Jeff Goulden Southwest Usa Pictures, Images and Stock Photos

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The House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) is a year-round resident of North America and the Hawaiian Islands. Male coloration varies in intensity with availability of the berries and fruits in its diet. As a result, the colors range from pale straw-yellow through bright orange to deep red. Adult females have brown upperparts and streaked underparts. This male finch was photographed at Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

Monument Valley, on the Arizona - Utah border, gives us some of the most iconic and enduring images of the American Southwest. The harsh empty desert is punctuated by many colorful sandstone rock formations. It can be a photographer's dream to capture the ever-changing play of light on the buttes and mesas. Even to the first-time visitor, Monument Valley will probably seem very familiar. This rugged landscape has achieved fame in the movies, advertising and brochures. It has been filmed and photographed countless times over the years. If a movie producer was looking for a landscape that epitomizes the Old West, a better location could not be found. This picture of Rain God Mesa was photographed from the Monument Valley Road north of Kayenta, Arizona, USA.

Sitgreaves Pass, at 3586 feet above sea level, is where the historic Beale's Wagon Road crossed the Black Mountains of Mohave County, Arizona, USA. When Edward Fitzgerald Beale built his wagon road over the pass, he named it John Howells Pass for one of the men in his expedition of October, 1857. Subsequently, the pass was named for Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves who led the 1851 Expedition Down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers. Years later the pass was used for the famous Route 66 between Los Angeles and Chicago. The narrow two lane highway is still in use today. In the early spring, the area around Sitgreaves Pass is dominated by wild California Poppies which fill the meadows with a dense carpet of orange.

The Rio Grande River flows from the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado into New Mexico, Texas, Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico. The Organ Mountains are a rugged mountain range in southern New Mexico on the east side of the Rio Grande Valley. The range is a continuation of the Franklin Mountains to the south and the San Augustin and San Andres Mountains to the north. This view of the Rio Grande Valley and Organ Mountains was photographed from the Scenic Overlook Rest Area west of Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.

The Common Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) is a North American species of lizard in the family Crotaphytidae. It is distinguished by its oversized head, colorful body and bands of black around the neck and shoulders. The black bands give it the name “collared”. It is also known as Eastern Collared Lizard, Oklahoma Collared Lizard, Yellow-Headed Lizard and Collared Lizard. The collared lizard can grow to 8-15 inches in length including the tail. They have a large head and powerful jaws. The adult males with their blue green bodies are generally more colorful than the females. The collared lizard is mostly found in the arid, open landscapes of Mexico and south-central United States. They are carnivores, feeding on insects and small vertebrates. Occasionally they may eat plant material. This collared lizard was photographed while basking on warm rocks in Homolovi State Park near Winslow, Arizona, USA.

The Rio Grande River originates in the San Juan Mountains of south-central Colorado. It flows 1,896 miles through Colorado, New Mexico and Texas where it is the international border between the United States and Mexico. It eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico. In northern New Mexico the river flows 50 miles through a tectonic chasm known as the Rio Grande Gorge. In 2013 the gorge and 242,500 acres of surrounding land was designated as the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. This fall scene was photographed in the gorge south of Taos, New Mexico, USA.

Keyhole Sink is a canyon known for its petroglyphs, which were created between 700 and 1100CE by the ancient Cohonina people. It is also known for the seasonal waterfall that flows into the canyon. Keyhole Sink is located in the Kaibab National Forest near Williams, Arizona, USA.

Sixty million years ago the west side of Bright Angel Fault was lifted higher than the east side, creating the canyon that we now see. The exposed walls of Bright Angel Canyon allow us to see the geological history of the area. Tropical seas, coastal beaches, sand dunes, swamps, lagoons, and Sahara-like deserts are represented by the horizontal layers that are exposed. The upper five layers of stacked rock records 70 million years of rising and falling sea levels. The limestone layers represent shallow sea environments, sandstone layers mean sandy beaches or dunes, while shale layers translate to mud flats, swamps, or coastal plains. This picture of Bright Angel Canyon was taken at sunrise from Bright Angel Point on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA.

The San Francisco Peaks are the remnants of an ancient volcano that erupted millions of years ago, shattering a large mountain and leaving a large crater and surrounding peaks. The tallest of these are Humphreys at 12,637 feet and Agassiz at 12,356 feet. This picture of the snow-capped peaks reflected in a pond was taken from Kachina Wetlands in Kachina Village, Arizona, USA.

The Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos) is a species of lizard native to western North America. They are often called "horny toads", although they are not actually in the same family as toads. Desert horned lizards are distinguished by the large pointed scales at the back of their heads, giving them the appearance of having horns as well as the flat and broad shape of their bodies. This horned lizard was photographed on Campbell Mesa in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) is the state bird of Arizona. This species of wren is native to the southwestern United States southwards to central Mexico. This wren was photographed perched on a saguaro cactus in the mountains near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Monument Valley, on the Arizona - Utah border, gives us some of the most iconic and enduring images of the American Southwest. The harsh empty desert is punctuated by many colorful sandstone rock formations. It can be a photographer's dream to capture the ever-changing play of light on the buttes and mesas. Even to the first-time visitor, Monument Valley will probably seem very familiar. This rugged landscape has achieved fame in the movies, advertising and brochures. It has been filmed and photographed countless times over the years. If a movie producer was looking for a landscape that epitomizes the Old West, a better location could not be found. This picture of Mitchell Mesa at sunrise was photographed from John Wayne Point near the Monument Valley Visitor Center north of Kayenta, Arizona, USA.

Blue Heron Standing on a Rock The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird common near open water and wetlands in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands.  It is the largest of the heron family native to North America.  Blue herons are distinguished by slate-blue colored flight feathers, long legs and a long neck which is curved in flight.  The face and head are white with black stripes.  The long-pointed bill is a dull yellow.  The great blue heron is found throughout most of North America from Alaska through Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America.  East of the Rocky Mountains herons are migratory and winter in the coastal areas of the Southern United States, Central America, or northern South America. Great blue herons thrive in almost any wetland habitat and rarely venture far from the water.  The blue heron spends most of its waking hours hunting for food.  The primary food in their diet is small fish. It is also known to feed opportunistically on other small prey such as shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds.  Herons hunt for their food and locate it by sight.  Their long legs allow them to feed in deeper waters than other waders are able to.  The common hunting technique is to wade slowly through the water and spear their prey with their long, sharp bill. They usually swallow their catch whole.  The great blue heron breeds in colonies called rookeries, located close to lakes and wetlands.  They build their large nests high up in the trees.  This heron was photographed while standing on a rock by Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. jeff goulden southwest usa stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Blue Heron Standing on a Rock The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird common near open water and wetlands in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest of the heron family native to North America. Blue herons are distinguished by slate-blue colored flight feathers, long legs and a long neck which is curved in flight. The face and head are white with black stripes. The long-pointed bill is a dull yellow. The great blue heron is found throughout most of North America from Alaska through Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. East of the Rocky Mountains herons are migratory and winter in the coastal areas of the Southern United States, Central America, or northern South America. Great blue herons thrive in almost any wetland habitat and rarely venture far from the water. The blue heron spends most of its waking hours hunting for food. The primary food in their diet is small fish. It is also known to feed opportunistically on other small prey such as shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Herons hunt for their food and locate it by sight. Their long legs allow them to feed in deeper waters than other waders are able to. The common hunting technique is to wade slowly through the water and spear their prey with their long, sharp bill. They usually swallow their catch whole. The great blue heron breeds in colonies called rookeries, located close to lakes and wetlands. They build their large nests high up in the trees. This heron was photographed while standing on a rock by Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. jeff goulden southwest usa stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird common near open water and wetlands in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest of the heron family native to North America. Blue herons are distinguished by slate-blue colored flight feathers, long legs and a long neck which is curved in flight. The face and head are white with black stripes. The long-pointed bill is a dull yellow. The great blue heron is found throughout most of North America from Alaska through Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. East of the Rocky Mountains herons are migratory and winter in the coastal areas of the Southern United States, Central America, or northern South America. Great blue herons thrive in almost any wetland habitat and rarely venture far from the water. The blue heron spends most of its waking hours hunting for food. The primary food in their diet is small fish. It is also known to feed opportunistically on other small prey such as shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Herons hunt for their food and locate it by sight. Their long legs allow them to feed in deeper waters than other waders are able to. The common hunting technique is to wade slowly through the water and spear their prey with their long, sharp bill. They usually swallow their catch whole. The great blue heron breeds in colonies called rookeries, located close to lakes and wetlands. They build their large nests high up in the trees. This heron was photographed while standing on a rock by Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The San Francisco Peaks are the remnants of an ancient volcano that erupted millions of years ago, shattering a large mountain and leaving a large crater and surrounding peaks. The tallest of these are Humphreys at 12,637 feet and Agassiz at 12,356 feet. This picture of the snow-capped peaks reflected in a pond was taken from Kachina Wetlands in Kachina Village, Arizona, USA.

The Common Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) is a North American species of lizard in the family Crotaphytidae. It is distinguished by its oversized head, colorful body and bands of black around the neck and shoulders. The black bands give it the name “collared”. It is also known as Eastern Collared Lizard, Oklahoma Collared Lizard, Yellow-Headed Lizard and Collared Lizard. The collared lizard can grow to 8-15 inches in length including the tail. They have a large head and powerful jaws. The adult males with their blue green bodies are generally more colorful than the females. The collared lizard is mostly found in the arid, open landscapes of Mexico and south-central United States. They are carnivores, feeding on insects and small vertebrates. Occasionally they may eat plant material. This collared lizard was photographed while basking on warm rocks in Homolovi State Park near Winslow, Arizona, USA.

In July of 2019 the Museum Fire of Northern Arizona burned 1,961 acres of Ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forest. This was caused by a forest-thinning project which was originally undertaken to help prevent devastating wildfires. The fire was started from a piece of heavy equipment striking a rock and sparking the blaze. Nearby neighborhoods were forced to evacuate. According to the National Forest Service, the fire cost $9 million before it was brought under control. This section of burned trees was photographed from the Sunset Trail in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) is a rabbit native to the American southwest from western Texas north to eastern Montana, and in northern and central Mexico. The cottontail gets its name from the grayish-brown tufted tail. The desert cottontail’s diet consists mainly of forbs and grasses. It can also eat many other plants including cacti. They can be seen foraging for their food in the early morning and evening. Since they get most of their water from plants or dew, they rarely need to drink. On windy days they remain in their burrows because the wind interferes with their ability to hear predators. Cottontails use burrows created by other mammals to give birth to their young. This desert cottontail was photographed near Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Northern Harrier or Marsh Hawk (Circus cyaneus) is a migratory bird of prey that breeds in the northern hemisphere and winters in the southernmost USA, Mexico and Central America. It hunts by swooping low and following the contours of the land. Its prey consists of mice, snakes, insects and small birds. This female was found in Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area near McNeal, Arizona, USA.

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a common bird, found in most parts of the world. Females and young birds are colored pale brown and grey, and males have bright black, white, and brown markings. The house sparrow is native to most of Europe, the Mediterranean region, and much of Asia. It has been introduced to many parts of the world, including Australia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the most widely distributed wild bird. This male was photographed while perched on a saguaro cactus in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Blue Heron Hunting by the Water The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird common near open water and wetlands in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest of the heron family native to North America. Blue herons are distinguished by slate-blue colored flight feathers, long legs and a long neck which is curved in flight. The face and head are white with black stripes. The long-pointed bill is a dull yellow. The great blue heron is found throughout most of North America from Alaska through Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. East of the Rocky Mountains herons are migratory and winter in the coastal areas of the Southern United States, Central America, or northern South America. Great blue herons thrive in almost any wetland habitat and rarely venture far from the water. The blue heron spends most of its waking hours hunting for food. The primary food in their diet is small fish. It is also known to feed opportunistically on other small prey such as shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Herons hunt for their food and locate it by sight. Their long legs allow them to feed in deeper waters than other waders are able to. The common hunting technique is to wade slowly through the water and spear their prey with their long, sharp bill. They usually swallow their catch whole. The great blue heron breeds in colonies called rookeries, located close to lakes and wetlands. They build their large nests high up in the trees. This heron was photographed while hunting by Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. jeff goulden southwest usa stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
Blue Heron Hunting by the Water The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird common near open water and wetlands in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest of the heron family native to North America. Blue herons are distinguished by slate-blue colored flight feathers, long legs and a long neck which is curved in flight. The face and head are white with black stripes. The long-pointed bill is a dull yellow. The great blue heron is found throughout most of North America from Alaska through Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. East of the Rocky Mountains herons are migratory and winter in the coastal areas of the Southern United States, Central America, or northern South America. Great blue herons thrive in almost any wetland habitat and rarely venture far from the water. The blue heron spends most of its waking hours hunting for food. The primary food in their diet is small fish. It is also known to feed opportunistically on other small prey such as shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Herons hunt for their food and locate it by sight. Their long legs allow them to feed in deeper waters than other waders are able to. The common hunting technique is to wade slowly through the water and spear their prey with their long, sharp bill. They usually swallow their catch whole. The great blue heron breeds in colonies called rookeries, located close to lakes and wetlands. They build their large nests high up in the trees. This heron was photographed while hunting by Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. jeff goulden southwest usa stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) is a large wading bird common near open water and wetlands in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Galápagos Islands. It is the largest of the heron family native to North America. Blue herons are distinguished by slate-blue colored flight feathers, long legs and a long neck which is curved in flight. The face and head are white with black stripes. The long-pointed bill is a dull yellow. The great blue heron is found throughout most of North America from Alaska through Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America. East of the Rocky Mountains herons are migratory and winter in the coastal areas of the Southern United States, Central America, or northern South America. Great blue herons thrive in almost any wetland habitat and rarely venture far from the water. The blue heron spends most of its waking hours hunting for food. The primary food in their diet is small fish. It is also known to feed opportunistically on other small prey such as shrimp, crabs, aquatic insects, rodents, small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and birds. Herons hunt for their food and locate it by sight. Their long legs allow them to feed in deeper waters than other waders are able to. The common hunting technique is to wade slowly through the water and spear their prey with their long, sharp bill. They usually swallow their catch whole. The great blue heron breeds in colonies called rookeries, located close to lakes and wetlands. They build their large nests high up in the trees. This heron was photographed while hunting by Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

Nearly a thousand years ago natives inhabited the lower elevations around the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona. In an area so dry it would seem impossible to live, they built pueblos, harvested rainwater, grew crops and raised families. Today the remnants of their villages dot the landscape along with other artifacts. Decorated pottery such as the shard shown in the picture was likely not produced in the area where the shard was found. This type of pottery was brought in for trading purposes by people from nearby tribes. It is unlawful to remove shards from an archeological site. They may be examined but must be returned to their original location. These pottery shards were found below Little Elden Mountain near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) may be the most familiar North American butterfly. They range from southern Canada to South America. Adults make massive migrations from August to October, flying thousands of miles south to hibernate along the California coast and Central Mexico. Their favorite nectar sources include the Asters, Coneflowers and Milkweeds. This butterfly was photographed while perched on a Purple Coneflower in the Flagstaff, Arizona, USA arboretum.

Petrified wood is formed when dead trees are buried by layers of sediment. The logs soak up groundwater and silica from volcanic ash and over time are crystallized into quartz. Different minerals create the colors seen in the logs. These petrified logs are at the Rainbow Forest in Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona, USA.

Seven Warriors is a long ridge with seven prominent peaks. This view of Seven Warriors was photographed from the Turkey Creek Trail in the Coconino National Forest near the Village of Oak Creek, Arizona, USA.

The Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is one of the iconic plants of the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona and Western Sonora, Mexico. These plants are large cacti that develop branches as they grow and mature. The branches generally bend upward but not always. The fluted trunks and branches of the saguaro are covered with protective spines. In the late spring the plant develops white flowers and red fruit forms in the summer. Saguaros are found only in the Sonoran Desert. To thrive they need water and the correct temperature. At higher elevations, the cold weather and frost can kill the saguaro. The Sonoran Desert experiences monsoon rains during July and August. This is when the saguaro obtains the moisture it needs to survive and thrive. These saguaro cacti were found in Catalina State Park near Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Badlands are a particular type of rock formation found in arid regions around the world. These formations require poorly consolidated rock and infrequent but torrential rain. The soft rock allows large quantities of water to channel down gullies, carrying away sediment. Bentonite clay within these formations can swell up with moisture. As the clay dries it shrinks and cracks, creating a surface resembling the skin of an elephant. Beneath the surface, an intricate maze of natural pipes and spaces form within the badlands. This hidden plumbing appears on the face of the badlands as dimples, sinks, slumps and seeps. As erosion continues, new features including caves and natural bridges can form. Badlands often take on varied colors giving the formations a banded appearance. These colorful badland formations were at Blue Mesa in Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona, USA.

The Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis) is a North American species of large crane. It also inhabits the northeastern part of Siberia. The name of this bird comes from a habitat like that of the Nebraska Sandhills on the American Plains. These sandhill cranes were photographed at the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area where as many as 30,000 cranes spend the winter. The Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area is near McNeal, Arizona, USA.

Nearly a thousand years ago natives inhabited the lower elevations around the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona. In an area so dry it would seem impossible to live, they built pueblos, harvested rainwater, grew crops and raised families. Today the remnants of their villages dot the landscape along with their other artifacts. These petroglyphs were found on Magnetic Mesa in Wupatki National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

Fisher Point is a large and beautifully colored formation of Coconino Sandstone at the western end of Walnut Canyon and the northern end of Sandy’s Canyon. Fisher Point is named for Ed Fisher, an early forest ranger. Fisher Point is located next to the Arizona Trail in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), with its distinctive orange throat and blue eyes, is a seabird whose habitat includes rivers and lakes as well as in coastal areas. It is widely distributed across North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico. This male cormorant was photographed standing with his wings spread on the bank of Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) gets its name from the way the leaves quake in the wind. The aspens grow in large colonies, often starting from a single seedling and spreading underground only to sprout another tree nearby. For this reason, it is considered to be one of the largest single organisms in nature. During the spring and summer, the aspens use sunlight and chlorophyll to create food necessary for the tree’s growth. In the fall, as the days get shorter and colder, the naturally green chlorophyll breaks down and the leaves stop producing food. Other pigments are now visible, causing the leaves to take on beautiful orange and gold colors. These colors can vary from year to year depending on weather conditions. For instance, when autumn is warm and rainy, the leaves are less colorful. This fall scene of gold colored aspens was photographed by the Inner Basin Trail in Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

Nestled within the desert of Northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon exhibits the sheer beauty that nature can create. Famous for its lavish colors, unique patterns and complex textures, this slot canyon is a geological wonder that mesmerizes all who venture into its depths. Carved into the red sandstone of the Navajo Nation, the canyon comes alive with a vibrant spectrum of reds, oranges, and yellows. The sunlight filtering through the narrow openings above casts an ever-changing, warm glow on the smooth, curving walls, creating a surreal play of shifting light and dancing shadows. The rock formations within the canyon walls bear the unmistakable marks of time and weather. Millennia of wind and water erosion have sculpted the sandstone into flowing, sinuous shapes, creating a sensory experience that is as tactile as it is visual. Touching the canyon's surface connects a person directly to the forces of wind and water that have shaped it over countless millennia. Antelope Canyon is in Coconino County near Page, Arizona, USA.

Sitgreaves Pass, at 3586 feet above sea level, is where the historic Beale's Wagon Road crossed the Black Mountains of Mohave County, Arizona, USA. When Edward Fitzgerald Beale built his wagon road over the pass, he named it John Howells Pass for one of the men in his expedition of October, 1857. Subsequently, the pass was named for Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves who led the 1851 Expedition Down the Zuni and Colorado Rivers. Years later the pass was used for the famous Route 66 between Los Angeles and Chicago. The narrow two lane highway is still in use today. In the early spring, the area around Sitgreaves Pass is dominated by wild California Poppies which fill the meadows with a dense carpet of orange.

The Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus canadensis nelsoni) is a Western North America subspecies of elk found in the Rocky Mountains and adjacent ranges. In the winter, elk are mostly found in lower elevation open forests and floodplain marshes. In the summer the elk migrates to the alpine meadows and subalpine forests. Elk can reside in a diverse range of habitats but are most often found in forests and forest edges. In mountainous regions they often stay at lower elevations in the winter and migrate to higher elevations during the warmer months. This herd of elk was photographed while grazing in a meadow on Campbell Mesa near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos) is a species of lizard native to western North America. They are often called "horny toads", although they are not actually in the same family as toads. Desert horned lizards are distinguished by the large pointed scales at the back of their heads, giving them the appearance of having horns as well as the flat and broad shape of their bodies. This horned lizard was photographed at Picture Canyon Natural and Cultural Preserve in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) is a large diving duck that lives in rivers, lakes and saltwater in the forested areas of Europe, northern and central Asia, and North America. It has a serrated bill that helps it grip its prey which are mostly fish. In addition, it eats mollusks, crustaceans, worms and larvae. The common merganser builds its nest in tree cavities. The species is a permanent resident where the waters remain open in winter and migrates away from areas where the water freezes. This female common merganser in non-breeding plumage was photographed while standing on the bank of Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is a songbird of the family Icteridae found in most of North America and in parts of Central America. The red-winged blackbird is sexually dimorphic, meaning that the males and females look distinctively different from each other. The male is dark black with a red shoulder and yellow wing bar. The female is a mottled brown. The diet of the red-winged blackbird consists of seeds and insects. Seeds and insects make up the bulk of the red-winged blackbird's diet. The red-winged blackbird inhabits freshwater and saltwater marshes as well as open grassy areas. It generally prefers wetlands, especially if cattail is present. This male red-winged blackbird was photographed while perched on a cattail at Kachina Wetland in Kachina Village near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

Nestled within the desert of Northern Arizona, Antelope Canyon exhibits the sheer beauty that nature can create. Famous for its lavish colors, unique patterns and complex textures, this slot canyon is a geological wonder that mesmerizes all who venture into its depths. Carved into the red sandstone of the Navajo Nation, the canyon comes alive with a vibrant spectrum of reds, oranges, and yellows. The sunlight filtering through the narrow openings above casts an ever-changing, warm glow on the smooth, curving walls, creating a surreal play of shifting light and dancing shadows. The rock formations within the canyon walls bear the unmistakable marks of time and weather. Millennia of wind and water erosion have sculpted the sandstone into flowing, sinuous shapes, creating a sensory experience that is as tactile as it is visual. Touching the canyon's surface connects a person directly to the forces of wind and water that have shaped it over countless millennia. Antelope Canyon is in Coconino County near Page, Arizona, USA.

Nearly a thousand years ago natives inhabited the lower elevations around the San Francisco Peaks of Arizona. In an area so dry it would seem impossible to live, they built pueblos, harvested rainwater, grew crops and raised families. Today the remnants of their villages dot the landscape along with their other artifacts. These petroglyphs were found on Magnetic Mesa in Wupatki National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) gets its name from the way the leaves quake in the wind. The aspens grow in large colonies, often starting from a single seedling and spreading underground only to sprout another tree nearby. For this reason, it is considered to be one of the largest single organisms in nature. During the spring and summer, the aspens use sunlight and chlorophyll to create food necessary for the tree’s growth. In the fall, as the days get shorter and colder, the naturally green chlorophyll breaks down and the leaves stop producing food. Other pigments are now visible, causing the leaves to take on beautiful orange and gold colors. These colors can vary from year to year depending on weather conditions. For instance, when autumn is warm and rainy, the leaves are less colorful. This woman hiker was walking through a fall scene of gold colored aspens on the Arizona Trail at Bismarck Lake in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) is the second largest rodent in North America, after the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis). The porcupine is distinguished by its coat of about 30,000 quills that covers all of its body except underbelly, face and feet. The quills are sharp, barbed and hollow hairs that are used primarily for defense and insulation. When used for defense, the quills can lodge in the flesh of a victim and are difficult and painful to remove. The porcupine’s summer diet includes twigs, roots, stems, berries, and other vegetation. In the winter, they mainly eat conifer needles and tree bark. Porcupines are a slow-moving creature with poor distance vision. They are nocturnal, spending their days resting in trees. The porcupine does not hibernate in winter, preferring to stay close and sleep in their dens. This porcupine was photographed in the woods near Williams, Arizona, USA.

The historic Bell Trail was built in the rugged canyon of Wet Beaver Creek in 1932. Wet Beaver Creek is in Yavapai County near Camp Verde, Arizona, USA. Rancher Charles Bell needed the trail to move his cattle up and down the Mogollon Rim. Today, the Bell Trail is used mainly for recreational purposes. The "Crack" on Wet Beaver Creek is a fault in the sandstone that has become a popular hiking destination and swimming hole.

A thousand or more years ago, natives inhabited the lower elevations around the San Francisco Peaks of Northern Arizona. In an area so dry it would seem impossible to live, they built pueblos, harvested rainwater, grew crops, hunted game and raised families. Today the remnants of their villages dot the landscape along with other artifacts such as this obsidian projectile point from the Sinaguan era; about 500AD to 1450AD. Although commonly called an arrowhead, the point was probably not attached to an arrow or shot from a bow, a weapon not thought to be used by the Sinagua. More likely it was affixed to the tip of a spear and thrown to strike and kill game animals. It is unlawful to remove artifacts, such as this point, from a native site. They may be examined but must be returned to their original location. This projectile point was photographed at Sandy Seep in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The Arizona Meteor Crater (Barringer Meteorite Crater) formed 50,000 years ago when an asteroid plunged through the Earth’s atmosphere and crashed into what is now central Arizona. This area was not populated by humans at the time. Because of Arizona’s dry climate and the crater’s relatively young age, Meteor Crater is the best preserved impact crater on Earth. The small asteroid was just 150 feet across. Traveling at around 8 miles per second the force of the impact was tremendous. In just a few seconds the crater was formed when millions of tons of rock were thrown out. Today Meteor Crater is a famous tourist attraction with a museum featuring displays about the history of the crater. Scientist from all over the world come to Meteor Crater to study it. Meteor Crater is near Winslow, Arizona, USA.

The Lesser Goldfinch (Spinus psaltria) is a very common member of the finch family in parts of the American West. It frequents open brushy country where there are thickets and trees close to open weedy fields. Small flocks of Lesser Goldfinches are often found feeding in weedy fields or in streamside trees. Their diet consists mostly of seeds with some insects. This Lesser Goldfinch was photographed while perched in a tree in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

The American Wigeon (Mareca americana), also called a baldpate, is a medium sized dabbling duck found in North America. The breeding male, or drake, has a mask of green feathers around its eyes and a cream-colored stripe running from the top of its head to its bill. The hens are much less distinctive with gray and brown plumage. Both males and females have a pale blue bill with a black tip, a white belly, and gray legs and feet. It nests on the ground, under cover and near water, laying 6–12 creamy white eggs. The American Wigeon is migratory, breeding in all of North America except the extreme far north. Wintering areas include the Central Valley of California, Washington’s Puget Sound, the Texas Panhandle and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana. This male American Wigeon was photographed while walking on ice at Walnut Canyon Lakes in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA.

Monument Valley, on the Arizona - Utah border, gives us some of the most iconic and enduring images of the American Southwest. The harsh empty desert is punctuated by many colorful sandstone rock formations. It can be a photographer's dream to capture the ever-changing play of light on the buttes and mesas. Even to the first-time visitor, Monument Valley will probably seem very familiar. This rugged landscape has achieved fame in the movies, advertising and brochures. It has been filmed and photographed countless times over the years. If a movie producer was looking for a landscape that epitomizes the Old West, a better location could not be found. This picture of the rock formations in the evening light was photographed from the Lee Cly Trail near the Monument Valley Visitor Center north of Kayenta, Arizona, USA.

The Rock Squirrel (Spermophilus variegatus) is fairly large ground squirrel but can also be seen climbing boulders, rocks and trees. It is typically 17-21 inches long, with a bushy tail up to 8 inches long. Rock squirrels are grayish-brown, with some patches of cinnamon color. They have a light-colored ring around their eyes and pointed ears that project well above their heads. In the northern reach of their habitat, rock squirrels hibernate during the colder months of the year. In southern areas, rock squirrels may not hibernate at all. The diet of the rock squirrel is predominantly herbivorous, consisting mostly of leaves, stems and seeds. They may also eat some insects and other small animals. Because of high human visitation, rock squirrels have become the most dangerous animals at the national parks of the American Southwest. Rock squirrels attack more tourists at the Grand Canyon than any other wild animal. Attacks have become so common that park rangers have begun warning tourists about the dangers. This rock squirrel was photographed at Yavapai Point in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA.

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