Nikon D300, AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 400, 1/1000th second at f/5.6
With the summer heat firmly entrenched in Phoenix about the only place I’m getting out to shoot lately is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, AZ. I keep seeing reports of a rare Varied Bunting there (usually only seen in AZ south of Madera Canyon), but whenever I chase the report I can’t find the bird. I was at Boyce on May 30, and again on June 5.
The Boojum Tree at the top of this post was taken on February 5, 2012, when it was showing a of color. I’ve tried getting decent images of this strange plant many times before against a clean blue sky, but thought I might get somethnig interesting showing it against the greens of other trees and bushes. Boojum Trees are native to the western coast of the Baja Peninsula, but Boyce has a few as does the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. They are tall and tapered with small straight branches and foliage close to the main trunk and look unlike any other tree.
Nikon D300, AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 400, 1/50th second at f/8
As the number of rabbits grows in our back yard in Phoenix I’ve been paying more attention to them elsewhere, and that includes Boyce where this image was made on June 5. This one paused along an open area and allowed a few shots before moving on.
Nikon D300, AF-S 300/2.8 plus TC20E III (2x), tripod, ISO 400, 1/400th second at f/8
The hotter it gets here in AZ the more lizards that come out into view. They can be a lot of fun to watch as they pump up and down to challenge rival males or attract females. Many species show a brilliant blue on the ventral side – this male also shows some yellow on the throat. My lizard ID skills need some work and I’m not sure if this is one of the Earless lizards or something else. Please comment if you can identify this lizard for me.
Note that all shots were taken with my basic birding rig of D300, 300/2.8 lens plus 2x converter from a tripod. My primary objective is almost always birds so the big rig is a necessity and I rarely carry other gear that might be better suited to other subjects.