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Daryl

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 Noticing them buzzing around the shade house this morning, figured all the other open spots in the bee houses out under the Ficus must be occupied and construction of a new bee house is needed.

Go figure that once i start drilling holes, the battery dies.  While i waited for the other battery to charge, set the partially completed " apartment " on top of the shade house. Almost instantly, some of the bees started investigating their new digs..

Later, once ready to finish construction,  while most of the bees checking things out evacuated while i finished things up, a couple decided to hang out while i worked. A bit surprised since i'd figure the drilling of new holes would create a lot of irritating -to a Bee- vibrations. Guess not.

Once back up, been watching them and others drawn in stop in and check things out ...and the interesting behavior of some bees just stopping in, try to drag others, who had already claimed their new home, out of the hole, lol. 

Not exactly sure which but we have -at least- 3 Megachile  Leafcutter Bee sp. here, and numerous other bees with similar coloration / size in several other Genera, which also use plant material, and or wax, and/or mud / sand for their nests, ...and use bee houses.  My best guess is these could be Alfalfa or Texas Leafcutters.. but, as mentioned, we have TONS of bee sps here in the Sonoran Desert ..Likely more than are currently documented.

That said, always awaiting the first reports of AZ observed Orchid Bees (  Tribe Euglossini ), ..At least one sp. in the genus Eufriesea,  ...maybe two    ...And one sp. in Euglossa ( E. viridissima,  specifically )  All three have been observed within flying distance of -at least- far S. AZ, and really love plants like Tecoma stans, which is planted everywhere, and is also native.  Just a matter of time, and a string of reasonably ..to very.. wet summers to lure them all just a little further north..

As far as the " leafcutting " aspect? ..Leafcutters 'be doing what they're supposed to ..Leave 'em ...Bee. 

 Rather have the - very important- bees around than constantly fret -unnecessarily-  about some tattered leaves on my plants / stuff in the yards this time of year - early October..  Bees are far more important than cut up leaves that will fall off as new ones grow.

...This looks interesting..


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 Outside looks good..

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..so lets see how the interior looks..

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...Is this hole already occupied?...

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It is? ..well i want it..

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Unspoken conversation with a Bee content  on a hot and humid afternoon....

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 Non - earthling, continuing it's earthling spying operation from " Planet Tipu. "

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Edited by Silas_Sancona
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Birds, a butterfly or two...  and some scaly things.. One a true " lifer " encounter.



Black-Throated Sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata..


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Rock Wren, Salpinctes obsoletus ..A little annoyed that i approached where they were hanging out ..Maybe near a nest??

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Phainopephla, Phainopepla nitens.. Want these birds in your yard? Leave Mistletoe growing in your trees alone.. Is one of their main food sources. It must be " molting Season " because this bird ..and a few others that flew by were missing their tails.  Have large wite spots on the wings and can be casually mistaken for Acorn Woodpeckers from a distance.

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Noid Blue sp. Tribe Polyommatini.  Some sp are easy to ID w/ reasonable confidence.. Others, this one included, ..Not so much, lol

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First thought was another sp. of White..  Looking at it a little closer, see some " physical " traits that can be associated with Skippers..  I'll figure it out.

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Ornate Tree Lizard, Urosaurus ornatus,  upper elevation variation.  First came Mr. Sheddy,  ..then two other males decided to harass each other after one sighted " Sheddy ", chased him, and attracted attention from another who hopped and darted over from a couple boulders away.

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Green-ish throated male trying to be a tough guy doin' push ups. Not so tough when i casually wave my hiking stick in his direction, lol.

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Grainy as heck but these are tough to approach as is, so i'll settle for what i got.  Greater Earless Lizard, Cophosaurus texanus, male ( Note the black stripes bordered in vivid shades of Green, Blue, and some Orange. First time encountered up at the Flat..

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Female ..or immature male encountered near picket Post ( Mountain )

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Zebra-Tailed Lizard, Callisaurus draconoides 
Related to greater Earless, but occur at lower / hotter elevations, and in more habitats. About as challenging ..perhaps more.. to approach closely to get good photographs of. Both of these Lizards have really good eye sight and can put quite a bit of distance between themselves and a potential threat, like a big, alien-looking thing called a Human, lol.  While i'll see these dart across a trail like a bolt of lightning form time to time, Only the 2nd time encountering one up close. Other was back in 91 on my first visit to AZ as a kid.


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Western Whiptail, Aspidoscelis tigris
Outside of some parks in town, these too aren't easily approachable, though they rarely put quite as much distance between humans and themselves when they flee compared to both Zebra Tails, and Greater Earless Lizards.


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An absolute lifer animal encounter.. Despite living in several places where i should have easily been able to encounter them when " Herping ".. a term used for pursuing reptiles and Amphibians in habitat, today was the first time ever i have observed any sp. of  Horned Lizard -in person -out in habitat.. Unlike most lizards, this guy didn't try to flee quickly. Most Horned Lizard sp. don't, which can be a troublesome habit when bad actors head out into habitat to collect them for the pet trade.. In this critters case, it simply was  too busy enjoying an Ant-filled Breakfast. Blends in with the surrounding rock almost perfectly.

Gotta say, cute little dude  ..or dude-ette, ..even with the grumpy looking face..

Greater Short-Horned Lizard, Phynosoma hernandesi,  Wide ranging sp. that occurs primarily in the inter mountain region of the west from mexico to the far southeastern corner of Alberta / far southwestern corner of Saskatchawan. One of several sp. in AZ.


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15 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

First thought was another sp. of White..  Looking at it a little closer, see some " physical " traits that can be associated with Skippers..  I'll figure it out.

I have no idea, but I've seen skippers resting without overlapping their wings sometimes. Not sure if this is individual variation or typical behavior for certain species. I mostly see the same few species, especially umbers. 

This was an awesome post, many beasts.

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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1 hour ago, Rivera said:

I have no idea, but I've seen skippers resting without overlapping their wings sometimes. Not sure if this is individual variation or typical behavior for certain species. I mostly see the same few species, especially umbers. 

This was an awesome post, many beasts.

:greenthumb: 

We have several ..Both those like Fiery and Umber where the wing position somewhat mirrors the back wings of some Airplanes ..like a fighter Jet,  and others where the front and back wings are spread flat, like your typical butterfly.


Looking around a bit, appears my hunch was correct.. Northern White Skipper, Heliopetes ericetorum  seems to be a perfect match..  https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/59190-Heliopetes-ericetorum

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...A step closer to the shots i want..

Vermilion Flycatcher, Male


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...And his girlfriend, lol.

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...Possibly.. Anna's Hummingbird

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On 5/21/2023 at 2:16 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

...A step closer to the shots i want..

Vermilion Flycatcher, Male


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...And his girlfriend, lol.

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...Possibly.. Anna's Hummingbird

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These are good photos. 👍 I may need an actual camera to ever capture a decent bird picture in my yard.

My wife and I appreciate the ordinary, but I would love to get photos of the less frequent visitors of special interest that come and go quickly without a trace.

We also have a bat colony, and I really want bat photos, but I'll never get them with a cell phone.

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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This is why I never use pesticides outdoors.  :greenthumb:

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San Francisco, California

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2 hours ago, Rivera said:

These are good photos. 👍 I may need an actual camera to ever capture a decent bird picture in my yard.

My wife and I appreciate the ordinary, but I would love to get photos of the less frequent visitors of special interest that come and go quickly without a trace.

We also have a bat colony, and I really want bat photos, but I'll never get them with a cell phone.

They're certainly not the worst photos, but are a bit " noisier " ( a Photag term for the amount of graininess in pictures ) than i'd like.. Also, w/ the simple camera i have atm, critters that hang out say in a shady part of a tree, while the rest of the sky is open to sun aren't exposed correctly.. Zoom isn't the sharpest either, esp. when trying to get raptors passing several miles above the house, and there are times i have to color correct, ...because the camera saturates particular shots w either too much red / yellow, or green / blue.

My goal is a mid-range,  DSLR w/ 2 or 3 lenses, similar to a camera set up i had years ago. .I know the big thing atm is mirrorless but i can't see spending the extra $$$ for even the entry models when you don't necessarily need to go mirrorless to obtain good quality pictures, and aren't frequently traveling the globe for someone like Nat Geo.. $700. -about $1K is reasonable, $5-7K?,  i'd probably be too afraid to use it, lol. Besides, technical skill is a more significant factor in great shots, not necessarily how much you spent on the camera.

The one thing i will invest in ..not all that expensive either,  is a lightning trigger, under the same name ( there are others under different brand names )...  15sec exposures on a simple  point and shoot, =  a lot of missed potential shots.. While a good DLSR will allow for long exposures ...up to say 1 min, or a little longer,  w/ a trigger, as long as you know how to set everything up, you really don't need to do much  since the trigger will do the work.

Getting crispy shots of the Bats which pollinate both Saguaro / other columnar Cacti, and Agave here is also a big goal,  let alone the ones that pass through the neighborhood this time of year, and in the Fall.
 

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18 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Getting crispy shots of the Bats which pollinate both Saguaro / other columnar Cacti, and Agave here is also a big goal,  let alone the ones that pass through the neighborhood this time of year, and in the Fall.

That would be awesome. Bats are elusive.

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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2 hours ago, Rivera said:

That would be awesome. Bats are elusive.

When i lived in FL, ..the first time, lol,  there was a colony living in one of the air vents above my apartment building..

For the most part they'd stay up by the vent but did have one end up in my apartment.. No idea how it got in. Only thought is it might have flown in when i was coming home that night. ...Which is odd because you'd think you would notice something fly past you through a doorway, or flying around inside -before  you went to bed- .. anyway..

Sounds weird but it was having a dream about something flying around my room that woke me up to ..a bat making circles above my head, around my bedroom.. Laid in bed still half asleep ..and slightly hung over, haha  thinking to myself " ...Am i really seeing this? "

Got up, caught it w a sheet, and released it back outside w/ a sock.  All happened so fast that i didn't even think to try and take a few pictures.

That was the second time i've had a close encounter of the bat kind..   First was rescuing one that ended up in a favorite fishing spot back in Almaden, in the middle of the day.  May or may not have been sick but fished it out of the water and sent it on it's way.

Interesting critters, even though it surprised me how big their teeth can be.

 

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29 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

When i lived in FL, ..the first time, lol,  there was a colony living in one of the air vents above my apartment building..

For the most part they'd stay up by the vent but did have one end up in my apartment.. No idea how it got in. Only thought is it might have flown in when i was coming home that night. ...Which is odd because you'd think you would notice something fly past you through a doorway, or flying around inside -before  you went to bed- .. anyway..

Sounds weird but it was having a dream about something flying around my room that woke me up to ..a bat making circles above my head, around my bedroom.. Laid in bed still half asleep ..and slightly hung over, haha  thinking to myself " ...Am i really seeing this? "

Got up, caught it w a sheet, and released it back outside w/ a sock.  All happened so fast that i didn't even think to try and take a few pictures.

That was the second time i've had a close encounter of the bat kind..   First was rescuing one that ended up in a favorite fishing spot back in Almaden, in the middle of the day.  May or may not have been sick but fished it out of the water and sent it on it's way.

Interesting critters, even though it surprised me how big their teeth can be.

 

Ha, that's wild!

I've always been caught off guard when I stumble into a roost. Even in the most probable of places, I was never expecting it.

I live on a typical block of San Francisco wall-to-wall townhouses and there's a small roost between our house and an adjoining neighbor's house. There's not much room, just some gaps created by the profile of the siding. 

I'm uncertain of the species or their primary diet. They're quite small. 

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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Not exactly garden related, but out of the ordinary. Sea Turtles having some extracurricular fun just outside the PB Inlet. We saw not less than 50 couples. Here is my best shot:

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What you look for is what is looking

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Mystery spider with decorated abdomen. No idea... It was a sprinter, wolf spider like.

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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2 hours ago, Rivera said:

Mystery spider with decorated abdomen. No idea... It was a sprinter, wolf spider like.

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Two possible options:  ..There are some others that matched -in one way or another- as well, but the coloring of the Abdomen wasn't right,  shape of the Thorax / leg arrangement seems off, imo.

Local Sergiolus sp.: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/153635-Sergiolus


or maybe Castianeira thalia:
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/199492-Castianeira-thalia

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9 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Two possible options:  ..There are some others that matched -in one way or another- as well, but the coloring of the Abdomen wasn't right,  shape of the Thorax / leg arrangement seems off, imo.

Local Sergiolus sp.: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/153635-Sergiolus


or maybe Castianeira thalia:
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/199492-Castianeira-thalia

Having had a decent look at it, it favors Castianeira thalia.

👍

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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A pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita) nesting in a dead Cuban Royal palm. ( my neighbours yard )
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Fore-Summer in AZ =  seasons' beginning for Dragons and Damsels on the wing..

Blue Dasher,  Pachydiplax longipennis


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Flame Skimmer, Libellula saturata  Immature Male

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Possibly Rambur's Forktail, Ischnura ramburii.

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1 minute ago, Butch said:

:greenthumb: 

I saw this Thursday...   Might be the 1st " modern - era " incident, though you'll occasionally hear of people getting into big trouble for intentionally killing them.

As mentioned years ago when i found ( and buried ) one that had been run over,  more of a consider yourself extremely lucky if you encounter one than something you'll see all that often. True, when you cross paths with a Gila, don't get too close/ try to handle, since they are snarky grumpy buggers.. ...but they won't try to chase a threat.  Stink like Hell, so you wouldn't want to try and pick one up anyway.. ( Illegal as well ) 

Give it some space to move along, all the while appreciating the significance of what you're seeing..  Same w/ our native Coral snake, which is a really rare encounter. They'll do their best to avoid conflict before defending themselves physically.

In the case of this incident,  Mr. Gila was in the wrong place / Homeowner may have assumed " i can just pick it up to get it out of the house "   A big, -but understandable-  mistake ( ..esp. if  new to the region, and not well read on the species ) Hopefully the homeowner is recovering and won't suffer and adverse after-effects from the encounter.

Some recent research suggests that anyone living in areas where Gila are especially common, Gila Monsters can remember where an old burrow / favorite hangout was long after that burrow has been destroyed when that particular patch of desert is developed... So, if you live in X particular spot where Gilas were roaming -more frequently, before your home was built,  you might have to watch for them until the lizards move on to a new( er ) area.

Other than that, just one of many amazing critters you might encounter out in the desert.  What is crazy is they can live for 25 years -out in the desert- or 30-38 years under captive conditions. Pretty incredible for such a tough life ( those out in the wild )

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 Took this earlier today and its probably one of the better ones I've taken of a female Grey Butcherbird.

 

 

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On 5/26/2023 at 11:42 AM, Silas_Sancona said:



My goal is a mid-range,  DSLR w/ 2 or 3 lenses, similar to a camera set up i had years ago. .I know the big thing atm is mirrorless but i can't see spending the extra $$$ for even the entry models when you don't necessarily need to go mirrorless to obtain good quality pictures, and aren't frequently traveling the globe for someone like Nat Geo.. $700. -about $1K is reasonable, $5-7K?,  i'd probably be too afraid to use it, lol. Besides, technical skill is a more significant factor in great shots, not necessarily how much you spent on the camera.

The one thing i will invest in ..not all that expensive either,  is a lightning trigger, under the same name ( there are others under different brand names )...  15sec exposures on a simple  point and shoot, =  a lot of missed potential shots.. While a good DLSR will allow for long exposures ...up to say 1 min, or a little longer,  w/ a trigger, as long as you know how to set everything up, you really don't need to do much  since the trigger will do 
 

I was going back and looking at some pics I missed, and saw this… Nathan, I would think you could come up with a pretty good kit used, for not too much money… A lot of people buy them, but use their phone camera because the cameras have come a long way, and are always in hand… I have 3 DSLRs and a few lenses, but hardly use them, because my iPhone has a great camera, and I just have it…. So look for a good, lightly used camera with lenses Craig’s List , OfferUp or wherever… I do miss the low light, high speed and long range though.  
Butch

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6 minutes ago, Butch said:

I was going back and looking at some pics I missed, and saw this… Nathan, I would think you could come up with a pretty good kit used, for not too much money… A lot of people buy them, but use their phone camera because the cameras have come a long way, and are always in hand… I have 3 DSLRs and a few lenses, but hardly use them, because my iPhone has a great camera, and I just have it…. So look for a good, lightly used camera with lenses Craig’s List , OfferUp or wherever… I do miss the low light, high speed and long range though.  
Butch

:greenthumb:  Craigs List / OfferUp were exactly where i was thinking of looking through, that and/or keeping an eye on what used equipment local Camera stores might offer..  Figure if i can find something that is middle of the road, with the specs i'm after, ..that is perfect. 

Agree, phones have come a long way, and are definitely easier to use in situations where having something convenient and quick are needed..  Can't exactly gets shots of something interesting,  while driving down a highway w/ a bulky Camera, lol..

Have noticed ..while Phone cams. have gotten better,  simpler point and shoot camera picture quality has gone down a little.. 

Also agree, low light,  slow / high speed,  and longer lens range are a distinct advantage of owning a legit camera ..DSLR or Mirrorless  ..or vintage SLR film camera.  Each has it's perks and disadvantages..

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A few recent visitors..

Hackberry Emperor ...or Empress Leila ..Both can be found using the same native Hackberry sps as caterpillar hosts during the summer.


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Vermilion Flycatcher, Likely Female.

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Fatal Metalmark

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Western Pygmy Blue

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..More baby non- earthlings ...sent here to spy  ..on earthlings.

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Verdin, Male

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Steely Blue Cricket Hunter on the prowl  ..A sure sign were getting closer to Monsoon Season. Been hearing some Cicadas over the past few weeks, mainly Cactus Dodgers, and while out in the desert.  " City " Cicadas ( Almost wrote " Acacias ", lol )  Aka:  Apache / Citrus Cicadas  should be starting to emerge in the next couple weeks, if they haven't already started to down south.

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Bees have spoken..  Filled the last " hotel " and were insistent on needing new housing.. So they got it, lol..

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First to check in on the new digs..

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A view of evolution at work.. Plant evolves flowers that attract Diurnal pollinators, Said pollinating crews at work..

While considered part of a group of Agave that evolved to attract night time pollinators, ..Long Tongued / long Nosed Bats in both cases, because  Agave chrysantha grows at a more northerly latitude < Compared to it's sister, A. palmeri >, the two bat species that would be considered both species main pollinator may not reach a majority of the territory where A. chrysantha occurs here. 

To solve this dilemma, A. chrysantha appears to have adjusted how it's flowers look, and when they present what lures in the pollinators.. Nectar.  While just how significant bees and hummingbirds are as pollinators for this species / some others in the same group in Central AZ is still being studied,  both are likely significant in the areas where our nectar feeding bats rarely reach while in Arizona during the summers.

Considered tropical, both Long Nosed / Tongued Bats do not tolerate long duration temperatures below ~roughly~ 45- 50F well and spend the winters south in Mexico. Return north of the U.S. / Mex. border coincides with the flowering season / cycle of various native, Columnar Cacti, including Saguaro. ( Important pollinators of them as well ) While this alone limits where either species of bat may occur, other, human-created factors such as habitat destruction / mining ..and/ or resultant destruction of ideal wintering caves has also contributed to lower Agave/ Cacti pollinating bat numbers in the state.  It also effects how the Bat- dependent Agave reproduce, A. palmeri  seemingly effected the most in areas where bat #'s are lower than in the past. That isn't to say the species doesn't get pollinated by day time visitors, juts maybe not as effectively..

While i'll see ..or hear various Hummingbirds while roaming around the Flat, yesterday was the first time i'd ever observed the relationship between an important plant and a significant pollinator.. Bees fulfill their role of course, but both Bats and Hummingbirds can cover more ground, and ..being larger, can move pollen around a bit more than even larger Bee species.

As mentioned else where, now i have to figure out who the specific species is..  While common up there too, i don't think this is Anna's.. Too quiet and much shyer / harder to approach. ( Even up there, Anna's will frequently approach closely when investigating a passing human )  Size is a bit smaller, from my perspective, also. Regardless, several local species visit Agave, so now i have to try and narrow the list.  A few of the ..more Tropical-looking... species that are more common from Tucson south into Mexico occur in the Oak Flat / Pinal Peak / Globe area as well..  There may be individual specimens of  -at least-  one naturally occurring / documented Hybrid ( Anna's X Broad-Billed Hummingbird ) roaming around the area too..

Regardless, Nothing beats sitting back and enjoying nature's magic. 

Larger bees in some shots may be our local Bombus species, rather than Xylocopa  ( Sonoran Bumble Bee, Bombus sonorus, rather than one of our local Carpenter Bee sps ) though i wouldn't doubt Xylocopa sps visit Agave chrysantha / others as well, especially in urban / suburban areas.


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Here's another type of  "hummingbird": Hyles lineata, also known as the white-lined sphinx moth (family Sphingidae). It has very wide distribution in the U.S. I watched a couple of them in the early evening last night as they were hovering and feeding on my 'Bonsai Blue' dwarf Jacaranda. The film clip is partially in slo-mo and you can see the moth's long tongue retract from the flower. Males of this species have a more triangular shape to their abdomen.

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 Today was my lucky day.  This is the first Pied Butcherbird I've seen in my backyard for 15 years.   Luckily I had camera in hand and managed a few quick pics before our resident female Grey Butcherbird aggressvely chased him away.

 

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The Blue faced honeyeater is quite common around my area.    For the last 15 odd years they have nested in my Bismarckia palms in the front yard..    

 

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It's guaranteed that every year i'll be rescuing a baby bird of some sort. Usually, it is wayward Curve-billed Thrashers, or a Mockingbird.. This year?, a White Winged Dove who got a little over confident while working out young wings..

After placing it atop one of the bee houses under the Ficus, i later fund it had tried to fly away again right after sunset.. Back up in the tree it went so the damn cats couldn't get to it over night..  ..One tried sneaking up to the tree later until it got pelted with water.. Hopefully this kid was able to fly off the next morning ( wasn't where i'd placed it the night before. Didn't notice a pile of feathers on the ground below the Ficus the next morning either )


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Kingbird sp.. Not sure which ( we have several ) Would not sit still long enough to get decent pictures..

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Hard to be Great, without a tail, lol.   Great - Tailed Grackle, Male w/ out that grand tail of his, poking around the front yard for bugs, waiting for his tail feathers to grow back.

🎶 " I'm half the bird i used to be.... "🎶 😂


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Not exactly garden visitors, but these Velella velella are all over my local beach right now. There must be millions.

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Chris

San Francisco, CA 

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17 hours ago, Rivera said:

Not exactly garden visitors, but these Velella velella are all over my local beach right now. There must be millions.

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They are all over the SO CA beaches as well...An exuberant year for them...

Butch 

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Condylostylus longicornus

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Leafcutter Bee sp.

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Sceliphron caementarium

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NoID Moth

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Schistocerca nitens, Immature.

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This may be a 'Flame Skimmer' (Libellula saturata) dragonfly. Looks like a bird bit the tip of one wing perhaps? Always a sign that summer is underway when I see them in my garden. It's resting on the leaf of a 'Mandela's Gold' Strelitzia (bird of paradise).

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Urbane Digger Bee

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Long-Horned Bee sp.. Could be Pruinose Squash Bee, or Barrel Cactus Longhorn ...or something else ( Several sps in several Genera )  Very tough to get shots of ( Don't linger on a flower for long )

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Carpenter Bee,  Valley or Sonoran.. Tough to tell apart.. 

Left the Bee's home when i had sections of trunk from the mulberries i took down last summer cut up and removed when the tree guys gave our landlords Washingtonia their annual trim / they took out the half dead Bottlebrush out front. 


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Anna's Hummingbird, Female, i think,  enjoying the Turk's Cap.

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Summer is " Baby Ornate Tree Lizard Season " and this kid decided to take a swim while watering the Pumpkins.  After a little climbing around on my arm, shoulder, it was off to continue some evening bug hunting among pumpkin leaf canopy.

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More Bugs..


Wandering Glider, Pantala flavescens..  Very hard to get good shots of a flying Dragon that moves like lightning 40ft above your head, lol.


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Long Horned Bees in flight

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Urbane Digger in flight

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Mozena arizonensis ..or Mlunata,   since it has been observed fairly close to AZ in Sonora / N. Sinaloa since ~at least ~ 2017.   Inat observation from the Sierra Vista  area may be arizonensis ( Nymphs look similar at that size / age )

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Possibly one of the Podalonia Wasp sps.  hunting for Cutworms.

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Two similar sized insects w/ similar coloration..

One of the Longhorn Cuckoo Bee sps, Genus
Triepeolus

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Nomad Bee sp. within the Nomada vegana  Complex

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Phidipppus sp..  Checking out the camera.

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More...


Cricket Hunter ..Hunting Crickets and Cockroaches..


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Longhorn Bees, closer up. Heat slowed them down just enough that some decided to rest in the shade, allowing the close ups.

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Cali. Diggers

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Urbane Diggers

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An interesting side note regarding the Bees.. While flowering like mad in the same area as the Kallstroemia out back,  Bees, all of them, completely ignore the non native Mad. Periwinkle.



Many Alien beings positioned around the yards now.


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Large Milkweed Bug, Oncopeltus fasciatus

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Gray Bird Grasshopper, likely the same one seen before, now metamorphosed into the adult phase..

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Katydid nymph

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Chlorion aerarium  .. stopping to ask where all the Crickets are while searching for breakfast..

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Alien in the Bougainvillea beat her to it..

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That time of year when Hummingbirds visit the Guaiacum ( ..coulteri )  Wayy too hot to fill the feeders ( Can kill the birds if you do ) Better shots forth coming, lol.

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Checkered Skipper ..Not sure which. We have -at least- 4 sps here. ( Common, Tropical, Desert, & White ) Hard to tell one from another.

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One of the countless benefits of not using pesticides, nor over - worrying about " pesty " bugs "..  As hot as it has been / absolutely no rain in sometime, i'm a bit surprised to see my yearly visitor ..who i wasn't sure was still around ( Worried the Cats might have grabbed it last year ) ..

Great Plains Toad, Anaxyrus cognatus ..Tough call on the sex but thinking female.  Hangs out in one of the " Sunflower Beds " out back where i'd incorporated a lot of extra sand to the native soil to amend the soil there earlier in the year.


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Found her hanging out back there while watering the other night, and noticed she has made a comfy -by Toad standards- home where she has returned to each day.  If only i had enough room to dig a small runoff retention pond.. Was out hunting last night despite the constant neighborhood fireworks. 

Underground by day..


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Out and about on bug control duty once the sun sets..

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Best pest control out there..

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