Monday, February 5 (continued)
Roger and Reggie at Buenos Aires NWR, Arivaca, Arizona
The first walk from our new camp is an exciting adventure for the crew! I can tell by the energy in their steps and the way they hurry from new scent to new scent that they enjoy this exploration very much.
After passing several campsites, we venture down a spur road.
It’s a two-track road that doesn’t receive the maintenance of our camp road.
Apparently this road is a popular trail for wildlife.
Evidence of their passage through here is all over. The scat looks like coyote, yet — not to be too graphic — much larger than coyote scat. Also evident are hoof tracks, lots of them. Small, split hooves.
According to the refuge brochure . . .
“Resident wildlife include mule and white-tailed deer, javelina, pronghorn, and coyotes.”
I’m pretty sure the tracks we find are from javelina aka collared peccary. The tracks show scurrying.. Deer don’t “scurry.” Deer go gracefully forward.
On the other hand, javelina and pigs sniff and snortle the ground, moving here and there, and because of that their tracks are jumbled.
Yep, javelina is my guess.
“Hang on a minute, guys. Let me take another picture of you.”
One of the many things I like about boondocking at the refuge is there isn’t much cholla threatening to inflict pain to paws. Notice how much healthier this cholla looks contrasted with the cholla at our last camp south of Why, Arizona.
One is more likely to see prickly pear or this cactus (below) that grows under the protective boughs of the mesquite. Is this barrel cactus? (It has yellow fruit.)
Whatever it is, at the refuge it grows very large, larger than I’ve ever seen it in other locales. I found one that is four feet tall, over twice the size of this one.
Instead of creosote, ubiquitous to our recent camps and travels, tall grasses and mesquite trees are the most prevalent vegetation at Buenos Aires NWR.
A pleasant change for us!
On the return walk to camp, play breaks out.
Whenever we turn for home, Roger receives a jolt of happiness which compels him to jump on Reggie. Of course, Reggie gives it right back to Roger!
The sun is setting.
The boys remind me of my childhood days of summer when the best play was outside, running around on the lawn, laughing with my sister and cousins, until dark chased us inside.
The next photo shows one of the campsites along our road. Like almost all the sites at the refuge, it is level and very big.
It’s a joy to watch my boys play and run like this!
It’s as if they know bedtime is soon and they don’t want to waste one bit of their remaining energy. Kind of like licking the last of the pudding out of one’s bowl.
We’ll make it home in time to watch the final blaze of the sunset.
The photo (above) records the moment coyotes begin to yip and howl in the distance. Roger doesn’t bark. He decides the wiser course is to hurry on home. Reggie and I are right behind him.
I pop the boys inside the Best Little Trailer.
While they drink water, eat kibble, and jump into bed, I take a few moments to photograph the sunset and thank God for another day.
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