4/29/2012

Sky Island - Ramsey Canyon

Much of the beauty in Cochise County is linked to its mountains, which are part of the sky island region.  Haven't heard of sky islands before?  These are mountains that are forested and surrounded by  " seas" of desert and grasslands.  This area provides a unique habitat for wildlife of all sorts. There are stories of jaguars in our area, along with sightings of many rare birds. The sky islands represented by the Huachuca Mountains are quite near our home and we take advantage of hiking the trails throughout the region every chance we get.  The Huachucas are where the Sonoran and Chihuahan deserts converge which creates a unique biological environment.

Probably our favorite sky island area is Ramsey Canyon, which is part of the Nature Conservancy.  In many ways it reminds me of Letchworth State Park because of its beauty and the peacefulness that is felt the moment you step from your car.  If you need a place away from the hustle and bustle of life and absolute stillness (only birds and trickling water sounds) this is the place to be.  The high walls of the canyon provide protection for birds and wildlife of all sorts.  Its claim to fame is the variety of hummingbirds that frequent the woods.  Feeders are set up in strategic locations near the visitor center with lots of benches for easy viewing.  On a good day you can identify 6-8 different species of hummingbirds.  They are like glittering jewels that buzz from feeder to feeder, bullying other hummers out of the way.  Hummingbirds are feisty and easily annoyed.  The black-chin species and the Rufous frequent my own feeders, and they will dive bomb you if you are too close to the feeder.  Trails meander beside the year around creek, past a couple of old cabins, and across a bridge or two.  The docents at the visitor center are pleasant and helpful.  They always have up to date information on bird sightings and wildlife in the area.

One of the most spectacular sights I was privileged to have, was glimpsing an Elegant Trogan which is a brilliant red, black, and white bird.  Unfortunately I was not able to get a picture of it that day.  Small whitetail deer, turkeys, scrub jays, Arizona gray squirrels, lizards, and frogs are all part of most hiking scenery.  We've yet to see a black bear (which is fine by me), although I was disappointed to miss the cubs last summer. We introduced our grandsons to this wonderful place in November. It was a grand hiking adventure.




Every time we hike the canyon, whether it's just the easy trails or the more difficult Hamburg Trail up the mountain, I am reminded of Psalm 98.  "Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.  Let the rivers clap their hands, and the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord. "           

I'm including a Smilebox for your enjoyment of some of our local scenery. 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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Positively encouraging

4/29/2012

Sky Island - Ramsey Canyon

Much of the beauty in Cochise County is linked to its mountains, which are part of the sky island region.  Haven't heard of sky islands before?  These are mountains that are forested and surrounded by  " seas" of desert and grasslands.  This area provides a unique habitat for wildlife of all sorts. There are stories of jaguars in our area, along with sightings of many rare birds. The sky islands represented by the Huachuca Mountains are quite near our home and we take advantage of hiking the trails throughout the region every chance we get.  The Huachucas are where the Sonoran and Chihuahan deserts converge which creates a unique biological environment.

Probably our favorite sky island area is Ramsey Canyon, which is part of the Nature Conservancy.  In many ways it reminds me of Letchworth State Park because of its beauty and the peacefulness that is felt the moment you step from your car.  If you need a place away from the hustle and bustle of life and absolute stillness (only birds and trickling water sounds) this is the place to be.  The high walls of the canyon provide protection for birds and wildlife of all sorts.  Its claim to fame is the variety of hummingbirds that frequent the woods.  Feeders are set up in strategic locations near the visitor center with lots of benches for easy viewing.  On a good day you can identify 6-8 different species of hummingbirds.  They are like glittering jewels that buzz from feeder to feeder, bullying other hummers out of the way.  Hummingbirds are feisty and easily annoyed.  The black-chin species and the Rufous frequent my own feeders, and they will dive bomb you if you are too close to the feeder.  Trails meander beside the year around creek, past a couple of old cabins, and across a bridge or two.  The docents at the visitor center are pleasant and helpful.  They always have up to date information on bird sightings and wildlife in the area.

One of the most spectacular sights I was privileged to have, was glimpsing an Elegant Trogan which is a brilliant red, black, and white bird.  Unfortunately I was not able to get a picture of it that day.  Small whitetail deer, turkeys, scrub jays, Arizona gray squirrels, lizards, and frogs are all part of most hiking scenery.  We've yet to see a black bear (which is fine by me), although I was disappointed to miss the cubs last summer. We introduced our grandsons to this wonderful place in November. It was a grand hiking adventure.




Every time we hike the canyon, whether it's just the easy trails or the more difficult Hamburg Trail up the mountain, I am reminded of Psalm 98.  "Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.  Let the rivers clap their hands, and the mountains sing together for joy; let them sing before the Lord. "           

I'm including a Smilebox for your enjoyment of some of our local scenery. 

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own photo slideshow

No comments: