Thursday, May 3, 2012

Parker Canyon Lake

Sonoita is one of those places that seems to have it all. Stunning mountain vistas, amazing grasslands and lots an lots of blue skies. On this trip out there we decided to take the drive through Coronado National Forest to Parker Canyon Lake. The lake which is man made covers 130 acres and is surrounded by hiking and camping opportunities and also seems like a pretty good place to bird watch although the winds were blowing at a pretty good clip keeping allot of the smaller species grounded.

This first pic is of the Santa Ritas from route 83. I believe that the tall peak is Mt Wrightson with Madera Canyon on the other side. Mt Wrightson is quite impressive especially from Madera Canyon.

We did not see any Pronghorn Antelope on this trip but we have seen them on several other trips to the area. I love the visuals of the sweeping gasses blowing in the wind and being able to see sometimes for miles without interruption.

One of the ways that this area has moved away from cattle ranching is it's wineries of which their are quite a few. We have not visited any of them but the ones that we have driven by offer wine tasting and tours which should be interesting.

I can never resist stopping to photograph horses and this drive through Elgin Arizona takes you past Whisper's Sanctuary a non profit featuring 26 acres referred to by it's owners as "a place of peace and healing for horses and other animals".

The sanctuary is located at the Double R Heart Ranch in Elgin and as you can see from the pictures it was very windy. You can read more about Whisper's here:

The lake is really nice and is only a few hours from Tucson but I will warn you at times the road feels endless and there is not much out there once you get into Coronado National Forrest.  Just the way I like It.

The wind was strong enough to produce white caps and the larger birds including about a dozen Turkey Vultures and at least one Gray Hawk spent their day soaring in the wind and having a grand old time doing it.

We also spotted one Great Blue and a dozen or so American Coots on the water. Unfortunately I did not get a pic of the Great Blue as the coots scared him off chasing each other across the water.

The views of the Huachuca Mountains are spectacular and just about everywhere you look is something to photograph. There are amazing examples of Arizona Ash and Oak along the road and the High Desert Grasslands are expansive and beautiful.

I should caution you to keep your speed down as the road is not that great and occasionally you will come across a cow or two laying in the road as some of this is still open range which means the cattle are free to roam even in the roadway.

This is the Canelo Cowboy Church which used to be the old school house. Just one of those pieces of history that are dotted across the countryside here in extreme Southern Arizona.

1 comment:

  1. I have never been here....this would be fun to check out. Beautiful area! Thanks for the info. Chris