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  1. #1

    Default Day Trip - Tucson to Nogales - April 2014

    Tucson to Nogales
    110 Miles RT

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    Las Lagunas de Anza, Nogales, AZ

    Today we traveled to Nogales, AZ after we confirmed that the new Anza NHT passport stamp had been received at this site. Las Lagunas de Anza is part of the private, non-profit Santa Fe Ranch.

    The site was a very pleasant oasis. Nice walking paths, developed gardens, a shaded picnic area, bird observation blinds and interpretative signs are scattered around the property. This is the first campsite, campsite #13, in the U.S.A. of the Juan Bautista de Anza 1775 Expedition.
    While walking around the property saw a Green Heron.

    Shrine at Las Lagunas de Anza


    Las Lagunas Wetlands


    Anza NHT Interpretative signs


    This wetlands is in Nogales, between I-19 and old US 89. We continued into Nogales looking for the post office. The building was built in 1923. In addition to collecting historic postal cancellations my husband is having me take pictures of post office buildings that are older than 50 years. This building was not very unique, but the historic Santa Cruz Courthouse next door was. This has been operating as the "campus" for Cochise College Nogales Center. It also houses the Ranger Museum and the Cowbelle's Museum.

    Historic Santa Cruz County Courthouse


    Once we left Nogales we started back north with several stops before returning to Tucson. First stop, and a regular stop, was the Spice Factory. Their selection and prices are excellent. Another reason to stop is the tasting table; tortilla chips with numerous dips available to sample.

    For the past several weeks the roadsides of Southern Arizona have been lined with one of my favorite flowers, they stand about 2 feet tall. I have tried to cultivate them in my yard with no success.

    Roadside Flowers - Prickly Poppy


    A place we always visit is the Santa Cruz Chili and Spice Factory. Their selection and prices is worth a visit. Another reason to stop is the tasting table; tortilla chips with numerous dips to sample.


    Just down the road from the Spice Factory is the Tumacacori NHS. After visiting the museum you can tour the grounds which include the mission, nicknamed the 'Dirty Dove of the Desert'. This is in contrast to San Javier Mission, further north and closer to Tucson which is painted white. The fountain in the courtyard is always appreciated, as is any permanent water in the desert. This is another campsite along the route of the Anza Expedition.

    Tumacacori NHS



    Tumacacori Mission


    Tumacacori Courtyard


    We wandered around Tubac looking for the old post offices. Pictured below is considered one of the oldest, across the street from the Presidio. Another building that is considered more recent was elusive. We found the location given, but the building had been significantly altered and is now a private Inn.

    Tubac -old Post Office



    Tubac Presidio State Historic Park


    After leaving Tubac we continued north and drove up to Madera Canyom, about 15 miles east of Green Valley. In this short distance you travel up 2000 ft into a unique canyon environment. Besides finding a new letterbox we had hoped to spot the Elegant Trogon. This is one of the few locations this tropical bird can be seen in the U.S. We have seen it previously here and a few other SE Arizona canyons, but not today. Several weeks ago I hiked from the top of the canyon, at 5400 ft to Baldy Saddle, at 8800 ft for a total of 9.5 miles. While on the hike I heard the unique call of the Trogon, reminds me a hoarse dog barking, but did not see it then either.

    The Gift Shop at the Santa Rita Lodge has wonderful t-shirts and lots of bird-related gifts and gear. While visitng the shop you are welcome to enjoy their viewing patio overlooking numerous bird feeders. While there the Tom turkey, pictured below, was very vocal. From the picture it is hard to tell, but he was large.

    The lodge has cabins and casitas to rent. Years ago there was a wonderful restaurant on site, but it burnt down in 1983 and was not rebuilt. We had dinner there in 1979, several years before we moved to Tucson.

    Madera Canyon - Santa Rita Lodge



    Madera Canyon - Turkey


    Madera Canyon - Mountain Spiny Lizard


    Passport Stamp
    Juan Bautista de Anza NHT
    Las Lagunas de Anza
    Tumacacori NHS


    Wildlife Sightings
    Mountain Spiny Lizard

    Common Raven
    Red - tailed Hawk
    Green Heron
    Wild Turkey
    Pinyon Jay
    Ash-throated Flycatcher
    Broad-billed Hummingbird
    Lesser Goldfinch
    House Finch
    Barn Swallow

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Four day trip reports -- Fantastic

    Excellent report. You are really creating a stellar resource for Tucson-based day trips. Up to four already!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    Tucson is definitely a wonderful place to visit. With this report, you brought back memories of the day trips that I took with my parents. Tumacacori, Tubac, Nogales (both sides of the border) were all places we went.

    Is the orange poppy (forgot the name of it) out a lot this year? I remember fields of them on the side of Picacho Peak, back in 1973. Even with a bout of Valley Fever, my parents took me up there for a picnic.

    Your photo of the turkey is beautiful!!! (The others are too, but that one struck me as a stand-out.)


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Matilija Poppies

    Quote Originally Posted by Pmount View Post
    Roadside Flowers - Prickly Poppy
    This is actually known as a Matilija Poppy. Here's another photo and information about it.

    Here is a quick visual guide to the kinds of wildflowers you can see most often in the Mojave and environs -- all photos by Megan Edwards. A few more photos here

  5. #5

    Default

    Arizona variety of Prickly Poppy-

    Actually in Southern Arizona this is a slightly different species than found in the Mojave area, and different from Texas ;

    Plant Name
    Scientific Name: Argemone pleiacantha
    Common Names: Southwestern Pricklypoppy, Bluestem Pricklepoppy, Prickly Poppy
    Actually I refer to them as - Fried Eggs!
    -Pat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
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    4,545

    Default

    These are the ones I remember:

    goldenpoppy.jpg



    Donna

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi Donna,
    Definitely not the year for Mexican Poppies - a few here and there, but not the hillsides in your picture. The bloom you saw came about after good rains during the Fall and Winter - definitely not this year. Maybe next?
    -Pat

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Not California Poppies either?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pmount View Post
    Arizona variety of Prickly Poppy-

    Plant Name
    Scientific Name: Argemone pleiacantha
    Common Names: Southwestern Pricklypoppy, Bluestem Pricklepoppy, Prickly Poppy
    OK. Thanks for the information!

    With respect to Donna's question -- those flowers look like California Poppies to me. Did you see the photos I posted from the Lancaster Valley a couple of weeks ago?


    This is Phacelia and California Poppies
    Photo by Megan Edwards

  9. Default

    Pmount! Your shared post is full of information and your shared images are attention grabing for me and I would like to say that your shared post is instructive for me ans I would love to visit these destinations soon.

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