Life Is Like A Cactus, Full Of Pricks, But Also Very Beautiful.

F/8.0, 1/250, ISO 250.

Loggerhead Shrike

What is a soldiers least favorite month of the year?

March

Interesting Fact: Loggerhead Shrikes impale noxious prey such as monarch butterflies and eastern narrow-mouthed toads—then wait for up to three days to eat them, which allows time for the poisons to break down. These shrikes also eat the heads and abdomens of toxic lubber grasshoppers, while discarding the insect’s poisonous thorax. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Loggerhead_Shrike )

 

 

I Used To Think I Was Indecisive, But Now I’m Not Too Sure.

F/8.0, 1/250, ISO 250.

Loggerhead Shrike

At a local coffee bar, a young woman was expounding on her idea of the perfect mate to some of her friends. “The man I marry must be a shining light amongst company. He must be musical. Tell jokes. Sing. And stay home at night!” An old granny overheard and spoke up, “Honey, if that’s all you want, get a TV!”

Interesting Fact: The upper cutting edge (tomium) of the Loggerhead Shrike’s hooked bill features a pair of built-in pointy projections, aptly named “tomial teeth.” Like a falcon, the shrike tackles vertebrate prey with a precise attack to the nape, probably using these tomial “teeth” to paralyze the animal with a jab to the spinal cord. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Loggerhead_Shrike )

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Lost!

F/13.0, 1/640, ISO 250.

Joshua Tree National Park

Is it safe to swim in the ocean this week?

Sure, the sharks are all busy filming with Discovery.

Interesting Facts: The flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the boulder piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F (29 and 10 °C), respectively. Winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F (16 °C), and freezing nights. Snows occur occasionally at higher elevations. Summers are hot, over 100 °F (38 °C) during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F (24 °C) until the early hours of the morning. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Tree_National_Park )

There Are Far Better Things Ahead Than The Ones We Leave Behind.

F/13.0 , 1/640, ISO 250.

Joshua Tree National Park

How are mountains able to see?

They peak!

Interesting Facts: The higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens. In addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in California’s deserts. The dominant geologic features of this landscape are hills of bare rock, usually broken up into loose boulders. These hills are popular among rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts.  ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Tree_National_Park )

 

Look Into My Eyes!

F/6.3, 1/640, ISO 200.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

What did a tree fighting with autumn say?

That’s it, I’m leaving.

Interesting Fact: The male chooses a nest site in a tree or in cattails—usually in a habitat safe from predators such as on an island, in a swamp, or over water—and then advertises for a female. Black-crowned Night-Herons nest colonially, often with a dozen nests in a single tree. Colonies sometimes last for 50 years or more. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-crowned_Night-Heron/lifehistory )

 

 

If You Dare Come A Little Closer!

F/8.0, 1/1000, ISO 200.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

What did the big chimney say to the little chimney?

“You’re too young to smoke.”

 Interesting Fact: Some populations stay in one place year-round, while others disperse short distances of 5–60 miles. Others migrate farther, such as from Massachusetts to Florida and the Caribbean, or from Alberta to Mexico and Cuba. Migrants follow the coast or the Mississippi River flyway. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-crowned_Night-Heron/lifehistory )