Yesterday in the late afternoon I was working on the computer in our RV when I heard the birds all flush at once. This happens a couple of times a day, and I usually jump up and try to find the bird of prey that lead to the panic. Well yesterday I was surprised to see something working its way through the Ironwood. At closer look I realized it was a bobcat! It came down and drank for some time from our water drip next to our RV, then looked around and finally slowly walked away. My heart was racing with excitement! I have seen them on the game cam at night, but have never been able to photograph one until yesterday.
About a half hour later, I cut across a small wash near our to meet an arriving guest. I was startled when the bobcat appeared just 5 feet away from me and then slowly walked off! He had been hiding there the whole time. Ten minutes later I would see the top of his back above a boulder as it slowly made its way back down to the feeders! It clearly didn’t mind my presence. However, that little ground squirrel that keeps eating on my flip flops better be aware!
This spring I will be offer a couple of Arizona Desert Photography Workshops! I have been doing workshops in Anza-Borrego for many years now, but this one will be at our Desert Photo Retreat.
The Desert Photo Retreat sits on a beautiful 10 acre parcel in the mountains north of Tucson. We have 2 permanent blinds and other feeders perfect for a photography workshop. We will photograph birds, mammals, landscapes and even wildflowers – we may be one of the only places in Arizona with a wildflower bloom this spring thanks to some selective watering. The group size is limited to just 4 people, so I can give plenty of attention to each person and includes dinner! Follow the link for much more information.
A gray fox last night at the Desert Photo Retreat. By the way we still have some great dates available this season if you are looking to photograph out here.
I finally have the gear I need for night photography and camera trap photography – I’m looking forward to doing much more. It is amazing how much wildlife is here at night.
This the favorite perch for our gray fox pair (along with the hood of our car) for scouting out our camp, the water drip and bird feeders. I know this is its favorite because it has left me some nice gifts (scat) as it marks its territory like gray foxes like to do on top of rocks.
This was a 3 flash setup. However, this was the only frame I captured where the rim light flash behind the rock didn’t fire. Just as well as I had that flash a little too bright. I was hoping he would have been just 10 minutes earlier as we had a wonderful sunset.
The recent super, blue eclipse moon from the Desert Photo Retreat.
Although we see our local pair on gray fox make the rounds and check out the bird feeders every evening – I have been generally surprised at the lack of other wildlife at night. I hoped, and suspected this had to do in large part with my game camera that now actually has javelina teeth holes in one of the sensors.
So last night I put out two brand new game cameras. Wow, there is a lot that goes on out here at night! The camera at the water hole captured the gray fox pair at 4 different times during the night. Plus, this bobcat who made himself at home. A great-horned owl stopped in for a bath. Plus, skunks, javelina even a small mouse.
I pointed the second camera at some hummingbird feeders and it showed a steady stream of bats coming in for a quick drink!
I will soon begin setting up remote triggers and flashes to capture more professional images of this activity – excited about all the possibilities!
Looks like when I’m away the fox will play! I made a quick trip to Alaska and back to check on our house. While I was gone, I left a game camera at the waterhole. It was fun to see the activity up there. A single adult fox shows up regularly, but it isn’t very often I see both adults at the same time. This same night both adults came down to camp and sat on a rock not far from Janine and the campfire – sorry I missed that moment!
Phainopepla are regulars at the Desert Photo Retreat, but can be difficult to photograph since they don’t go to feeders. I was able to photograph this guy yesterday as he has gotten very comfortable with my presence.