Saturday, March 16, 2019

Madera Canyon

Tucson Lazydays KOA
Tucson, AZ
February 9, 2019

A great place to go when in Tucson is Madera Canyon.  We have been there several...well, make that many...times and have enjoyed lots of hikes.  When Carol and Ronnie were here, it was high on the list for a place to go as they had never been.  The weather wasn't the best for hiking the day we went, breezy, chilly, and with cloudy skies. We decided on the Proctor Trail with a turning around point at the Madera Picnic Area which is about a 3 mile round trip.

Most of the trail follows Madera Creek with nice bridges to cross the creek.  

Despite the cloudy skies, muted shades and bright colors made for a great camera day.  We can always depend on the birds for pops of color although we have not had the great fortune to see the Elegant Trogon...not yet anyway.

The Acorn Woodpecker with his bright red cap is always busy and easy to spot.    
These busy birds are so much fun to watch!
Each fall, acorns are stored in a single tree (called a granary) by jamming them into specially made holes.  One tree may have up to 50,000 holes in it, each of which is filled with an acorn.  Over time, the acorn becomes "locked" in its hole.  A group member is always on alert to guard the hoard from thieves.  That is just so cool !
 The Mexican Jay is another common bird we see at Madera Canyon.  
A beautiful blue adult Mexican Jay...

This is perhaps a juvenile jay since he is paler blue although I did read that the jays in Arizona are typically more pale than jays from other states.

After our hike we rode up to Santa Rita Lodge.  There is always a flurry of birds there.

 If you are not in a hurry to return to Tucson, taking the Box Canyon Road is a fun way to head home.   It's a sandy, gravelly, well maintained 12 mile (approximate) road that ends at Hwy 83.  

There are no saquaro here...just beautiful desert grasslands. This is cattle country.

 In real time, things are going well in Tucson.  Joe and I have had lots of appointments.  Joe is starting his fifth year cancer free...WAHOO!  On the other hand he has been hammered with basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.  He had his 10th MOHs surgery last Wednesday with 2 more to go making a grand total of 12 surgeries since mid October.  His doctor says it is common for these to come in batches.  

Well, I'll close with a few more until next time,




  1. All the pictures are interesting but the Bird pictures are lovely.
    Wishing Joe the best getting the last of those surgeries completed.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. Thanks for identifying the different birds, great pictures of them. It's not Moab, but you still manage to find some back country to explore. I'm sure you'll both be glad to have Joe's surgeries over with

  3. I was last in Madera Canyon in 2004 and it was nice then also. Thanks for the memory rejuvenation.

  4. Love your bird photos! That's a whole lot of MOHS procedures! I thought Mike's dad had had a bunch but I think his total was only about 4.

  5. Madera Canyon is always a fun place to hike. You took some beautiful bird photos. So glad to hear Joe got another good report. Sure hope he gets a breaks with the MOHS surgeries now.

  6. Sounds like a nice area to hike glad that you can do it , hope Joe recovers quickly, with all those surgeries.

  7. Love all the birds and desert beauty!!