Monday, June 20, 2011

Fauna at Zion

Flora and Fauna... but sorry, no Merriweather.
However, the fauna sitings this trip were very good.
Lots of lizards, of course.
(Irrelevant aside- I always mentally hear my nephew's voice saying 'wots of wittle wizards' when I see these reptiles...)
Anyway, the lizard was hard to identify because the coloration looked like nothing in my books.
So I did some google searching (I love the internet.)
I think the lizard is a western fence lizard, or
Sceleporus occidentalis,
partly because of its keeled scales.
Did you know some animals had keeled scales
(ridges down the center of each scale)?
I didn't, before now.
So the lizards were cool.
So was the gray fox (no picture, unfortunately.)
It came around the lodge at night scrounging for scraps.
The last big animal sighting we had was the bighorn sheep,
Ovis canadensis.
This specimen was tapping its way across the slick rock of east Zion,
not far from Checkerboard Mesa.
The park website says they are kind of rare,
and please to report sightings.
So I called in. Couldn't get a live voice. Left a message.
Anyway, seeing this sheep sure made my day.
Plus we saw a stellar's jay, ravens, butterflies... it was great.

No comments: