Bobcat pays a visit

A bobcat stopped to rest in my back yard the other morning, giving me a rare opportunity to take some photos. Bobcats hunt at dusk and dawn, spending the night and day hiding and resting. They are solitary animals. Whenever I've seen one, it has been on the move, walking or trotting stealthily, eyes ... Continue reading

Monsters among us

"How large the dreaded Gila Monster grows, no man can say." — from the forgettable 1959 B-movie, The Giant Gila Monster One of the Sonoran Desert's fascinating creatures is the Gila Monster (pronounced HEE-lah), the only poisonous lizard native to the US and one of the oldest lizards in North ... Continue reading

Signs of change

A week ago — two at most — I was sweltering in my office as the temperatures outside pushed 90F. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, fall finally arrived here in the desert southwest, much to our relief. Today is one of those gray, overcast days common in other parts of the country and so rare here. The ... Continue reading

Palo verde

Lest you think every flower in the desert is red, I give you the Mexican Palo Verde (literally "green stick"), the closest thing we have to a tree in this part of the Sonoran Desert. The Palo Verde gets its name from it's chlorophyll-rich bark. In the spring, the Palo Verde is a showy profusion of ... Continue reading

Showers of blessing

It rained this afternoon. A fierce storm came growling up the valley spewing lightning and raindrops the size of silver dollars. People went to the windows to watch. The air freshened—what exactly is that smell of rain approaching? Can't put my finger on it, but my nose knows it. Rain is a big ... Continue reading