For several years, Denis and I rented a cottage twice a year in the Mule Mountains outside of Bisbee, Arizona, in Cochise County. There is so much to see and do in that county: you're up to your ears in history and the Wild West, mining, ghost towns, national monuments and wildlife preserves, and the wildlife!
Denis and I spent so many hours in our Jeep high in the sky islands. (I love that phrase!) I remember the smell of wild onions at one mountain's summit, and the endless views for miles down into Mexico from another. Ramsey Canyon is a wildlife lover's heaven, and the shops in downtown Bisbee are so much fun to explore-- almost as much fun as some of the Apache hideouts like Cochise Stronghold and the Chiricahua National Monument. I could wax poetic about Cochise County for pages, but I won't.
I really want to focus on one area in particular, Whitewater Draw in the Sulphur Springs Valley. Here's a page of information from the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory (SABO). Each year in January, Denis and I would head to Whitewater Draw twice a day for one reason: thousands upon thousands of wintering sandhill cranes. And if you think I'm exaggerating, there have been over 20,000 sandhill cranes counted at Whitewater Draw each year. The sound of all those birds is-- once heard-- one that you will never ever forget. An added bonus is the fact that the Sulphur Springs Valley is one of the premier birding spots in the world, so you won't be seeing just sandhill cranes. Denis and I have seen mating great-horned owls backlit by a fiery sunset, phoebes and larks on reeds and fence posts, vermilion flycatchers darting into bushes, hawks diving into clouds of cranes, and so very much more.
Yes, I'm missing Cochise County at this time of year, so I thought I'd share some photos.
|Whitewater Draw with the Mule Mountains in the background. A Cochise County website asked me for permission to use this photo. Was I ever chuffed!|
I hope you enjoyed your virtual visit.
What a gorgeous, gorgeous place, Cathy! You must have richly enjoyed every minute, and I'm so glad you shared these. And I'm not surprised you were asked for the use of that 'photo - it's breathtaking. You really do have talent as a photographer!ReplyDelete
I agree that the sound of the Sandhill Crane flock is incredible and unforgettable. It is the essence of wildness.ReplyDelete
"The essence of wildness"-- the perfect way to describe it, Dorothy!Delete
Wow! What an amazing place. I can't imagine seeing that many Sandhill Cranes in one spot. Our church is nestled into a wooded hill and it has a pond on the front of the property. For some reason the Sandhill Cranes have chosen that pond to call their own when they are passing through. My son works at the church and one morning he heard some banging at one of the doors. Turns out the male Sandhill was fighting his reflection.ReplyDelete
Denis and I came back to the Jeep once when we were at Whitewater Draw to find a shrike taking exception to its reflection in the windshield.Delete
Sandhill cranes are so amazing! And so large when you see them up close. I was taking notes as I read your post about all the cool places in Arizona I now want to go and see! :DReplyDelete
I could list dozens more, Lark!Delete
So lovely a place. Too bad you can't return to that cabin. Is there another house available? Those cranes: Do they do crazy mating dances like some other cranes?ReplyDelete
There are other places available, but since we don't have our Jeep, transportation is the major problem.Delete
Wonderful photos thanks for sharing! I'd love to see Owls particularly though the cranes are incredible too. We loved the Bisbee area when we passed through years ago. A lot to see!! Will you be going back in the years ahead? cheers.ReplyDelete
We hope to be.Delete
Wonderful photos and memories! I may turn into a birdwatcher at this rate, and have definitely added places to my travel wish list from these posts of yours.ReplyDelete