|1,000 ft AEG|
|I had a couple hours to kill before check-in time at the Santa Rita, so I decided to finally hike a bit of the upper trails - in all my trips to Madera Canyon I've mostly just stuck to the middle and lower canyon except for hiking the Bogs/Kent Spring Loop once or twice.|
The name of this trail is confusing but I guess I was officially on the Vault Mine, even though ebird calls it Carrie Nation? What a lovely trail - definitely made me want to hike UP the mountain sometime soon. Kept my eyes open for the Elegant Trogons, but I never look for them too hard since I usually see them every year just by being in the places they are - that said, I still have not seen any yet this year.
Only saw a handful of people along the trail. Rained lightly for much of the hike, but the tree cover is thick enough that I rarely noticed it ... didn't have to cover my camera until I was almost back within sight of the parking lot, then dashed for my truck.
After check-in, I walked down the Creek to Whitehouse, then back up to the Amphitheater ... everything is SO green and the creek is flowing stronger than I think I've ever seen it - couldn't even cross it easily.
Birding at the lodge was amazing, as usual. I had a Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher calling in the tree behind my casita as I was unloading my stuff - my cooler and backpack got temporarily abandoned outside in the rain while I went to look ... and soon after, I had a Painted Redstart catching moths right on my porch. At the lodges's feeders, I was able to see and photograph the rare Berylline Hummingbird - only my second one ever.
Safe to say Madera Canyon/Santa Rita Lodge is currently my happiest place!
|Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with pigeons.|