Back in April I visited Frances Short Pond here in Flagstaff— a pond fished by man (sometimes woman) and osprey alike. Blackbirds and grackles occupy trees and the marshy island in the middle of the small pond. Here is a great-tailed grackle (I think), caught mid-hop. Click here to see the full-sized photo of the … More Reflective great(-tailed) hop
Photographed on the banks of Frances Short Pond, Flagstaff, Arizona in mid-July, this is a 12-Spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella). Thank you to MrRoarke of Reddit for the help in identifying this beauty.
So, as I mentioned on this site yesterday, I’ve joined Reddit, where I posted a query as to what sort of insect I had caught in the camera’s eye. The answer? What I saw was a “Robber fly, Wyliea mydas. According to the American Museum of Natural History this fly mimics the infamous Tarantula Hawk,” … More Now identified: Not a beetle, a fly!
I’m posting this on Reddit ( /r/whatsthisbug). For you who once saw me post HERE rather regularly, I apologize for my long absence and offer this strikingly beautiful insect (a beetle?). I was seeing this orange-winged insect (probably a beetle) this spring, then suddenly it reappeared today in the Rio de Flag, Cheshire neighborhood, Flagstaff, … More Unidentified insect: Beetle?
It is an inspiring, though common, thing to see flocks of ducks or geese flying overhead in V-formation. A duck flying alone is also beautiful, as is this mallard… http://www.wilcephotos.com/Northern-Arizona/JMW-Birds-Bees-Etc/i-qndbZbn/0/Th/BIF-Duck%3B%20BubblingPonds%3B%20IMG_9073%20C1PSD1-Th.jpg … but a group of birds synchronizing or coordinating their behavior presents us with a different kind of beauty. This group of Canada Geese flying … More What’s With the V-Formation?
Anywhere you see hawks you are likely to see them being chased by smaller birds and not just chasing after them. The following photos (some of which are links to wilcephotos.com) tell two stories. The first story consists of a single photograph of what we might expect to be most common—a bigger, more carnivorous bird … More Hawks: Chasing and Being Chased
Google Doodles— the graphics atop Google’s splash page that change every day—are sometimes worth taking the time to consider. Such was the case with the 9 January 2016 Google Doodle. The Doodle acknowledges the “41st Anniversary of the Discovery of the Mountain of the Butterflies” The mountain in Mexico where the monarchs “overwinter” is the … More Monarch Discovery
On a recent trip to the wonderful Sedona Wetlands Preserve, described in a previous post on this blog, I shot video footage of a fascinating group behavior by ducks, specifically Northern Shovelers. Shovelers are “dabbling” or surface-feeding ducks. The species has evolved a collaborative feeding strategy. Swimming in what John Andrew Eastman calls a “pinwheel” … More The Ducks That Swim in Circles
If you have never heard of Curve-Billed Thrashers, you probably don’t live in or near a desert. But if you google “default desert bird” you’ll see a lot of text etc. devoted to Thrashers. Unfortunately, the phrase “default desert bird,” with or without proper attribution is a misquote. At least Wikipedia rightly cites Dunne as the … More What Wikipedia calls the “default desert bird”
The “DBG” is a source of endless pleasure, a space of glorious plants that attract equally wondrous birds and butterflies! Here are three shots from a recent visit. Stay tuned as I post more photos from this visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. Click here to visit my professional photography page and … More Arizona Desert Botanical Garden 11/24
A recent trip to Denver got me thinking about the built environment, the natural environment, pseudo-natural built environments, and juxtapositions of the built and natural.
Raptors are birds of prey. I try not to overuse the word “awesome,” but raptors are awesome, awe-inspiring. I love it when raptors, who have extremely sharp eyes, are so generous as to allow me to photograph them. So, I have gathered here, in one place, photos of four different raptors— three diurnal and one … More Four Raptors
It takes interesting cloud patterns to make glorious sunrises. These two sunrise shots were taken in Flagstaff, Arizona, in October. Click here to view a wonderful sunrise over Des Moines, Iowa, and here to buy a copy of that photo.
Sunday October 18 was a stormy day in much of Arizona. As afternoon turned to evening, storm clouds were trying to hang in there but were beginning to break up. That led to an amazing sunset, at least from what we saw in central Arizona as we drove from Flagstaff to Phoenix.
After some 20 years of meetings and countless hours of planning, the City of Sedona has developed a unique—and prize-winning— wastewater treatment facility. The treatment plant itself was finished some four years ago, but the unique thing about it is what happened next— channeling the highest quality treated water (meeting A+ Effluent Quality Standards) into … More Sedona Wetlands: Birds and bees and butterflies