Tag Archives: Southern Arizona

Birdland at Roper Lake, Arizona

I spent the past weekend camping at Roper Lake, a beautiful state park in the southeastern part of Arizona. The weather was wonderful, sunny and warm – very different from some of the more recent trips I’ve been on.

Yellow headed blackbirdI was amazed by all the different birds residing there; a flock of yellow-headed blackbirds, redwing blackbirds, cardinals, vermillion flycatchers, black ducks, doves, and others that I didn’t see or couldn’t identify. One evening I walked over to the lake and recorded these wonderful creatures as they began to settle for the evening.The only sound I didn’t capture was the deep “ribbits” of the bullfrogs. They sang all night!

I wanted to share the video here, but the file type is not allowed on WordPress…(unless I upgrade to a paid version.)

But here are some photos I took on the way home. I absolutely love the ocotillos when they are in bloom, and now is the season! I should create a journal of “photos through a dirty windshield”, which is what these were taken through. It seems I take a LOT of photos from the passenger seat!

Ocotillos in bloom cropped 2Ocotillos in bloom croppedBenson Dirty Windshield2

Note: Bird photo by Phil Myers –   photo taken at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon

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Tumacacori Fiesta 2014

Every first weekend in December, for 44 years, Tumacacori National Historical Park has presented two days of the Fiesta de Tumacacori. It’s a time when the community celebrates the cultural history and diversity in the Pima Alteria of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.

TumacacoriFor the past four years I have been a volunteer at this event. This past weekend I gave two days to assist, and I had a great time. In the past I’ve photographed the dancers, musicians, and awesome views of the Santa Rita Mountains.

This year as a greeter and representative at the Tumacacori National Park Service booth I had the pleasure of presenting a new focus for the Discovery Center. The Discovery Center is a section of the fairgrounds filled with booths of hands-on activities, from writing with a quill pen to inspecting chain mail to making adobe bricks.

This year, those who visited the Discovery Center booths could receive rewards for collecting stamps on the printed programs they received when entering the fairgrounds. On returning to the NPS booth they could choose their reward based on the number of stamps they collected. The rewards were a book for five stamps, up to nine, and a metal Tumacacori water bottle for 10 or more. The smiles and giddiness of the children, and even the adults who participated were wonderful. The most selected items were the Tumacacori cook book with recipes by staff and volunteers, and the water bottles. I think it was a very successful new program for the Fiesta.

I also enjoyed talking with the members of the U.S. Border Patrol who brought a couple of horses from their horse patrol unit. These are fabulous horses that are trained to track and detain persons illegally entering the U. S. over rugged terrain. They are also trained to be around people. I took these photos of a little boy reaching out to touch them.

Boy with Horse

Mustang-Draft and Boy2This brown horse is a mustang-draft horse, a very unique breed. He is very large and requires a large rider. Currently he is backup horse and not on regular duty.

Another activity for children is the piñata. Twice daily children could try their luck. This is one of the piñatas they opened.

Pinata2For two days there was cultural food and music and dancing and demonstrations of traditional crafts such as Tohono O’odham basket weaving, making cornhusk flowers, and making leather and horsehair rope. And on Sunday there was a traditional processional and mass at the Mission of Tumacacori church.
For more information about Tumacacori National Historical Park, the horses of the U. S. Border Patrol, and the Tohono O’odham people you can visit these sites.

https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrTceIL8oVUocsAWM0PxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTBsOXB2YTRjBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=yhs-mozilla-001&va=tumacacori+fiesta&hspart=mozilla&hsimp=yhs-001

http://www.nps.gov/tuma/historyculture/index.htm

http://www.tonation-nsn.gov/

http://www.borderpatroledu.org/2013/04/the-horses-of-the-border-patrol/