Thursday, January 8, 2009

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge

It's a good life when I can spend the day wandering around the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge.

Why not take an easy drive from Tucson and experience the unexpected shift in ones view. Good bye Sanora Desert...

Hello rolling grasslands and wide open spaces. Blue skies, gentle walks and excellent birding! It's truly breathtaking...

Here's a glimpse of what is waiting for you from there web site:
Visit a landscape of rippling grassland flanked by mountains, and riparian zones rich in bird life. Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge provides approximately 118,000 acres of habitat for threatened and endangered plants and animals. The semidesert grassland supports the reintroduction of masked bobwhite quail and pronghorns. Prescribed and natural fires play a major role in maintaining and restoring the sea of grass that once filled the Altar Valley. Riparian (wetland) areas along Arivaca Cienega and Creek attract an abundance of birds. Brown Canyon is nestled in the Baboquivari Mountains, where a sycamore-lined stream meanders through oak woodland.

Our first stop was the Headquarters and Visitors Center. After a quick stop there Phil and I headed down to a trail by Aguirre Lake. You'll need a dollar or two to purchase the map of the refuge. After about a decade or more with no water in these small lakes here water returned two years ago. There were plenty of water fowl to watch as we walked around the lake.

The views were majestic as we looked out across a grass valley out to these mountain range.

From there we headed over to the Arivaca Cienga Trail. This 1 and 1/4 mile loop is total magic! Most of it is on boardwalks that wander through a rare desert wetland. I was remiss in charging my camera battery and can barely wet your whistle. I was awestruck by the beauty here and am already yearning for a return. I have never seen such proud tall cottonwood trees nor so many hawks and eagles that played in them.

Did I mention Jaguars? Seriously Jaguar? WOW!

Come out and play!

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