May 29 – Arizona, Part 2

Tuesday morning we went to a nearby zoo. It was pretty good, as small zoos go ( They seemed to have a lot of birds (especially turacos) and small primates. The kids really enjoyed it.
Military macaw                                                                   Red-crested Pochard
Agouti                                                                                                     Tiger watching passing children

Monkeys hanging around                                                Monkey almost completely covered in black fur

Savannah feeds giraffe.                                                                               Hayden feeds goat  
Sable, arguably the most beautiful of African ungulates.                           I think they planted these agaves to keep people from jumping out of the skyride.   

King vulture.                                                                   East African crowned crane
Mother and baby monkey.                                                                        Stacey, Kaylee, Hayden, Savannah, Deon 

We had lunch at Chipotle Mexican Grill, where you can build your own (huge) burrito.  I had barbacoa in mine.  You don’t find that just anywhere.  It reminded me of the beef in traditional Portuguese sopas.  Afterward, Stacey and I went to a big outlet mall north of Phoenix.  It was mostly clothing stores.  We hit a Sports Chalet and Barnes & Noble on the way back.

Wednesday, Deon, Savannah and I went on a hike at a nearby natural area, White Tank Mountain Regional Park.  We took a short looping trail up to a “waterfall”.  There was a puddle for a plunge pool, and no water was running at the time.  It’s probably better after a hard rain.  We did see an incredible array of wildlife along the way, and took lots of pictures, of course.  I hadn’t seen a horned lizard or a collared lizard in 20 years, even more for a chuckwalla.  Without my field guides handy, my identifications are tentative.

Horned lizard, Phrynosoma spp.   He’s well camouflaged.  And spiny.
Side-blotched lizard Uta stansburiana                                                      Western whiptail   
Ammophila wasp                                                                                        Grasshopper

Chuckwalla, Sauromalus ater                                Deon & Savannah under the waterfall

Collared lizard Crotaphytus collaris.  They’re pretty, even when not in breeding color. 
Two new butterflies for me: A lycaenid, the Marine Blue.                           Empress Leilia
A petroglyph, of which there were many here, some obvious, others like this one indecipherable.  Savannah , in her natural element

Meanwhile, Stacey was watching the kids and taking them to WalMart.  She had it all under control when we got home.  We all took naps in the afternoon, then had some pool time in the back yard.  Thursday we went to Big Surf water park.  They had lots of slides, a wave pool, and areas for the little kids.  It wasn’t too crowded, so the lines weren’t long.

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