Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Critters

Raccoon encounter in Zion National Park
Tarantula spider in Valley of Fire
Being out in nature is one of the great joys of landscape photography. I simply love spending time in the desert amongst the bushes, rocks, buttes, streams and trees. Sometimes I forget that this is also the home of many other creatures. It is very common to come across birds and lizards. Occasionally I come across animals larger or more interesting. This includes antelope, deer, coyote, snakes. In the last 2 months I've come across these 3 creatures: a raccoon, tarantula spider and a desert big horn sheep.

The raccoon was going up and down the Virgin River as I was taking photographs in November. It was snowing and he was carefully going downstream when I spotted him. I quickly detached my camera from the tripod and tried to sneak around to get a better look at him. I could not stay hidden for very long. He discovered what I was doing and cautiously walked into the bushes. I waited. After short time he came out and walked right in front of me before going back to the river and disappearing.

The Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada they came across not one tarantula but two!  They were not together. But I saw them both on White Domes hike in the northern section of the park. Each of them was simply creeping along the trail, trying to mind his own business.

I also saw a beautiful desert big horn sheep in the same park. He was running along the side of the canyon, amongst the loose rocks and debris. Occasionally he would stop and look directly at me. I took several photographs of him before he disappeared.
Desert Bighorn Sheep in Valley of Fire

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