Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back from Arizona!

Charlie and I spent the last few months birding in Arizona. We left on Christmas day, stopped for 3-4 days at Charlie's sister's in North Carolina, and arrived in Green Valley, AZ, on New Year's day.

We took Maggie and Kali along. For anyone who still believes that dogs and cats don't get along, the two of them traveled together in the crate in the back seat. For most of the trip they cuddled and used each other as a cushion for their heads. Occasionally, Maggie even groomed Kali--Maggie is sometimes more catlike than doglike.

I was surprised that these two little senior citizens traveled so well. Maggie, 13, usually pants and whines when I take her on short trips in the car around home. And I had no idea how Kali, at least 14, would react to being in the car at all. She had never traveled more than the 40 miles from where I used to live to where we live now when we moved. But they both settled right in and accepted whatever fate awaited them. I learned to try to get as much food and water into Kali as possible in the mornings before we set out each day. She refused to eat, drink or even use her litter box while on the road, even when we stopped for Maggie's walks and I let Kali out on a leash to walk about. But she made up for it all overnight at our motels.

We stayed in a rented condo in Green Valley. Maggie often went along on our birding forays, she hiked a total of 23.5 miles--a lot for a tiny little Chihuahua. She was everyone's darling, petted and fawned over by all. On one of our first bird walks in Madera Canyon, Charlie spotted a bobcat resting on a rock alongside the trail and scooped Maggie up, removing any possible temptation that big kitty might have felt.

Luckily Maggie didn't spot the bobcat--she'd have wanted to challenge it, as tiny dogs are wont to do with any furry critters larger than they!

She loves to lead our hikes. On the Super Trail in Madera Canyon, she stayed as far in the lead as her leash allowed. It's just too bad that she's too small to assist me up the hills....

During our trip we mostly birded, but I did get in a bit of botanizing too. I'll get into that further in a future article. I should be able to write many about this trip. From Sweetwater Wetlands and Tohono Chul Park in downtown Tucson, to Arivaca Cienega and Patagonia Lake near the Mexican border; from the roadrunner at the Biosphere to the Blue Mockingbird at Slaughter Ranch; and from Tanque Verde Greenhouse to Saguaro National Park...we spent a very busy two months. Elegant Trogon, Rufous-capped Warbler, Black-capped Gnatcatcher, Blue-chinned Hummingbird; chollas, barrel cacti, Arizona oaks, fairy dusters. So many new and wonderful things to see, so little time!

1 comment:

javadoug said...

Nice blog, some great photos - keep it up!
Doug B.