Jun 12, 2009

Three Hours at Ramsey Canyon

by Sarah Albrecht

It’s my turn to blog and I feel utterly spent with nothing to say. I’d rather write about something completely whimsical, having nothing to do with real life or day-to-day concerns. I don’t know what, though. Maybe something funny.

Well, instead I’m thinking of our recent visit to Ramsey Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains by Sierra Vista. As my twelve-year-old son put it, it’s like the intersection in a Venn diagram of four ecosystems: Mexico’s Sierra Madres, the Sonoran Desert, the Rocky Mountains, and I can’t remember the last one. Because so many habitats converge in that one place, over two hundred species of birds can be found there throughout the year as well as hundreds of other plant and animal species.

The trail up the canyon along Ramsey Creek was only a half mile long, but we saw birds like the painted redstart and the Arizona woodpecker in the northernmost tip of their habitats, deer pulling leaves from a huge sycamore and gliding in dappled shadows, squirrels and lizards, scrubbing rushes and alligator juniper, an old settler’s cabin, a mountain king snake curled beneath a rock. At first we thought the snake was a poisonous coral variety, but we did the “red and yellow kill a fellow, black and red, you’re not dead” trick with its stripes and realized we were okay. Whew.

It was an amazing afternoon of discovery and a relief to be away from everyday life.

Sometimes I wonder what Thoreau’s year at Walden Pond would have been like, if the same renewal and discovery can be accomplished in smaller doses but more frequently.

The key is to stop and allow the healing.


  1. I dunno about Thoreau but I can tell you those brief snatched moments of nature can sure renew you in unexpected ways.

  2. I LOVE being in nature. It truly does restore your soul. That's why the retreats are so great. I'm trying to figure out how to fit ours into my schedule. Great comments, Sarah, as always!!

  3. Loved the 12-year-old's comments. I'd never have talked like that when I was twelve. As far as that goes, I don't talk like that now. I have no idea what a Venn diagram is, and am not even tempted to look it up.

    Yet, what a difference a half-mile walk can make. I'd love to take that stroll and see for myself, but I may settle to simply enjoy it vicariously. Thanks for the beautiful description.

  4. wow, now I want to take that hike! I do know the feeling you described. I have experienced in the mountains of NW Montana, the coastal hills of southern California, and all along the Mogollon rim. Pike's Peak had a feeling all it's own. I love the beautiful creations we have been so feely given! thank you for the reminder!


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