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Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Bird Lady gets suckered in

After an all day rain yesterday, I was ready to go somewhere this morning.  I packed a lunch and was on the road by 8:00.

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I headed towards Tucson to visit the western unit of Saguaro National Park.  What better place to view the iconic saguaro cactus?

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My first stop, of course, was the visitors center to get a map and watch the fifteen minute video.  I like comparing the different movies that are available at our national parks and refuges.  This one tied the saguaro to the beliefs of the native Americans that have lived here for centuries.  It professes their connection to the land, and how it must be taken care of.  I agree with that, but I had some difficulty equating that with the ‘Arizona Diamonds’ that line so many roads here.  Those diamonds are really broken pieces of glass from beer and liquor bottles.  How is that showing respect and reverence for the natural world?_MG_1169

I opted to take the auto tour loop.  I did do the nature trail hike that had scattered covered benches along the way.  I took advantage of those benches not so much to rest my back, but to get out of the rain storms that moved through. 

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I sat, looked, and listened as the video had suggested to truly appreciate this Sonoran desert to the fullest.  The sheer number of saguaro cactus that I saw along my tour today was enthralling.

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The drive was on unpaved roads, but even after yesterday’s rain it was passable in second gear in the Focus.  The five mile loop took me close to three hours to do.  I just crept along at a slow pace.

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The volunteer at the VC had suggested I have my lunch with a wonderful view at the Ez-Kim-In-Zin Picnic Area.  I was all for that.

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I made my way up to the best spot with my lunch bucket, camera, and walking stick.  My balance just isn’t what it used to be, so I was glad I had my stick with me.

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What a fantastic location for lunch!  After the blistering temps of the last week, it was a bit of a shock to have rather chilly winds blowing through the windows.  I was able to truly enjoy this spot without the hoards of people that are everywhere at Yellowstone, Zion, and Bryce.

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As I sat down to write this post tonight, it was just about sunset.  I glanced out the window towards my neighbors, and saw a great horned owl perched on the back air conditioner unit of their motorhome.  Cool beans!

Picture this… it was too dark for me to get a picture, but the silhouette was unmistakable with those ‘ears’ standing erect on the bird’s head.  I stealthily snuck out of the rig, and in a crouched stance slowly made my way over to Ralph and Sandy's rig.  The owl didn’t fly off.  Yes!  I lightly tapped on their door, and in a whisper told Ralph that he had a great horned owl on top of his rig.  He chuckled and said, “Yep, I put that fake owl up late this afternoon to keep the grackles from dancing on the roof.  They drive the cats crazy!”

OMG!  Talk about feeling like a fool!  He got me for sure.  Suckered me right in.  I’m guessing the grackles are smarter than me… Embarrassed smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

32 comments:

  1. Beautiful spot to have lunch. I love the Saguaros. Especially when they are in bloom. Funny story about the owl! :)

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  2. You and the owl is a great story!! I got to go to Saguaro when I was on the home in Feb 2010!! Great place!

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  3. Oh-ho-ho, Judy, that's a good one! You got suckered in for sure! Doncha just love the Sonoran Desert? You going to Organ Pipe this trip?

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  4. Laughing at your great owl story but I can totally see how in the dim light those ears would fool you. Pretty sure we' d be lucky to do 5 miles in 3 hours. We're professional take your timers. Sure hope we get to find out some day.Until then, keep those wonderful saguaro pictures coming!

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  5. Thanks for my morning chuckle!

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  6. Still smiling at the story of the owl ;-) What a great picnic spot ... in the Arizona heat that hideaway would be such a treat, and it comes with a view, too.

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  7. Too funny! It's a shame it wasn't real because they really are a beautiful bird. We enjoyed watching the mom and baby at our campground this summer. We are hoping that they will be back next year.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  8. How funny. I guess you didn't have to be quite as stealthy.

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  9. Sounds like the park was a lovely quiet place to visit (my kind of park) and okay the owl story was too funny.

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  10. Hoot! Hoot! Now, that is a truly funny story.......thanks!

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  11. So did you get a photo of the great horned owl?

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  12. Good Owl story...I was so excited for you! Funny neighbors. Love the cactus! :)

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  13. I can't wait till we get back to the Sonoran desert this winter. I love that place.
    HAHAHA...love the owl story. What a hoot :)

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  14. hahaaaa ... I was suckered by the fake owl too ~ I was so proud of myself for not scaring the owl away taking his picture... uh, ma'm? ... yes... that's a fake owl... ah

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  15. ha ha. . .good one! Great park too. . .enjoyed your tour!

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  16. That is a great story. We got to see a nesting Great Horned when we stayed in Tuscon a few years back so I would have been lured in just like you. What a great chuckle on a rainy day.

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  17. Great pictures of the park! We also took the auto tour, it is an amazing place, not counting the litter bugs. I can only imagine your expression when you got the fake bird report:)

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  18. If my memory serves me correctly...the saguaro has to be at least 75 years old before it gets an arm.

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  19. Thought of you the other day when I bought a piece of chocolate covered sponge candy in Oshkosh. It didn't taste that great to me, I'm sure the stuff you buy is better.

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  20. Your day reminds me of many days Joe and I have spent in the exact same spot and along the scenic trail. My first experience seeing a saguaro was one I will never forget!
    I was on the edge of my seat reading the owl story...what a hoot you are!

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  21. Judy, you were 5 min from my house. But don't give up hope on the great horned owl, they are here. We have one that visits us every know and then and red tailed hawks are everywhere.

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  22. That picnic pavilion looks like it was made by the CCC....

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  23. Love the photos--love the story! You are in one of my favorite Fall locales. It costs money, but if you haven't walked Sabino Canyon on the NE side of Tucson, it is worth it. And when you see the Phaiopepla, say hello for me.

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  24. Can't stop laughing! What a hoot.

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  25. We enjoyed this NP so much. After creeping through it in our car, our jaws hurt from our mouths hanging open awestruck at the amazing beauty. I still can't understand the several cars that blew by us at pretty high speeds, what were they thinking?

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  26. Those Saguaro are majestic. Don't feel bad about the owl- lots of people have them on their balconies here and I have looked at more than one through binocs.

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  27. Nice Post.Thanks for Sharing this in your Blog

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