Friday, May 17, 2013

Tea for Two at Las Cienegas

1. antelope-kab Antelope at Las Cienegas NCA 3-25-13

I took my friend to a wild place

in Sonoita, Arizona, nestled between mountain ranges,

2. road-kab 

we followed the road in to a desert savannah

as the morning sun sailed higher into a sea of blue

3. grassland-kab 

with mountains rising around us

and flaxen grasses waving in the wind,

4. Celeste-kab 

in the cool dawn Celeste surveys the terrain,

5. antelope-kab 

when out of the golden grass a trio of antelope emerges,

Buff and white, they watch us warily

with large liquid eyes…

6. harrier-kab 

in the same waving savannah grass a Northern Harrier hunts,

7. running-kab 

and the antelopes start to run on winged feet!

8. beauty-kab 

It is a wild thing in a wild place,

9. meadowlark-kab 

where meadowlarks sing a morning song,

a daytime song, a springtime song!

10. empire ranch-kab 

We drive to the old Empire Ranch,

11. old building-kab 

The adobe buildings hold ghosts from the past,

baking in the sun of time

they grow thinner and more elusive

until they are bleached and fade away.

12. trail-kab 

We follow the trail down through history

wiping the gossamer cobwebs from our minds

and walk into the cottonwoods clear-headed and alert

with the clarion call of Gray Hawks overhead,

13. tree canopy-kab 

and warblers singing from the trees,

and sparrows flushing from the grasses,

and butterflies filling the air

with fluctuating color and light.

14. trees-kab 

And then we are in the shade.

It is a solemn place,

a cool retreat from the warming sunlight,

filled with the fluttering of birds!

15. wilson's warbler-kab 

A Wilson’s Warbler hides in the shadows…

16. wilson-kab 

then becomes feathered sunlight in a green tree…

17. cap-kab 

turning his head to show his black cap to me!

18. rwsp-kab 

With chipping sparrows chipping all over the place!

19. shade-kab 

Like the birds, we are mesmerized by the trees

and we spend hours here!

20. big tree-kab 

Finally we walk up past the tall cottonwood giants,

and return to the ranch;

21. tea-kab 

it is noon and time for tea.

We spread our simple feast upon an ancient stone

and lean back into the cool shadows

22. view-kab 

taking in the view and watching Gray Hawks circle and call

over the green canopy of Empire Gulch.

23. view-kab 

This is our view, this is our noontime song.

24. fireplace-kab Empire Ranch House interior


25. timbers-kab Hand-hewn roof beams

26. buildings-kab Empire Ranch

It was time to move one, so we drove away,

down the dirt roads through Las Cienegas,

27. RTHA-kab Red-tailed Hawk 3-25-13

Surveyed by a Red-tailed Hawk,

we are watched even as we are watching.

29. cienegas-kab Las Cienegas Watering Hole 3-25-13

30. tanks-kab 

We found a place where killdeer run

water in the desert.

31. wild things-kab 

And we know we are just two wild things ourselves,

wild things in the grass…

32. tea-kab

stopping for tea!

Note: Celeste and I visited Las Cienegas on March 25, 2013, only 2 days after my adventures in Sierra Vista with Chris Rohrer. Those adventures encompassed the last 3 posts, so you can see why it has taken me so long to get to all of these stories. It seems that March and April were very busy and adventurous months for me. I had such a good time and took so many photos. Thus, there is still more to come!


  1. Wonderful images and story to go with them Kathie. I feel like I visited this location through your photos.

  2. Replies
    1. Kathryn, I thought you would like this post!

  3. This feels like a special and calming place. I so enjoy going along on your outings.

    1. Gaelyn, one day you will have to be here in person!

  4. What a fun outing for you and Celeste. I love all the photos and great bird sightings. Happy Birding, have a great weekend!

    1. Eillen, Thank you once again for stopping by and commenting! I hope you have a very birdy weekend as well!

  5. Thanks for posting this amazing scenery Kathie.
    I would never see this otherwise.

    1. Roy, how I wish you could come see this for yourself! I would love to show you around!

  6. I want to be there Kathie!!! Wonderful post!

  7. This is a beautiful account of our wonderful day Kathie. I LOVE your shot of the Northern Harrier :)

    1. Thanks Celeste! We did have such fun and made wonderful memories! Of course, the photos help!

  8. Lovely post Kathie, That Northern Harrier shot is superb!!

  9. Hi Kathie

    An amazing post I always love to see antelope.



Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.