

Right here’s a rock formation, referred to as a Hoodoo (and who couldn’t love that title?), on the spectacular drive to Mt. Lemmon, north of Tucson.

Being in Tuscon for the second half of our journey allowed us to go to, twice, considered one of my favourite locations on the planet, The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a botanical park, zoological park, and academic extravaganza concerning the wonderful lifetime of the Sonora Desert.

You gained’t be shocked to listen to that the spotlight for me was the Raptor Free Flight present. They do a unbelievable job, utilizing birds educated to fly free however go to perches on cue–handler’s arms or lifeless snags–only a few toes away from us. They usually flew solely inches over our heads to go from perch to perch. I’m reminded of the work completed at Pure Encounters in Florida the place a number of of us have been fortunate to spend every week with Steve Martin, and Dr. Susan Friedman of Conduct Works, among the best behaviorists within the enterprise.

This work is 100% pushed by the animals: In the event that they don’t need to work, oh properly. And if the Ravens on the AZ Desert Sonora Museum determined they don’t need to return of their cages, then we have been warned we’d all stand there till they did. Thus, the repeated warnings to not let a speck of meals in sight when the ravens have been out. Apparently one incident saved the spectators out for hours. Birds 1. People 0.

All of the spectators at our go to have been obedient, and the 2 ravens quickly left to present approach to my new favourite chicken in the complete world, the Nice Horned Owl:

I’ve seen lots of owls, however often perched in a tree, wings folded, eyes perhaps or perhaps not shut. However I’ve by no means seen one fly a number of inches from my head. This one surprised us all together with her magnificence.

The AZ SDM can be a wonderful botanical backyard, right here’s a small piece of the cactus backyard:

I like how they present guests what the cactus blooms appear like when they’re out. Cactus flowers and fruit are such an necessary a part of the ecosystem for the whole lot/one who lives there, together with a number of tribes of Native Individuals.

Beneath is a Crested Caracara, a uncommon chicken in the USA, who, in accordance with Cornell, “seems like a hawk with its sharp beak and talons, behaves like a vulture . . .”. Take a look at the solar shining on it’s major feathers and tail! So attractive.

Right here it’s from the entrance:

If you happen to’re not too bored with birds, let me introduce a pair of Harris Hawks, the rock star performers who closed the present. Harris Hawks usually hunt like wolves–going after prey too massive for any considered one of them, strategically surrounding prey, like hares, as a bunch. Additionally they spend lots of time on the bottom, in contrast to most hawks. Attractive, hey?

This, by the way in which, is what you see when one flies over you:

After all, I missed the cash shot, however 1) it occurred too quick, and a couple of) we weren’t allowed to boost our cameras over our head. However my mind recorded it, and having a hawk fly just about straight at my face is now considered one of my many highlights of life.

I’ll submit some extra pictures from AZ subsequent time, however for now, we’re hunkered in on that first day house–unpacking, laundry, mail–you realize the drill. As illustrated by Maggie, the canines are apparently exhausted from our journey, which they didn’t go on.

Right here’s to being gone on an journey, and being house, and residing by the airports in between. I hope you had a great week and will not be struggling an excessive amount of from ice, snow, rain, floods, tornadoes, wind . . . We’re fortunate right here, obtained six plus inches of snow this weekend, and now a tad chilly (Zero F as I submit this), however nothing like what’s been occurring in the remainder of the nation. Be properly everybody, and inform us what you’ve been doing; you realize we’d love to listen to.

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