Exploring The Cliff Dwellings At Mesa Verde National Park

Exploring The Cliff Dwellings At Mesa Verde National Park

spruce tree house at mesa verde national park - colorado 5

It was becoming a habit, it seemed, for Bob and me to wake up between 6-6:30 a.m., and the day following our hike on the Bright Angel Trail was no different.  Because our leg muscles were way too spent for any other activity, our intentions were to drive across Arizona into Colorado to Mesa Verde National Park.  Once there, we were absolutely in awe of the excellent examples of preserved and protected cliff dwellings once used by Pueblo people. Read more

Blanche Russells Rock Houses In Marble Canyon, Arizona

Blanche Russells Rock Houses In Marble Canyon, Arizona

Blanche Russell Rock House in Marble Canyon in Arizona, U.S.A.

As Bob and I cruised along the black tarmac, the air literally shivered with the heat.  In the distance, at the base of the Vermilion Cliffs, a mirage appeared complete with stone houses rising up out of the desert sands….or so we thought.  This was one of Blanche Russells Rock Houses that was constructed during the Great Depression. Read more

Our Drive Through The Painted Desert In Arizona

Our Drive Through The Painted Desert In Arizona

painted desert - hwy 89 - arizona

Despite having been awake since a very early hour, it was not until about 10:30 a.m. that Bob and I decided to make a run for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  It was approximately 200 miles from the South Rim, and the roads were very good, so there was plenty of time left in the day to get there and back again.  One of the striking features of landscape to impress us along the route was the Painted Desert with its myriad formations in all colours of the rainbow. 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

Common Ravens We Sighted At The Grand Canyon

Common Ravens We Sighted At The Grand Canyon

A Common Raven at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, U.S.A.

All along the South Rim Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, Bob and I observed various Common Ravens, often in flight over the gaping abyss, Read more

Mule Deer at Grand Canyon National Park

Mule Deer at Grand Canyon National Park

mule deer, grand canyon national park

Bob and I had been at Grand Canyon National Park for a few days, and on top of exploring the phenomenal panoramic sights, we  had also been engrossed in the observation of a variety of bird species.  It was not until the morning of a guided Fossil Hike that we first came upon some Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus).  People wanting to join the hike were to assemble on the canyon-side patio of Bright Angel Lodge, and there, just below the stone wall edging the pathway, a family of Mule Deer was having its breakfast. Read more

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