Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sonoita Patagonia Road Trip

On Saturday when we awoke it looked like a good day to do a little road trip and see some Arizona countryside... so we picked up Stanley, our local Tucson friend and headed south together.  

Less than ten miles east of Tucson we turned south on Highway 83 towards Sonoita.

Between I-10 and Sonoita the country side is mostly grassy ranch land.

And the "Welcome to Sonoita" sign tells us this is cowboy country.

We saw several windmills along the highway pumping water for cattle... but we saw very few critters and no cowboys.

What we did see however, was an amazing compound of Border Patrol vehicles... over a hundred 4-wheel drive trucks, SUV's and cars were in this lot in Sonoita, not counting those that were actually out on duty today.  This is does not include similar huge lots of vehicles in Nogales, Green Valley and Tucson.  Do you see something wrong with this picture?  Maybe a tad of overkill?  Do you think some of the cowboys have joined the border patrol?

I love these metal cut out signs... so professionally done.

The closer we got to Patagonia the  more scrubby brush and cactus we saw.

There used to be a railway line thru Patagonia... 

But the only evidence remaining today is this old train station.

Stanley, an avid world-wide birder, guided us down a street to this famous hummingbird preserve with a variety of about 70 different kinds of birds that can be seen here daily.  I have never seen anything like it.  Stanley says this place is written up in birding magazines and books, so people come here from all over the world to enjoy the birds.

I shot a couple of hundred pictures here and thoroughly enjoyed our time.  

These birds are used to trying to get food intended for other birds... like this Bullocks Oriole who wishes he had a longer and thinner beak so he could get some of the hummingbird's sugar water.

Or this Gila Woodpecker, who wants the seeds intended for smaller birds.

There is not enough space to include all the different birds I shot photos of... like this mourning dove.

It was interesting to see all the people with cameras and binoculars focused on the birds.

I took several shots of sycamore trees... and they were very close to breaking forth in leaf.

And while Shirley was shooting close-ups of bark in Paris, I am in Patagonia also shooting tree bark.

My photo of the day was taken as we were heading out of Patagonia, Stanley spotted a couple of longhorn critters in the field.  I climbed over the fence and shot about 85 photos of them... getting scary close.  This shot was my favourite.

My guess is that there must be six feet from tip to tip on their long horns.


  1. Two hearts that beat as one -- seeing you guys *both* shooting pictures of tree bark on opposites of the world made me smile. I guess I had no hope -- I was bound to get the nerd gene.

    I also smiled because I remember when you guys came back from your Europe trip (late 70's?) with all those pictures of flowers.. Like, hundreds of pictures of flowers. What a wonderful way to fall asleep. These were the slide-tray days, before the interwebs and picture-viewing as a largely voluntary activity.

  2. Sherwin, what great them. And your bark is beautiful...and the long-horns and the metal signs...everything. We must go back together some time and shoot again. Love it.

  3. Oh yes, and the it.

  4. Definitely jealous of your hummingbird time! Beautiful.

  5. Love the photos of the birds and cows.