I have found many animals from being outside at Saguaro National Park. My job is to find butterflies and photograph them so we can identify the species, however, I like all the creatures. Even today I found a desert tortoise just sitting on a giant rock. There are many animals in the park and maybe in your backyard. I work near water sources or in riparian areas. I encounter dragonflies, grasshoppers, and spiders. I see the occasional Arizona garter snake, many different species of frogs, and mud turtles. There are ants and bees everywhere you may go.

Sometimes precarious critters can startle, rattle snakes shake their tails to warn predators. I heard this rattle last week while hiking on a trail; it was a Mohave rattlesnake. Now snakes are not the only dangerous animal that is out on the trail. There are Javelina squadrons, bobcats, and the unseen mountain lion. These animals usually leave tracks, scat, and bones behind. There are also foxes, deer and owls. I saw three Great Horned Owls this week, it was an intriguing experience. Many creatures use the caves, saguaros, and pools of water to take refuge.

Yes, the animals are not the only safety hazard while out in the desert. Which is why taking safety precautions is so important when you are out in nature. Always be aware of where your feet and hands are, this way you do not step on any animals. Remember to take snacks and plenty of water while being outside especially when temperatures are above 100 degrees. When out exploring, stop and look around; listen to the many sounds you hear. These are great ways to ensure that time spent out in nature is a fun, rewarding, and a creature adventure!


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