More birds from Arizona

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We saw dark-eyed junkos everywhere we went.

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I saw Steller’s jays everywhere but it was tough to get a decent picture. They were really skittish.

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Ravens were also everywhere. I don’t see them around my area in central Florida. They are like the laughing gulls of northern Arizona. Always in the tourist areas, loud, they come flying in when they see food.  They are much bigger than our fish crows.

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Looks just like our eastern bluebird but I was in the west. All About Birds says that western bluebirds have more rust in their throat than eastern ones.

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Our squirrels in Florida don’t have that rust streak on their back.

Some of the “wild” things we saw at Bearizona in northern Arizona.

Birds in a snowbowl?

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It was Fall in the mountains of Arizona. Really, it was too early for fall. Even though the weather was cool the leaves really hadn’t started to change colors yet.  A hint of yellow was all we saw. This was the drive up to the chair lift at the Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff. You can take the lift up to the top of the mountain in the summer to hike around and see the area around Flagstaff. I was able to spot a few birds while we were at the top.

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I think this little guy is a Hutton’s Vireo. They are not found on my side of the country. These pictures are exactly like the ones in the Stokes Birding Guide.  If anyone can confirm that would be great.

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I was hoping this was something new but I think it’s a chipping sparrow. Very common in my area.

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These are dark-eyed juncos.  Not a first for me. I have seen a few in Atlanta. I’ve never seen one in central Florida. I’m not sure if they pass through us on their way south for the winter.

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This looks like a yellow rumped warbler. Just my luck I travel across the country and see one of the most common birds in central Florida in the winter.

It was windy and cool up on top of the mountain and the birds were skittish. I managed to see a few but the wind was blowing pretty hard to get a good picture of anything. I did see a few other birds at other parks though so those pictures are coming.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing

Rainy day funny faces

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We had a rainy afternoon during our trip in Arizona. We were already out running around so we decided to head over to Bearizona. It’s a drive through zoo that’s 30 minutes away from Flagstaff. We figured at least we’d be in the car while it was raining. Most of the animals had been injured or orphaned and had found a permanent home here.  All of the animals have huge enclosures in the middle of the woods. We drove through different zones and saw bears, wolves, bison, big horn sheep and tons of other animals. You could see them wandering around in the woods. Some were eating, some were sleeping, some were playing in the drizzle. Halfway through it stopped raining so we were able to get out and walk around the smaller walk through area. I think this was one of  my favorite parts of the trip.

Saturday's Critters

“God created the Grand Canyon but He lives in Sedona.”

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“God created the Grand Canyon but He lives in Sedona.” You can find this quote here.

This was our 2nd trip to Sedona. We spent 3 days here 2 years ago. This time we spent a quick afternoon. We spent some time walking around at Red Rock State Park.  All of the above were taken there with my Nikon D7100 camera and my wide-angle lens. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon and the park area was packed with people.

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These were taken with my Iphone camera,  through the windshield. We were going to stop and have a snack in the main town area but it was packed and parking was scarce so we kept going on our way to Flagstaff.

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We drove through Oak Creek Canyon on our way to Flagstaff and stopped for a walk around the Oak Creek Vista Point. We could not have asked for a more perfect day.

Skywatch Friday

Our first hike in Flagstaff

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Chapter 1 on what I did on my summer vacation.  Only it was in late September. We flew into Phoenix and drove to Sedona.  We spent an afternoon there and then went to Flagstaff for 4 days. Our first hike was to Walnut Canyon, just 20 minutes outside of Flagstaff. We hiked down the main trail and around part of the canyon, passing by the remains of homes left by Native Americans many years ago.  You can read more about the park here. It’s much smaller than the Grand Canyon but very different and fun to walk around. The 240 steps back up the cliff to the top wasn’t too bad. I’m glad I’ve been using the stairs at work a lot. We would stop and rest and look out over the canyon periodically. I took a ton of pictures so more to come.

Jeep tour in Sedona – Skywatch Friday

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The famous pink jeeps in Sedona. We were too tired from hiking so we took an afternoon tour. We had a driver that took us up into the mountains around the area.

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The view leaving downtown Sedona from the jeep.

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The locals have named all of the rock formations. This one was called Snoopy rock since it looks like Snoopy laying on top of his dog house.

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The one on the right is called Eagle since it looks like an eagle with its wings spread out.

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The carousel.

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The “cow patties” from close to the top of the mountain.

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Holiday Road – this is the view in the scene in the movie Vacation where Chevy Chase is trying to decide what to do with dead Aunt Edna (If you’re a fan of the movie, you know what scene I’m talking about. Never saw it? You have to rent it). To the left, in the middle of the mountain, you can see the dirt road winding through the mountain. We took that road up. Only four-wheel drives allowed. It was a very bumpy trip.

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The driver took this shot of us. Apparently, it’s the “standard” picture to get while you’re up there.

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Another shot of the road frequently traveled. Lots of jeeps out but it was way too much fun to pass up. Totally worth it for the two hour tour.

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On the way back to the tour place, I could just barely see the moon coming up over the red rock on the right. Perfect way to end the trip in Arizona.

Check out more sky pictures at Skywatch Friday