The first light of day filtered through the desert scrub, bathing a doe and her two fawns in orange light. I too was dressed in orange, my jacket a holdover from my time in Oregon when I walked to the train station and needed every advantage to be seen by drivers who weren’t looking for me. I stick out like a sore thumb in the desert and have thought about replacing it with something less distracting, but for the moment I’ve held off as it does make me more visible both from a distance and a glance to the cyclists I share the trails with.
Though she’s looking at me for eternity in this picture, the doe paid me little heed as I stood quietly and watched the trio graze as the sun rose. Suddenly to my right a young buck and doe crossed the trail and I stopped taking pictures for a while, obviously I was rather visible but I didn’t want to make any noise as the mother doe was slightly nervous at the new arrivals. She relaxed when the two showed no aggression and they all breakfasted together, coming in and out of view through the shrubs and trees and cacti, when suddenly they bolted and disappeared from view. I soon heard why as two cyclists came riding up the trail, we said our good mornings and they too disappeared from view. A lovely quiet morning on the Watershed Trail.
It’s my goal to photograph every animal of the Sonoran Desert atop a saguaro but with mule deer I think this is as close as I’m going to get.
I don’t understand the fascination with royalty but this lizard may change my mind. Sunday morning after watching a sleepy Harris’s hawk as the sun rose I met this regal horned lizard on the Watershed Trail. I love all the lizards but I rarely see this one, I suppose that is by design.
I came across this flattened lizard (a tiger whiptail I think) and took some time deciding if I was going to photograph it or not. Finally I changed lenses and took a picture as a tribute to this once beautiful creature as ants swarmed the lifeless body. The lizard had shed its tail, now lying beside it, in an unsuccessful attempt at saving its life. The trail is heavily used by mountain bikers so perhaps it wasn’t able to get out of the way of a bike or perhaps a predator killed it but got scared off before it could eat its meal. Or perhaps a hiker stepped on it, someone once stepped on a newt I was photographing (fortunately the ground was soft and the newt unharmed).
Sorry little one.
This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’ But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.
Let us not delight in the suffering of others, nor celebrate lies and cruelty. We know why assault victims don’t come forward, it is because we are monsters. Enough. We need not be. To those who suffer in silence. To those who suffer in public. To Anita Hill. To Christine Blasey Ford. To those who stood tall, to those knocked down, to those who suffered for us, you are heroes, still.
I love the little strawberry hedgehog cactus, a love best expressed at a distance.