There are a lot of different kinds of critters that live in Northern Arizona. Some are quite common while others are rare and thus one often has to venture from the beaten path to find them. Here are a few I've had the pleasure to stumble upon. Hope you enjoy these videos.
Let me mention that I am fortunate enough to have a lot of wonderful folk musician friends. They very graciously let me use recordings I have made of them as background music. All of them are way better than they sound here. That's because here they were recorded with my little home DV camera and in some cases the recordings were made at events they were playing at where a lot of back ground noise and even stage sound problems might have been present. At any rate, check out their web sites and try to find a way to help support them, they really are great people!
Quail are just 'way fun' critters to watch. Sue Harris provides the back ground music for this one. Here's a link to her albums just in case you like the song. There are a number of wonderful songs on that album, by the way.
We had just walk out across this big open meadow and sit down to rest a moment in the shade of a blue spruce tree. It was on the edge of a smaller meadow near a little cow pond. Then out of the trees comes this hen with her poults. It was awesome watching them chase the grasshoppers around. It's actually Williams Valley over in the White Mountains.
The song is "Questions of a Child" by Larry Peterson of Flagstaff. Unfortunately at this point he doesn't have a web site but give me a call if you like the song and I'll get a hold of him for your.
I can assure you it's pretty rare to happen upon something like this. Bears are not uncommon in Arizona but they are very shy and thus you usually have to get pretty lucky to find them. Most experienced campers know that it is wise to properly stow the food when camped in bear country, which happens to be a lot of Northern Arizona.
They are sure fun to watch though. Bear cubs have got to be the cutest critter in nature.
We were out for a leisurely hike when we noticed a couple of cow elk feeding below. And, like the proverbial tip of the ice burg, where there is some there is probably more. Sure enough the longer we waited the more elk began to avail themselves. This herd had a bunch of cows and a few spikes but there were a lot of little ones that frolicking gaily about as well. They seem to be descending right toward me as if I was a water hole or something. If you listen close you can hear them calling.
Then this little knobby spike obliviously started gracing right toward me. He must have been real hungry because he rarely even picked his head up. Then finally he noticed me. Of course, the surprised look of realization on his face brought me to laughter and that sent them all thundering off.
It's pretty rare to get this kind of video right from your front porch but that is what happened here. Of course, my front door at that time was in Nutrioso Arizona. That is very close to the New Mexico border on the far eastern edge of Arizona. There are no interstates so it's a little tough to get to but more than worth the journey with some spectacular camping and fishing available. Much of my wildlife video was take near Nutrioso.
Tent camping dictates an extra measure of care when it comes to food preparation since you will likely be, perhaps, many hours away from the nearest medical facility. A case of food poisoning 10 miles down a rough, 5 mile an hour, four wheel drive, dirt road is the last thing you need. So here are a few things to be extra careful about:
This is my very first youtube video! It is really just a collection of some of the wildlife video I have taken over the years. The music is an old traditional fiddle standard called Saint Anne's Reel played by the Back Porch Bandits. They are from the Phoenix Area. They have been known to play at parties, weddings or many other events ( although they are not near as cheap as band leader Ken Clemmer looks ; -)