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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sonoran Desert Museum A Real Hoot

Susan and Maikel were kind enough to give us tickets to the Sonoran Desert Museum; it's just up the road a couple of miles from our camps at Gilbert Ray. So yesterday, after my dental appointment with a wet-behind-the-ears kid one month out of school... ink still wet on his diploma... (squirm) we attended the 2 pm Raptor show. That particular afternoon featured four species, a Barn Owl, four Harris Hawks, a Peregrine Falcon and Grey Hawk.

The show felt natural and realistic in the museum's lush desert environment, once you get used to a coupe hundred seniors scrunched together so close you could tell what they had for lunch. To a bird, the flyovers were dramatic; inches above our heads at speeds that would get you a ticket on I-10. This was especially true for the Peregrine Falcon, which literally dive-bombs their prey at speeds up to 240 mph! If the impact doesn't make the "kill," their powerful talons do the rest. 

During our show, several birds went after natural prey on the ground; a feathers flying death scene that the trainer reassured us was just birds doing what birds do, surviving. It was a great show with ideal photo ops and I highly recommend going, especially if somebody gives you free tickets :) Thanks Wiseone's. 

On another note, I am pleased to announce that Ouray's Tourism organization has asked to use my photos of Lovely Ouray and its (our) "Backyard" for promotion of what the town/area has to offer visitors. Apparently someone in the office found the Box Canyon Blog! Here is a link to their website that features three of my photos at the top of the page. Their website is a great "bookmark" for anyone wanting to know what's going on in the area, so use it often and leave comments :)). 

I'm also including a link to my last column for the Ouray County Plaindealer Newspaper(actually, there may be a couple under "Columns"). You may recognizes the theme, as I built it around the core of my Organ Pipe Rant post from a few weeks ago. I'll try to put both of these links up on my sidebar... eventually. 
Hope you enjoy the raptor photos. Mark


  1. I never tire of the raptor show. Gone several times. However, never did see the barn owl at the shows. Time to go again to see if I can see the barn owl.

  2. More awesome pictures of another great day, especially with the free tickets.

  3. Congrats on the Ouray gig! We are very much looking forward to exploring the area that you have portrayed so beautifully in your photos and your words.


  4. Hooray for Ouray! Smart folks there! Lisa will not be disappointed. Now, for all your recent photo's, they have been really enjoyable....thanks a million. Laverne

  5. Love birds of prey!

    Congrats on the Ouray recognition!! Exciting!!!

  6. What a wonderful photo op you got there with the birds! And congrats on the Ouray thing too! Yay!

  7. Walden Creek RV steveFebruary 26, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Mark-- Heh buddy- do not get too busy with the newspapers and tourist trade- many of us would be lost without BCB! I and Brian have been debating the pros and cons of florida and the western states- Today-the west won! Although the gators were out during the Monday bike ride- But for me the real fun is combining the beach life with the western states(with a little bit of Australia and Europe thrown in the mix!)

  8. Barn owls are odd looking birds of prey. I walked underneath a tree branch with a barn owl overhead and it was amazing to watch his head pivot 180 degrees, never taking his eyes off me. Great photo's with the blue sky in the background.

    Thanks for the link back to your Ouray news article, keep us posted on those article, they are well composed and interesting to read.

    Heading soon to Walden Creek RV home state of Florida to get out of this Midwest winter. I'll be on the west gulf coast hiking the beaches and swimming the ocean. If I don't see Steve in Florida, maybe in Ouray this July?
    John Q

  9. Love the birds of prey! excellent photos, thx for sharing!

  10. Walden Creek RV steveFebruary 26, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    John Q-- speaking of Owls-- will be on Florida west coast Sunday for HOOTERS half marathon in Ft Myers-

  11. Ahhh...You're in our neck of the Tucson woods, that is when we get back from Roatan. There's that great Brown Mt. hike from Gilbert Ray over to the Desert Museum, and the Tucson Mt. area! Enjoy..

  12. Long time no comment but congrats on the publicity, well deserved! Only about 188 days until we're in Lovely Ouray again, not that we're counting....

    Eric & Carrie Ann in Chicago

  13. Beautiful pictures, a place worthy of visiting. Thank you for sharing.
    Chula Vista, CA

  14. Can't believe we missed the Raptor Flight (we went to the museum yesterday). Good thing I have your shots to refer back to...


  15. Can't believe we both posted about owls this week, what a coincidence. Great article and great photos as always. Maybe if you keep shouting about Organ Pipe someone in power will take notice and start to get embarrassed enough to take some action.

  16. Wandrin Lloyd,
    The owl was my favorite. Who (no pun intended) could resist that face :))

    Geo and Suz,
    Thank you guys! Free is our middle name :)

    Thanks! Drop an Email when you come and we'll do a hike or two!

    Thank you a million, Laverne. You are so supportive!

    Meow Mamma,
    Thanks. And those birds of prey are awesome!

    Tex Cyn,
    Thank you. I could never get those shots in the wild...

    Walden Steve,
    Thank you, pal. I have days when I wonder why, is it worth the time and effort... but then you send a kind comment :)) Thanks... and BTW, the west always wins out over the east by virtue of the fact that it's mostly public land, and unpopulated. :)
    However, a beach once in a while is nice... say January.

    John Q,
    It's like a scene from The Exorcist!!! Thanks for reading my article, too, BTW. I'll try and post them once in a while. Enjoy your respite from winter :))

    Thanks for commenting :)) I love your name!!!

    Still Howlyns,
    We do the Brown Mountain Hike regularly!!! It's just about the right length. Thanks.

    Eric and Carrie Ann,
    Thanks for commenting... don't be a stranger :)) It looks like you are counting the days, alright. Ya just need to pull the trigger and move :))
    PS Every time I see or hear the name Carrie Ann I thing of the Grass Roots song by the same name. I wore it out on my eight track tape player back in the day :)) Love the name!!

    Paul Barton,
    Thank you! And thanks for leaving your link. I hope readers check our your blog.

    Wheeling Nina,
    It's worth the price of re-admission... Just saying :))

    Pam and Wayne,
    Do do do do.... Owls are so cool looking.
    And I hope you are right about Organ Pipe... maybe if we all raised a stink!



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