Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Jeep ride to Sonoita, Arizona

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My location:  Las Cienegas NCA near Sonoita, Arizona

This morning, I awoke to  more clouds than usual, but still quite sunny.  While on our walk this morning, I was able to get photos of two little song birds in the trees nearby.  They look very similar.


Had a very leisurely breakfast this morning, drinking coffee, reading blogs and eating little white donuts.  I love my morning time.  Thank goodness, I get up at 7:30 or I wouldn’t get out of here before noon.

Around 10:30, Yuma and I decided we would take a Jeep drive and see what the town of Sonoita looks like.  My fourth day here and haven’t been out of the area.

Instead of driving out the way we came in to hwy 82, we took the back roads South to hwy 83. Didn’t see any sheep or antelope, but Yuma wanted me to stop so he could play with this little guy.


After reading this informational sign, I am certain the Black-tailed prairie dog lives in all the burrows I see around here.  They just hide good.


There are a lot of horses in this area.  I see trailers everywhere.



After about ten miles of backroads, we came out on hwy 83, a couple miles to the East of town.  Looking East towards the Whetstone Mountains.




Sonoita is very small, maybe three hundred residents.  Most of them probably live in ranches around the area.  They do have a neat “Welcome to Sonoita” sign.  Those are the Santa Rita Mountains to the West of town.


The town is actually just some buildings and a gas station at the intersection of hwy 82 and hwy 83. 



Putting a new roof on the Sonoita Inn.


Got photos of three of the signs for both highways going through town.  All are different.

1-IMG_5781    1-IMG_5786

Saw a road heading into the Santa Rita Mountains, so off we went.




This is as close as we got.  The road was terrible.  Wash board most of the way for the ten miles we traveled.  Finally, just turned around and went back.


Looking back towards the East, I could see the Whetstone Mountains on the left and the Mustang Mountains on the right.


We got back home around 1 o’clock and did some resting.  Around 3 o’clock we decided to try and find Cienegas Ranch.   There is a spot on the map, giving its location, so we headed out.  It’s not far from here.

We drove all around the back roads and the only Cienegas we found was the creek.


I told Yuma that if he jumped in, he was getting another bath.  So, he just got a drink making sure he didn’t even get his feet wet.  What a good boy!


Just as we were pulling into Oak Canyon Road, I saw this bird of prey floating along looking for his prey.  I think it is a Northern Harrier based on my brief Internet study on the subject.  Kind of grainy because he was pretty far away and had to zoom fast.  The Cottonwood trees in the gulch we walked and Santa Rita Mountains are the backdrop.



With the clouds, the sunset is awesome over the Santa Rita Mountains!


Time for Survivor!  Dolly was kind enough to let me bring in the Tucson local stations for the evening.

See you later.


  1. For a small town, Sonoita has some interesting we coming signs. I wonder what those songbirds are. Some type of sparrow? That whole area really is beautiful! Gorgeous mountains. I hope Yuma was keeping an eye on that harrier! Spectacular sunset to end the day!

    1. Thanks Dolly. I think one or both are cactus wrens. The second may be very young. They had the same musical sounds.

  2. I have enjoyed your pictures and your writing Doug, you make routines sound good with humor. Couldn't make it to Arizona this year because of health, so thanks for your blog. RS

    1. Thanks RS. I'm happy to give you a little piece of Arizona this year. I know how health can be fleeting, so I'm enjoying while I am able.

  3. Another wonderful day exploring the area, with wonderful temperatures as well.

    1. Thanks George. I'm glad I'm not in those 90 degree temperatures just down the hill from here.

  4. The photo of Yuma getting a drink at the creek is the first time I remember seeing him with his ears down. I imagine life in those little towns to be pretty easy going - if you make it to Patagonia they have a cafe called Gathering Grounds which is famous for pie. They might even have some BIG white donuts ! ☕🍩🍰

    1. Thanks Moonfly. Was surprising to me to see Yuma being so dainty around the water. The past few days, he would just run right into the creek like it wasn't there. May go to Patagonia today to check them out.

  5. I love the Welcome to Sonoita signs! So different and interesting! Sunset pic is just gorgeous and I'm glad Yuma didn't jump in the crick for another impromptu biffy baffy. :) You should have gone into the Ranch House Restaurant for lunch! I bet they have some delicious home cookin! What a small, cute little town! Thanks for sharing your day!

    1. Thanks Sarah. You know me. I'm to cheap to waste money on food. Rather waste it on something important, like gas. Say Hi to Keats for me. Love his discussion with you on the stairs the other day. He's a big boy now!

  6. Love Yuma drinking from the pond, he listened to you. I like how you frame your pictures too. Beautiful shots again, Doug.

  7. Those are great shots of Yuma at the water's edge.