Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Patagonia, AZ (1/27/2017)

The little town of Patagonia reminded me of places like Taos or Santa Fe, not only because of its "artist colony" feel, but because of the nature of many of the residential entrances.  I'll show just a few of them, but there are quite a few more.



I also liked the fact that Patagonia is surrounded by rugged mountains, meaning there are lots of canyons to be explored.  One can only imagine the violent volcanic activity required to create such terrain.


A number of "ghost towns" can also be found scattered about, reminders of the mining activity in the area's history.  Harshaw was a mining community founded in the 1870s when silver was discovered there.  Its fortunes rose and fell with the price of silver, but the mine shut down for good in the 1960s.  One adobe ruin reflects the typical home for the mine workers, while a brick home was built by the mine's owner.  It now serves as home for the owner of the ranch that today occupies the land.  The cemetery is very interesting, also, with some graves dating back before the mine was started.



Between the mountain ranges, the terrain is largely beautiful rolling hills covered with knee deep grass, perfect for the huge ranches that have been developed.

 I noticed the old wind mills used to pump water to the stock have, in some cases, been updated with more modern technology.  One has been replaced by an electric motor powered by a solar panel, another with a diesel-powered pump.

Patagonia has also made a reputation as a good birding location, with at least three attractive sanctuaries.  Once again, I found several "lifers" among the birds frequenting the feeders at Paton's Bird Center, including the white-breasted nuthatch, the ladder-backed woodpecker and the western version of the yellow-rumped warbler (called Audubon's warbler). 


The white-winged dove and lazuli bunting are two others firsts for me because their range is limited to western states.




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