on the road again…| arizona | tonto natural land bridge | just javelinas

A couple weekends ago, I spent an afternoon exploring the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park in Arizona.  Pics of the park are coming soon…but for right now, check out this adorable family of javelinas I spied crossing the road on my way out of the park. Well, less spied, and more slammed-on-the-brakes-as-a-mom-and-two-babies-ran-in-front-of-my-SUV. Always the Nat Geo photog wannabe, I held traffic while the rest of the herd crossed…and as if to say “thank you,” they let me take their picture 🙂

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Fun fact: despite the porcine snout, javelinas are not pigs like those you might find on a farm. Those pigs are “Old World” animals, and are invasive species brought to the Americas from Asia, Europe, and Africa. Javelinas are part of the Tayassuidae family and are considered “New World” animals, claiming Central and South America as well as the American Southwest as their home.

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During my year and a half driving all over the Southwest for work, I’d only seen a javelina once before…and I almost drove right by without noticing as it was so well camouflaged by the scrub. So apparently, this sighting was fairly lucky, as javelinas are usually most active at night during periods of warm weather, and this series was shot about an hour and a half before sunset.

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