Anna's Hummingbird in Arizona. Female Anna Hummingbird while birding in Arizona

Arizona Birding and Hiking

I’m from the woods…literally. The thought of hiking out in the desert never really interested me. A landscape void of pine, maples and birch made no sense. In April, I had a great opportunity to stay in Tucson, so after 37 years of never setting foot in a desert (sans Vegas) I flew out. My first day there I headed to Sabino Canyon for a 9 Mile hike. I proceeded to get bitched slapped by the desert and 4 hours later was brought down to my shaking dehydrated knees. I was scared for my body…the desert is no joke. I was humbled. After that ass kicking I decided to go birding the next day at Catalina State Park.

Birding is awesome…birding is cool. Here are a few of when I was peepin with some bird peeps for some ‘lifers.’ A ‘Lifer’ is a bird that someone has on their birding ‘Life List’ to see during their lifetime. I haven’t made a list yet, but it’s on my list of things to do.

Here are a few birds I peeped for the first time ever in Arizona.

-Blackhawk -Road Runner -Gamblels Quail -Wilson Plover -Lazuli Bunting -Pyrrhuloxia -Phainopepla -HummingBirds (Rufous, Anna, Black Chinned, Broad Tailed)

 

 

My last journey was to Chiricahua National Monument in Willcox Arizona. During the 1860-70’s was a hiding place for the Apache Indian’s led by Chief Cochise and Geronimo. I awoke at 4am in Tucscon and drove 3 hours East to catch sunrise there. This place most certainly had a presence to it. It’s tucked away in a desert town, down a desert road that makes you scared to run out of gas. As you turn the corner of the park, you see the structures appear like shadows growing with the morning sun. There are countless rock pinnacles formed from volcanic ash. Their presence is demanding and I found myself making very minimal and deliberate movements as to not wake them from a twenty seven million year sleep. I spoke softly if at all, only to thank this place for letting me walk upon it.

 

Arizona became a special place for me.

I came here seeking myself and answers I couldn’t see clearly.

I miss it like an old friend, with feelings unexplained. The quote below nails it.

How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you — you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences — like rags and shreds of your very life.’ ~Katherine Mansfield

A great horned owl with her babies birding in arizona
A Great horned owl in her nest with her baby owls in Tucson Arizona at Catalina state park
Great horned owl female in Tucson Arizona
A female great horned owl at Catalina State Park in Tucson Arizona
Gambel's Quail in Arizona, Birding in Arizona, quail
A Gambels Quail in Arizona, Birding in Arizona
A black chinned Hummingbird in flight in Arizona, Hummingbirds
A black chinned Hummingbird in flight in Arizona, Hummingbirds and Birding in Arizona
Anna's Hummingbird in Arizona. Female Anna Hummingbird while birding in Arizona
Anna’s Hummingbird in Arizona. Female Anna Hummingbird while birding in Arizona
White Wing doves in flight off a cactus at Catalina State Park in Tucson Arizona. Birding in Arizona
White Wing doves in flight off a cactus at Catalina State Park in Tucson Arizona. Birding in Arizona
Rock Climbers off of Mount Lemmon in Arizona
Rock Climbers off of Mount Lemmon in Arizona
Mountains off of Mount Lemmon Drive in Arizona
Mountains off of Mount Lemmon Drive in Arizona
Trail leading into the sun at Catalina State Park in Tucson Arizona. Black and White Mountains. Sunrise in Arizona
Trail leading into the sun at Catalina State Park in Tucson Arizona. Black and White Mountains. Sunrise in Arizona
Trail leading into the sun at Catalina State Park in Tucson Arizona. Black and White Mountains. Sunrise in Arizona
Trail leading into the sun at Catalina State Park in Tucson Arizona. Black and White Mountains. Sunrise in Arizona
Volcanic Rock Formation. Organ Pipe Formation, Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona.
Volcanic Rock Formation. Organ Pipe Formation, Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona.
Volcanic Rock Formation.  Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona.
Volcanic Rock Formation. Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona.
Prickly Love cactus in Chiricahua National Monument
Prickly Love cactus in Chiricahua National Monument
Top of Chiricahua National Monument. Finding yourself in Arizona
Top of Chiricahua National Monument. Finding yourself in Arizona
Morning yoga at sunrise in Catalina State Park Arizona. Sunrise Yoga. Outdoors Yoga
Morning yoga at sunrise in Catalina State Park Arizona. Sunrise Yoga. Outdoors Yoga
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2 thoughts on “Arizona Birding and Hiking

  1. Coll,

    Those are awesome pics. Nice read also!

    I watched Breaking Bad and if anyone ever ask’s me to meet them in the desert, I am not going!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Have a great day, Larry

    ________________________________

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