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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hanging with the birders in Patagonia Lake State Park

We really weren't familiar with this Arizona State Park until our friends, John and Chris, decided to become rangers here for the season. They invited us down. We hadn't seen them in quite a while since they too are on the road a good deal. We took them up on the offer.

The more south we traveled, the higher the mountains became and the trees began to show up.

This part of Arizona is a big draw for birders. Since it is so far from anywhere and the moon did not come out until almost dawn, there were more stars in the sky than I have ever seen.

It was spring break and the kids and families were at the beach or fishing along the shore. It was fun to see a dad walking the birding trail this morning with his brood in tow. At night, it got very quiet. I bet everyone was tired.

There was actually a sighting reported while we were here. 
This is a V.I.B. (very important bird) area.  There was an Ocotillo forest in Sonoita Creek. But with the dry climate and high elevation, they had not leafed out but had lots of buds that should be something to see now that it is supposed to rain today.
The Blackhawk Trail connected to the Sonoita Creek Trail and had several off shoots to extend the hike to 3-4 miles. It was a toasty morning so we called it a morning when we returned to the lake.

Once we returned from our hike, I felt the need to drive the 20 miles to the Mexico Border in Nogales to see the "Wall". It made me sad but far smarter people than me understand the need. I have taken care of border crossers that have had unfortunate circumstances that ended them in the ICU of the hospital I was working in Tucson. I am glad that I just have to take care of them as "people" and not have to make decisions about what to do with that entire situation.

The Wall

I like Ranger John's pimped out ride.

I didn't get a picture of Ranger Chris in her uniform but did get one when they came to have dinner at our "place". Then we spent the evening visiting next too the fire that John provided. The people we meet along the way make our adventure even better.

A male Vermillion Flycatcher 

Our morning walk along the bird path before we loaded up to head to Willcox.

The ladder back woodpecker was hard to get a pictures since he was speedy and after food. Do I sound like a birder? Not so much. These are pretty common here.

 Chris brought some great treats for desert from this bakery in Patagonia. We managed to find our way as we passed through this artsy town and got a couple of morning treats to get us the 90 miles for our next stop.

The winds were getting pretty strong as we arrived in Willcox. We were nestled between RVs once we got settled while the windstorm got stronger in the afternoon.
It was good to just take the afternoon and read and catch up on things since we had no internet or TV while at the lake.


  1. Beautiful header photo.
    Our friends just left Wilcox. Said the wind was terrible. Stay safe.

    1. The wind was horrible. Hopefully tomorrow will be better for Chiricahua.

  2. We've been a couple of times to Patagonia SP—that's where we first saw the Elegant Trogon. Even without the wonderful birding, it's an interesting tiny town in the middle of nowhere!

  3. The park sure looks like a desert oasis around the lake.