Desert Wildlife

These photos were made on Saturday, March 3, 2012, During an early morning photo shoot in the Joshua Tree National Park, in California. See Morning In Joshua Tree, the previous post.

Joshua Tree National Park is on the southern edge of the Mojave Desert. The Park is quite picturesque, particularly in the north where we were shooting. I nearly always prefer to enter the park from the north, at the entrance at the town of Joshua Tree, primarily because I like the views when looking south. The guys I went with, Tim Devantier and Mike Harmon are members of a very loose group of motorcyclists who ride together at least ten times a year.

We’ve been riding together since 2005. We try to ride as a group at least once a month, but because of scheduling conflicts, that doesn’t always work out. On that particular day we went in an automobile for two reasons; The air temperature was 26 F (3.33 Celsius) when we left well before dawn (with the wind chill, we’d have been riding in sub-zero temperatures on the motorcycles), and we had a lot of gear to carry. In addition to four cameras and tripods, we took a large cooler for food, and thermoses filled with coffee.

We saw coyotes several times that morning while we shot near the rock climbing area. They seemed to be quite used to humans being around that area, which has a small campground at the northeast edge.

The photos of the coyote crossing the road, the ground squirrel, and the loggerhead shrike were taken by Mike Harmon. Mike was shooting with his Nikon D300. The photo of the jackrabbit and sparrows was one that I took shortly before we gathered to eat breakfast at the tailgate of the automobile.