Sunday, July 01, 2007

Desert fauna

It is rare that our family actually gets a weekend away. Despite living so close to some amazing geological wonders, we don't carve out enough time to go explore them. Our son spent the week in the southern desert, rafting on a river and learning about geology and astronomy out of the classroom, directly on location. This was a marvelous opportunity for us to take some time to leave the city behind and enjoy the southern Utah desert, and pick him up at the end of his odyssey. June/July is truly not the best time to head south, for the heat only increases the further south you go, however, I was willing to take what I could get.Our daughter was delighted to learn that our cabin was not only home to humans, but hosted a variety of desert fauna as well. Most exciting were the bunnies. They fearlessly hopped about our campsite, munching on green treats. Naturally she named them all, although most of them seemed to be "Howard". She ran about our cabin, searching for bunnies, shrieking, "Howard? Howard Bannister???"
We also saw a variety of raptors, a multitude of fascinating desert insects, bats, and many kinds of birds, but only was able to photograph the lizards.
We were standing on the trail, admiring this last fabulous lizard. A couple came up, and we let them pass. We thought it was obvious we were observing animal life, but they missed the cues altogether and stomped right up to the lizard, and were surprised when it dashed off the trail. The woman exclaimed "A visitor!" and the man was quickly cataloguing its stripes and spots as it vanished. We hiked off giggling, asking, "Who's the visitor?"

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