Watcha Lookin’ At
During our delightful stay at Castle Hot Springs in the Bradshaw Mountains, we spent one beautiful morning on the hiking trails. Stepping into the wash connecting with the first trail, we climbed up and down the scenic hills surrounding the property. I had heard there were wild burros nearby and I was on the hunt! I desired to observe and study them, and of course paint my first burros. Turning a corner on the trail there they were, I was not disappointed. The herd stopped immediately and stared at us, ever curious. Of course, I sought to get as close as I could to them, despite being warned they could be dangerous. No worries, I had Richard with me, my protector. Braying could be heard as we approached, a warm greeting, I like to believe, as opposed to a warning. Good morning, Lucy, welcome!
Wild burros are not native to Arizona, they were first introduced in the 1500’s by Spaniards, accompanying explorers and pioneers. Later, minors and prospectors imported them as pack animals, well suited to arid terrain. Apparently, at the end of the mining boom, many were turned loose or escaped, populating our Sonoran southwest. These burros adapted well to our harsh environments. I have learned the words burros and donkeys are often used interchangeably. Donkeys are called burros in Spanish and often refer to those that descended from Spanish or Mexican herds, these tend to be a little smaller. Those descended from European herds are most often referred to as donkeys. I always wondered the difference. Now I know.
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