Spring Fling in Arizona
Just wanted to post a few pictures from a quick spring trip to Arizona for the few who are interested.
We lucked out on the weather, leaving Colorado ahead of a snow storm and enjoying two weeks of lovely temperatures in Arizona. Just after we turned north toward home, Arizona returned to the scorching 90’s.
Back in Colorado we had a few nice days before a week of rain. We nervously watched the creek rise, but the rain stopped just before the flooding got critical. All Craig’s landscaping held, and now the flowers are great and the grass very happy.
Here’s what we found on our camping trip through NM, AZ, and UT…The Malpais region of NM, a moonscape of recently (3000 years ago) deposited lava.
Passed by the largest mine in the world. Bigger even than the Super Pit of Western Australia. They mine copper and some gold.
Spent 2 days hiking in the Chiricahua Mountains with their bizarre rock formations carved by weather in volcanic ash hardened to form Rhyolite Canyon Tuff.
Not many birds, but lots of lizards. These mountain ranges are considered sky islands because the dry distances between them virtually guarantee the land animals don’t go very far.
Spent some time with Craig’s brother Brad near Ft. Huachuca. Chased birds around but am concerned by the low numbers.
Had more luck at Patagonia State Park
Visited several more canyons searching for trogons…managed to spot only one. However, the sycamores are lovely trees and we did find a few more interesting birds, flowers and insects.
This Tom tolerated me because he was far more interested in several hens nearby. His gobbles were audible up and down Madera canyon
Moving on to the Tucson area… We hiked in Sabino Canyon and spent a day at the Desert Museum in Saguaro National Park. Tucson is a very large city now, but areas of desert are vigorously protected.
Camped at Picacho Peak Park after the Desert Museum before turning north through a remarkable landscape on the scenic drive from Apache Junction to Roosevelt on highway 88 (some of it dirt road). The Salt River has been extensively dammed and power poles mar the stunning scenery, but the drive is well worth the effort.
And on through the reservation area of NE AZ with incredible views of soaring sandstone pinnacles along the highway running through Monument Valley and the side road through Valley of the Gods, Utah.