Picacho peak, AZ

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Picacho peak, AZ

Post by josh_r on Sat May 03, 2008 5:42 pm

so my girlfriends dad had planned a hike up Picacho Peak today and we decided to tag along. it is a SEVERELY steep climb up to a saddle, back down the other side, then back up to the summit. the view was pretty nice on top of some neat critters i found wandering around. unfortunately, i didnt take pics of the peak its self. but heres a view from the top of the peak



so, on the way up, i found a bird nest. i believe they were verdins or something of the sort. they were very cute birds. while i took the pics, the parents were in a nearby tree chattin at me. i made it quick as to not disturb them too much



further up the trail, i found a dead tarantula. dont know what killed it, but it was quite sad Sad anyhoo, going up the backside of the peak, i saw a little ant like creature running across teh ground. i stopped to take a closer look..... this gal is the coolest!!



some kind of velvet ant or something. ive never seen one with a BIG bright gold head like this! very cool!





not much further up the trail, i see something scurry into a pile of rocks. i take a peak and see a white tail, CHUCK!!!! i start shifting rocks and before i knew it, i had an adult feisty male chucky in my hand





here is one of the obstackles you have to climp up to reach teh summit



so we finally get to the top of the peak and i start seeing a bunch of tarantula hawk wasps flying everywhere. they are males fighting for territory. they do this wierd staging on the bushes and when anotehr male flies by, he will fly up and crash into him. before you know it, there are 5 or 6 of them chasing eachother around playing bumper wasps. it was very amusing. here aer some pics of them staging







while i was snappin some pics of the T hawks, my girlfriend yells, "oh my god! what the hell is this??"





im not sure if its a horse fly. it doesnt have any mouth parts whatsoever. ive caught these before. i dont know if male horse flies have mouth parts or not.... anyone have any idea?

so on the way back down the trail, we run across a female tarantula hawk wasp actively searching for T burrows. i had to snap a couple of pics of her. the iridescense on the females is out of control. the shots arent too great. she was hard to get close to.




here is what she was looking for



then we headed back to the car, went to dairy queen and went home. it was quite a workout.

-josh
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Re: Picacho peak, AZ

Post by Athlon2k2 on Sun May 04, 2008 12:06 am

Nice pics Josh. Amazing critters.
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