|Buckskin Mountain State Park, Parker Strip, Arizona (near side of the river)|
|Jay and his birthday gift - "Albert"|
Four days are scheduled for golf, three at the beautiful Emerald Canyon course, and one day for a par-3 tournament at Havasu Springs.
|Some of the gang, at Emerald Canyon|
|Around the Campfire|
The Buckskin Trail leads from the campground up into the Buckskin Mountains where the sparse vegetation of the Lower Colorado Valley Subdivision of the Sonoran Desert is dominated by palo verde trees, brittlebush, creosote bush, cholla, beavertail prickly pear cactus and red-spined barrel cactus. A few lonely saguaros punctuate the skyline. Birds up here away from the river include the lovely little black-throated sparrow, Costa's and Anna's hummingbirds, verdins, kestrels, turkey vultures and ravens. Lots of little lizards scampered off the trail as I approached. But if I stopped and stood still, so did they. Some even let me take their portraits.
|Black-throated sparrow on cholla|
|Red-spined barrel cacti|
|Beavertail Cactus in Bloom|
|Lizard all dressed up in breeding colors|
|Wildflowers along the Buckskin Trail|
There was lots of talk in the camp about a rare bird sighting just up the road in the Bill Williams NWR. Nutting's flycatcher, an unusual visitor from Mexico, had been seen every morning, right about mile-marker-2 on the Bill Williams road. So, coffee in hand and dressed in layers in the chilly morning, Jay and I decided to take a look and see what all the fuss was about. Jay was watching his odometer to make sure we got to the right spot, but there was no need. The moment we came over a hill to the 2-mile marker, there were half a dozen cars and birders with their scopes and binoculars already in place. Wouldn't you know that the bird had been there just minutes before, showing off and singing too. So, I settled in for the wait, hoping he would return. Meanwhile, a very vocal canyon wren entertained us with his singing and antics on the sheer rock cliff on the other side of the road. Verdins, Gila woodpeckers, black-tailed gnatcatchers, a variety of sparrows, phainopeplas and warblers also kept the group busy. Finally, the famous guy made a reappearance, but left me somewhat unimpressed. He looked a lot like an ash-throated flycatcher, and had the 'experts' not been there, I would have perhaps made that ID mistake. There was no mistaking the javelina that crossed the road right near us! Wildflowers were much more in evidence here in certain areas.
|Wildflowers in the Bill Williams NWR|
|Bill Williams River|
The time ended much too soon and before we knew it, we had to head our separate ways. Until we meet again right here next year.
Here's wishing you happy days spent with friends, and a little silliness too!
|Barry, Carole, Pat and Shellie - Winners All!|