Monday, April 16, 2007

Critters and Hummers

I'm just coming off a string of night shifts so this post will be brief. More stuff from Arizona- this little ground squirrel followed our every move at an outdoor cafe. A real moocher as squirrels always are, this guy had this funny posture every time he found a morsel to eat.
We stopped at a rather depressing wildlife zoo in Glendale. All of the water was green and slimy and we saw several RATS strolling in and out of the pens/cages swiping animal food. Molly was disturbed by the living conditions and poor quality of life for many of the animals. She's very articulate and vocal about her feelings on this subject and she may find herself a vocation in animal rights. I'm so excited to see where her future takes her. She's really started to develop a view of the world outside her home in the last year.

We saw a wide array of lizards. Though they didn't have a lot of color, they were really strikingly beautiful.

This lizard was well camoflaged from a distanceand was quite willing to let me get a close look.

I saw two species of hummingbirds. This is a Black-chinned hummingbird. If you click to enlarge you can make out the beautiful violet blue gorget below its black chin. I also saw the
Costa's hummingbird but no picture for me. Two more lifers!!
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Larry said...

I don't generally use this word but that ground squirrel is cute.

It must have been exciting to see new Hummingbirds-congratulations!

mon@rch said...

Both awesome hummingbirds! Never seen those two species would be lifers for me! Very cool!

MojoMan said...

Great photos! Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

You are showing interesing stuff, Lynne! The squirrel isn't the same ones we see here, that's for sure (where are the ears and tail?). A hummer with black markings?

Glad to hear that Molly is showing interest. She sounds much like my daughter who frets over wildlife and pet conditions. The two of you will have much in common as she grows!

You know I love lizards! Unlike birds, they strike a pose and hold it. Perfect.

Rest up after those long nights. I check in on you every day.

LauraHinNJ said...

That lizard is handsome! Wonder what kind he is?

Zoos kind of creep me out - even in the best ones I don't think you can help but feel bad.

Deb said...

Two lifer hummingbirds! I'm jealous! :)

Susan Gets Native said...

Being way over here in the east, we have ruby-throated and that's about it, with an occasional rufous. Two life hummingbirds is awesome!
As far as that zoo is concerned, it doesn't surprise me that animals are treated that way in this country. We can't even treat our vets with respect and basic cleanliness.
A rant to a local paper might get a ball rolling about the zoo.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Utterly jealous about your hummers -- both are on my list of MUST SEE! :)

Sorry about the wildlife zoo -- that's awful. I've been to some that are wonderful and they can do some amazing work in conservation of species.

Isn't it amazing to get those little insights into the kind of PEOPLE your children will become? It's like seeing into the future.

Lynne said...

Larry- yes, it was cute!

Mon@rch- both were beautiful hummers.

Mojoman- thanks- it's nice to hear from you. Hope you enjoyed AZ too.

Mary- I think according to the Peterson Guide for Mammals it is a Roundtail Ground Squirrel. Pretty cute! Molly's feelings run pretty deep right now, so the water conditions there pretty much ruined her day. Those lizards were neat but more than once they ran across my feet and scared the daylights out of me!! It's nice to know you check in on me :)

LauraH- I need a lizard field guide! There were lizards galore! I know what you mean about zoos- they leave me feeling a bit bothered too.

Deb- they were gorgeous hummers!

Susan- I had only seen rubythroated hummers before too. I suggested the newspaper rant to Molly- thanks!

Liza- It really IS amazing to see glimpses of what our kids will be.

Jayne said...

Kudos to Molly for knowing how to respect nature... indeed, her future is bright! Love the hummer!!!

Lynne said...

Jayne- I agree!

Sandy said...

That squirrel is a new one to me. He is cute!
I am not a fan of zoos, or cages, good for your daughter.
I am enjoying your holiday photos, so glad you shared them.

Cathy said...

Good for your Molly. We need strong advocates for our vulnerable fellow creatures.

I think that patterned lizard is the Ornate Tree Lizard. One got very comfortable around us while we ate at the Botanic Garden.