Friday, June 11, 2010
For a much belated honeymoon, Nikki and I decided to take the week before memorial day off and drive out to Southeastern Arizona. This is perhaps the premiere area for a naturalist in the United States, with a high diversity of birds, herps, mammals, insects and plants (not so much if you are an ichthyologist however). This region has been calling to me ever since I first got involved in birding some 20 years ago. Any glance in a birding magazine and you will likely see some mention of this region, calling to birders with its special birds with Mexican affinities, trogons, hummingbirds, owls, warblers! It was something of a dream trip for me, and Nikki was enthusiastic as well because it is perhaps also the best place in the United States to view lizards! So with bags packed and camping gear ready we left Stillwater on May 16th for the long drive towards Portal, Arizona and our first destination the exotic sounding Chiracahua (Cheer-wa-cow-wha) Mountains. Homeland of Geronimo and the other Chiracahua Apache. One look at the above photograph (of the cliffs at the entrance to Cave Creek Canyon) and you may gain an understanding of why the Chiracahua Apache fought so fiercely to protect this land.