Friday, January 25, 2013

Stop to Smell the....

Hooded Skunk on the Proctor Trail near Madera Canyon
I never forget that while on our little adventures to look up every now and again at the epic landscapes around us.  Today’s post is about watching where we step and noticing the “bigger picture”.
Willcox Lake
Part of the fun from birding comes from the great eats and hikes along the way.  And the views are to die for!
Bisbee, AZ
Most of the time, it's quiet.  No planes.  No cars. No people!  Just the wind blowing through grasslands.
The Whitewater Draw-Male Northern Harrier
There are moments of pure perfection as the sun sets or rises.
It's  during those moments I smile and think about how magical this trek continues to be.
Agua Caliente Park, Tucson
Along the way, I have faced cold and hot temps, blowing dust, whipping frigid winds, and some close wildlife encounters.
But the views keep me coming back.  As do the birds:)
Lakeside Park, Tucson with Great Egret
We inspect every blade of grass, hilltop, treetop, river, lake, and rock.  Movement catches our eyes and we spot a coyote(below).
And then there are moments of lazy birding around foreign feeders.  White-crowned sparrows and a Pyrrhuloxia dazzle the eyes.
San Pedro House near Sierra Vista
Sometimes the birds take you to secret hidden places most people don't know the waterfalls of the Santa Cruz river.
Santa Cruz River on a cold day
A solitary tree against the backdrop of snow covered mountains energizes the soul.  What lies beyond that next canyon? Or mountain range?
Friends make everything better.  A hot cup of coffee with Ms. Kathie Brown makes the outing even more special.
The birds surround us. Again. No cars. No planes.  No people.  Just nature.
And not all is perfection when there are factors that push the human limits.
Sometimes people get dragged along for the ride:) They enjoy the spectacles for brief moments before saying, "Enough is enough!"
And of course, I have to watch where I step.  This little guy almost sprayed me while I was taking his pic.  Instead, he sprayed a rude family with a dog!  As I walked back to my car, I heard the scream and then....oooh no!!!  Kharma.  Always pay attention to your surroundings.  And if you bring a dog that is going to bite people, you probably should leave them home.
This last photo warmed my heart while we were at Reid Park and it is one of two pictures from this post that are my favorites. I have always been an observer since I was a kid.  And for the first time in my life, I am seeing things clearly.
Reid Park, Tucson


  1. gorgeous views! so rich in color. the skunk karma made me laugh, and the 'enough is enough' photo made me snicker. :)

  2. oh I love looking at your photos
    .....and yes good on the
    people with the mean dog

  3. Great photos Chris. The skunk photos are awesome! Love the skunk story too!

  4. Amazing vistas. Love the photos. Skunks are soooo cute! I'm very aware of the need to give them room.

  5. You always take the most amazing seeing what your world is like.


  6. the skunk is one animal I hope never to meet in person.

  7. You are an obvious liver of life Chris. Keep your eyes open. ;)

  8. Twoje wycieczki są cudowne. Oprócz ptaków są wspaniałe widoki na które patrzeć i patrzeć. Ze skunksem raczej bym się nie chciała spotkać. Pozdrawiam.
    Your trips are wonderful. In addition to the birds are wonderful views that look and look. With skunk, rather I would not want to meet. Yours.

  9. Great photos Chris - what wonderful landscapes :) Your enjoyment of your trips and love of wildlife just shines throughout your posts :)The karma incident did make me laugh :) - so glad you escaped unscathed.

  10. Chris, I enjoyed this post. the scenic shots are beautiful and the wildlife is awesome. The skunk is cute! You are having the most amazing outings and experiences. Have a great weekend and happy birding.

  11. Ooooooo, lots of cold pictures there.

    When I left San Diego in May of 2006, a massive die off of Skunks occurred. I imagine it was as a result of distemper disease. Possums, foxes and even neighbourhood cats dropped like flies there as well. Wonder if any of these numbers have recovered ? Even the cottontail rabbits and Jack Rabbits took a huge hit.

    Man, everything is having a rough go of it!


  12. awesome pictures chris!! especially love the bisbee one...what a view!! i LOVE the rock formations!!

    i know about that 'always watch where you step'...i'm very observant when it comes to wildlife poop! haha

    and the skunk...they are SO cute!! just don't get them upset!!
    i always look forward to your outdoor wanderings!!

  13. Love, love, love all these photos Chris. I'd love to see them on a larger screen. Have a great and fun weekend.

  14. Gorgeous vistas, lovely photos, and wonderful advice. Hate that family got sprayed! Maybe it was just the dog. I know how hard it is to get the smell out...our dog got it once years ago! :-) Lovely post, Chris. Coming to your blog is always such a joy! And I loved the man feeding the birds at Reid Park too. very nice.

  15. Love all of these exceptional photos. They are just beautiful!

  16. Sounds like you enjoy birding for the same reasons that I do! :)

  17. Looks cold and very beautiful!

    I was looking at some of your earlier posts about Star Trek -- always fun to "meet" a fellow Trekkie. :)

  18. Lovely pictures Chris - all those wide open spaces. Good thoughts too.

  19. You know what caught my attention I'll bet: the WATERFALLS.... Awesome!!!!!!

    We have skunks here ---and did you realize that they are all different --when it comes to the black and white colors??? We had one once that was almost white. Beautiful animals --but man, can they STINK??????? Yipes.


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