Saturday, April 16, 2011

More desert fun!

While in Arizona last week, we visited the wonderful Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a jewel in the desert. The ASDM is also the publisher of the kids' book I illustrated. I was thrilled to be able to visit this place at last.
I think my favourite part of that visit was the Raptor Free Flight Demonstration.  They were flying Harris's Hawks the day we were there. What extraordinary birds! These hawks hunt cooperatively, which is unusual amongst raptors.

Two beauties take a break during the show.

I love the colouring of these birds.

After the show, some of us stayed around to chat with the handlers. At one point, the handler near us put a scrap of meat on the pole right in front of us, and this hawk flew over. Unfortunately he knocked her meat treat to the ground in the process, but I got a nice photo!

I very much enjoyed the reptiles and amphibians on display inside, although I have managed to forget the names of almost all the creatures I photographed. Alas...

Uh, well, it's a rattlesnake and it's not the "Katie" kind.

Another cool snake. I wish Roger were here, because he'd just rattle off the names... ooooh, bad pun!

How can you not love a face like that? Yes, another rattler. 

Pretty lizard!

And in the gift shop, look what Gordon found:

I was pretty excited to see our book on a shelf in an actual bookstore!

Love this place! I'm so glad I finally got to visit after working with the wonderful people there for so long.

The drive home from the ASDM was very pretty and dramatic, with steep hills and lots of curves in the road. Halfway up, we stopped at a scenic look-out:

Mr. Relaxo!

Mrs. Relaxo!

After the winding drive back the guesthouse, we relaxed...

A bottle fo Guinness, a computer, binoculars and a sketchbook (and a book on opening your own solo law practice, a hint of things to come!!!) What more do you need for a good time? 

Our guesthouse. Peaceful, quiet and private with lots of wildlife around (pics of that to come in later posts!)

We just loved this place: Sahuaro Ranch Hideaway.

Happy weekend!

And here's a video of one of the museum residents:

And a Harris's Hawk in gorgeous flight:


  1. Anonymous9:32 am

    I had to show Mike your blog this morning with all the cool animal photos. We were just oohing and ahhhing over your pics -- especially those gorgeous hawks. Awesome photos.

  2. Don't you just love the Southwest US? I have always loved the "wildness" of the place. It's so awesome. And dry!!! Great pics. The place you stayed looks amazing!

  3. If this is a wrap up of your trip, it's a fantastic way to end it all. Great pictures and I can only imagine how exciting it was to find you book on a shelf for sale in a bookstore. WOW!

    P.S. Looking forward with much anticipation of the follow-up to that *hint* Best wishes Gordon!

  4. Those hawks are breathtaking. I love the close-ups.

  5. WOW, great posts! Ive lagged behind a bit so came back today to find amazing photos and desert adventures! Love seeing your book in the bookshop too, Thats fantastic :)

  6. I needs to get down there. I didn't know they had Guinness, too.

  7. Wildlife at its finest. I so envy you.

    Keep us informed with Gordon's plans.

    Have a nice Sunday.


  8. CogDis, so glad you two appreciate animal photos! The hawks were amazing.

    Lynn, I LOVE the US southwest. Really my first time there, unless you count venturing into Death Valley on a side trip from Las Vegas. I can't wait to go back. I wish I were still there!!

    Paula, I have more pics to inflict on everyone. Stay tuned! I was very excited to see our book in a bookstore. :)

    Ahab, I was thrilled when the hawk perched so close to us.

    Nice to see you back, Lauren!

  9. Murr, I was amazed to find GUinness in Tucson.

    Willie, you two need to go to Arizona. Just don't go in the heat of summer!

  10. Is that solo by choice that I spied in your picture?

  11. Carolyn! Indeed it is, and my husband LOVES your book. Loves it so much, he took it on vacation. He is planning on opening his own law practice this year. :)


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!