A Distant Place of Refuge

To escape the worries of daily life right now while maintaining social distance, Jane guides me to the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area southeast of Benson.  Because this part of Arizona is pretty much a desert, I am shocked to find a waterfowl refuge reminiscent of Lake Mattamuskeet in coastal North Carolina here amidst dust, tumbleweeds and cactus.

A thundering wall of avian noise greets us as we begin hiking the shoreline trails.  We are not able to discover the source of the cacophony at first.  Our lengthy search ends among the dense marsh rush.  Here we spy a multitude of roosting blackbirds.  Their colorful body markings indicate they may be yellow-headed and red-winged blackbirds.

Things quiet down and get soothing after lunch on our visit. Siesta time!

After a couple of hours, the blackbirds settle down and precision flights of Sandhill Cranes begin entering landing patterns for nearby fields.  They tease us with the prospect of great pictures, but settle too far away for my lens to capture.  I hope that my sharing a glimpse of this surprising natural gift with you will make your day a little brighter.  Please be safe and be healthy!

Birdwatching Photos

A Noisy Touch of Nature



In Loving Memory

Stormy Weathers

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

14 Replies to “A Distant Place of Refuge”

  1. jim Sandy dukeman says: Reply

    WOW never saw that place, its sure is pretty, and in the middle of the desert go figure. Where does the water come from, I am surprised that you did not see any snakes or 4 legged animals around the water. Is it clear water or salty, I am thinking it is clear. Thanks so much for sharing and hope you stay healthy and safe as well. GOD BLESS

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      I think it is a lake that may come and go depending on rainfall. There was a lot of water there on this trip according to Jane who has seen it much lower It was actually kind of muddy water and very shallow. I was surprised that I did not see any turtles. I did see 4 legged creature footprints in the mud – a raccoon for sure.

  2. Theresa Smart says: Reply

    Hi Deb, thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. Stay out of the bugs way my friend. 🙂

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      You too, Theresa!

  3. They look like good eat, pardon the expression, a la Peking Duck !

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      If anyone could make them into a tasty treat, Ms. Agnes would be the one!!

  4. Lovely Deb!! Thanks for sharing!! Exactly where in AZ are you staying?? Glad all is well with you! ? Deb

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      I am south of Tucson in a little town called Benson. Hope things are still not too crazy in FL!

  5. First one with dark head and wide beak (is it a dark green head?) I believe is a Shoveler. The brownish duck I believe is a Cinnamon Teal.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thanks for your assistance with the ID on these, Dean. Both sound right to me!

  6. Wow, that looks like Florida! I agree with Dean on the birds: Northern Shoveler, Cinnamon Teal, and the Ibis are Glossy Ibis. Looks like a nice way to spend your day during this time of social distancing!

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thanks for the confirmation on the birds. I thought Florida had a lot of birds and I expected that, but this place really surprised me (very pleasantly)!

  7. Barbara L Kauffman says: Reply

    Happy for you and your discoveries. Image an oasis for God’s creatures in the desert. Just for you. Miss you and love you.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Miss you and love you too!

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