Monday, December 21, 2015

Winter Solstice 2015

The short, sunny winter day in the desert ends with beautiful warm lights and deep shadows. It's easy for our dogs to make us go for a sunset walk. Above is the view south across our property with Wassem Peak and Saguaro National Park West in the background.

Looking north, through State Trust Land with many Saguaros and even more Chollas into the flat spread of Avra Valley.

On our fence waits a little fly catcher that I haven't seen here before. Maybe a Wood Peewee? Wild guess. Too bad that with two impatient dogs in one hand and the camera in the other, and very little light, the focus is off.

Ants are still active, but dragging their tarsi. Veromessor pergandei, harvesting the seeds of those November-blooming Chinch Weeds I think.

Frodo heard the song of his Coyote relatives and took off to find them. But he eventually returned tired and panting while the choir kept serenading us. Or maybe they were just inspired by some sirens on the freeway.

One of our Great Horned Owls took off from a branch right above my head ans landed not too far from us, not afraid of humans or dogs.  The light was now really getting bad. 

Getting closer and going down on the ground, I could get him against the lighter sky ...

Using the little built-in flash also turned out less than ideal ..  Too bad, because the guy was endlessly patient.

The sky was now getting dramatic - and Saguaro silhouettes do set it off perfectly.

The best colors over Kitt Peak and Ragged Top in the Northwest across Ironwood National Monument. It's nice to live right in the middle of two great parks!.

Happy Winter Solstice to all on the northern half of the world!


  1. Sometimes a less than ideal light photo can come out good. I like the way that owl photo slowly draws you into it. Good job.

  2. Your little perched bird is a Say's Phoebe. Nice photos.