Friday, March 2, 2018

Leaving Tucson in the morning

We took one last day to drive south and look at birds.    This time our destination was the Tucson Audubon Paton Center for Hummingbirds in the quirky little town of Patagonia, Az.

MonaLiza has been tantalizing me with her photos of unusual Hummingbird varieties taken there so of course, we needed to see them!    I guess we weren't as prepared for the experience as we should have been because we decided to take Lewis along for the ride.   Not the best idea.   Bird watching requires quiet.   Lewis is sometimes quiet, but mostly when he's tired.   When we go to a new place and get him out of the car he screams with excitement until he "works through it" and settles down.   Bird watching also requires sitting still for long periods of time....not his forte either.

We left him in the car while we wandered the wood chip covered trails, sat beside little ponds and brush piles, scanned the hummingbird feeders.   To his credit, he was quiet and waited calmly for us to return.      We saw a few hummingbirds, but they were familiar to us.  No Rufous, no Rivoli's, no Violet Crowned.    We did see and hear lots of birds and enjoyed the quiet time spent there.    Next year we'll come back earlier in the morning (a chore for me to accomplish) and leave our sweet boy home.

a chubby little Cassin's Finch

Lewis was happy when we returned to the Jeep and his ride could continue.   Hope springs eternal in dogs.....surely they'll let me out for a run soon.

We ate our lunch at the nearby Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve and continued along the dirt road, oddly named Blue Heaven Road, looking for Salero Road to cross the creek and return to the paved Rt. 82.     The creek was running high and we found the connector road was closed at the creek so we had to turn around and go back the way we came.    We stopped in the "downtown" area of Patagonia for a quick ice cream before continuing our drive to Patagonia State Park. 

We have stayed at this small park before and found the campground not to our liking.   We thought it may have been the circumstances, or our particular site that left us with a bad taste in our mouths so we wanted to check it out again.

The lake is pretty, the area is interesting to us but, once again the campground left us cold.   It is small and far too crowded for our tastes.    Ah well.

We took Lewis for a long walk, leashed, along the lake.    No great romp for him but at least he got a chance to stretch is legs and see new sights. 

We saw lots of assorted ducks and Coots, Cormorants and a large group of Mergansers.

We got back to Beluga 10 minutes before we were due at Gay and Joe's for dinner.     We only had to walk down a few sites to arrive, so we made it with time to spare.    We had a nice time chatting with Gay and Joe, Pam and John and we all enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner complete with Lemon Chess Pie from their resident lemon tree.   Who could ask for more?

I only took one picture the entire time we were there, once again, I'm bad with people pictures.   I even managed to chop little Jack's nose off in the shot (don't tell him)!

One of the reasons we like staying here in Tucson is that planes from nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and  the Arizona Air National Guard's F-16's do frequent maneuvers over our heads.   Yes, they'e loud and that bothers some people, but not us.   One or the other of us is always racing outside or jumping up from our chairs to see what's flying over.      This weekend the regulars have  been joined by historic military aircraft flown by civilian pilots in a certification course to practice flying in formation together.     It's loud and it's exciting to watch.    The skill of these pilots is unbelievable. 

We're breaking camp in the morning.   After a one night stop in Congress, we'll arrive at our next destination, Boulder City, Nevada, on Sunday.     We spent the afternoon putting away the things we've taken out over our month long stay.    Chairs, tables, Lewis's nemesis - the fish eating rug, candles, plants, etc.      It's hard for Dave to concentrate.    Every time I look out the door to see what he's doing, this is what I see.....

eyes on the skies


  1. We've stayed at Patagonia Lake and found only a couple of sites that offer a reasonable amount of privacy. Even though the lake is pretty, it's such scrubby terrain! But we did see our first Elegant Trogon there, so it holds a special place in our hearts. As I recall, Lewis is a good hummingbird attractant -- you have photos to prove it. :-))

  2. Sorry you didn't have more success at Paton Center for Hummingbirds. Looks like a lovely place to visit. Safe travels.

  3. Patagonia is so on the list...hope to spend a day there next week. It’s been fun having you, Dave and Lewis right down the street...always a pleasure to spend time with you! Safe travels and see you in Moab!

  4. We enjoy the flyovers also as the various pilots practice their formations and maneuvers. The Blue Angels are in El Centro now, and we hope to see them on the way to Spring Training.

  5. Your bird pics are so great. I can never seem to get focused quick enough to catch them! With it being the only "real" water in the area, Patagonia is always more crowded than I'm comfortable with. But it's our friend's go-to fishing spot so I know we'll end up there eventually. Darling pic of Gay and Dave - looks like it was warmer :-) Hope you've had safe travels with the increased winds. See you in BC!