During a hike to Dixie Mine this morning, we were treated to a plethora of wildflowers! It seemed to be just beginning so this coming weekend should be great. I’ve only posted a few but here’s a list of what we saw: Fiddleneck, Cryptantha, Comb Seed, London Rocket (an invasive), Desert Wishbone, Fairy Duster, Chuparosa, Storkbill Filaree, Microseris (silver puff), Blue Fiesta Flower, Bluedick, Phacelia, Gilia, Goldfields, Chia, Lupine, Mexican Poppies, Dainty Desert Hideseed, OWL CLOVER (lots), Buckwheat, Fleabane, Wooly Daisy, Desert Chicory, California Suncup, Golden Eye, Desert Marigold, Lacepod, Rattlesnake weed, Indian Mallow, Miners Lettuce and several other flowers that were just on the verge of blooming. All in all, a very fun morning 🙂
Update: After a little research, I found that we were at Camp Creek Falls yesterday. It used to be a very popular place for Jeep tours to bring visitors but the washes were closed to any motorized traffic a couple of years ago because of a devastating fire in the area. Closing to motorized will give vegetation a better chance of coming back and a bonus for photographers is that it’s no longer crowded.
The Canon SX10 IS with 20X OPTICAL zoom camera continues to amaze me! Although I usually carry an SLR when I’m hiking, I do not like to carry big lenses so I miss many animal and bird shots but this test shows I won’t have to miss them anymore. At first I was just using the SX10 as binoculars but now I realize that I can get pretty good
photos from extreme distances. I would need to carry a very heavy 600mm lens to get this close. Since I’m usually just documenting flora and fauna, this kind of result is more than adequate for me!
I read yesterday that Nikon is introducing a 24X optical zoom compact (available in March). Compacts are obviously are moving up in quality by leaps and bounds. Both the Canon and Nikon are under $400.
Fellow steward Jennifer W, spotted this guy/gal at the end of yesterday’s hike. We both felt sure it wasn’t a bee but didn’t know how to tell. I did some research and found it is commonly called a flower fly and the way to tell it from a bee is: huge eyes, short and stubby antenna with a bristle half-way down, there is nowhere to carry pollen and finally, there is only one pair of wings. It is always great to learn something new!
I then submitted images to BugGuide.net and within a couple of hours had an answer. It is of the family Copestylum. They couldn’t be specific with species but I’m thrilled with just that information. Thanks Bug Guys!
Spectacular weather today called for a special hike so we went to an area in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve called the Quartz Outcropping. The views are spectacular making it well worth the difficult climb up.
Happy New Year! Hope you all are doing something you enjoy today! We hiked one of my favorite trails this morning….Tom’s Thumb in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It’s less than two miles but very steep and technical.
We’ve passed this Saguaro cactus many times so we were sad to see that it had fallen. They can live to be more than 150 years old and this one was probably approaching that age. Damage from lightening strikes and freezes can cause tissue damage which can weaken them. Then hard rains like we’ve had the last few days can do them in. This giant will now become food for many organisms.