Tumacacori National Historical Park


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North America » United States » Arizona » Patagonia
March 19th 2020
Published: March 25th 2020
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blog 03-19-20 Tumacacori National Historical Park

Our first outing today was a little later than normal because it was so cold this morning. It was below 40 last night in the driving rain and we hunkered down in our little house and were toasty warm.

I took the car to the visitor's center to return a movie and get another one for tonight and got way-layed with all the bird activity. There were 2 very knowledgeable bird watching so I found out a lot about the local birds. There was an eastern cardinal pair in a bush and everybody was all excited to see them. They were extremely colorful but surely not new to me.

There was a black-chinned hummer feeding on the flowers that was new to everyone so all the cameras were pointed in his direction. The darn hummers are hard enough to capture in a picture but this one was a speedy devil. I did get a picture, blurry, but you can get an idea what he looks like.

There was a ladder-backed wood pecker they were all excited about. Again to me he looked like a downy woodpecker but I guess there are slight variations.

While I was talking to one couple we talked about our supplies during the confinement. They are staying in a cabin here and flying home on Saturday to Pittsburg. I mentioned I was down to 2 rolls of toilet paper and the man went in his trunk and gave me 2 rolls, they were going to leave them here anyway. So how lucky was that!!

Back at camp I had breakfast then Watson and I headed to the end of the camping loop to find a trail that leads to a bird watch area. With the morning sunlight it was a beautiful scene and the birds were very active. This is the upper part of the lake and there was a flock of ducks in the distance I couldn't identify. My camera battery needed charging so it was back home, and I was frustrated. Lesson here, charge the battery at night.

We walked on the lower loop of the camping area and as I passed a camper I said good morning and this nice gentleman asked if we wanted to sit a minute. So we distanced his 2 chairs and proceeded to have a lovely conversation. He and his wife were from Squim, WA and here for a week then moving on in the southeast part of AZ. They expected to be gone at least 6 weeks but they were going to be flexible with the uncertain state of the world. He was telling me how closed up everything is in WA, even the liquor stores. Now just a minute, how are we supposed to be confined to the house with all the kids and no liquor!!!

We said our good-bys and headed home, I had an excursion planned and Watson couldn't come along.

South on 82 to Negalos and north on I 19 for a few miles took me to Tumacacori where there is an historic mission that looks really interesting. The museum and gift shop were closed but the grounds were open and that's what I wanted to see anyway. It is the remains of a Spanish Mission Church built between 1800 and 1824 ,it took that long, when it was finally completed and dedicated. The missionaries did a wonderful job of educating the local Indians and Spanish residents to farm and raise livestock to help their lives to be better ones. It was build close to the Santa Cruz River and irrigation ditches were dug to water the crops. It was also surrounded by fruit trees adding to their diets.

Because of the Mexican/American wars the native people fled and eventually in 1854 the mission was abandoned.

I headed home and found a way not having to go into Negalos, but taking back roads that were like being on a roller coaster. I loved the ride in my car but not doing it in the camper.

I forgot to mention the snow. Yes, this morning the distant mountains had snow caps on them. Little did I know that my journey would take me to the other side of those mountains and there they are in the mission pictures.

Yesterday I bought an orange and stuck it in a tree to attract the birds. I cut it in half and stuck it in a nearby tree this morning and before long these cute little sparrows with orange tops on their heads were eating away. These little birds turned out to be Verdin. They look like they stuck their heads in the orange and the color transferred to their feathers. I thought it would attract hummingbirds but maybe they will find it too.

After I got home it was time for dinner and a rest. I'm still resting.


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