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Jerry Pillarelli | profile | all galleries >> Travel and Nature >> US Travel >> Arizona >> Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge – Arizona tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge – Arizona

Images of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge – Southern Arizona, taken in February and March 2021.

While on a drive to Arizona’s southern border with Mexico I stumbled upon the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and decided to take a detour to check it out. I normally don’t check out every recreational area, historical park or wildlife refuge but this was a day drive with no particular place to explore. The Pronghorn Loop is a ten-mile drive through the lower grasslands which winds its way to the higher altitudes where the grasses give way to yucca and ocotillo groves. Along the way I sighted hawks, roadrunners and mule deer even though the area is bone dry because of a summer rainy season that never came.

On a second trip to the area in late March I was surprised to find the countryside on fire, literally. Luckily it was a prescribed burn being overseen by the US Forest Service for the purpose of clearing dried grasses and brush as part of an effort to reintroduce several endangered species to the area. For me it was an opportunity to get some unique images as the fire marched across the landscape.
Baboquivari Peak (7,730 ft) across the valley, from the Pronghorn Loop in Buenos Aires NWR
Baboquivari Peak (7,730 ft) across the valley, from the Pronghorn Loop in Buenos Aires NWR
A hawk on a tree branch in Buenos Aires NWR
A hawk on a tree branch in Buenos Aires NWR
Along the Pronghorn Loop Road with Baboquivari Peak in the distance in Buenos Aires NWR
Along the Pronghorn Loop Road with Baboquivari Peak in the distance in Buenos Aires NWR
A yucca plant in Buenos Aires NWR
A yucca plant in Buenos Aires NWR
A single tree on the grasslands of Buenos Aires NWR
A single tree on the grasslands of Buenos Aires NWR
Ocotillo plants in full sunlight on the hills of Buenos Aires NWR
Ocotillo plants in full sunlight on the hills of Buenos Aires NWR
Ocotillo plants under overcast skies on the hills of Buenos Aires NWR
Ocotillo plants under overcast skies on the hills of Buenos Aires NWR
Mule deer in the short brush in Buenos Aires NWR
Mule deer in the short brush in Buenos Aires NWR
Overcast view in Buenos Aires NWR
Overcast view in Buenos Aires NWR
Clear sky view in Buenos Aires NWR
Clear sky view in Buenos Aires NWR
Baboquivari Peak as seen through an ocotillo grove in Buenos Aires NWR
Baboquivari Peak as seen through an ocotillo grove in Buenos Aires NWR
A roadrunner in the brush in Buenos Aires NWR
A roadrunner in the brush in Buenos Aires NWR
The lower grasslands in Buenos Aires NWR
The lower grasslands in Buenos Aires NWR
A hawk on the ground in Buenos Aires NWR
A hawk on the ground in Buenos Aires NWR
Towering ocotillo plants in Buenos Aires NWR
Towering ocotillo plants in Buenos Aires NWR
Baboquivari Peak across the valley as seen from Buenos Aires NWR
Baboquivari Peak across the valley as seen from Buenos Aires NWR
A Border Patrol vehicle on the Pronghorn Loop road in Buenos Aires NWR
A Border Patrol vehicle on the Pronghorn Loop road in Buenos Aires NWR
An American Coot on a pond in Buenos Aires NWR
An American Coot on a pond in Buenos Aires NWR
The Sasabe Port of Entry and the border wall as seen from Buenos Aires NWR
The Sasabe Port of Entry and the border wall as seen from Buenos Aires NWR
The US-Mexican border as seen from Buenos Aires NWR
The US-Mexican border as seen from Buenos Aires NWR
US Forest Service fire equipment posted along the Pronghorn Loop in Buenos Aires NWR
US Forest Service fire equipment posted along the Pronghorn Loop in Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke rises from the prescribed burn in Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke rises from the prescribed burn in Buenos Aires NWR
Burned out area along the Pronghorn Loop road in Buenos Aires NWR
Burned out area along the Pronghorn Loop road in Buenos Aires NWR
A controlled burn smolders along the Pronghorn Loop road in Buenos Aires NWR
A controlled burn smolders along the Pronghorn Loop road in Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke rises from the prescribed burn in Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke rises from the prescribed burn in Buenos Aires NWR
Fire leaps from grass to plant in Buenos Aires NWR
Fire leaps from grass to plant in Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke rises from a hotspot as the prescribed burn rolls on in the distance in Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke rises from a hotspot as the prescribed burn rolls on in the distance in Buenos Aires NWR
A scalded yucca plant in the hills of Buenos Aires NWR
A scalded yucca plant in the hills of Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke drifts skyward from a hotspot in Buenos Aires NWR
Smoke drifts skyward from a hotspot in Buenos Aires NWR
A blistered yucca plant with the prescribed burn smoking in the distance in Buenos Aires NWR
A blistered yucca plant with the prescribed burn smoking in the distance in Buenos Aires NWR
A burned cholla cactus rises above the scorched earth in Buenos Aires NWR
A burned cholla cactus rises above the scorched earth in Buenos Aires NWR
A prickly pear cactus, with its needles burned off, still stands in Buenos Aires NWR
A prickly pear cactus, with its needles burned off, still stands in Buenos Aires NWR
A swirling dust devil moves across the scorched grasslands of Buenos Aires NWR
A swirling dust devil moves across the scorched grasslands of Buenos Aires NWR
A needleless barrel cactus in Buenos Aires NWR
A needleless barrel cactus in Buenos Aires NWR
Mesquite tree wood smolders in Buenos Aires NWR
Mesquite tree wood smolders in Buenos Aires NWR