zebra-tailed lizard
It was 104°F/40°C when we saw that zebra-tailed lizard. That didn't seem to bother him in the least. This lizard can run on his hind legs for short distances.

2021/10/01 – Desert trip with Rowshan – Part 1 of 2

A few weeks ago I went with my friend Rowshan to the desert.
Here is a little panoramic view of the spot where we put down our tents.

Rowshan, who is also a wildlife photographer, spends much more time than I do exploring all kind of places. So, I was very happy to get his invitation to join him on this desert trip. We drove to the Anza-Borrego desert and hiked in a few spots that Rowshan knew might reward us with some animal sightings.
Here are the best pictures I took the first day. I will publish the ones I took the next day in part 2 next week.

We met with a few interesting creatures. First, we met a zebra-tailed lizard. About that, most of the time, Rowshan would spot the animal before I could. That was a bit of a surprise for me because I usually spot animals before others. I ended up calling him Eagle Eye by the end of the trip.
Anyway, then we went to another trail where he was pretty sure we would see owls. We saw a barn owl but it flew away as soon as it saw us. Then we reached a spot where there was sitting a great horned owl. Rowshan kept pointing it out to me but I couldn’t see it. Can you spot it in the landscape in the gallery? Well eventually I did, and then we were able to get close to it as it hugged a rock-side. And here is a little video:

Then, much later, at night, we went driving around looking for sidewinders. This is a common name also given to the horned rattlesnake because of the way they move. For more info, check out this wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidewinding
We only found baby sidewinders. Then, to my surprise, even while driving, Rowshan was able to spot a dead desert scorpion. We stopped and he carefully moved it to the side of the road because he wanted to check out something he had read about those: their bodies become fluorescent when exposed to UV light. You can see that in the last picture of the gallery, it’s a pretty good rendition of what we saw. Note that I had to do some color correction because my camera version was looking more blue than green.


  1. lana says:

    I’m glad you finally went further out of your comfort zone to take some even more impressive photos. The sky must have been amazing at night. Those scorpions are stunning. Bioluminescence has always been a favorite of mine.

    • Sansay says:

      Thank you, I am glad you liked this post. Yes, indeed, the sky was amazing at night but I felt too tired to work on that too. I am planning to go back just for that purpose. But, this is a wildlife photography website… not sure what to do… maybe add a new tab titled “Whatever?”

  2. Michael Carnright says:

    Very nice photos! That owl! love the pics of it and the video. What was the thump at the end of the video?

    • Sansay says:

      Thank you! The thump at the end was probably me shifting to stop the video shooting. You probably also heard little “tok” sounds. That was Rowshan throwing little stones to try to get it to look in other directions.

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