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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Arizona Monsoon chasing, good eats and seeing beautiful hummingbirds

I did some Monsoon chasing in 2007 and will hope to do more in the future. I was in Tucson and southwest where I captured some pics (see below). Someday lightning shots .

2007 was my 2nd year down to Tucson during July to visit my (former business partner and ) friends. My main intent was for me to photograph and videotape 14 different types of hummingbirds near the Sierra Vista area. I had a grand time doing that for 2 days. Gosh I love those little birds!!

BTW it is called Beatty's Ranch and they have reasonable rates for their bungalows. Very nice owners. If you all are down that way try it out but check ahead beforehand for availability. Nice restaurants nearby in Sierra Vista (Asian, Italian and more).

When you are in around the Tucson to Phoenix to Scottsdale you can also try the following (as I did);

First get a AAA book if you have one or borrow one for Arizona. I also purchased and used the Frommer book for Arizona.

* The Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson with fabulous flora and fauna. (I can't believe of all that I saw I missed the gila monster which I've always wanted to see!). A must!
* The Kitt Peak telescope obervatory buildings and telescopes ( I liked it - hey I do astronomy too!)
* go for night walks (check locally) or at the Desert Museum
* Kartchner Caverns state park (south of Tucson) - I have spelunked in many area of the USA and someday I will go there
* Southeastern Bird Observatory (south of Tucson)
* Make sure you try one of the fabulous restaurants (Poca Cosa in Tucson is one I want to go to but 2 years straight they were shut down for a few weeks when I was there). I had one of the best meals at the J-Bar (very reasonable this time of the year!) with their pecan encrusted chicken, lamb appetizers and the incredible chocolate jalapeno sundae!

Don't ever try to go across streams in streets etc that are started by rains and monsoons. Last year they had a dramatic rescue on live TV of a woman who did this and her car had water all the way to the roof before she knew it. She was standing on the roof of the car and a helicopter airlifted her off before car went down the river.

N and west after the hummingbirds, I was trying to find another hummingbird havenin Patagonia. I had taken pictures from afar of a rainstorm a couple hours before. Finally I found the place and was rounding the bend to go over the streambed to the place. This is what it looked like.

The water had risen from nothing and a drybed to feet! So I could not see the hummingbirds at that place that day (it was across the road) as I had to get back to Tucson. But this was an eye opener about Monsoons!
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