Vanessa cardui
Vanessa cardui, common name: painted lady

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

All the pics in part 2 of our desert trip were taken the next day. Night in the desert is not as quiet as you might think. I often woke up hearing scratching noises, which I can imagine were probably little rodents such as the kangaroo mouse, which we saw many times crossing the road at night right in front of our car.

We first went back to hike at the location where we saw the great horned owl in part 1. But we didn’t see any owl. However as we were coming back I saw many butterflies and decided to take advantage of the opportunity. As you will see in the pics gallery, half of the pics are butterflies.

Here are links to wikipedia to the 4 butterflies in order of apparition in the gallery:

  1. Danaus gilippus, common name: queen butterfly
  2. Eurema nicippe, common name: sleepy orange
  3. Vanessa cardui, common name: painted lady
  4. Pontia protodice, common name: checkered white or southern cabbage butterfly

Then, we got back to the car thinking we would search for other animals on the road heading back home. That was another discovery for me: a lot of animals get hit by cars in the desert, much more than I would have believed. We saw (meaning Rowshan spotted hahah ;-)) baby sidewinders, kangaroo mice, rabbits, and even a barn owl. But the last roadkill we saw was much more surprising because it was a jackrabbit but he was being eaten by a red-tailed hawk. So, we stopped, and Rowshan said “we need to get on the other side of the road to get a better angle. But be careful, don’t get out of the car, otherwise he will fly away”. So that’s what we did, and I was able to film this scene, before another car came on the other side, making him fly away.

Here is the video. But I have to warn you: it’s a a bit gory. So don’t watch it if you are very sensitive.

After that Rowshan drove me around an area where he knew we would be able to see some desert iguanas. You will notice that the first one in the gallery has red lips. I have no idea why. And all my research was fruitless. I couldn’t even find any picture with desert iguanas remotely looking like the one in pictures. So, please, don’t hesitate to comment if you know something about that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *