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Esplanade Owl Search, AZ
mini location map2020-04-14
26 by photographer avatartibber
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Esplanade Owl Search, AZ 
Esplanade Owl Search, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 14 2020
Hiking5.30 Miles 171 AEG
Hiking5.30 Miles   1 Hour   55 Mns   2.89 mph
171 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Posting 4-20-2020. Decided I wanted to go check out the Esplanade owls. I put the route up on RouteScout and then used the "find pictures" to help me figure out where the owls were. Then I got some more beta from LosDosSloFolks and headed out there after work. I was glad to have had that too because for awhile, I felt like I wasn't on the right trail.

It was a lovely late afternoon as I took the first right (east) out of the VC area. The Apache Wash Trail takes you across the wash area of course and you continue hiking northish on the other side. It's a beautiful desert hike and seemed exceptionally flat, kind of like when I walked the prairies of north central Montana; except there wasn't a trail and you had to be careful where you stepped to avoid the prickly pear cactus :lol: .

There were a few bike riders that passed by me here on this part of the trail and maybe only a couple on the Esplanade. Of course, every saguaro I saw I would look for signs of a nest. There aren't a lot of saguaros so it's not that big a deal to check. I filmed quite a bit as it was a pretty day with waning spring decor and a nice sky with some puffy clouds. There were sprinklings of wildflowers too. Also along the way, a squirrel scampered for a bit on the trail as if to say, "this way, this way". And interestingly, I have been seeing quite a few squirrels on almost all of my hikes this past month and lizards too of course.

Greg gave me the mileage to expect for the first nest and it was right on. Sadly no one was home. They were here yesterday but gone today :( . I circled that saguaro and even tried to stand on some taller rocks to see if I could see any sign of life but nada. So onward I went with hopes dashed a bit now. It isn't too much longer before I came upon the second area and saw mom or dad hanging out on top of a broken saguaro arm. The nest was in a neighboring saguaro which meant venturing over in snake land. I kept my eyes to the ground as I made my way over to try and get some good pictures. Mom or dad then moved to another saguaro as she watched the paparazzi, me, continue to try and figure out a better photographic angle... to no avail.

I headed back to the trail and the owl kept an eye on me as I ended up coming to the other side of the saguaro where she was at. Once I got to a decent viewpoint I asked her to turn around so I could get a good picture and after a series of odd sounds I made, she turned.

Now, it was time to head back to the TH as I was starting to get a little hungry. The question is, how many photos did I take on the return trip? Only a couple of the empty nest and other than that, I kept on hiking. I saw a few other hikers and bikers on my return, most of them on the Apache Wash Trail.

Here are a couple of videos I made splitting the total 18 minute time:
Part 1 [ youtube video ]
Part 2 [ youtube video ]
Great Horned Owl
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.
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