Whooo goes there?

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I love this time of year! Not only is the Sonoran Desert teeming with wildflowers, but also a host of local desert dwellers. On April 14, during a hike up Mammoth Wash with neighbor friend, Roxanne, we saw the elusive great horned owl that I had seen a few weeks earlier (that time, I had scared him away on the four-wheeler, unfortunately).

We walked slowly and quietly, and he only flew from one tree to the next, allowing me to get some great shots. It was on our way back down the wash that I got the really good photos. It was almost as if he were posing for us.

Then on April 16, after returning from a fabulous hike with Kathy and Mary (my hiking buddies) along the Arizona Trail in Oracle, I was delighted to find that our resident barn owl had returned to nest next to our entry gate. We’d seen her – and her two gorgeous babies – back in 2004, when we first bought the property. But the cliff side where she first nested had caved in from all the rain. I was very surprised, when driving past our house, to see big eyes staring back at me from a much smaller hole to the right of the original. Maybe we’ll have baby owls this summer?

And finally … also during the Arizona Trail hike, as Kathy was taking us through the Tucson Wash in her 4-wheel-drive, we came across a gorgeous Gila Monster! Enjoy our owl photos and Gila monster photos. Gila monsters, by the way, are one of only two venomous lizards in North America (though so slow as to pose no threat to humans. You’ll witness this fact in the video I took)! When we first bought our property, Steve found a juvenile Gila monster trapped in an old tin tar bucket, whom we successfully freed.

P.S. This is Steve. I personally thought this video really captured the rare Gila monster in its true environment.

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