Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Unwind The Mind

Montezuma Castle National Monument
I began three weeks ago with my work again....but online.  My eyes are exhausted from staring at screens all day.  It's funny that even when I'm sitting in a chair all day, I'm still mentally exhausted. 

Grasshopper Sparrow
When I get home, I find myself shutting off all electronic devices. When the weekend comes, all I want to do is sleep.  But thankfully Celeste and Cheroot remind me to enjoy the outdoors. 

At Parker Canyon Lake
August and September are intense months.  And they are miserable with the heat and humidity but always full of great migrating birds.  Often I don't bird in those extreme conditions.  I continue working on my home projects which have been a lot of fun to put together.  They are looking great.  When the room is finished, I'll share those.  In the meantime, I've done a couple outings with Celeste and Cheroot. 

A Sonoran Bumblee on thistle
Often, we pick under-birded spaces that are far away from people.  Our first trek was to the San Rafael Grasslands and Parker Canyon Lake. Both locations were relaxing.  Warm.  But enjoyable.  On our way home from those grasslands, we stopped at the Cienegas Grasslands where we picked up a Common Nighthawk for Pima County. It was new for both of us.  

In Jerome
 The following weekend, we just wanted to take a road trip out of Tucson.  We headed up to Jerome, Sedona, Paige Springs and Cottonwood.  This is a lovely area to bird full of wonderful trails and great eats.  However, I had to show Celeste the cute town of Jerome where we had the whole patio to ourselves overlooking the town of Cottonwood. 

a really nice spicy Buttersquash soup

Paige Springs has a lovely trail by their settling ponds known as the Black Hawk trail.  It's appropriately named because Common Black Hawks nest there. 

Lesser Goldfinch on thistle
On our way home, we stopped at places like Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle National Monument where Cheroot became a B.A.R.K Ranger. He was awarded a medal for his dedication to keeping the trails clean and the wildlife safe.  On the trails, he barked a lot at other dogs who got too close to us. Cheroot is practicing safe social distancing.  He's very good at what he does. 

A reflective moment at the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial
On our way home, two car crashes caused a back up for hours on the interstate.  We took the scenic route home through Prescott and stopped by the Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial where 19 hotshot firefighters lost their lives.  

a rarish Dickcissel at Reid Park
While there weren't any hot bird chases, it was still hot.  But the views were stunning. 

At the Paige Springs settling ponds near the Black Hawk Trail
  We did hit some heavy rain on the way home.  It has been a dry summer here so our drive in the rain was lovely and it made for really stunning views. 

During this time of covid, we must find ways to keep the curiosity alive.  It's also important to escape and remember that life is still happening out there. These are challenging times for all of us. 

Until next time.....


  1. I adore that bumble bee and the soup looks delicious - love the spider's web type topping :) Beautiful photos and views. Take care.

  2. School started already. Glad you are feeling more able to get out. Love the shot of Cheroot gazing off in to the distance. Can almost hear him saying "I am on the job. Don't mess with me."

  3. What beautiful photos and a lovely post to read.

  4. I'm glad you had a little nudge to get out and about. You saw some great scenery and I love the shot of your pup at the memorial with those crepuscular clouds behind. All your images are wonderful to see :)

    I'm so excited to see you at 'My Corner of the World' this week!! Thanks for linking.

  5. Those look as if they were two perfect days out for healing the soul, Chris. Wonderful locations! Best wishes - stay safe - - - Richard


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