|Coues White-tailed Deer|
Hello everyone!! Today kicks off a mini 3 part series from Ramsey Canyon near Sierra Vista, Arizona. During my hummingbird investigations, I discovered MANY canyons that need some following up in the Huachuca mountains....one which is on a military base! While it was a hot time in Tucson, I found this canyon to be a cool relief from the hot sun. It was unaffected by last summers fires and has A LOT of butterflies fluttering around. That was the first thing I noticed about the trails.....butterflies EVERYWHERE!!!
Of course there was so much going on and that is why I've had to break these posts up over 3 days. Many birders come here to search for the many hummers, Elegant Trogon and Sulphur Bellied Flycatcher. But along the way, there were a lot of extra surprises like the Couse's Deer which is different from the others I have seen around our area. While checking out this defunct cabin, we discovered a group of them hanging out around some vegetation eating.
|Arizona Sister Butterfly|
And of course it was this particular butterfly that grabbed my attention the entire morning. It's the Arizona Sister butterfly. I had thought it was the California Sister but I was assured that it was all Arizona:) I'm not sure what the difference between the two are but I do know that they were everywhere on our walk.
The park officials were also great helping me identify 2 owl species nesting. I have not been able to successfully capture them....yet....on camera. But I know where they are:) Sycamore trees are the key to many of the birds species nesting in the area. Not only is it a beautiful tree but it's very important to many other species in canyon areas.
What is up with this squirrel just sprawled out over a rock? Found in Mexico and the US, the Rock Squirrel has the habit of hanging out on rocks. This big guy allowed me to get pretty close. He never moved during our time observing. It all reminded me of my cats and how they love sitting by the bird window.
Again along the trails, a nice breeze passed by, taking my mind off of the nasty heat going on in Tucson. In fact, if I had to choose between canyons, I would have to say that Ramsey was my favorite. Madera Canyon is great but it's TOO hot! I have to bring a lot of water for that trip and with Ramsey, I felt like I was back in the Midwest during a nice summer day.
|Arizona Sister Butterfly, wings open|
There's a lot of shade all around the area. But I haven't mentioned the other BIG things about this place......
At first, I thought the aliens were coming. After our Phoenix Comicon time, I was a little paranoid that they were invading Earth. Well come to find out.....I wasn't too far off. This military balloon is looking for aliens(of the illegal variety) on the ground. Please be aware that these canyons are close to the Mexican border. Several of my friends who LOVE to hike far beyond the trails have spotted drug trafficking. Don't approach them and keep moving. Normally they'll walk past you and leave you alone. The issue for me is when Border Patrol and the Drug Traffickers encounter one another. I don't want to be in the middle of the crossfire. I had a close call once and don't want that EVER to happen again. It's safe within the Ramsey Canyon area, but if you go, just be aware that the border is a hop, skip, and brinca away:)
But the other real BIG shocker came from the MASSIVE trees located along the Canyon walk. I wanted to show you how massive this tree is compared to an Asian human male. All I can say is...WOW!!! Gorgeous hike. 5 bucks to get in.....watch the hummingbirds, look for exotic numbers all around you.....I'll be back again. August is a big month for everyone as the hummers start to migrate again through the areas. I hope you enjoy this series as it was a very successful shoot capturing several birds I had hoped to get on camera. A Chuparosa challenge tomorrow.....