Saturday, October 10, 2015

Seasons of Change

Wood Duck-Drake
After returning from treks like California, Mexico, Wisconsin or Colorado, I am always amazed by the Arizona landscape. 

From the airplane, an overview of the Estrella Mountains near Phoenix, AZ
On our flight to California, I snapped this shot of the Estrella Mountain range outside of Phoenix.  From above it looks completely barren of life.  And DRY!  This could easily be a photo from Mars.  Or a map of Middle Earth:)

A Cactus Wren nest in a Cholla Cactus at Saguaro National Park
But let me assure you that our deserts are green and full of life.  Granted, Arizona doesn't have the vibrant greens of other places but the color scheme does exist here:)  It's just more subtle. 

Greater Roadrunner
After California, I hiked and biked around many areas in Tucson alone. I had been craving the silence. This is the eye of my storm.  As you will see over the next several weeks, things are going to take a strange turn.  This is the year of life changes. 

 The biggest battle with our neighbor is yet to come.  Now that the community is united and we have all our ducks in a row, we are going to take this man down.  There will be no more attacks on children, men or women.  It took a lot of work and communication to come together and string all the incidents together to make one huge case against him. He now has a warrant out for his arrest.  Henry Yanez III, your days are numbered in our community.

Greater Roadrunner taking a dirt bath
Then there is the birding.  I want to say that this year has been a lot more challenging for me.  Not because of the birds but because of the time and stress to make sure that my birding DID happen.  It may seem selfish but I have found that I can't live without it.  I think it will always be a part of me now until I die.  And that's a good thing!

Reid Park at Sunset
The cooler temps have arrived and I have begun my long hikes.  What I didn't expect was how painful it would be to ride my bike again.  I started my birds and bike tour for the winter and discovered that I'm out of shape. Well I expected it to be a challenge:)  I can hike miles.  But I can barely bike 2 miles!  That will be remedied over the winter months:)

The Wood Duck was my reward for taking the bike out for a spin.  The good part about biking is that I can hear all the birds in the neighborhoods surrounding the park. In a car, you miss half of it.

The storms brought us wonderful weather and cooler temps.  Over the past several days, I have stood outside until sunset just....being.

A nice sampling of Sonoran desert vegetation.  Note the spacing between the various plants.

I don't know where I am going with this life.  It has been confusing trying to redefine who I am as a person, employee, birder, and community leader.  The birds are my escape.  I like to stand in one spot and let the world of wildlife pass me by..... 

The weather has now fully empowered my birding battery.  The heat begins to dwindle and cooler temps of winter will/have arrive(d). And finally......

Neotropic Cormorants
This blog is dedicated to the memory of Beth Marie. She followed Las Aventuras for several years. We got to know one another over that time and I always enjoyed her day to day stories back in the Midwest.  Just recently, I found out why she hadn't been answering my emails and it was like a punch to the gut.  She passed away this past spring from cancer.  You will be missed my friend. 

Taken at Sweetwater during the storm.
While I have not "met" many of you out there in this great big world, I often think about your writings and wonder what you would say or do if you were in my shoes. This virtual friendship has lead me to make incredible and REAL friendships over the past several years within the blogging community.  So, Beth Marie, you will be in my thoughts during this autumn season. I am glad you no longer suffer in pain from the cancer.  But please know that you are missed. Rest in peace my friend.


  1. It's sad to lose a blogging friend, the more that knew him personally. Post sacrificed this beautiful someone close to you. Regards.

  2. A sweet piece for your friend. Thanks for sharing the photos and thoughts.

  3. Sorry to hear you lost a friend. Life is so full of changes. You are young and will see many. Now get on that bike and ride. Hugs.

  4. Wonderful images as always, Chris. Sorry about your friend, Marie.

    Just "being" is good. It is VERY good. Few people know how to do it.

  5. Beautiful post. The duck shots are stunning..

  6. I'm so very sorry to hear the sad news about your friend Marie.

    Its good that getting out birding can help you escape day to day worries and problems. I always find getting out watching wildlife is the best way to de-stress and recharge the batteries. Beautiful photos in the post Chris.

  7. I am intrigued by your "possible change." You mention cooler temps, and yes, we've had some cooler days, but we're right back up to high 90s and I am SOOO anxious for the "cooler" that intends to stay! Love that you have been getting out bicycling and hiking, though. I'm happy that birding has become so much a part of your life because you share it with us! Gorgeous photos, Chris! Love the roadrunner...I had one fluff up and sunbathe in my front yard once and that was awesome. The wood duck is amazing! The views of the desert beautiful.

    We do get so attached to our blogger friends and feel like we "know" them...I'd greatly miss so many people if something happened to them, and I completely understand your sadness over the loss of Beth Marie. Blogging, and getting to know so many people all over the world has enriched my life! I have to say, you and I need to meet, though some time...we both live in Tucson! There's no excuse. :-) Maybe coffee????

  8. Absolutely! Let's do it in November? During the first couple weeks? I'll be out of town for awhile, but I'll have some time next month to get together:)

  9. So sorry for your friend. I am simply hoping she can enjoy the woodduck with his hairdo from up there as much as I do...

  10. Ouch. So sorry about the loss of your friend. We make These connections and it's hard when somebody disappears.
    Every picture in this post is excellent! I never saw a wood duck out of the water. They have tiny feet. The pic of the wood duck in the water is STUNNING, perfect framable photo. The birds in flight are breathtaking. Wings!


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