Douglas, Arizona – January 2023 – Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area

The Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area is about 15 miles north of Douglas, Arizona and the Mexican border.

We passed fields with Sandhill cranes foraging as we drove south to the site.

As we arrived the first wintering birds we found were the ubiquitous snowbirds and their RVs, all with out of state license plates. Fortunately we were able to find a place to park and start the short hike down to the wetlands.

The area is known as a winter home for the Sandhill cranes but other wildlife spend time here as well, including this Northern Shoveler ducks.

The cranes all take off at dawn and return around noon. We arrived about 11:30 so most of the birds present were Snow Geese, with a few of the cranes hanging out in the background.

A short time later a hawk flew over, causing the geese to take off en masse. It was an impressive sight and sound.

Eventually the Snow Geese settled back in, and the show of the thousands of cranes returning began.

Each wave appeared to settle in different areas around the wetlands.

Wave after wave kept returning. They estimate there are 20,000-30,000 cranes in this area.

Some settled in close enough for very clear photos (with a 400mm lens) of their resting spots.

The cranes are scheduled to leave in March, but if you have the chance to check out the scene before then it is a very impressive sight.

Cochise County, Arizona – November 2022 – Ramsey Canyon Fall Foliage

While most of Arizona is known for the hot desert landscape there are places where in just a few miles, or feet in elevation, that changes completely. One of those areas is Ramsey Canyon near Sierra Vista, less than 10 miles from the Mexican border in the Huachuca Mountains.

Because of a spring feed stream, high canyon walls and an orientation facing northeast, the canyon has numerous sycamore and maple trees – very un-Arizona like.

The creek bank has even more wetlands vegetation.

The Ramsey family had settled in the canyon around 1900 and over the years built a couple of cabins.

As you hike through the preserve and climb up just a few feet above the stream you quickly go back to more typical Arizona landscape.

While in some spots the desert like landscape is integrated with the wetlands.

The canyon is home to lots of wildlife.

The trip back down the canyon to the visitor center returned us to the colorful foliage. Ramsey Canyon is a great destination for a different look at Arizona.

El Calafate, Argentina – January 2020 – Flying Away in Southern Pategonia

You have seen the Patagonia jackets, but how many people know where it is? Well, it is in the far south of Argentina, and El Calafate is in southern Pategonia – not that far from Antarctica.

With a few hours to spare before our flight, we stopped by the Laguna Nimez Nature Preserve. It is a beautiful area along the shores of Lago Argentino, with grasses, flowers, and birds.

Buenos Aires – January 2020 – Saturday Wanderings

A Saturday in the city with some random sights.

As usual, we arrived at Retiro Train Station. Today however I noticed that on the side where the long distance trains leave from there is a series of murals.

There are a number of these vintage platform kiosks scattered about the station.

Moving on we passed by one of the colorful buses, commonly known as Collectivos – private bus companies, In the background is the National Congress Building.

Our final barrio was Puerto Madero. Once docklands, then vacant for 40+ years, it is now the newest neighborhood in the city – with the tallest buildings.

The ship ARA Uruguay is a floating museum. It is thought to be the largest ship of it’s era still afloat – more than 140 years old having been built in 1874.

A first for me – a monument to taxi drivers.

The promenade goes along what was once the riverfront. It has been reclaimed and is now a nature preserve.

There are a number of food trucks along the way, but none served cerveza. Fear not – the mobile bar is ready for you!

The area is known as Costanera Sur.

With your back to the city it feels as though you are in the middle of the tropics.