Weird Arizona Creature
When Robert and I took a drive a few weekends ago, I recalled all of the weird creatures that I have been warning you about, should you ever decide to visit Arizona. There are many of these creatures that I already know about and many that I've yet to come across. Anyway, I realized that I had left one very dangerous creature out. I certainly didn't do this on purpose, I had simply forgotten until now as we were driving along in the rocky canyon near our home.
In the past I have told you about the innocent looking Mud Bear who eats toes, bites ankles, and hides in the tall grasses of meadows near streams.
I've shared with you the photo of the Deer Lake Water Monster who is always on the lookout for something a little less "fishy" tasting.
I've warned you about the Arizona Alligator Asp and the Black Boulder Lizard who make their homes in the forested areas of our great state.
I've told you about the Arizona Rhinodile who sits in wait for unsuspecting motorists near concrete river crossings.
I've pleaded with you to run as fast as you can, never in a straight line, and scream like a banshee should you ever, ever come across an Arizona Spittacroserous.
Now, I am here to let you know of another weird, and dangerous, Arizona creature.
I've heard it said that all things are bigger in Texas but I beg to differ. This creature is massive and is known as falcous peregrinous raptourous, or the Great Arizona Raptor. It is a mutation of our own creation. In the past, certain pesticides were used in the air that put the peregrine falcon in great danger of extinction...or so we thought. The perigrine falcon as we knew it, did not become extinct, but retreated to the highest parts of our canyons, and there it mutated to gargantuan sizes.
If you are out hiking in the rocky canyons of Arizona keep a wary eye on the horizon because the farther you are away from this raptor the better off you are. They are easiest to spot from a distance as they sit on the tops of the cliff edges and cast their silouhettes in a very telling and very large shape. If the silouhette moves, you've got a problem.
The Great Arizona Raptor feeds mostly on coyote and snacks on roadrunner. Coyote and roadrunner are quick and give the Great Arizona Raptor a good, fast chase. In fact, the Raptor will feed on anything that gives it a good chase. If it spots you, and you run, you WILL be dinner.
The Great Arizona Raptor doesn't trust humans not to poison it's food so it likes it meat cooked; well done. It will chase you and chase you as you bake in the Arizona heat. If you can run you obviously can't be poisoned. Since the Great Arizona Raptor likes a good chase, it will chase you until you are just about ready to collapse, then it will begin it's feast.
This is the Great Arizona Raptor that Robert and I came a little too close too. I got a couple of shots as we were slowly backing away. We didn't see this one's silouette in the distance because it was nesting in the trees, raising more young to terrorize us with.
The Great Arizona Raptor nests in the sandstone outcroppings that are surrounded by trees for protection from the hot desert sun and strong winds of the canyons. These are the most dangerous areas to run into a raptor because you don't see it until your almost on top of it. If you're lucky it won't be on top of you first.
If you happen to come across one, back away very slowly. But never turn your back on it! You have to watch the eyes very carefully, if they are looking your way, stand as still as a statue. As I've said, the Great Arizona Raptor loves a good chase so it's always on the lookout for the slightest movement in its environment. These gigantic raptors have horrible peripheral vision due to the mutation, so if you wait for it to turn it's head in the opposite direction you can then move slowly backwards away from it. But watch it! They will quickly turn their head back around as they scan their territory! You must back away very wisely or you will quickly become dinner.
Here is another picture; just in case.
Remember when you come to visit our beautiful state, that in Arizona, rattlesnakes, javelina, scorpions, tarantulas, gila monsters, and centipedes are your friends. There are much bigger things to worry about here.