Thursday, March 17, 2016

Out of Arizona

With the mild weather this winter, we were able to spend much more time in the high elevation grasslands of southeastern Arizona. Even though every place should be appreciated for its own uniqueness, you can't help but compare this place to the grasslands of Africa.

Sarengeti Grassland

SE Arizona Grassland

Of course, the wildlife we saw is far different from the African continent, there were some striking similarities there as well.

African Grassland Wildlife
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SE Arizona Grassland Wildlife

Even the grasslands leading up to the mountains share a common look and feel.

African Mountain
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SE Arizona Mountain

We gravitated towards this region because for most people it is just too cold. A snow birder will look at you in horror if you told them you were wintering in a spot where it drops below freezing at night and rarely gets above 70 during the day (even if it is relentlessly sunny every day). Unfortunately, we missed that this year. With the mild weather, we spent the whole winter sleeping with our windows open at night. Regardless, the region is still almost deserted when it comes to snow birders, and we've been able to find dozens of new secluded boondocking sites that aren't blabbed about anywhere on the Internet or other common RV sources. We plan on spending a lot of time here in future years!

African Bird Flock
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SE Arizona Bird Flock

It's almost time for us to start our northern migration. We've decided to try out the colder, higher elevations of central Arizona next. Normally, the weather wouldn't allow it, but maybe this year, the Mogollon Rim and forests around Show Low, AZ will be open to us in March. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, but we just have great material out there to work with. All we use is a $100 Nikon point and shoot camera set to the "auto" scene function, and then just snap away. We don't use any software to manipulate the photos. That would be too much like work!

    2. Interesting comparisons. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
      Noticed the big ears (to increase the ability of hearing a predator coming) and long legs (both animals are quite fast), both grasslands yellowed in times of drought but plant life will survive nevertheless, and both flocks have long necks (to see above the vegetation). Evolution is always amazing. Also, your tendency to bring the camera low on both mountain shots, allowing for a clear view of vegetation and showing the mountain in all its majesty. You naturally aimed for the same shot and how much time lapsed for you between the two shots?
      The world is an amazing place. Thanks for the tour.

    3. I work hard at trying to see all places as unique, but it's always so tempting to make comparisons. I've always tried to take pictures with something in the foreground. I figure if it comes out in focus and comes close to doing justice to what we actually saw, it's a big win!