Sunday, September 16, 2007

Critters and the Girls Who Love Them

This weekend my daughters and I visited Agua Caliente Park near the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains in northeast Tucson. The girls got to get their hands and feet muddy catching all sorts of wetlands critters. The next day, I visited the Desert Museum. Together, these desert locales provide plenty of critter shots (with more in my site's gallery):

My older daughter and her friend catch live fish by hand at the manmade ponds at Agua Caliente Park.

My younger daughter, just before she casts a plankton net to catch the smaller critters teaming in the pond water. The visit was part of the Desert Museum's Coati Kid's Club monthly outings, which are always great fun and educational, to boot.

A yellow spider hiding on a lizard tail flower.

He was joined shortly by a marsh fly, which he tried oh-so-patiently to snag.

Alas, he did not succeed.

A small blue dragonfly called, I think, a bluet.

A much larger bug: the mesquite bug, which while not dangerous to humans, does have a syringe-like mouthpart that it injects into mesquite trees to suck the juice.

Scarlet monkeyflowers seemingly floating in the green lushness.

Some kind of beetle--a checkered beetle or leatherwing, perhaps--at the Desert Museum.

A hummingbird takes a quick sip in the Desert Museum's hummingbird aviary.

Though the colors of this agave may be warm enough to want to hug it, the sharp spines at leaf's edge are not so friendly.

A Mexican hand-carved and painted peacock at the Desert Museum's gift shop.

View more photos at, including additional bugs, a snake, and some other goodies.


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