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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

San Pedro River

June 2nd, 2013 · 2 Comments

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When you see that the San Pedro River is a long, narrow oasis running northward through the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts in southeastern Arizona, you will realize that the Casa de San Pedro Bed & Breakfast Inn is its heart. I had never before had the opportunity to stay in such a peaceful and relaxing lodging where I felt so completely at home. The owners, Karl Schmitt and Patrick Dome, are gracious host, great cooks, helpful, and knowledgeable. Widely read, they share their large library in the Casa’s Great Room.

This Central Courtyard Surrounds the Ten Guest Rooms and the Great Room of the Casa de San Pedro

This Central Courtyard Surrounds the Ten Guest Rooms and the Great Room of the Casa de San Pedro

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To the west of the river and the Casa are the Huachuca Mountains are its birdy canyons: Ramsey, Miller, Ash, Carr, and Garden.

The Huachuca Mountains Rise to the West of the San Pedro River

The Huachuca Mountains Rise to the West of the San Pedro River

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The San Pedro River is One of the Last Free-flowing Rivers in the Southwest and the Only One in a Desert

The San Pedro River is One of the Last Free-flowing Rivers in the Southwest and the Only One in a Desert

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Early on two of the mornings that I stayed at the Casa de San Pedro I walked along the river with a group that Sheri Williamson, a director of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory and the author of a leading book on hummingbirds, led. We walked from the Casa to bird in sunny, cool weather for several hours each time. One of those times we found a little woodpecker chick on the ground and therefore in danger. It had fallen out of its nest, and Sheri picked it up and put it back in the tree.

Sheri Rescues a Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) Chick

Sheri Rescues a Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) Chick

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Still Not Happy, But Back to Safety

Still Not Happy, But Back to Safety

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When we went back to the Casa, we found many more birds there. One that especially pleased me was a one of a species that I see every day at home. But this one was showing off much more than I had ever seen before.

A Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) Shows Its Stuff

A Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) Shows Its Stuff

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While we don’t have any Gambel’s Quail where I live in Colorado, they are common in Arizona and New Mexico, and I wanted to get better photos of these interesting birds with their distinctive topknots. One afternoon as I was just sitting in the yard between the Casa and the river, one of them walked closer and closer to me.

A Male Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) Approachs Me at the Casa

A Male Gambel's Quail (Callipepla gambelii) Approachs Me at the Casa

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This bird might have been a father, but I hadn’t ever seen any quail chicks. Not until the morning that I finally had to drive away from the Casa en route to northern Arizona.

Mama Quail and Her Brood Walk Along the Casa's Wall

Mama Quail and Her Brood Walk Along the Casa's Wall

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Posted in: Arizona

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bob the Bee // Jul 1, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    David, you have described some of the most beautiful areas of AZ. I saw some of the same from the seat of a bicycle some years ago en-route on a five day round trip starting in Patagonia circling through the back country to Ft. Huachuca, Hereford, Bisbee and Tombstone. Then by car through the Coronado Nat’l. Forest area.
    I believe the San Pedro is one of the rare North American rivers that flow North (our nearby Salinas being another).
    I enjoy your photos!

  • 2 David Mendosa // Jul 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Dear Bob,

    You are right. The Nature Conservancy website says that the San Pedro is one of only two major U.S. rivers that flows to the north. Isn’t that strange. It is wonderful!

    Namaste,

    David

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