Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

May 10, 2009

Random shots on a morning walk

Filed under: curiosities, favorite places, light, Non Birds, Veterans Oasis Park — richditch @ 7:51 pm
Ducks and Geese vanity plate

Ducks and Geese vanity plate

I hadn’t planned on getting out this morning since I’d been out in the nasty AZ sun for a couple hours on Saturday morning chasing after somebody else’s bird that I didn’t see. But there’d been another report, from another place, of another bird I hadn’t seen in AZ in a few years, so I got up again today at 5:00 AM and made a 25 mile drive to Veterans Oasis Park to look for the Whimbrels that had been photographed there on Saturday. And just like my chase of Least Tern the day before at the Gilbert Water Ranch, I was one day late to see any.

But I did manage to add another image to my birding vanity plate collection. I started this in the early 1970’s back in New Jersey, and I’ve “collected” well over 200 plates so far. I’ve managed this by paying attention to license plates wherever I go, especially if they are places birders go. I wasn’t expecting to find a new plate at VOP – few birders go there yet. But any personalized plate is worth investigating, and this one quickly translated to “Ducks and Geese” with the added hint of the Ducks Unlimited frame.

Yes, that means this plate isn’t really a birder plate, but a bird hunter plate. I figured the owner was out exercising a dog when I saw the empty animal carrier in the back of the pickup. I was almost right. At the first pond I found two guys with two dogs and watched them toss decoys into the recycled waste water for the dogs to retrieve. They didn’t seem to care that there are lots of “Do Not Drink” signs around the ponds.

The only other shot I took this morning worth posting was of this teddy bear cholla along the trail. The name supposedly comes from how soft and cuddly these cacti look from a distance, but that look is due to the abundant cactus needles completely covering the cactus. You definitely do not want to cuddle one of these!

Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus

Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus

Both images taken 5/10/09 at Veterans Oasis Park, Nikon D70, 55-200mm lens, ISO 200.

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