The upper photo shows the horned lizard I found in Sawmill Canyon in the Huachucas a few days ago. That discovery pushed me to buy the cap that I'm modelling in the lower photo. I bought it yesterday at the herp museum in NM east of Portal AZ. With a little enlargement (click the photo) I think you can see the connection. I like the new cap.
Today we made tries for a couple of the less common AZ birds that haven't been seen reproducibly in the recent past. The two are Black-capped Gnatcatcher and Flame-colored Tanager. We looked for the first in Montosa Canyon near the Whipple Observatory and the second at the Madera Kubo B&B in Madera Canyon. We had a good time, but saw neither bird, though we did see Berylline and Violet-crowned Hummingbirds at Kubo. By the time we left for Phoenix with a Starbucks in my hand, the temperature in Tucson was at 100F. By the time we got to Phoenix (are you singing along?) the temp was around 114F. It topped off at 116F a little later in the afternoon. We arrived at our airport motel just before 3:00pm, but we were allowed to check in anyway. We unloaded everything from the rental car and repacked it for the flights tomorrow. The motel office had a computer with a printer, so we were able to check-in for our flights ahead of time, presumably making things easier at the airport tomorrow. John is taking the 4:00am motel shuttle to the airport and I'm returning the rental car later in the morning and taking an early afternoon flight home. After longish showers, we had dinner at the Lalibela Restaurant in Tempe, a great place to eat Ethiopian food. I had eaten there before when Jorn was a grad student at ASU. The food was just as good as I remembered. Back at the motel I checked the score of the Cards' game. They won 7-1 over the Dodgers with Carpenter pitching a great game.
The Arizona trip was a resounding success. Now I'm ready to relax during our Family Week on the Blue Ridge.....unless of course a rarity shows up somewhere on the East Coast.