Monday, February 16, 2015

Yesteryear


the magical DeAnza Trail near Tubac

I took one step at a time along the path traveled by so many people before me.  During this past weekend, I quietly did my own thing as I explored places in southern Arizona like the DeAnza Trail, San Xavier Del Bac, and Saguaro National Park(the Rincon Unit). On Sunday, we finished it off with the Arizona Renaissance Festival. 


My morning began on the DeAnza trail near the artsy town of Tubac. Part of this two century +  trail follows the Santa Cruz river. Here the water flows under the shaded canopy of Arizona Cottonwoods and Mesquite trees. I saw several birders trying to find the Sinaloa Wren on that morning.  As I passed them, I wished the birders luck. 

Abert's Towhee
It was a beautiful hike on this cloudy morning. My next stop was the old mission of San Xavier Del Bac.  I wanted to stop here and explore several patches of Cholla cactus found around the property.


Cholla Cactus
The vegetation was all there as were my target birds.....the Cactus Wrens and Curve-billed Thrashers!  I did my counts around several patches and then tried for some photo documentation. 

the mission of San Xavier Del Bac
At one point, I had a Cactus Wren calling out from the top of a tree.  I stood for 20 minutes just watching this bird along the grassy wash.

Cactus Wren
The weather is beginning to warm up and that means lizards and snakes are awakening.  Look closely at the photo below and you will find the Desert Spiny hanging out between the rocks!

Desert Spiny Lizard next to a Barrel Cactus 
After I did my walk and counts around the Mission, I headed off to Saguaro National Park to do more desert bird counts.  Thanks to my park ranger bud Gaelyn, I was reminded that the entrance fee to the National Parks was waived for the weekend.  It was an amazing way to end the day as I found my first ever Gila Monster!  What a thrill that was!

my herpes lifer, the Gila Monster!
On Sunday, we headed out to Arizona's Renaissance Festival near Gold Canyon where I was able to study raptor behavior during one of their shows.  Even when I'm not birding, I'm birding:)  I love them so much. 

the Eurasian Eagle-owl takes flight at the 2015 Arizona Renaissance Festival
Of course, we also had a great time watching several of the performances throughout the day.

Barely Balanced performs one of their body bending acts!  Ouch!

It was the restful weekend that I very much needed.  After last weekend's "wait for a warbler" journey, I was done chasing rare birds.  And to be honest, the birding I did this weekend is what I like best sometimes.



Some weekends are for strolling, some are for epic adventures and some are for study.  Next weekend, I'll take you into the heart of Phoenix as we look for love in strange places;) And below is a teaser for what Las Aventuras is planning this summer:) "Americano" begins! For now, I hope you all enjoyed this walk back in time.  Until next time friends.





30 comments:

  1. Wow, you really packed a lot into one weekend!

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  2. Wonderful blog with processed extraordinary that give great beauty.

    Best Regards from Gran Canaria - Canary Islands (Spain)

    I follow with interest .............

    Andrés.

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  3. This time, in addition to the birds had other attractions, and it's very nice. Lizard can be seen among the rocks. Regards.

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  4. You don't let the grass grow under your feet. What a busy and productive weekend.

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  5. Hello Chris!:)Wow! You filled your weekend with some brilliant experiences. I throughly enjoyed seeing some of the things you saw and photographed on your travels. Loved the Gila Monster what a fine specimen, and the beautiful Cactus Wren. The Renaissance Festival looked very entertaining and I liked the lovely picture of the white mission which is a beautiful building. Loved the Americano vídeo clip, which made me smile!:) There's never a dull moment on your blog Chris.:)
    Keep well and keep sharing.
    Warm Regards.

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  6. Fabulous weekend you had with great photos to show for it. I loved the video trailer. Music was great also.

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  7. Chris, the festival looks like a fun time.. I enjoyed the photos and I love the Gila Monster, congrats on the sighting.. Have a happy week!

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  8. chris!! you are one busy dude!! :) the festival looks like lots of fun! GREAT pictures!! i LOVE the gila monster!!!! and as always...the coolest of pictures!!

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  9. What a great weekend with not so much stress. Glad you got out to the park and what fun the festival looks like, especially the bird demo, and those crazy bend people balancing on each other. I heard birds last night, after dark, in Anza-Borrego. Today I hunt wildflowers in Palm Canyon so will keep my eyes open for some flighty friends.

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  10. What a busy weekend you experienced. Super post Chris.

    Very much enjoyed the trailer video.

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  11. such neat critters and terrain that is different from here. :) love the cactus wren!

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  12. Some nice pictures there, stunning video you have made, well done Chris.

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  13. Fantastic post and a packed weekend full of activities and creatures.

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  14. Thanks for visiting my blog.
    This was a very nice and busy weekend.
    The video is beautiful, the music great.

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  15. Wonderful photos of a great weekend! I love the cacti and the lizards.

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  16. A brilliant video Chris (loved the music and drama :) ). What a great weekend too - some super photos as always and well done on the Gila Monster - what an impressive creature :)

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  17. My husband and I were fortunate enough to see a gila monster several years ago at the Western Saguaro National Park. Of course, it was a day with no camera! :-( Love your shots of the De Anza trail and San Xavier, with the curved billed thrashers. The video was pretty darn cool! :-)

    We looked into the Renaisance Festival last year and were horrified by what they were charging to get in. When you are one or two people, that's one thing, but for a family group to go, it's just too much.

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  18. I agree!!! It's an expensive outing for the family. And that doesn't even cover the cost of food or drinks. You save 5 bucks by going to Fry's and the humor can be a bit adultish for kids. But most of them are into the face paintings and kid rides. It's pretty fun and always an interesting experience:)

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  19. Very interesting. I liked the cacti, the lizard, the dancers...It sounded like a great weekend.

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  20. I'm amazed at how many activities you did in one small amount of time! So much to do, see and photograph!

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  21. Great post, Chris. I love to attend Renaissance Festivals like that --and used to go to them when I lived in Texas. Great photos--and your hike looked fantastic. You got to see some birds --but also many other beautiful things.. That is fantastic.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  22. Oh, that first photo drew me in, but that trailer will having looking forward to your posts this summer.

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  23. Well...THAT was quite dramatic! I loved the little film trailer! I also really love that first photo of the little girl washing in the water!

    I so wish I was walking the De Anza trail with you! I miss my birding buddy!

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  24. I have travelled through this area a couple of times and your photographs bring back great memories.

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  25. wonderful fshow & nature but architecture on #4 shot is the best!

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :)

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  26. Fantastic! Your Desert Spiny looks a lot like some of our Aussie arid country lizards - maybe their adaptation has progressed similarly!!! Hope this weekend is just as good :D

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  27. A busy but satisfying day for you Chris, I think you needed exactly this kind of day.

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  28. A lovely post Chris, full of observations about Arizona, it's history, culture, people and wildlife. Topped off with some fine photos too. I think I'm yearning to visit Arizona, the bird species looks very special.

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  29. That first shot looks like a film set! What a great place. I really like the Cactus wren - I have only seen one through a 'scope.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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