Curve-billed thrasher (Toxostoma curvirostre), on saguaro (Carnegiea giganteum, top photo), and organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi, bottom). At the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) on organ pipe cactus (Stenocereus thurberi). At the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Arizona.
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Lesser goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria), on whitebush verbena (Aloysia gratissima), at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
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White-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica), feeding on saguaro cactus fruit (Carnegiea gigantea), at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Wolf’s milk slime mold (Lycogala epidendrum).
The fruiting bodies of this organism are sometimes mistaken for puffball mushrooms. The common name is thought to refer to the unpleasant, acrid fluids it produces. Yuck.
At Veit Spring Trail, on Agassiz Peak near Flagstaff, Arizona.
Beard lichen (Usnea sp.) and unidentified fungus, at Veit Spring Trail on Agassiz Peak, near Flagstaff, Arizona.
Daily monsoon rains arrived here in northern Arizona just over a week ago. The world is noticeably greener. All sorts of desiccated things are plumping up or emerging with startling suddenness. I can barely keep up with so much new and unfamiliar life. For instance, even a crude ID on the fungus in this photo has me stymied. Is is a polypore? A corticioid crust or patch fungus? Help me, please. I’ll be grateful!