Thursday, May 22, 2014

Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge

Another wild and crazy adventure with my birding friends!  It seems that since I am the designated guide and driver, I have the ability to find these places where there is birds and scenery. I don't promise anything, but life is an adventure...don't ya know! This time Ellayne is busy with her East coast friends at the Grand Canyon, so Karen and I are out to discover places unknown (to us). I had seen signs to Buenos Aires, and since it was so close to home, it seemed a crime not to visit. Yesterday morning, Karen and I set off at 6 AM to beat the heat and wind. There were plenty of information posts and trails along the way, but here we are at the visitors' center, which opens at 7:30 and has restrooms. Thank you, Lord! Morning coffee and all. I wanted to identify our location, but there's Karen trying to capture all the swallows flying about. She collects pins for her hat and vest of all the locations we visit. We actually got to meet the young lady who designed the pins and t-shirts for Buenos Aires.

The visitors' headquarters was actually the ranch house for the area that was turned into the refuge. Below is the skeleton of a rattlesnake. Of course, I don't know how they did it, but I thought it was worthy of a picture.

Down the road from the center is Aguirre Lake when it rains: it was bone dry. You had to imagine a lake in the indentation of the land. From there, we headed east to Arivaca Creek Trail. We didn't plan to go far since this was just a recon tour for the fall season. Well, don't ya know, we got caught up in a fantastic walk full of birds and more....

This is a summer tanager with his back to me; the best I could do. If a bird flies in front of me, I'm lucky to get a good picture. I thought I was concentrating on this one.

My choice is flowers, so this is a white zinnia. You can tell that the wind has started to blow.

I love dead trees, and in the wild no one is going to take them away, so there they are for me to photograph. This is a cottonwood, but I don't understand why the bark is crackling. That's my only word to describe it. I guess it makes the woodpeckers happy.

All of a sudden there's a slight path going up the hill. Well, that looks like fun and different. Of course. it was. A burned ranch house with a cattle chute, barn, fencing and a toliet? Oh, that comes later.

Here, I'm trying to tell Karen that I want to do a picture of her through this window frame, and all she can scream is, "Look at that lizard!" Well there he is in the bottom right-hand corner.

We encountered four or five ranches along the road, and they all had cattle chutes. Some looked like they were abandoned, and some looked they were being worked. This one was on the burned out property from two different angles. This one obvious.

This one down the chute!

Oh! Here's the toilet to nowhere!

Below is Arivaca Lake. It is suffering some drought, but is still quite a bird paradise. Karen was snapping pictures like crazy.

Here's Karen. I think I asked to her to pose. I don't usually do that, but I was looking for a particular background, but settled for a nice photo.

Love dead trees! Big old cottonwood with the Santa Rita's and something called "Elephant Head" in the distance to the right. Without a glass of wine, you'd never be able to find it!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pow Wow

The Mission View RV Resort where I live is located on the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation as well as Xavier del Bac Mission. In early March they had their annual pow wow. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon with lots of clouds scuttling across the sky. I got there in time to see the performers get their numbers and line up for their entrance to the dancing circle. The emcee announced that pictures were allowed, but no video. I guess that allowed for the honor system, because with today's cameras you can't tell if a person is doing stills or video. All of the outfits are handmade. They are not called costumes, because that would imply that one is pretending to be an Indian, and, of course, all these participants are Indians. This I learned from a lady from Canada who had come south to warm up for a couple weeks.

The outfits had several categories and fringed dresses was one of them. Pictures were difficult to take, because the person you might be trying to shoot could be blocked by someone walking in front of your camera. So even using telephoto, you never knew what to expect.

This young lady was so photogentic and obviously enjoying herself. She had sequins and fringes.

These entrants are lining up with their numbers. I was blown away by how colorful the outfits were.

You only have to be able to walk or toddle in some cases and have the appropriate outfit. These two were just darling. The one girl seems to be somewhat shy, and is being led by the other one.

I took a lot of pictures of this young man. He was totally into it. Some sort of shuffled to the beat, but this guy pounded the dirt and moved his whole body.

The dance arena is located behind the church, so when I came out to the parking lot, I couldn't help myself. The clouds made the day!

This food area to the east side of the parking lot always does a good business, but today because of the pow wow, they were exceptionally busy, and the smell was wonderful.

Clouds automatically make an exceptional sunset. What a perfect ending to an exciting day!

These are a neighbor's petal cactus that were blooming in March. Everything bloomed early this year because of our mild winter. I'm slowly learning the different cacti and someday will be more specific in identification, especially when it comes to the different petals.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

March Madness

Well, I don't have any basketball pictures, even though, I am a huge fan, and New Mexico and Arizona did give us cause to cheer. I was expecting company from out of town and was busy scouting birding areas and other nearby tourist attractions. This particular Saturday I went to Catalina State Park north of Oro Valley. What a really great place for hiking and birding. They also have great areas for RV's. I took the birding path, because my Canadian friend Brock was soon to arrive. These were the pictures that I took on my walk.

You can barely see the moon in the arm of this saguaro to the left.

Looks like a nice easy path; however, it does change in the next picture. Instead of having you hike up a path, they conveniently constructed some stairs. Also got my shadow while taking the picture.

This is a view going up the other side. Hard to watch for birds while you're making your way, but the dedicated birders that I know would do just that.

So this is how insane life in Tucson can be. Of course, it grew without my permission, and right across the street from the State Park is the Oro Valley Market Place which is a really nice shopping mall. They were having a car show and one of my photography groups Shoot It Raw was meeting here to take pictures. There were hundreds of people there snapping away, and I never did find anyone from my group.
I have a fondness for Bugs as many others do judging from the shot.

My mom and dad had one of these Buicks only it wasn't a convertible.

Before NASCAR became popular, we always listened to the Indy Race on Memorial Day while doing lawn work in Albuquerque.

This is what I guess is termed as a "selfie." I don't know if the shadow counts as an added bonus.

Evidently this guy's wife insisted on having a Bentley. I guess I should have gotten a shot of the whole car, but the price was so staggering that my eyes glazed over...Hundred of Thousands! Yikes, back in 1999 to boot. Oh well, this is what make car shows interesting and taking pictures a bonus.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Another Desert Museum Day

Since my friend Ed Fenton was nice enough to take care of my flowers while Karen Keating and I went to Antelope Canyon last week, I took him to the Desert Museum, because he had never been. I promote the museum whenever I can, because I'm a member and they give us free guest passes and other perks like free ice coffee and tea when we want to take a break. We had an excellent docent as they all are, and Ed was impressed learning how to use his camera. At some point, I realized I didn't have my cell phone. Thinking I probably left it in the car, I didn't worry too much. After all, you know how seniors are! We left the docent to enjoy our coffees on the patio, and then did the butterflies and humming birds. The butterflies were non-existent, and the hummers were too fast for my mind that had already started to worry about my cell phone. When we got back to the car and searched for my phone by Ed calling my number and establishing that it wasn't there, my blood pressure must have been astronomical. I let the people at the ticket booth know what my problem was, plus the docents who immediately banded together by calling one another and putting the word out. Ed and I re-traced our path, and I really felt that someone would readily see a purple cell phone lying on the ground. The window people gave me a local Verizon number to call from their phone book, and we dejectedly returned to the car and decided to head to a Verizon store. I had a Verizon number to call, but the guy was in New York and hadn't a clue how to help me. My phone book number locally turned out not to be the store that I last visited. As we were headed to town, Ed's phone rang, and miracle of miracles, the phone had been found in the parking lot. The young lady at the entrance window had enough smart sense to call the last missed call, which was the time that Ed called so we could find the phone in the car. After retrieving the phone, we headed to Olive Garden for soup, salad and WINE. However, I did take a few pictures.

The above is a Western coral bean.

Same flower...different stage of bloom.

Can't stop taking pictures of plain old petal cactus.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

I'm Back

So, I've been viewing other blogs and everyone knows that there are a lot out there. Originally, my main focus was to let my children know where I was in my travels. Now that I've settled down this past year except for day trips and occasional long trips, I've been very lazy. I've been taking pictures left and right and making new friends without benefit of sharing. Shame on me. I plan to remedy that. By the same token, I plan to speak my mind from day to day about various things and maybe not show any pictures. I love Facebook because I can keep up with family, particularly my sister's family and my late husband's, but everything else is so in your Face. It's the good with the bad, and I know I have the option to modify what I see, but lazy must be my new modus operondi. Other things that are happening are that my motor home and Tracker are up for sale, plus the house in Elephant Butte. Tomorrow I'm taking another friend to the Desert Museum, because he's never been and I have lots of visitor passes. Plus it's a really great place. At this time of the year, you have to go early morning. Our temps are already heading into the triple digits.

Well, I guess I couldn't post without at least one picture. This is my friend Patrick Moore who recently visited me from Truth or Consequences. This is the top of Kitt Peak, an observatory west of Tucson. I had never been there. The scenery was truly incredible. Unfortunately, the telescopes that were on our tour were not working that day. Great pics and fun anyway.