Bob and I are avid bird watchers.
Wikipedia says: Birdwatching, or birding, is the observation and study of birds with the naked eye or through a visual enhancement device like binoculars. Birding often involves a significant auditory component, as many bird species are more readily detected and identified by ear than by eye.
Well…accurate, but also birds are detected and identified by habitat, behavior, location, elevation, weather systems, food supply and even by patterns of flight.
That’s what makes it so interesting and never boring. Always something to learn. Did you know that around 1,000 different species of birds can be seen north of the Mexico border?
Birdwatching has taken us to remote Alaskan Islands, to swamps in Florida, prairie pot holes on the Great Plains, pelagic trips in Monterey Bay, and dense forests in the Northeast. It’s not all glamorous, did I mention a sewer pond or two…or three? All in all, I’ve visited more State and National Parks that I never knew existed, seen parts of our country that I never would have seen, met some diverse species of humans that I would have never met…all due to bird watching.
One of our favorite destinations is Southeast Arizona.
A sought after birding destination and one the most biological rich areas in the United States, Southeast Arizona hosts a unique variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies. These habitats draw flocks of migrating birdwatchers from all over the world to scour the Huachuca, Santa Rita and Chiricahua Mountains for species that can found no other place in the United States. The canyons that share habitat with bordering Mexico welcome birds that cross the border so that we can add them to our list of birds seen in the United States. Did I mention that fourteen species of hummingbirds can be seen here?
One of our favorite spots is Ramsey Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains. Here, the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, and the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts all come together. The abrupt rise of mountains from the surrounding arid grasslands creates “sky islands” harboring rare species and communities of plants and animals.
Nestled in the floor of the tall canyon walls and near the pond where the unique leopard frog whistles underwater, javalinas wallow and coati roam, hummingbirds buzz, Spotted Owls hoot, and Elegant Trogons tease us with their elusive flight and calls, and at the mouth of one of the most famous birdwatching trails sits a charming bed and breakfast, The Ramsey Canyon Inn.
It’s a perfect place to fill up on a hearty breakfast before you set out on the long arduous hike up the canyon on the Hamburg Trail. It also welcomes you home in the evening to a counter full of fresh-baked homemade pies. There’s nothing like relaxing on the patio overlooking the gardens and the hummingbird feeders while listening to the spring-fed creek and recounting with fellow birders the exciting finds of the day.
On one of our visits to the Inn, I brought back this recipe for Eggs Ole’. Shirlene Disantis was the owner of the Inn at the time, served this up for breakfast and was kind enough to pass along the recipe. Let’s take a look:
Just line a baking dish with corn chips. Next time I’ll use soft corn tortilla shells like the recipe calls for to make more of a crust.
Sprinkle on some cooked and crumbled chorizo.
Add some grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar.
Pour in your egg, cheese and salsa mixture. Bake, then drizzle with a velveeta and tomato sauce and top with some sliced black olives and ole’…You’ve got a tasty breakfast treat.
Shirlene DeSantis Eggs Ole’
1 dozen corn tortillas
3 Tbs oil
1 lb chorizo
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterey jack cheese
12 oz salsa
1 cup sour cream
For the sauce:
12 oz Velveeta
8 oz salsa
Heat together until melted
1. Heat oil in large skillet. Place tortilla in skillet and turn quickly just to soften. Line bottom of large Pyrex dish with tortillas. Cook chorizo and drain; spread over tortillas. Spread cheeses over chorizo. Mix eggs, sour cream and salsa together; pour over cheese and bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes or until set. Serve with sauce and black olives.
Eggs Ole’…It’s What’s For Breakfast!
All non-food photos are courtesy of Ramsey Canyon Inn Website.