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.


The brilliant Hooded Orioles (along with the Bullocks Orioles) visited our feeders this spring. These southwestern birds are very secretive so it was truly delightful to have them stop by for a few days.


Migration is in full swing and the Lazuli Buntings have been at our feeders for at least 2 weeks! And the Western Tanagers have just shown up.


A place well worth visiting is Tuzigoot National Monument. This ancient ruin was built approximately 1000 years ago on a limestone hilltop in Arizona’s Verde Valley. The Verde River runs 120 feet below and provided year round water for the Sinagua pueblo culture. Tuzigoot has been designated an Important Bird Area.


The Western Bluebirds will spend the winter in the desert. Flocks of these beauties visit our yard, hunting for insects. They gather at the bird water bowl to drink and take baths. And they just keep getting bluer and bluer!