Kofa Wildlife Refuge was recommended to us by a fellow photographer. I confess to having been once before, but frankly missing the point. We just didn’t understand the allure. So we decided to go back and see what was thought to be special about it, and give it a second chance.
Kofa is located northeast of Yuma and southeast of Quartzsite in the southwestern part of the state. It was established in 1939 to protect desert bighorn sheep who roam the 665,000 acres in the Sonaran Desert. While we were there the only animal we saw was a coyote walk through our camp.
What we did see though was how the light played on the craggy mountain ranges surrounding the area. Vast expanses of cholla cactus, ocotillo, and saguaro dotted the landscape, lit by the morning and evening sun. The mountains lit up in a colorful palette of maroons and purples. We began to see the beauty of the area.
There are roads and trails leading through the desert landscape making it a popular place for the many ATV / UTV’s we saw. Camping is easily laid out throughout the area, discouraging off road dispersed camping.
It’s amazing what you see when you open your eyes and heart to the beauty that surrounds you, even if you have to look a little deeper.
This time of year the snow is melting up North…. and the sun is shining in the Valley. We have become pretty acclimated to the cooler temps… so HOT HOT is just HOT, as it was when we went down this past week and experienced a whopping 87F. Ok, I know we’re spoiled… but we’re toughened up by our winters.
We went to see the flowers, but in truth, while we got into a couple small pockets, it was already late in the season, as most were already gone.
We enjoyed those we did see, and soaked up the heat. But enough is enough, so we took the appropriately named, Desert to Tall Pines Rd (SR 288) back to the snow.
In a matter of hours we were back in our comfort zone, with snow on the ground, amidst the forest and Tall Pines.
We ventured to Workmens Creek, outside of Young, and enjoyed the cascading water from their snow melt.
Admittedly, I am not great at night photography… but I’m learning, and the best way to get better is to go out and shoot. So I tried my hand at some night shots of cacti.
The clouds were troublesome… but cool. It’s tough, as by the time the stars come out the foreground is dark. Stomping around the cacti had me putting my foot in it – cactus, that is. Here the moon is just shining through the clouds while the stars try to make an appearance.
One this is for sure… I need more practice, and look forward to it.