Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Patagonia Lake State Park AZ

Feb 23, - Feb 28 2012
Spent a week at Patagonia Lake State Park AZ. I arrived at the campground about noon on Wed. It was quiet and peaceful with lots of birds in the trees, just as my friends who visited here a couple of weeks ago had promised. Then the parade started. Little did I know, there was a rodeo in Tucson and the schools were out Thurs and Fri. Guess rodeos are a big deal around these parts.The RV’s started lining up at the gate, each with a minimum of 5 children each. The campground soon filled to capacity with adults and children whose sole purpose seemed to be to make my camping experience as unpleasant as possible. They didn’t seem to be camping to enjoy the natural surroundings. They were in 24 / 7 party mode. I don’t get it. They could stay home and party. Why come to a campground and be loud and obnoxious. Oh well, I spent Fri, Sat, and Sun grocery shopping, doing laundry, and visiting other sites and birding places in the area. I also found a few Javelina or Collared Peccary. They are the only wild, native, piglike animal found in the United States. By Sunday afternoon there were just a few other campers and myself left to enjoy the solitude. I spent the next couple of days photographing the birds in the campground.

Area surrounding Patagonia Lake State Park AZ

Javelina Baby

Javelina Adult

Eurasian Collared-Doves
 Vermilion Flycatcher 

Broad-billed Hummingbird

Mexican Jay

Lark Sparrow

Violet-crowned Hummingbird

White-winged Dove

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Feb 22, 2012 Wed
Drove all day yesterday. I spent the night in Benson AZ on my way to Patagonia State Park AZ.
I was checking out the birds in the campground when I couldn’t believe my eyes. About 100 feet from my campsite was a Pyrrhuloxia. This is the first one I have ever seen. I’m excited.
Pyrrhuloxia Male

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lighthouses on Lake Havasu

Feb 19, 2012 Sun

The gang went to Mud Sharks brewing Co for dinner. Of course we had to sample the local brew. Linda and Carole sampled eight different brews. A good time was had by all.

Gang at Mudsharks in Havasu

I found a few of the lighthouses along Lake Havasu today.
The Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club was first formed in 2000, when a group of boaters wanted to improve the navigational lights on Lake Havasu. Since then, replicas of famous lighthouses have popped up along the shoreline of Lake Havasu. Eventually there will be 20 lighthouses, including some on the CA side of the lake.
The Wind Point Lighthouse was completed in 1880 and is located 3.5 miles north of Racine to assist navigation around the point into Racine Harbor

Location: Alpean, Michigan; Lake Huron; Thunder Bay River Entrance
Station Established: 1877
The orginal Split Rock Light is located on the North Shore of Lake Superior near Two Harbors Minninsota
The Vermilion Lighthouse was built in 1847 in Lake Erie


Feb 18, 2012 Sat
The Western Pyrotechnic Association (WPA) put on a fireworks display at Lake Havasu tonight. WOW!! It was a wonderful display. We all piled into cars and trucks, drove to the park, and braved the chilly AZ evening to view fire in the sky.

FreeWheelers in AZ

Feb 17, 2012 Fri
Visited with FreeWheeler friends that arrived  yesterday and today. Had munchies in Pat and Coleen’s BIG 5th wheel – all eight of us.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bill Williams NWR AZ

Feb 16, 2012 Thur
After an early morning run into town to do a little business at the credit union, I picked up Mary and we drove out a dirt road in the bill Williams NWR. We didn’t see the Nutting's flycatcher everyone is excited about, but we did see several Phainopeplas and a few ducks and various waterfowl.

Male Phainopepla
Female Phainopepla

Clark's Grebe

Yes they all have red eyes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Feb 15, 2012 Wed
I gathered my laundry and loaded it in the truck and was about to take it into town when I heard the tap tap tap of a woodpecker. I grabbed the binoculars and found a ladder-backed woodpecker in a Palo Verde tree on the hill behind my trailer. Then I grabbed the camera.

When I returned from the laundromat, it started to rain. I don't know if it was the sound of rain drops on the roof or the big fish and chips lunch I had in town, but I had a nice nap.
Later Linda, Carol, Woody and of course Lucy Blue came to visit and we had a nice walk around the campground.

Feb 14, 2012 Tues
Happy Valentine’s day. I drove to Cattail Cove State Park today. Mary is staying at Alamo Lake one more night and then she will join the gang at Cattail Cove. I set up camp and then drove into town to shop at Staples for a case for the new computer. I picked up a wireless mouse and flash drive while I was there.

Aerial maneuvers in the desert

Feb 13, 2012 Mon
Mary and I took a trip to Wickenburg. She had not been to the western museum and I wanted to go back and see a photo exhibit of Arizona ghost towns. The museum was just as enjoyable as my first visit.
When we got back to camp we built a fire and the air show started all over again. This time the sky was clear and you could follow the lights of the planes as they raced across the sky and made their sharp turns. We kept seeing very bright flashes over the horizon. I think they the planes were maybe firing missiles, but we didn’t see any traces or hear the explosion. We just saw the huge flashes of light.

Alamo Lake State Park AZ photo

Feb 12, 2012 Sun
Mary arrived today. We drove up to the observation point above the damn. There was a marker that gave the history of the area and the building of the damn to create the lake. We were later given quite an air show. It was cloudy and hard to spot the high altitude maneuvers, but the speed and noise of the planes provided some entertainment
Artillary peak and Alamo Lake AZ

Road runner photos

Feb 11, 2012 Sat
I thought I was in the boonies before. Today I drove to Alamo Lake State Park. From where I had just camped I drove another 6 miles up highway 60 and then turned on a narrow, paved road and drove 40 miles until the road ended at the state park. Now THIS is out in the boonies. No cell service or internet. Sorta weird finding a large lake at the end of a road in the middle of the desert. After all the brain drain setting up the new computer I decided to sit in my chair and stare at the lake for the remainder of the day. Of course I set up the camera gear just in case. I was just about to fall asleep in my chair when I heard the call of a roadrunner. It was very close. I stood up behind the camera and the little beep beep came strolling through my campsite. At one point it was so close all I could get in the frame was it’s head. How cool was that? Just after sunset the coyotes began their chorus. Then they were joined by a wild burro. Quite an interesting blend of voices. Well maybe blend wasn’t the correct word. 
Beep Beep

Feb10, 2012 Fri
Spent the day learning more about the new computer and software. Brain drain.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Making progress with new computer

Feb 8 -9, 2012 Wed
Loaded Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 on the new computer. Loaded software for the Buffalo External backup drive on both computers. Downloaded all photos from the old computer to the backup drive and from the backup drive to the new computer.
Finish doing laundry at 8:00 pm. I’m tired.

Out in the boonies

Feb 7, 2012 Tues
Drove 40 miles (one way) to get a prescription filled, grocery shop, and get the truck washed. I’m really out in the boonies.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Life will be boring for a few days

Feb 5, 2012 Sun
Drove to an RV park and paid a lot of money to stay one night because they have TV and I can watch the super bowl. Not sure why – I don’t even care who wins. The game was OK, the half time show was OK, the ads were OK. I liked watching “The Voice” after the super bowl better than the super bowl.

Feb 6, 2012 Mon
Drove to the same RPI park I stayed in Jan 23 – 29. I tried to get in the park in Havasu, but it was full. Oh well. I need to lock myself in my trailer and set up my new computer. It has a different operating system and I need to load new software and transfer files from my old computer and set up an external backup drive. Hope all goes well.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Gourd Festival Casa Grande AZ Photos

Feb 2 - 4, 2012 Thur, Fri, Sat, The Gourd Festival at the Pinal County Fairgrounds AZ
Thurs - Drove to the penal county fairgrounds today to join the AZ chapter of RVW. The fairgrounds is hosting a gourd festival this weekend. It’s very windy. Mary Brumfield is also here. Pat and Colleen will arrive tomorrow. Mary and I visited the Casa Grande ruins. It was inhabited about 1300 AD by Native Americans. The visitor center has some very nice displays about how life was then and about the natural history of the area.
Fri - The Gourds at the festival are beautiful. Some are museum quality. There are many “master carvers” at the show.It's hard to get the sense of quality of the carving from these photos.

Sat - The main stage at the show has entertainment going on all day. A bluegrass band was playing and ask if anyone wanted to play washboard on a song. Some members of the AZ chapter who shall remain nameless, convinced me to volunteer. So I played the washboard. What a hoot that was and what a privilege to play with such a wonderful band.

Wash Board Judy
Then at 3:00 we watched the “running of the gourds”. There was junior and senior competition. The contestants made little race cars out of gourds and raced them down an inclined track. The kids were really excited when they won. What fun for the kids.

The running of the gourds

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Organ Pipe National Monument Wildlife Photos

Feb 1, 2012 Wed
Mary and I retraced the 20+ mile road in search of the Canyon Towhee we saw yesterday, but no luck. It was still a beautiful ride.
We later went over to the visitor center to see if there was anything interesting at the little pond behind the building. I only found one little lizard to photograph. We saw a hawk fly over and land in a nearby cactus. I grabbed the camera and Mary grabbed the tripod and we ran through the lobby and back out the front door. The volunteers probably thought we were crazy. We went around the building and the Harris hawk was still perched on the limb of a saguaro cactus. I got a great shot of it just before it took off.
Well that was my adrenalin rush for the day.
Red-tailed Hawk
Cactus Wren
Phainopepla Female
Gila Woodpecker
Harris Hawk