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On my evening run through the Arizona desert last night I had a number of wildlife encounters. Expected during the summer season and remarkably common during my runs on my local trail route. I would encounter two Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes this evening which gives me almost as many sightings as all of last year (a record year for me). It is still June with about four months of watching where I step and hearing the occasional rattle, jingling while I sort out how close I am to the snake.
Of the many assorted and interesting critters I experience while I take in the desert environment, the most often seen, in this order are deer, rabbits and you guessed it, rattlesnakes. Twenty one at last count for the Spring and Early Summer season. Getting rather close to the number that welcomed me on my runs last year.
I love wildlife encounters and, well, snake encounters are a not quite a love affair but I do take on a trail runner crazy enough to run through the desert in the summer time, will trek through snake territory and will have a few meet and greet sessions with other inhabitants toting a rattle. It is their home and I do respect that simple fact.
Do rattlesnake's give my heart a jolt? No, but there is a bump in the heart rate when I take a quick dodge to the left or right to avoid a snake. They can blend in very well to the desert floor but I have had to become great with those scaly senses.
Very, very thankful that of all the creatures on the planet, the rattlesnake rates high on the list of animals that let you know of its presence. A beautiful fact and one of the reasons I have an admiration for the scaly and sometimes noisy, scary creatures of horror films and jolting newspaper articles. Oh, those stories of people who get bitten after decapitating a rattlesnake are primal fear unleashed.
I have adjusted my trail runs, slightly, due to encounters at the start of my trail. There are one of two 'friendly' slithery reptiles along the start of my trail time. Roughly eight or nine meet & greets within the first minute of the trail. I had to wonder about the fact that there was a r snake 20 feet up the trail. The photo below is another run-in that is at the exact start of the trail. Sheeesh! I now walk this lively section.
Clock is ticking toward my next run. Almost all of the wildlife I see on my runs is during the suppertime excursion. I will have my eyes dialed in for any and all wildlife, capture what I can with my camera and enjoy getting out in nature and continue to improve my health and diabetes care. And watch my step.
If you find yourself trekking through rattlesnake territory, do be ultra careful. I have read about some horrendous encounters with some devastating results after interactions with Mr. Rattlesnake.
Plan to share another angle on my wild wildlife experiences. Could include Gila Monsters, Tarantulas (yes, I pick them up!), Desert Tortoises, Bobcats, Javelina's (no, don't pick those up), Giant Desert Centipedes, and who knows what else might appear in my blog.
A Wild(life) Year in Video!
I shared in my previous blog
Another 'wild' year for me and my encounters with wildlife. The wildness factor dipped into my photography and in video. If I am taking photos I am usually just a button touch away from capturing wildlife in video. It is always my goal to walk away with photos and video if I happen to encounter a Sasquatch, Aliens, javelina, or whatever crosses my path or chases me in the rugged landscape of desert terrain in which I call home.
I have posted some memorable moments below with links to video(s) taken. I have not posted all of the videos under each photo. It was a good year for the videography, whether it was filming a tarantula crawling up my arm, a rattlesnake a few feet away or something away from the animal/insect kingdom.
Other videos on my channel can be found at:
Thanks for your visit and I look forward to more unique and exciting opportunities to use my camera in the future.
- on one of my runs
A Wild(life) Year in Photography!
Me and the Roaming Bison in Colorado.
Photo by Eric Peffer.
It has been been a wild year for me, in many aspects. One of those areas that continues to make my head swirl, is the amazing desert I live in and the wildlife I have had the opportunity to spend some quality time with.
Most of the photos are from my home base in Catalina, Arizona, although photo adventures to Colorado and New Mexico have added some new animals and geography to my photo line up.
Part of the large herd of elk in Colorado (approximately 150)
I have a number of things in my favor:
1. An eye for things that are 'wild'
2. a 70-300 lens
3. Many of my photo adventures are with a wildlife biologist.
4. I run in an a desert area where I see maybe 1 person a month. More of a true desert setting.
5. Just plain luck
Family of 4 Bobcats in the neighborhood
Many of my photos are taken during my daily runs through the desert. I typically run near sunset, which I feel is a better time to see animals plus it puts me on the highest road in our area to capture stunning sunsets. The runs limit my camera options but I have had good success with a decent point and shoot camera (Samsung WB350F). The Samsung is sporting a 42x zoom. Oh yeah!
One of the four bobcats (family) in the neighborhood
My goal, when possible, is to take film along with photos. I may put together a film blog for this year.
I think back to last year and I did not get much in the way of wildlife photos while this year has been phenomenal. Looking toward 2016.
Wild horses near Fort Garland, CO
Enjoy the photos!
When I grab my camera, I aim to get photos and video. Check out the videos on my latest blog:
Wild horse near Fort Garland, CO
Bighorn Sheep - Taos, NM
Redtail Hawk - Klondyke, AZ
Not totally 'wild' but a wild setting - near La Veta, Colorado
Rattlesnake on one of my runs - Catalina, AZ
Roadrunner near the house - Catalina, AZ
At the house
A Javelina visit during a run - Catalina, AZ
Horned Lizard during a run - Catalina, AZ
Young Desert Tortoise - Catalina, AZ
Walking Stick, almost stepped on and bypassed - Catalina, AZ
Tarantula visit on a run - Catalina, AZ
Tarantula on one of my runs
Gila Monster at the house - Catalina, AZ
Family of 4 Bobcats in the neighborhood - Catalina, AZ
Bobcat photo published in a local paper
Young Desert Tortoise on a desert run - Catalina, AZ
A brief stop during the Race Across America as wild horses cross the road in Utah
During the Race Across America - Pagosa Springs, CO
Praying Mantis, Lori & Eric in Klondyke, AZ