Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spring Equinox

Last fall I celebrated the equinox by observing a light phenomenon on a petroglyph near Picture Rocks Road. See my September 26, 2011 post for details. I went again on March 20, and got these cool photos.
The dagger pointing to the center of the spiral started to become visible as three dots of light at 11:10 AM.
The dagger point reached the center of the spiral by 11:20, and soon after that, the whole petroglyph was in the sun, and the show was over.
It was fascinating to see this evidence of the earth's rotation, and to know that people were watching this event a thousand years ago. This phenomenon was only rediscovered a few years ago, but like many of our planet's wonders, occurs whether we watch, or care, or try to interfere.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Turning Heads

The Gambel's Quail is a handsome fellow, no doubt about it. But even he did a double-take when a Hooded Oriole appeared at the fountain behind Desert's Edge.
This was a first for my bird life list. A few days later, I thought the Hooded was back, but it turns out it's another lifer, the Bullock's Oriole.
Notice that the Hooded has an orange hood the color of butternut squash, and a black face and bib. The Bullock's, which is the Western version of the Baltimore Oriole, is yellow, with a black cap and black line through his eye.

Now the test. What is this?

Eluding Capture

This cottontail saw a bobcat on the hill behind Desert's Edge and managed to flatten himself and not look behind him to see whether the bobcat noticed him. It worked, even though he had the additional distraction of me taking his photo through the living room window a few feet away.