Trip to Arizona was filled with the unexpected

A few weeks ago, I got out of the office for a few days and took a trip down to a place I’d never been before, and I saw some things I didn’t know even existed.

Once in a while, you just have to get out of your comfort zone and explore some new places. I love going to my old haunts out in the woods, where I know almost every tree, and how many ridges are between me and my camp. But every so often, I also like to go somewhere new and see something completely different.

Harris’ Hawks establishing a pecking order

That was certainly the case a couple of weeks ago. A friend needed someone to deliver an electric organ to a church he was donating it to in Arizona. I figured I could kill two birds with one stone by connecting with a wildlife photographer buddy of mine down in Arizona.

Vermillion flycatcher

It turned out to be the best decision I’ve made so far this year. It took all day Wednesday to make the drive to Tucson, but I’m from Wyoming – I’m no stranger to long road trips with a trailer. I got the organ delivered on Thursday morning, then I went a little farther south to meet up with Tim.

Western screech owl

Tim is a good guy to know, if you’re into wildlife photography. If you read Wyoming Wildlife, Colorado Outdoors, Popular Photography, or a host of other outdoor or photography magazines, you’ve likely read his stories and seen his photos. He knows how to get close to just about every critter that lives in North America, from beetles to bears. And he showed off his talent for me on that trip.


He got me mere inches from roadrunners, javelina, vermillion flycatchers, and a bunch of other animals we don’t have in Wyoming. We even got to see and take pictures of a gila monster.

Gila monster

It wasn’t terrible to be down in Arizona where it was 80 degrees while it was in the 20s back home, either, but I wouldn’t want to be down there in, say, August. But it was good to go somewhere new, do some fun stuff, and see some new country. It’s great to be back home, but I’m glad I took the chance to do some exploring.