Moon Before Yule

Moon Over Camelback Mountain

This was the moon on December 10th, early evening, at 97.9%. I haven’t been out photographing much with holiday shopping, get-togethers, home repair issues, and quite a bit of rain for Phoenix.

Orange-crowned Warbler

My Orange-crowned Warbler, Tink, has decided to spend her 4th winter here in our yard. I’m always so happy when she returns and make sure there is plenty of grape jelly for her enjoyment.

This tiny snail appeared after one of our rains. I put it into one of our outdoor plant pots and haven’t seen it since.

Here are a few more of our winter birds:

Curve-billed Thrasher
Gila Woodpecker
Anna’s Hummingbirds, male and female
Inca Dove
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Audubon’s

Tony used Christmas lights to make the peace symbol but we will probably keep it in our front window year-round because why not?

Happy Holidays!

My First


Ugh, after living in Arizona for 45 years and going out in the wild fairly often, I finally saw my very first tarantula lumbering along a path we were on at Seven Springs. Interesting yet creepy to this arachnophobe. Of course, we did not get in its way.

One of my friends said she saw her first tarantula in the wild at the same place several years ago. Just a little earlier, I had mentioned to Tony that I thought the area seemed “tarantula-y.”


Other Side Creek

View from Spot


Tree Trunk

Moon_edited and HawkRed-tailed Hawk

Not a very birdy day.


Dfly 2Variegated Meadowhawks

Purple Flower

More Tree

Phainopepla Tree


Phainopepla Male

Phainopepla FemaleTrees of Phainopeplas

Previous Seven Springs’ posts (1, 2, 3).





September 27th was a marvelous night for a moondance as the Super Blood Moon rose over Camelback Mountain in Phoenix at a little after 6 pm. It was Tony’s idea to go to the top floor of Biltmore Fashion Park’s parking garage. And, oddly, only a few other people had the same idea. It was truly [click that⇒] fantabulous!  We stayed for the whole event.



We were very lucky here in AZ to have clear skies. It was the best eclipse I’ve ever seen!


This morning…2 mornings after the awesome spectacle…

2 Mornings Later copy

Shots were all handheld with my Sigma 150-500mm lens, high ISO. #SuperBloodMoon

Added later to amuse myself:


Morning Wins

Fishhook FlowersBee on Fishhook Cactus


PL x 5 GreenPainted Lady

Roseate SkimmerRoseate Skimmer, male

Dragonfly 8.8.15_edited-1Roseate Skimmer, female

Dragonfly 9.11.15

Lizard 8.30.15Camouflaged Lizard

The lantanas have been buzzing with critters:




Hairstreak Chomp

This is a Gray Hairstreak, above, whose camouflaged tail has apparently met with a predator.  “This is a case of a “false head” in a butterfly. While the real head is inconspicuous, the posterior part of the wings bear a gaudy, attention-attracting false head, colored orange and replete with fake eyespots, fake antennae, and fake legs. Note as well that the wing patterns call attention to the fake head by converging on it.” I guess the camouflage worked but now it has nothing for the next time…

Below is a photo from last year of an intact hairstreak.


Moon 8.31.15

All but 2 of these photos were taken in (or, in the case of the moon, from) my yard. Thanks to the silly Belvita commercials, #morningwin is my favorite hashtag. Nothing like starting the day seeing something you think is awesome.

Here’s a fun article about Carolyn Lavender, a local artist I know, and whose yard I’ve taken bird photos in!

The Letter F

Flicker (Gilded, female)

Flicker 2

Finch (House, female)


Fun (with the Rokinon 800mm Mirror Lens)


Tony gave me this lens for Christmas. You have to shoot all manual and the aperture is fixed at f/8 and the focal length at 800mm so there are limitations but the above shot was handheld. Click to enlarge; I was pleased with the detail. Imagine if it were on a tripod. I’ll be doing more moon shots in the future.




Sveng Fisheye

Sveng Fisheye 2


Tony gave me this fisheye lens a few years ago, too. It’s an awesome lens (Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8) with very crisp detail. I played with it on one of our recent rainy days.


Fog Light



Fog is an extreme rarity in Phoenix but Super Bowl Sunday morning had a lingering fog for our many out-of-state visitors. Fog shots abounded on Facebook, I just wish I had gotten some pretty ones like many I saw.

This post was brought to you by the letter F.

*This is my 591st post and I started blogging on 2/13/09 so I’m averaging about 100 posts per year and I still love it. Thank you for checking it out.