Westbound Leg--2009


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North America » United States » Arizona » Tucson
February 6th 2009
Published: February 6th 2009
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Welcome to our second travel blog which will cover a trip to the southwest US. This is an area we skimmed by last winter, but promised ourselves to revisit. Our hope is to learn more about the natural history and culture of this great region. The first major stop will be southeastern Arizona with a two week stay in the Tucson area. We expect to get as far west as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monum... Read Full Entry



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Balmorhea State Park.Balmorhea State Park.
Balmorhea State Park.

The park has a large, warm water spring that has been managed by the state and the EPA to support agriculture in the area but also to maintain adequate conditions for two species of endangered fish. A large swimming pool has been built around the spring. Some of the water is used to restore a freshwater marsh called a ciénega needed by the fish.
Balmorhea State Park.Balmorhea State Park.
Balmorhea State Park.

We were tempted to go swimming but the air temperature was fairly cool (the water temp is constant at about 75° F). Lynn and Moxie did find time to go for a run.
Cactus Country RV Park.Cactus Country RV Park.
Cactus Country RV Park.

One day late, we finally arrive at Cactus Country RV Park, just to the south of Tucson, about a mile off the main road in Sonoran desert habitat.
Cactus Country RV Park.Cactus Country RV Park.
Cactus Country RV Park.

We plan to stay here for two weeks, enjoying what some consider to be one of the most fascinating regions of the US for bird observation.
Cactus Country RV Park.Cactus Country RV Park.
Cactus Country RV Park.

The rv park has many trails that loop into the surrounding Sonoran Desert. A few pictures of some common desert birds follow.
Couple of Local Birds.Couple of Local Birds.
Couple of Local Birds.

The Cactus Wren is one of the more common desert birds, loud and, like most wrens, not too bashful.
Couple of Local Birds.Couple of Local Birds.
Couple of Local Birds.

The Curved-billed Thrasher is another common, vocal desert species, shown here enjoying some water.
Couple of Local Birds.Couple of Local Birds.
Couple of Local Birds.

A Pyrrhuloxia (a near relative of the cardinal) waits for a chance at the seed cake, dominated by a Curved-bill Thrasher.



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