It became apparent to us that the deer had not been brought down by a predator, so we reported our find to the Research Ranch management. At this point all we know is that AZ Game and Fish is investigating. Coincident to this, my two trail cameras that were within a few-hundred meters of the dead deer were missing the SD cards. A frustrating loss of a months-worth of images/activity. Given that there is both illegal hunting and drug smuggling in the area, there’s no telling who stole the camera cards or who killed the deer.
Despite this, my other cameras on the Research Ranch captured some fun images:
Here is a time-lapse of the Red-tailed Hawk taking a bath:
Why do coyotes like to pee in a perfectly good water source? My camera caught this injured female over a month ago. She seems to be surviving so far … What do you think about wildlife peeing in good drinking water?
There have been a number of Great Purple Hairstreak Butterflies have been visiting the Desert Broom in my yard. In the following video, notice how it moves its wings as it moves over the flowers drinking nectar. Love how they look like antennae, confusing predators:
There are several Desert Broom shrubs blooming in my yard. This plant blooms in the fall, well after the monsoon wildflowers do. Like last year, I’ve been reminded that a plethora of insects love this plant:
On my way back to Tucson from Boulder I spent a day in Moab, Utah. Usually, when I pass through Moab I take a lot of photos, but this time felt compelled to capture aerial scenes. In the following video there are clips of the Wall Street climbing area (great sport and crack climbing), Negro Bill Canyon (Outstanding riparian area with lots of biodiversity and a natural arch at the end) and the Colorado River (Great flat water for SUP, kayak and rafting):
I made a quick trip to Boulder, Colorado where I spent time with friends and exploring my old stomping grounds. I rode my mountain bike through the ranch which is now Open Space. This brought up feelings of joy, pain, loss and wonder… The old sign still hangs at the entrance:
I also spent time up in Nederland, Colorado and was able to make an aerial flight over Barker Reservoir and the Town:
The queen butterfly chrysalis that I’ve been watching went through another stage of metamorphosis this morning (video below).
This time from chrysalis (pupa) to butterfly. It took 9 days for the chrysalis to go through the cell growth and differentiation to become an adult butterfly. Visually, we can see the morphological changes which is magical in itself. What we can’t see are the changes the insect goes through on a cellular level, from larva to pupa and pupa to butterfly. The next photo, taken late at night before the complete metamorphosis, shows the chrysalis clearing to reveal the nearly developed adult butterfly. The video of the whole process follows.
Watching this process I’ve been wondering if the ‘mind’ of the insect remains intact through the whole process: did it know it was a caterpillar, then a chrysalis before becoming a butterfly? Please watch the following video in HD and full screen for best detail. To see the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis, skip to the 4:00 minute mark.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the queen butterfly caterpillars that have been feeding on the milkweed and other plants in my yard. My wish was to see one go through metamorphosis, changing from a caterpillar into a chrysalis. After a couple missed attempts I was finally able to capture the transformation on video. The first part of the video starts at normal speed then into timelapse. The second part shows the main transformation in normal time. I recommend watching in fullscreen and in HD: