Saturday, August 20, 2011

Camelback Pt. II

As promised, Wife and I returned to Camelback with our camera for another weekend's adventure. We were prepared for the wildlife and the view this time around, and while the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher did not make an appearance, we left satisfied nonetheless.
We took the more gradual and scenic Cholla Trail up Camelback's East side, preferring it and the camera's safety to the much steeper Echo Canyon. I was constantly distracted with peripheral movement, but it was Maria who first saw the Greater Roadrunner slaloming its way down the slope.

After a brief foray of photographing and a water break, we were lucky to see the Roadrunner actually take flight and glide to another outcropping--the first and only time to date that I've seen a Roadrunner fly. As we continued upwards, we began to encounter Chuckwallas, a large, chunky lizard found throughout arid regions of the U.S.,  and Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds.

Our continued ascent soon brought us to the spine of the mountain, where we were met with a pleasant breeze and a vantage point providing total circumspection of Maricopa County.

We shared the view with a few Red-Tailed Hawks, and saw some rock wrens as well as sort of unidentified sparrow.

We were feeling the heat by the time we reached the summit, and we had no luck photographing the charming Gnatcatchers we had seen on our last visit. Even so, it was a pleasant romp among the mesquite trees and over granite boulders as we saw many more hummingbirds and got a close-up of a Juvenile Red-Tail, as well as a sleek Garter Snake. The descent was quick, and the experience was most satisfactory.

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