Friday, September 30, 2011

Mogollon Rim

Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)

Each guest cabin at Whispering Hope
Ranch is named after a bird, perfect!

Back in mid-August I had the good fortune to spend some time away from the valley of death, and bask in the cool pines of the Mogollon Rim (pronounced mō'gə-yōn').  I stayed with some folks from the Arizona Spinal Cord Injury Association at their annual summer retreat held at Whispering Hope Ranch, near Christopher Creek.  What an awesome place and an awesome group of people.  The Rufous Hummingbird above was one of many spotted on an early morning nature hike along the Rim Lakes Vista Trail.  I've never seen so many hummers in one spot before.  Mountain wildflowers were in full bloom, and the hummers flitted from blossom to blossom like bees.


 The Rim Lakes Vista Trail is likely the best wheelchair accessible trail in the whole state, providing gorgeous panoramic views of the Mogollon Rim.  Paved and mostly flat, near Woods Canyon Lake, it meanders for miles right along the rim.  For directions and details see Accessing Arizona's review of the trail here.

MEwCameraonRimTRAILAfter enjoying the great views along the trail, we headed over to Woods Canyon Lake, hoping to see the pairs of Osprey fishing the lake.  Instead we were wowed by a large, loud, pair of Bald Eagle fledglings squawking away in the large pine tree towering over the lake's general store.  The store manager came out and informed us that mama eagle had been trying to teach the kids to fish, but they were resisting.  So they sat and cried for mom to come feed them, but  she held her ground and sat perched high atop a tall snag on the other side of the lake, calling them to fly over and hopefuly snag a fish for themselves along the way.

Bald Eagle juvenile at Woods Canyon Lake loudly squawking for mama eagle
to bring him breakfast.

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