A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Critters of Death Valley

A butterfly in the desolate surroundings of Death Valley. You just wouldn't think.

I was very surprised to come across this horned lizard lying there on the flat desert ground. He just laid there motionless and I could have very easily passed him by or worse still, stepped on him. He never moved a muscle while I got up close for some pictures.

"Just leave me be, will ya?"
As a little 'thank you' for allowing me to photograph him I sprinkled a little water on him.
He did not like that one bit and scurried away.

Here though is the most amazing of all the desert critters.
"Ain't he a beauty?" (Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter)

It was time to head for home.
This was our final evening in Death Valley which made it all the more difficult to leave.


  1. oh that beautiful wildcat!!! :)

    poor little horned lizard got a surprise shower! :)

    wonder what the butterfly finds to dine on. i'm assuming the lizard dines on butterflies...

  2. lol - the little toad just didn't appreciate a nice cooling shower :)
    I never find butterflies that hold still for me - nice! Of course Sinbad beats them all. He's looking very dignified this evening.

  3. Great shots, though I'm sure a little compliant wildlife does help. Maybe your lizard was responsible for some of your footprints a couple of blogs ago.

  4. that lizard is adorable with his fat little belly. sure does blend in; I think he would be difficult to spot. and I agree with you, Sinbad is AMAZING. he sits there so regally, with his distant stare. I like the light shining on him. you've captured him well. he's the best. nice sunset shot too. I can see how it would have been hard to leave this spot.

  5. Came by way of Miss Becky's blog and SO glad I Did!
    A HORNY TOAD!!! I haven't seen one since I was a kid here in Texas!!
    Thanks for letting me know they are still around!
    Happy weekend!

  6. I can see you had luck with the butterfly!
    It's so cool you could photograph this beautiful lizard! I believe you have good intentions with the water. ;-)
    A good weekend for you and Sinbad.

  7. So good to visit your blog after a long absence!!! And I see you are still posting great photos and gaining new admirers. Love these photos, especially of the horny toad. You had to get down and dirty for that shot!!

  8. Love that orange critter! Great shots.

  9. Your fatty horned lizard looks so much lighter in color than mine, so I looked it up. I'm guessing yours is a southern desert horned lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum): http://www.californiaherps.com/lizards/pages/p.p.calidiarum.html. Nice shots! I read your post above. Does this mean you're done traveling for a while? Sinbad is one of the most photographic cats I've ever seen. Gorgeous sunset, too!

  10. Oop, I forgot to mention, your pretty orange butterfly is a sagebrush checkerspot (Chlosyne acastus). Its caterpillars feed on rabbitbrush or desert aster: http://dirttime.ws/Butterfly/CheckerspotSagebrush.htm.

  11. The butterfly was unexpected. The horned lizard looks like he fits in pretty well.
    Sinbad is looking good. I'll bet he enjoyed the sunset, too.


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