"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Madera Canyon and Great Horned Owl

 The desert is putting on quite a show now that cactus are beginning to bloom.
 The temps have been unseasonably warm in the upper 80s and seemed like a good idea to head to a higher elevation.  So we headed to Madera Canyon south of Tucson for a hike. 
 Southeastern Arizona's Madera Canyon is rated the third best birding destination in the United States. With fifteen species of hummingbirds, Elegant Trogon, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Flame-colored Tanager, 36 species of wood warblers, and over 256 species of birds documented, it is a "required" site for all serious birders.

There is a small reservoir holding the Bog Spring water. It could be part of the draw of the birds.

An area is set up along the creek of Madera Canyon so birders can sit and watch them come and go. I heard lots of different bird sounds but couldn't tell which was which. It turned out quite interesting just sitting and watching.

During our hike, I thought I heard turkeys.


Mexican Jay

More cactus blooms

I got the stitches out of the side of my face and have to say it doesn't look bad at all. The graft on my nose is still a bit scary looking. I have had a big white dressing on my face for 2 1/2 weeks now. Mike might not recognize me once it is all healed.
We are definitely getting the itch to be on our way. I am so glad that the doctor was able to get me all fixed up during the time we had planned to be in Tucson. 
In the evenings after dinner, we take a walk. I would hear an owl sometimes or so I thought. Last evening we ran into a 94 year old lady that looks like she is in her 70s and she pointed out the Great Horned Owl and it's baby. Tonight, we went looking at dusk and heard him in a different tree. Soon an entire group of people were watching them.

The birders around here have been giving us tips on where to see the birds. I did see an elegant trogon which is one that is a difficult find. No pictures it was flying.
 While riding along the Santa Cruz bike trail before it got too hot, we rode past 3 people on touring bikes with all of the  gear. I had to hear their story. After a brief interrogation, they asked where to have breakfast and we took them to the San Agustin Mercado. They are riding cross country from San Diego to Florida and loved the trail system here.

This handy bike shop is right on the Loop on the Santa Cruz trail.

Often in the mornings, we have coffee in San Agustin Mercado and people watch. This day was a young man practicing his juggling in the courtyard.
One more cactus in bloom before we go.



  1. Madera Canyon is one of our favorites for spring birding. So cool you saw the Elegant Trogon! Glad to hear that you're healing well. Eric just had surgery yesterday for a basal skin cancer -- the doc said he just barely avoided a skin graft -- he has LOTS of stitches!

  2. I hope Eric heals well. We do what we have to have this life outside.