If this Great Horned Owl hadn’t flown up to a rocky ledge that rises above a narrow creek in central Arizona, I would never have seen it. Camouflaged beautifully against the cliff, it watched me for a couple of minutes before it sped off. And to top it off, as it was flying along the rocky wall another one suddenly appeared and together they disappeared in the distance.


Western Black Swallowtail. This one showed up 11/4 and was seen for several days in our yard. Our first sighting of this species. And there has been a Monarch flying around the flowers for the past couple of days. I have never seen a Monarch this late in the year. And it’s in perfect condition!


The Longleaf False Goldeneye was spectacular this fall in central Arizona. The showy daisy-like flowers spread for miles across the rocky flats and slopes into dry arroyos. Goldeneye is a native plant of the southwest and benefits from summer monsoon rains.


The monsoon season brought much needed rain to central Arizona. And with it came the most beautiful butterflies. My garden zinnias have been a main attraction for many different types.


It has been a busy summer for us but there is always time to enjoy our backyard visitors. From top to bottom: Black-chinned Hummingbird, a juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak, Calliope Hummingbird, bee on morning glory, Skipper butterfly on a ladybird cosmo, hummingbird moth and a different perspective of a White-winged Dove.