Slightly less tropical
flowering agave plants attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and beetles
Back stateside, my next bird adventure brought me to one of my favorite birding locales in the US. I made my way over to southern Arizona for the SW Wings Bird Fest. While notably less tropical than Panama, there is no denying a tropical connection when you see birds like Elegant Trogon and many of the insect species down there.Arizona Sister digiscoped at Fort Huachuca
Since the image above was taken through the telescope I was still able to stand 20 feet back and get a near full frame image of the Arizona Sister. This is just one of many colorful butterflies in the region.
Spring Azures mass near puddles
The heavy monsoon rains in July and August create "spring-like" conditions in this part of Arizona and many of the birds are actively singing on territory, plants are blooming, etc. Large groups of the Spring Azure butterflies lined puddles on the paths and would burst up in swirling masses of blue as you walked by. I digiscoped these butterflies from further away so I didn't have to creep up to get the image. Spring Azures are common throughout the temperate regions as well so are not indicative of tropical influence. Just like the birds, the varied habitats represented in the mountains here offer a wonderful variety of insect species as well.
"Apple Beetle" in Fort Huachuca
Of course an enormous "Apple" Beetle (nearly the size of a walnut) that is bright metallic green with lavender legs certainly makes one feel they are in a more tropical locale. It was fun watching this thing buzz by, it seemed it wouldn't be able to stay aloft for much longer as it flew slowly down the path. We walked behind it for some time before it finally landed. I took this image with the C-Lux 2 camera alone.
The Giant Desert Centipede above was nearly 7 inches long and as it swung its head from side to side it looked like something right out of outer space let alone the tropics. Shown up close on the big screen it certainly could have starred in a low budget "B" movie and make a grown man scream even (provided you were one who wasn't a fan of critters, I personally think they are cool!) "Attack of the Centipedes" perhaps?!?...
Western Kingbird digiscoped with Leica APO Televid 77 spotting scope and Leica C-Lux2 camera
Of course this is the Leica Birding Blog, so naturally I have lots of bird images that I will get to next. I just can't creep along in areas like this without stopping to admire all of the cool critters I see along the way!