Rock Squirrels in Grand Canyon National Park

Rock Squirrels in Grand Canyon National Park

rock squirrel on the south rim at grand canyon national park, arizona

Like in our own cities, conservation areas and parks here in Canada, squirrels are a common sight if not a nuisance, but we still adore their sweet little faces and comical antics.  The same can be said for the Rock Squirrels at Grand Canyon National Park.  The rodents are so plentiful that Park’s staff warn visitors to be on the lookout for their bold behaviour! Read more

A Rock Wren at Grand Canyon National Park

A Rock Wren at Grand Canyon National Park

Rock Wren sitting on a rock on the South Rim at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, U.S.A.

On our first day in Grand Canyon National Park, after gaining a bird’s eye view of the spectacular world-famous canyon from a helicopter, we set off to explore the South Rim trails.  In the afternoon, we caught a shuttle bus to the extreme western end of the trail at Hermit’s Rest.  An impromptu exploration below Hermit’s Rest Lookout turned up a fleeting glimpse of this Rock Wren. Read more

A Mountain Chickadee at Grand Canyon National Park

A Mountain Chickadee at Grand Canyon National Park

Mountain chickadee sitting on a Pinyon Pine at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, U.S.A.

During our stay at Grand Canyon National Park, Bob and I explored many sections of the South Rim Trail since we were supremely situated with our room at Maswik Lodge.  After completing a guided Fossil Walk one morning, we continued along the Rim Trail towards Maricopa Point.  In addition to providing excellent views of Bright Angel Trail from Lookout Point, the trail also affords suitable habitat for numerous birds in the Pinyon Pines and other shrubbery that grow tenuously at the edge of the Canyon.  That is where we found this Mountain Chickadee. Read more

Bighorn Sheep On Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

Bighorn Sheep On Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon

Bighorn sheep along Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, U.S.A.

Bob and I were well on our way back up to the South Rim from Plateau Point at Grand Canyon National Park after a grueling 12-hours of hiking, so with our noses to the grindstone, we just focused on putting one foot in front of the other to make headway.  That is why neither one of us saw the Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) surveying its surroundings from a ledge above the trail, just below Mile-and-a Half Resthouse.   If not for other hikers mentioning sight of the animal, we would have completed our hike in total ignorance of its presence. Read more

Northern Sagebrush Lizard At The Grand Canyon

Northern Sagebrush Lizard At The Grand Canyon

Northern Sagebrush Lizard north rim grand canyon 5

It was very late in the afternoon when Bob and I landed at Cape Royal, one of the lookout points on the North Rim of  Grand Canyon National Park.  Despite our rush to see the spectacular views before sunset, we took time to observe this little Northern Sagebrush Lizard (Sceloporus graciosus graciosus) seen scampering amongst the rocks right at the lip of the Canyon. Read more

A Northern Whiptail Lizard in the Grand Canyon

A Northern Whiptail Lizard in the Grand Canyon

northern whiptail lizard - grand canyon 6

After we left the oasis of Indian Garden at Grand Canyon National Park, Bob and I wasted no time making headway towards Plateau Point.  The heat was building, the wind was constant, and the sun was torturous.  Still, we forced ourselves to remain vigilant since  other hikers had spotted rattlesnakes on the trail within the past couple of days.  It was when we drew near the water refilling station about 3/4 of the way between the two points that we saw a Northern Whiptail Lizard (Cnemidophorus tigris septentrionalis) taking advantage of the puddles of spilled water in the shade of the water reservoir. Read more

Hiking Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point at the Grand Canyon

Hiking Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point at the Grand Canyon

plateau point hiking trail , grand canyon 1aa

When Bob and I decided to hike Bright Angel Trail, we knew it would be a demanding challenge, and one that would take many hours.  From the South Rim, Plateau Point was a speck at the edge of the Tonto Platform; from midway down the fault line, the narrow meandering trail that leads from Indian Garden to Plateau Point was more discernible but no less intimidating. Read more

A Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard at the Grand Canyon

A Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard at the Grand Canyon

yellow-backed spiny lizard 11

As Bob and I neared Indian Garden along Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, we kept a keen eye for birds and animals along the way so we could add pictures of new wildlife to our collection.  I was conscientiously watching for snakes and so tended to scrutinize the trail in front of me to avoid stepping on any, in particular any Grand Canyon Rattlesnakes that might be sunning themselves.  It was Bob who spied this Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus uniformis) where it originally sat hunched on the small branch of a Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii)Read more

Elk at the Grand Canyon

Elk at the Grand Canyon

elk crosses roadway, grand canyon

When Bob and I first arrived at Grand Canyon National Park, it was getting late in the day, dusk in fact, so we were eager to find our accommodations at Maswik Lodge and to have dinner.  The Park is very large, and finding our way on the road system through Grand Canyon Village was taking some time.  As we drove down one stretch of the pavement, adjacent to the railway track, Bob caught sight of a number of Elk making their way from one side of the roadway to the other. Read more

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