2017-05-03 Arivaca’s La Siesta Campground

Lucy's Warbler - Oreothlypis luciae

When you lookup the word “rural” in the dictionary, there should be a picture of Arivaca Arizona shown. I have a friend who’s lived in Arivaca since she was 10 or 11 years old. She’s recently had to leave her home in this smallest of small towns. Time has taken its toll on her ability to managing her affairs there and some of her normal activities became too much of a trial. With council from her children, this matriarch sold her home in the rural village and moved lock-stock-and-barrel to Green Valley, a retirement community south of Tucson.

Moving a lifetime of memories is one of the most stressful things that humans will do in their lives. I spent part of Tuesday and Wednesday visiting at her new digs. She knows she needed to make the move, but is frustrated that most of her memories are buried in yet unpacked boxes. Fortunately, she has lots of family to support her through her transition. Being an independent soul and always taking care of others has been her modus operandi, but now she has to learn the grace of receiving the help and support she so long showered on others. She’s a strong gal and I have complete confidence she’ll be OK.

Arivaca has long been one of my favorite stops for birding in Arizona. Had my friend still lived there, I’d have parked in her front yard and birded all day and enjoyed good company in the evening. Always helpful, my friend found a solution that would let me continue my affair with Arivaca birds. She had a friend who’s undertaken converting his family’s long held acreage into a first rate camping facility. He calls it “La Siesta Campgrounds”. The man whose vision has yielded this lovely rest is Steve Rendon. He saw that Arivaca was sadly lacking any facility for travelers to land overnight and enjoy the area. If you have an RV, he has provided a solution. If you have no RV, but want a “cabin”, Steve has collected and refurbished several camp trailers (some vintage style) and he’ll gladly set you up in one of these.

I camped there Wednesday night and chased the birds that gathered near the aqua ponds Steve has built there. I found shy Lark Sparrows and cooperative Gila Woodpeckers, Greater Roadrunners, Yellow and Lucy’s Warblers. In fact, I believe the Lucy’s Warbler images I collected there were the best of my expedition. When I reviewed the images I’d collected, I saw an inordinate amount of “wings out” shots. When I’ve used a flash in the past I’d seen some of these in my captures due to the “pre-flash” causing the birds to be startled. On this day I did not use a flash, yet there was all this movement. I was taking so many images and the birds were so active, I just got lucky.

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