My parents went on a trip to Arizona over Easter, the first time in many years they'd taken a vacation without me, actually. Among the photos they brought back were a couple pretty nice ones of wildlife I thought I'd share.
My dad's description of this was essentially, "Look! We saw a bird on a cactus and took a picture for you!" I managed to identify it as a gila woodpecker. I guess it makes sense that woodpeckers would live in saguaro cacti, but it hadn't occurred to me before.
This little guy is a chuckwalla (a sort of medium-sized lizard with a fat tail) that my dad saved from being tormented by some kid. My dad didn't say how old the kid was - he could have been my age for all I know - but my dad told the guy the chuckwalla would probably bite him if he didn't leave it alone, and that scared him off. I have no idea how likely the lizard actually would have been to bite him, but it doesn't matter as long as this person stopped chasing it.
Anyway, these make me look forward to traveling again... we're planning a family trip to Colorado sometime this summer, and I'll need to get a field guide for the birds of that part of the country before we go!