Wild Burros of Picacho (with Coyote Finale)
Wild Burros sound off at night along the shores of Lake Taylor in Picacho State Recreation Area north of Yuma, Arizona (silent intervals between outbursts have been drastically reduced). At the very end, a pair of Coyotes give ecstatic howls and tremolo calls just before dawn. Listen also for muskrats peeping (near the beginning), the hoots of distant Great Horned Owls, the occasional staccato kick calls of Ridgway’s Rails, and the soft chuckling notes of Least Bittern. Note also abundant splashes throughout that I believe were caused by fish? 6-7 April 2021. Recordings © Lang Elliott. Photo-Illustration by Lang Elliott (with burro silhouette from Shutterstock).
Note: The recording featured above is a “3D binaural soundscape”. Please wear headphones for a spacious and immersive listening experience.
Finally, several more miles up the road (with tires still inflated and spirits still intact), we breath a long sigh of relief as we arrive at Picacho State Recreation Area, which borders a nine mile stretch of the mighty Colorado River, still more-or-less replete with water, in spite of the continued widespread drought.
Taylor Lake marsh just before sunrise. View to east. © Christine Hass.
On one very calm evening, I place a mic close to the marshy edge, in a spot where I had previously noticed abundant game trails. And that’s where I strike gold with the burros. On numerous occasions through the night, individuals or pairs pass nearby and are kind enough to “say hello” (in burro-talk of course) before moving on. I doubt they are aware of my mic, but their unrestrained performances make me wonder if they have been sent by the goddess Gaia to fulfill my every desire. All I can say is “Thank you burros and thank you mother nature for sharing your glorious music so unreservedly!”
What’s more, when the first light of dawn silhouettes distant peaks in the east, a pair of coyotes suddenly sound off from nearby, one giving drawn-out musical howls and the other producing ecstatic high-pitched tremolos … what an energetic and uplifting way to usher-in the new day!
Taylor Lake marsh – daytime view to north © Lang Elliott.
Wild Burro on a rocky slope in Picacho State Recreation Area north of Yuma. © Lang Elliott.
In Conclusion: I hope you enjoyed Wild Burros of Picacho (with Coyote Finale)! If you want to hear the burros, coyotes and marsh sounds for yourselves, I highly recommend a trip to Taylor Lake in the remote Picacho State Recreation Area. But do beware … the gravel road is rough and sufficient ground clearance is required. Even worse, there’s a good chance that evil forces will overwhelm you as you drive by the abandoned mine and the towering jagged peaks, sucking you into a dark and endless void, never to be heard from again. Are you really willing to take such a risk?
Darth Vader’s Hideout (seen on way to Picacho State Recreation Area). © Lang Elliott.