Monsoons

After what seemed an eternity of dry hot weather, the monsoons have finally arrived.

This is the time the desert plants and animals become more active and the Sonoran Desert morphs into a living terrarium with the simple addition of rain. Because of this it is my favorite time of year, despite the high temps and humidity.

This afternoon I set two new camera traps in a mountain range SE of Tucson. On the way to the sites I had selected I came across some common, but beautiful insects:

Figeater beetle, Cotinis mutabilis. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Pepsis wasp/tarantula hawk. Copyright: Greg Joder.
Queen butterfly. Copyright: Greg Joder.

More Wildlife

Despite the recent absence from my blog I have continued to capture photos and videos of things that interest me.  Most recently, I’ve been focused on Sonoran Desert nature.  Here are some favorite videos from the last few weeks.

Western Screech Owl and a Red-spotted Toad:

A Datura bloom time-lapse:

A Desert Kingsnake:

Round-tailed ground Squirrel Family:

 

Tropical Storm Newton

Tropical Storm Newton recently passed through Tucson and it dropped a lot of water on the way.  Enough that some washes flowed.  The storm also brought in lost pelagic seabirds from the Sea of Cortez, like the Least Storm-Petrel.  The Tucson Wildlife Center took in two petrels. Both did not make it as they had simply run out of gas.  Here is their Press Release: Sea of Cortez Petrels.

lesser long-nosed bats

Lesser Long-nosed Bat. Copyright: Greg Joder.

It’s that time of year when the nectarivorous bats raid my hummingbird feeders each night.  I love that the bats visit.  All I have to do is make more sugar nectar each week since they’re pretty sloppy at the feeders.  Unlike hummingbirds, bats can’t really hover, so they end up doing crazy acrobatics in order to capture just a taste of the sugar water:

If you happen to live in Tucson, there is a local bridge that is well-known for its bat colony.  Every evening tens of people turn out to watch tens-of-thousands of bats emerge from the crevices in the bridge and fly off for a night of hunting: