Jackie's Journal (written by Winston, edited by Jackie, read by many. . . )
8 Aug 2016 updated from Jackie:
1 Aug 2016 This year has been a blur. Major events:
Catering to All Star Telescopes at the Painted Pony Resort
Jackie was a trip host for Caligo Adventures - Trinidad-Tobago
Heller House remodel completed just in time for birding season - - Many thanks to all who helped!
Winston transferred and moved to ABQ
Winston's Mom did a Covenant marriage - Jackie did the wedding cake
Jackie's Mom came to visit
Romero finished the GWH patio - - - It is fantastic
One fire or EMT call after another, seems more this summer than previous years - Jackie is RCO and EMT and Portal Rescue Board member
Winston hauled a 750 lb Sub-zero fridge to Paradise from Abq. Thanks to loaders Ivan and Jeff, unloaders Jerry and Jennifer.
As noted, major storm, PC recovery on going
Hummingbird numbers are increasing as are species with the start of the Southern migration
7/31, Humminbird banding day. 75 birds in hand, 6 species.
Monsoon start hit hard - the 7/24 storm followed by an 8/1 storm that dumped 1.5 inches in 1/2 hour early in the morning.
Drizzle all day with more rain and then a power outage that started around 7:00 pm and reaches from Deming west.
At 9:00 pm, 1 Aug, Jackie was still without power.
Winston is sure there is more to add, but this is a pretty good update.
and for the history buffs - A link to an article re the 1877 earthquake
7/24/2016 Major Storm:
and pics from the Chiricahua Historical Society Picnic..........scroll down for latest additions to the Journal.
Link to post Rattlesnake II Fire Pics: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.189483861109521.49639.100001437267182&l=7d2cb6b1a5
Link to Rattlesnake II Fire Pics: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.172407062817201.43505.100001437267182&l=ca72215a7f
Link to post Rattlesnake II Fire drive up the Mountain by Bruce Alvarius - there is hope!!!
Please do not rely on GPS for directions in and around the Chiricahuas. Many map databases
are based on 100 year old roads that no longer exist. Recent guest was given directions to
get to Wilcox by going through Whitetail Canyon and over the Mountain past Hilltop. Road
over the mountain via Hilltop has been impassable for years.
Curly Bill Brocius and Galeyville:
Click here to go to a short article in Arizona Oddities
We are on Faceboook: https://www.facebook.com/thegeorgewalkerhouse
Here is a link to AZ Forest Service map of recreation areas in Arizona:
10 Mar 2015 - A Guest's Comment
Catastrophe of the day!
There is no French's mustard in this wonderfully stocked home, only grey poupon and horseradish mustard...
I'm missing the severity...
I have my veggies.
Winston's response is classic Takei: "Oh, my!"
24 Feb 2015 - First of Season Broad-tailed hummer in the yard and a Letter to Fran:
First of all - CONGRATULATIONS on the acceptance of your illustrations!!! That's great! No, I don't think you're crazy for wanting to do more. It's something you do well, even if you do have to work a little harder at it than you used to. :
Second, I sincerely apologize for not writing to you last week! Thursday, Feb 12 I was in Tucson all day shopping for catering. 30 people at the Painted Pony Feb 14 through 20 with shopping all day on the 17th as well. I baked all day on Friday, Feb 13 for both the catering and the Soup Kitchen. Thankfully Winston was here to help with dishes, loading and unloading the car, cleaning the Walker House and taking care of birders. On the 21st we got everything put away. Sunday and Monday of this week we had back to back guests so the Walker House was the focus of both days. Oh, and I made 16 pounds of fudge on the 20th because they wanted to buy some. They bought 8 pounds and I have the rest in the freezer in case anybody asks for something last minute.
I did not get to help at the Soup Kitchen this year but was told they served 120 something on Monday and 136 on Tuesday. I didn't get the Wednesday numbers. Just over $7,000 was brought in again this year. I really missed being there. Several of the Painted Pony clients went and really enjoyed it. One couple who was not able to attend sent a $20 donation with me to get to Portal Rescue. Another bought an apron as a souvenir :
I'll be shopping on Thursday this week since I'm catering sandwiches and bar cakes/cookies for the Fagan's memorial and then dinner for the family. They are expecting at least 120 people at the memorial. The family dinner is going to be a large salad, French bread and frozen lasagnas.
On March 15th I'm catering a wedding brunch at the Painted Pony. Right now she's expecting 40-50 people. The menu is quiches and pies with a carrot cake for their wedding cake. Needless to say, the next couple weeks will be crazy out here.
I think I need to make more prickly pear jelly. There's not quite one gallon of juice in the freezer. I'll make all of it and then we'll have to wait until September for the fruit to ripen. The jalapeno jelly has been selling pretty well also. I keep hoping to get some stained glass done. The spring show is in April and coming up quick so I may miss it one more time.
We had our first Broad-tailed hummingbird yesterday. I was telling myself that I needed to get a feeder out just in case and hadn't done it. He flew in around 7:30 and stayed in the yard until I brought the feeder out. He came down for a drink and I didn't see him the rest of the day. I really love the hummingbirds and will be very happy to have the yard abuzz with them again.
The Mexican Jays and Pine Siskins are keeping me busy filling feeders. Among items on my to-do list today, make suet (at least 2 and possibly 3 seven pound batches), make cheese with leftover milk and cream, highlight changes on TMC standing orders so I can review them on Wednesday with the EMTs…and mundane things like shower, dishes, laundry. I'd rather be birdwatching when it warms up but that doesn't get anything done, does it? Ha ha! There will be plenty of that starting in the next couple of weeks when the birders arrive.
I've probably worn you out. Please know that I think of you daily and that lapses in writing to you are completely unacceptable. I just want to be able to spend some time with you and not have to rush through a letter.
Lots of hugs back!
24 Jan 2015 - Baby Shower!
For Morgan Jackson. At least 40 Portal/Rodeo ladies convened at the Portal Rescue
and an afternoon of gift giving and well wishing commenced. Jackie baked and
decorated the cake!
07 Jan 2015 - Upcoming event:
Winston is one of the authors and will be signing books!
07 Jan 2015 - Rumors:
There is a rumor goin' round....no not that Eagle's song.....this is about Jackie. Seems word at the Rodeo tavern has it that one has to wait for once a year and in a LONG line at the Rodeo and Animas craft fairs to buy one of her Christmas candies!
Bear repairs continue. As does the rebuild of Winston's computer!
06/24/2013 - Busy Day in Paradise:
Jackie's watchcat - Mischief jumped into the window in the glass shop and GROWLED at this big guy.
Dogs just layed on the floor sucking up the cool air........Gotta love a cat like her!
05/15/2013 - Busy Day in Paradise:
Feeders, stained glass, scaffolding and staining, birders, shower, Portal Rescue Board meeting
bring in feeders.
Drink 6 X 24 oz water!!!!!
Jackie will crash when she gets home tonight.
AMERICAN Goldfinch yesterday
I won't keep going, but we have 50 species a day coming in.
New for the season: Brown-crested Flycatcher..........!!!!!!!
05/15/2013 - Today's Work - See Jackie in Action Below:
05/10/2013 - Full Yard
Busy day - Bird watchers in the yard before and after the Gallery meeting that ran long.
In addition to the Lewis's Woodpecker flitting in and out, we had at least 50 Western Tanagers
in the yard. 3 lbs of jelly a day is just not quite enough! - If you bring jelly for a donation, make it
Grape, and the cheapest available. No jams or preserves, just plain sweet grape jelly.
Old Friend and excellent bird guide, Weezil Walraven brought guests, and then a van full of
Japanese tourists arrived - apparently for the second time. Jackie welcomed them with a
hearty "Irashaimasen" to which the delighted Nihongo contingent replied: "Domo Arigato"!
Many pictures were taken, and as the group settled in, Jackie shared the last four of her
Okinawa Chinsuko biscuits with them. Being mainland Japanese, they were not quite familiar
with the treat, but shared and enjoyed them. Winston asked Jackie if 50 Western Tanagers
was unusual, and she reminded Winston that several years ago over 100 Western Tanagers
invaded the yard. For the mothers reading this - last weekend a Female Broad-billed female
pulled raw silk nesting material, spit it out - yes, literally, spit it out, then went back and pulled a
pea-sized chunk of lanolized cotton and zoomed up to roost for minute for all to see and then off
to her nest she went, we assume making a first of season nest! Great spring season at the GWH.
By Request - a Link to Truck Stop, Der Wilde, Wilde Westen!
05/06/2013 - Weekend Recap Friday - Monday
Friday: Border Patrol in action followed cars up the San Simon road and
spot lighted houses in Paradise for illegals that might have been in the area.
Kudos to their diligence.
Saturday: Banding! 47 birds in hand, three species represented. Excellent help from Colorado
University students and our house guests. Bird watchers filled the yard and the afternoon.
Sunday: more Bird watchers - and a female Broad-billed pulled nesting material from the lanolinized
cotton provided by Mike Williams, Wild Birds Unlimited. Also spotted for a big rig driver who needed
a little space to get turned around and back down the San Simon road to I-10. DO NOT trust your
GPS in the Chiricahau Mountains!!!!!!!!!!! Maps uploaded to GPS databases in the area tend to be
old, and many roads are no long accessible.
Monday: Lewis Woodpecker!!!!!! Not seen in Paradise since 2007.
We hope he sticks around for awhile.
Wonderful eye-candy this season.
Quicklist from the weekend:
Bullock's and Scott's Orioles
Lazuli, Indigo, Varied Buntings
Pine Siskins, Lesser Goldfinches
Hepatic, Summer, and Western Tanagers,
Broad-tailed, Broad-billed, Blue-throated, Magnificent, Black-chinned Hummingbirds,
Robin, House Sparrow, Lincoln Sparrow, Yellow Rumped warbler, Acorn Woodpecker,
Red Shafted Flicker, Elf Owl, Western Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, Turkey Vultures, Cooper's Hawk,
White-winged Doves, Mourning Doves, Band Tailed Pigeons, Spotted and Green-tailed Towhees, Bushtits,
Juniper and Bridled Titmice, White-breasted Nuthatches, Violet-green Swallows, Az. Woodpecker....and MORE!
Jackie LOVE'S the northern, aka spring, migration.
4/21/2013 - Hummingbird Banding Day in Paradise!
66 Hummingbirds in hand this morning. 3 Species: Magnificent, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed.
Blue-throated and Broad-billed also in the yard. Highlight of the day - we trapped, fed, and released,
a healthy Black-chinned female that Rebecca had banded in Paradise back on June 1st 2003.
She was also in hand June 15, 2008. She was least 1 year old when banded, so doing the math,
she is now at least 11 years old! Might be a longevity record for the Hummingbird Monitoring Network,
but definitely a longevity record for Paradise!
14 April, 2013 - Taxes Ready for e-file, and Dinner!
Mark Pizarek, our accountant, got the returns together, we reviewed and signed - Yay!
Winston grilled the last of the Dorado from October trip. Caught in the Sea of Cortez as hurricane Paul rolled in....
How he cooked them:
Marinate 2 lbs of Dorado filets for at least 4 hours and then grill on medium heat for 6 - 10 mins.
1/4 cup lime juice
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 chopped serrano chile (we used diced roasted Hatch chili - prefer serrano for this)
1/4 cup CHEAP white tequila
Blend all until sugar is dissolved....then pour over filets. Winston put fish and marinade in a
1 gallon freezer bag, made sure all the filets were coated and let them rest until grill time!
07 April, 2013 - First Humminbird Banding Session results.
First Hummingbird banding session.
Six species and special guest, Margaret Roderick who turned 100 years old the February!
She had great fun being a "launching pad" for the birds released after processing.
Species in hand:
Broad-billed - female, quite the surprise!
~ 20 yard visitors by day's end, and Jackie had to go on an EMT call in the midst of it all.
Life is full in Paradise.
First of Season Report - March 19, 2013
Migration has started! - Seen and heard in Paradise 17 - 19 Mar:
Western Screech Owl
Arizona Woodpecker - a pair!
One Scott's Oriole
St. Patrick's Day Parade - Downtown Portal, March 16, 2013
Custom car(s), Border Patrolmen, the Abbreviated Kazoo Band, Caballeros, and many
more participated in the St. Patrick's day Parade. St. Patrick was present, blessing (or not)
the loyal following. Cookies and green punch were served afterward in the Library accompanied
by a zealous choir and keyboardist singing Irish themed songs - they sounded great!
Click here for pics. Note: you will have to scroll down to see the pics.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Our first Magnificent Hummingbird at the feeders!
Also got the following update from Brother Richard who landed a great gig in Winnipeg. He started this week:
It is official, I am now an immigrant.
I have been here since Monday. It is warming up -5 degrees today. I almost got my speedo out.
The business is in need of some serious leadership.
Upon my arrival I was greeted with three resignations of key employees.
Nice! I must get this place in control and fast.
No worries. I know what to do and will keep you all abreast as it progresses.
I will be looking for a house this weekend.
10 March, 2013 Jackie is cooking for the Painted Pony Resort This week - Menu:
Sunday, March 10
Hummus with Pita Chips & Veggies
Italian Salad, Balsamic Dressing
Herb Crusted Chicken Breast, Broccoli with Brown Butter Almondine,
Roasted Red/white/blue Potatoes
Cheesecake with Fruit
Wednesday, March 13
Baked Dill Cream Cheese
Chopped Salad, Assorted dressings
Baked Salmon with Champagne Sauce, Orange Glazed Asparagus, Wild Rice Pilaf
Pine Nut and Lemon Custard Torte
Thursday, March 14
Bierkase on Rye, Gherkins
Wilted Lettuce Salad, Bacon Dressing
Rouladen, Creamed Cauliflower, Mushroom Stroganoff
Black Forest Trifle
Apple Tea Punch
Friday, March 15
Brie with Maple Syrup & Pecans
Baby Greens with Cranberry, Candied Pecans, Goat Cheese, Vanilla Vinegrette
Bourbon Pork Roast, Green Beans w/Red Pepper, Sweet Potato and Spinach Gratin
Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding
1 March 2013 - News
Jackie took her first 2014 booking this weekend! Maybe that is an omen of good things to come!
Birdwatchers in and out. Still a bit early for the spring migration. Good numbers of Siskens, Goldfinches,
Mexican Jays, Bridled Titmice, the occasional Juniper Titmouse. The big news, however, was that
KVOA, Channel 4, Tucson aired a video clip of First Responder Training held in Avra Valley. Portal
rescue members participated in the training - Jackie, (Portal Rescue EMS Chief) is very proud of
her team's participation - click here to watch the video and cheer on Portal Fire and Rescue!
21 February 2013 - Chiricahua Christmas Bird Count Totals!!!!!!!
18 February 2013 - San Pedro River Inn News.....
The birding hotspot San Pedro River Inn, on the east side of the San Pedro River near Hereford, has
changed hands and mission. Formerly a birder's B&B, with direct access to the San Pedro Riparian NCA,
the land has been sold to Echoing Hope Ranch <echoinghoperanch.org>, an organization "providing growth,
discovery & learning opportunities for people with autism."
I spoke with Board Director Glen Kreider today. Echoing Hope Ranch has begun extensive renovation of the
cottages on the property, as they will provide residential services to adult autistics. To meet Arizona state safety
codes, the two ponds next to the cottages have been completely surrounded with a locked, high, chain link fence.
At the moment, birders can seek permission to bird the area as in the past But it is envisioned that the facility will
be open in early May, by which time birders wandering the grounds would be a problem for the staff.
We were given permission to bird today; our tally for the morning was 46 species. Waterfowl on the river included a
pair of Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Am. Wigeon, "Mexican" Mallard, Cinnamon Teal, and Green-winged Teal.
Three Gray Flycatchers were noted during our circuit; the only warblers were "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warblers.
The usual winter sparrows were seen, but the highlight of the morning came at the end, with a sighting of at least
three Lawrence's Goldfinches in a mixed sparrow and towhee flock.
Cheers, Erika Wilson (Sierra Vista, AZ)
11 - 13 February 2013 - Portal Rescue Soup Kitchen
Thank you to everyone who made the 17th Annual Portal Rescue Soup Kitchen fundraiser a huge success!
Over three days, we raised a total of $7,748 for Portal Rescue, which included raffle tickets sales, meals,
other sales, and donations. In addition to those from our own area, we had folks from Silver City, Lordsburg,
Willcox, Douglas, and Bisbee. On Monday, we served 139 meals. On Tuesday, 115, and on Wednesday,
we set a record at 152 meals served.
We couldn't have done this without the generous support of the many people who donated raffle prizes,
made soup, baked bread, and prepared desserts. And a huge thank you to all of our tireless volunteer workers.
Thanks to all of you for supporting Portal Rescue and our community!
Chris Wilbur, EMT, and soup kitchen lead
9 February 2013 - Eduardo Minozzi Costa Concert
Held at the Chiricahua Desert museum. Dr. Costa played a variety of classic guitar pieces,
some contemporary and some of his own arrangements to a packed house of 80.
Jackie provided refreshments for the evening. After the concert, Winston chatted
with Dr. Costa a bit. Dr. Costa's comment about playing in Rodeo: "A community that has
an art gallery and museum - but no grocery stores? That shows what is important to these people."
And for the foodies, pairings for the night were:
Wines from Trader Joe's:
Red - Cocobon, a California Meritage
White - Trellis, Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma
Punch made with lemonade, sparkling cider, soda water
Cheese and Crackers from Sam's Club
Morrel and Leek Jack
Delice de France double cream Brie
Multi-grain and Ritz crackers
Walnut halves toasted by Jackie in butter and Himalayan pink salt
Click on link below to learn more about Dr. Costa is:
4 February 2013 - Link to Snow Pics!!!! Click on the link below.
6 Jan 2013
Site is down!
30 Dec 2012
We fed the Peloncillo Christmas Bird Count Crew tonight 28 people enjoyed green chili chicken enchiladas,
refried beans with all the fixin's, vegetarian enchiladas, and for desert, Chimayo Chili brownies topped with
goat cheese cheesecake.
27 Dec 2012
Sleet in Benson, snow in Paradise - ~ 1/4 inch so far.....Jackie will report again in the am.
Can't see Silver Peak. Would have been a lot better in the daylight and Jackie had been home to watch it!
Christmas Bird Count this weekend. Hope we don't have to pull anyone out of the snow. Jackie has
excellent mud slingin' Goodyear tires on the 4Runner. Winston has Pirelli Scorpions on the truck.
Recommend the Goodyears over the Pirellis for snow.
We had Chuck over for dinner on Christmas eve (Rack of Lamb crusted with Kona Coffee rub, salad,
asparagus, and blue cheese smashed potatoes). Ted and Marcia came up for brunch Christmas day
- Winston's Chipotle based Bloody Maries, Jackie's White Sangria, French Toast stuffed with salmon and
cream cheese with a reduced ginger sauce, side dish of fresh berries and other fruits soaked in
Japanese plum wine. Marcia brought fresh baked zuchini bread and we sent her home with
firewood and Japanese Tea Biscuits (chinkuso). Just keeping up the foodie traditions in Paradise.
Winston's GGrandad Bill Sanders was also known as one of the best "beef burners" around.
Winston remember a visit when lunch was fried oysters - in Paradise!
22 Dec 2012
Arizona aka Strickland's Woodpecker. Winston will be in Paradise by noon today. Jackie is on a
grocery/Christmas run to Douglas. Christmas day doin's at the AVA Ranch. No snow. Only 8 inches
of precipitation this year (average is 20). Cold, (15F) dry, winter.
16 Dec 2012 - Misty Mountain Morning Sunrise - Silverpeak, From the George Walker House
14 Dec 2012
14 December already!!!!!! No cards out, no tree up?! Where does the time go?? We were able
to share a Hannukah moment with Brother George via video skype. Happy Holidays to all!
Oh,,,,,and yes, first snow of 2012 falling this morning.
04 Dec 2012
Ocelot sighting Miller Canyon: http://seazhummingbirds.com/Miller_Canyon_Ocelot.htm#SECOND
On any given night in the Borderlands - Winston's Mom with "Pancho Villa!"
Tom Russell wrote a song about nights like this: "Tonight We Ride". Lyrics below.
Tonight We Ride: Tom Russell
Pancho Villa crossed the border in the year of ought sixteen
The people of Columbus still hear him riding through their dreams
He killed seventeen civilians you could hear the women scream
Blackjack Pershing on a dancing horse was waiting in the wings
Tonight we ride, tonight we ride
We'll skin ole Pancho Villa, make chaps out of his hide
Shoot his horse, Siete Leguas, and his twenty-seven brides
Tonight we ride, tonight we ride
We rode for three long years till Blackjack Pershing called it quits
When Jackie wasn't lookin' I stole his fine spade bit
It was tied upon his stallion, so I rode away on it
To the wild Chihuahuan desert, so dry you couldn't spit
Tonight we ride, you bastards dare
We'll kill the wild Apache for the bounty on his hair
Then we'll ride into Durango, climb up the whorehouse stairs
Tonight we ride, Tonight we ride
When I'm too damn old to sit a horse, I'll steal the warden's car
Break my ass out of this prison, leave my teeth there in a jar
You don't need no teeth for kissin' gals or smokin' cheap cigars
I'll sleep with one eye open, 'neath God's celestial stars
Tonight we rock, Tonight we roll
We'll rob the Juarez liquor store for the Reposado Gold
And if we drink ourselves to death, ain't that the cowboy way to go?
Tonight we ride, tonight we ride
Tonight we fly, we're headin' west
Toward the mountains and the ocean where the eagle makes his nest
If our bones bleach on the desert, we'll consider we are blessed
Tonight we ride, Tonight we ride
Tonight we ride, tonight we ride.
26 Nov 2012
New roof for the front of the Walker House! Kudos to the builder of the GWH. The roof frame
is solid and square 106 years later. Not a record for an East Coast house, but a pretty good
record for an Arizona Mountain home! Chuck and Brad should finish up this week, and
guess what - NO MORE leaks on the porch! And yes, corrugated tin was laid on top of
shake shingles, and on the house roof, boards under the shake shingles. Porch was
added in the 40's and the builders did not put boards down under the shakes. Still
amazed at the original build quality.
22 Nov 2012
Thanksgiving dinner in Paradise:
Grilled Herbed Game Hens
Oyster dressing (Jackie recipe, so good we are skipping the bird next year)
Traditional Green Been Casserole
Menage a Trois - wine (what were you thinking?) :)
Stewed fresh fruit and whipped cream will become breakfast!
Yes, indeed, we be foodies here in Paradise....!
17 Nov 2012
70 lbs of hand-crafted candy made and 50 lbs sold! Jackie is still taking orders and delivering!
Following totals are 1/4 pound packages:
Mexican Chocolate Fudge - 22
Chili Cocolate Fudge - 16
Mocha Chocolate Fudge - 16
Dark Chocolate Fudge - 05
Dark Pecan Fudge - 15 - sold out!
Chocolate Fudge - 06
Chocolate Walnut Fudge - 04
Milk Chocolate Fudge - 11 - sold out!
Peanut Butter Fudge - 09
Penuche - 15
Mixed Nut Brittle - 13
English Toffee - 36 - sold out!
Canberry Almond Bark - 10
Chocolate Peanut Butter - 10
Peanut Brittle - 06
70 lbs of dulces "merchandised". Jackie came ready to SELL - look at that "game face"! Click here for more craft fair pics.
24 Oct 2012 Back from Cabo!
How much fun can one have in a week? Fishing to the max on the edge of Hurricane Paul,
riding out the Hurricane with marathon card games, turtle relasing in the evening, walking
on the docks whith cruise ship passengers, birdwatching at the estuary, and a stop at a
horse ranch to look at the Fresian and Lusitano horses. Winston brought back 20 or so
lbs of Dorado, Yellow Fin and Bonito fish.
Got back to patch the roof in the Walker House, and plug a flat tire in the 4Runner.
Winston just got rid of a virus on his computer, is back at work, Jackie is reconnecting
with Portal Rescue staffers, and life begins again!
Pics are on the other computer, will get some up here and on our facebook page shortly.
Link to facebook album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.444400838951154.108238.100001437267182&type=1&l=d7f2f9616e
Pic below is of Jackie on the beach explaining these mark turtle nests and the tags have hatch dates. Gotta love a gal
who will go where the wild things are rather than wining and dining on her anniversary!
11 Oct 2012 Update from Jackie!
Jackie was just saying good-bye to our cousin guests and we had a Black-necked Garter Snake slither
past us! Unfortunately, Jackie did not get the camera in time for a pic. This is the first time Jackie
has seen one. Winston has seen them at the creek, but the creek is pretty well dry. Maybe it
will make a home under the bird bath:)
Many of you may know that good Friends and Neighbors, Dick and Fran Zwiefel were in an
awful car accident near Page, Arizona. Dick was mostly unhurt, but Fran suffered significant
injuries. Portal/Paradise/Rodeo family has rallied behind Dick and Fran. They compiled a
care basket, and a "friendship quilt" to cheer the Zweifels and help them get through this
difficult time. You can read more at this link: http://www.portalrodeo.com/quilt-for-fran-zweifel.html.
Jackie headed up the quilting team. Then she made the road trip from Paradise to Prescott to
Saint George and delivered the goods! Family is in as good as spirits as can be. Son and Daughter
Connie and Matt are not far away in Kanab and doing their best to support.
Bear Sighting between Ruster and Barfoot Parks:
Fall Doin's at SWRS:
Just for Brother Richard: Cowboy Song
10 Aug 2012 Update from Jackie!
Calliope, Rufous, Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Anna's all in the yard today.
Start of Southern migration! 3 cups of nectar drained from the feeders in front of the GWH.
Gonna be a GREAT banding weekend!
10 Aug Road warning from Richard Webster:
8 Aug 2012 Readers Demand an Update!!!
Jackie does not write the Journal, Winston does, and he has been remiss in his duties
to keep the reading populace informed. More to come, but for now, Jackie is kidney stone
free! - Winston will get the story together and post. More expensive than the rarest earth metal,
bills for the extracted 10.5mm stone are reaching the $20,000 mark. Aetna is covering nearly
all of it, thank you Lockheed medical insurance!
10 - 12 July 2012 Jackie Kidney Stone Saga
10 July Jackie sat the Gallery and had two EMT calls, the latest ended at 10:00 pm. She woke
up on 12 July at 1:00 am great pain, and drove down the mountain to Marcia's who drove Jackie
to the emergency room in Douglas. It was determined she had a kidney stone the size of dime.
So......they shipped her to Sierra Vista. Friend Michelle Kimble just happened to be going to
Douglas and volunteered to check in on Jackie. Michelle relayed the news to Marcia, and Winston
got a call that Jackie had just been transferred to Sierra Vista. Jackie was given pain medicine,
fluids, etc., spent the night, and the next morning went under for the removal. Nope, they did not
operate, they went in and grabbed stone and pulled it out through her urethra....then put in a stent.
Jackie's "besties" did bust her out and around 6:00 pm NMT she was in Apache, and arrived in
Portal about 6:50. Jackie is unloading the car, loading up Tundra and heading to Paradise.
THANK YOU ALL for your prayers and concerns. The hospital kept the extracted kidney stone....
maybe for its floor display......
Jackie is now drinking 3 qts of water a day and 3 months later has lost over 20 lbs. Yep, she
needed to buy new vacation clothes. Many "thank yous" to Marcia, Michelle, and Cecil. They
are far more than "fair weather friends".
28 June 2012 Jackie in Paradise - "Nature TV"
I happened to look out the east door around 1245 and saw a turkey. Yep! So I took some pictures
and was surprised when a second one came out from behind the juniper tree that is between the
house and the garden. More pictures, then binoculars. They have really beautiful feathers! Ok,
I'm enjoying the turkeys when last year's fawns come through the meadow from the north. Enjoying
hearing the quite speak of the turkeys when suddenly a chipmunk's call explodes from under the house.
The turkeys and deer went on alert as Mischief apparently had the chipmunk trapped. Then when the
chipmunk chattered again Tundra jumped of the porch which sent the turkeys racing to the east and
the deer to the south. I guess now I have no excuse not to finish cleaning.
My nature TV has been unplugged for the time being.
Just a follow-up note. Jackie bought scratch feed for the turkeys, and yep, they never came back.
She never even got to put it out for them.
27 June 2012
On Thursday, June 21st, I didn't get this peanut butter jar in for the night. It was the one that hangs
off of the Juniper tree in my yard. On Friday it was no where to be found in my yard, or anywhere I
walked on our property. On my way home from Portal on Saturday I thought I saw a jelly jar near
the edge of the road but did not go back to look at it. Today, I stopped on my way down to Portal
and sure enough, it was one of the peanut butter jars with a bit of peanut butter still on the bottom.
It's no wonder we can't find missing feeders in the yard. Look how far this one was and over the
terrain. Left yellow tack is GWH, right is where jelly jar was on way down to Portal!
25 June 2012
Time for a little history and story telling:
Legendary outlaw Curly Bill Brocius had a perverse sense of humor. Around 1880, he broke into a dance on the
San Pedro and at gunpoint forced everyone to strip naked and dance for his amusement.
In Galeyville, he once went into a restaurant, ordered a meal, then placed a six-shooter on each side of his plate
and ordered everyone to wait until he was through before they could leave. When he finished, Brocius laid his
head down upon his arms and fell asleep. Everyone was afraid to move. Some time later, Bill awoke,
paid for everyone’s meal and left.
20 June 2012
"zero" day Birthdays all around. Bro. Richard is planning an event for Winston's Mom. Details below:
11 June 2012
Every now and then someone asks about Thick-billed Parrots in the Chiricahuas.
Here are two links to historical information and Noel Snyder's work:
Thank you to Frank Insanas for the historical link. As Winston wrote to Frank: "It must
have been something to see hundreds, if not thousands of parrots in the forest."
31 May 2012
Went through 7 cups of Hummingbird nectar today. A guestimate would be ~160 visits.
Black-chinned, Blue-throated, Broad-tailed, Magnificent are the hummers in the yard.
Yep, the nesters and breeders are here.
29 May 2012
Mountain Lion in Portal:
A hungry mom with kittens, she has already made a meal out of at least one local perrito....
14 May 2012
Nearly a month and no updates!!!!! The Four Finns and snow and hiking at Hilltop and Hummingbird Banding
and Grosbeaks and Tanagers, and,,,,, oh, yes, Jackie cooks for two catering gigs, starts stained glass
entertains birdwatchers and Winston kicks off a new gig in a Systems Engineering organization and how
much more life can be live between LC and Paradise????? Obviously a lot. Winston has no time and
even though Jackie is Ms. Renaissance woman in Paradise, who is keeping up Jackie's Journal????
Not Winston and not Jackie!
27 April 2012
34 degrees in Paradise this am. This is Mountain country. Be prepared to add layers of clothing in the morning
and peel them all off by mid-day and layer backup when the sun goes down!
20 April 2012 - In the yard today:
14 April 2012 - Hilltop!
An enthusiastic crowd gathered at Hilltop on April 14, for a tour of the old hilltop mine and environs.
The tour, sponsored by the Chiricahua-Peloncillo Historical Society, was led by Al Bammann -
retired BLM biologist, sole resident, owner, and chief cook and bottle washer of Hilltop.
Hilltop's post office was established January 26, 1920 and discontinued June 30, 1945.
Originally discovered in the 1880's, the Hilltop mine didn't support a town until the early 1900's.
Hilltop as a town bought an automobile in 1913 for which they took great care. In 1917, they built
a tunnel through Shaw Peak and erected a new town site. Gradually mining diminished and the town
has become what it is today, Al Bamman's paradise.
(Above Article and below pic repurposed from Howard Topoff's PortalRodeo community website)
The two story at the end of the house row housed the generator and machine shop. This row of
houses had gravity fed water, indoor toilets and electricity. The at least two tiers of housing above
had electricity and a common bath house. Winston's Great, Great (yes, two greats), Grandmother
Le Seur ran a boarding house for the miners in one of these tiers. When Greatgrandmother's husband,
Roland Wakefield, died in the flu epidemic of 1918, she moved to Hilltop with her three boys
and lived in the boarding house. It was here she met her next two husbands, Mark Chapman
and after he passed away from miner's consumption in Solomonville, Paradise resident,
Bill (William Wesley aka W.W.) Sanders. Winston's mother, Pam, tells us Bill and Willie Mae
shared "an eternal love".
Story has it that Roland did not die from influenza. He got dementia from the affects of the flu,
then ran out into the snow near Gleason, and died from pneumonia brought on from exposure.
Talking with Mickey Johnson, it was these and other secondary affects of the flu that killed many
people during this epidemic.
Winston's Great Uncle, Frank Chapman, worked for the Railroad in Douglas and kept his
family in Tucson. Uncle Frank made it a point to stop in Paradise and check on Bill Sanders
when he headed back to Tucson to be with family. Indeed, it was Uncle Frank who helped
(or maybe actually purchased) Bill Sander's first car. Bill grew up and spent his life driving
trucks. Trucks just seemed a might more useful in a miner/mountain man's world......
Below pic is past the Mine Superintendent's house and not far from the entry shaft to
one of the many (Casper mine, if I remember rightly) mining claims in the area.
Yes, the Horseshoe two fire is to account for all the blackened trees.............
8 April 2012 - Easter Sunday and Banding
Tundra decided to dig out her stuffed animal blue bunnie head and play with it like a rag doll all morning.
How and why did she know to pull out a rabbit (head) from her pile of stuffed toys??? On Easter???
She has not played with that rabbit's head for years! Lee set up the banding stuff and at the end of 5
hours Bob Inman had trapped and the team had in hand 39 birds, 4 species. (Black-throated, Broad-tailed,
Magnificent, Rufous) one of the Magnificents had been banded in Paradise in 2005 - yes, that makes
him an at least 7 year old bird! Ever the gracious Site hostess, Jackie made individual Challa Breads
and a roasted green chile and smoked ham casserole bake. Not wanting to offend, she asked the banding
team and guests if there was any religious or other objection to serving ham with Challah Bread. No
objections were raised, so the team was treated to individual servings of casserole and Challah like this one:
Winston was lucky to get home with one and get this picture before it, too, was devoured!
Jackie used the left over egg whites to make pavlovas and served them with chocolate
sauce for Sondra's birthday on Monday. Pavlova wins out over peeps and Challa Bread
over just about anything else for Easter breakfast. I do believe she has started a new
tradition at the GWH in Paradise.
6 April 2012 - 2000 Silverado Update
Our readers may remember that Winston's 2000 Silverado was stolen last year, used to haul illegals across the
border and then returned with a few improvements. Click here to go to that story.
While Winston's truck went missing, he purchased a base model Tacoma, then upgraded to a crew-cab with
off road suspension Tacoma. Of course, that is about when the Chevy was recovered after a high-speed chase
through the Marana desert. Not needing two trucks, and having a nephew who is a BIG boy with a newly
minted driver's licence and need of transportation, Winston sold it to Jonathan for a reasonable price.
Because he had reliable transportation, Jonathan was able to work all summer at a local Farm. When the
Farmer's truck broke, he offered to keep Jonathan in gas money if he would use the Chevy for farm work.
The Chevy has worked all summer and fall hauling hay, pulling trailers, and in general, doing anything and
going anywhere Jonathan wanted. It probably has 250,000 thousand miles on it now, and if it did not
have the overload springs the thieves installed on it, it would not be able to haul loads like this one:
28 March 2012 - Auntie Venom
Most likely female Black-tailed rattlesnake stopped by the yard. A very docile snake, Black-tailed rattlesnakes
don't often rattle at Winston (unlike Diamond-backs).....this one didn't rattle at Jackie and moseyed off (yes, a western term)
after bit in search of a rodent dinner. Mischief, ever the competitor, brought a field mouse in at dinner time as if to tell
Jackie: "see, I catch them too!". - Nonetheless, a gentle warning for all coming to the wilderness to play, snakes are
indeed out and, please, please, be careful and watchful as you hike and birdwatch in the area.
10 March 2012 - First of Season Rufous Hummingbird
He first came in 7 March, exactly same day the first Rufous came in last year.
He did not appear to be banded and appeared to take little notice of the 2 inches
of snow blanketing the Chiricahuas. Feeding was his top priority, which allowed
Winston to take this pic - which was then cropped and "doctored" just a little by
27 February 2012 - Plug for Talus Wind Ranch Lamb
Our guests from South Africa purchased a whole lamb from Talus Wind Ranch, stopped in Galisteo and
and picked up one 1/2 for their stay at the GWH. They will pick up the other 1/2 on their way home
Ernst's comment: "This is the best lamb I have had in America." Jackie's comment: "YUM, and oh, that is really good".
Compliments to Talus Wind and Charlotte's good cooking.
Oh, and yes, we have rain in Paradise tonight!
26 February 2012 - Yard Guests
Gray Foxes are in abundance this year. We have at least two
that have been frequenting the yard in the evening. This pic was
taken at dusk through a double paned window. Thank goodness
for an image stabilizing lens. . .
Absolutely beautiful animals this time of year.
No, no red foxes have been seen in the Chiricahuas recently.
They seem to like the Navajo reservation in Northern Arizona.
Watch carefully when you come to visit, sighting of a Red Fox
would be the mamallian equivalent of our Orchard Oriole sighting a year or two back.........
February 2012 - A Bit of Paradise But Mostly Utopia
About two years ago Inge Schoutsen came through Paradise photographing the town and townspeople.
She put the Paradise pics together with shots from Utopia, Texas, and came up with an exhibit you can
Jackie's menu for this week - recipes available upon request with the caveat that Jackie fixes 'em to suit her
palate, the clientele, the weather, and adjusts for altitude and attitude.....
Another mining town, another story....from the Long Time Residents of Prescott, AZ, facebook page:
14 Jan 2012 - First Turkey Cooked at Home in many, ask Jackie how many, years
We cooked up a heritage turkey from Taluswind this weekend. Slow roasted at 325 for 15 mins per pound.
Breast was perfect. Thighs and drumsticks a little rare.....so we trimmed out the breasts and put the remainder
back in the oven for another hour.
Must say - a most wonderful turkey. Every single morsel. Talus Wind is on to something reallllly good here!
Lamb is also exceptional. Order ahead for next year's Thanksgiving or Christmas. You will NOT be disappointed.
2012 - For all you Howard Topoff fans:
2012 New Year's eve - Jackie fed the hungry hordes at both the Portal and Peloncillo 2011 Christmas Bird counts.
Winston helped a little. We also learned that Prescott, Arizona was holding a "Cowboy Boot Drop" in front of the
Palace Bar on Whisky row. Mike Williams asked: "What would you drop in Paradise?" Take a look at the pic
below and give us your best guess:
18 December -
Jackie Prepared an Andean themed dinner party.
Rebecca and Jackie brought bears. Fran wore INTI motif earrings.
Inspiration came from Rebecca's work with spectacled bears.
5 November - SNOW
First snow blowing in at @ 07:30 AZT! Jackie reports winds at an 8 on the Beaufort scale.
Limestone Mountain reported winds of 50 mph at 12:16 am. And......an unidentified Hummingbird
was flying sideways into the feeders in the yard. We have had Magnificents come in through
December, so Jackie always keeps some nectar out for them. Power has been out since
3:00 am. Good thing we have propane - Jackie can still heat water for tea!
Brother Richard is out deer hunting in the elements somewhere North of Jhus canyon.
Jackie is expecting him to come in from the cold for a hot meal tonight....but Brother Richard
comes from Viking and Mountainman stock.. . . .last year he broke the ice on a cattle water
trough so he could take a bath......his response to queries about his sanity: "At least I was clean".
His mother and her mother and her mother's mother would have been proud. One Greatgrandmother
was reputed to have rounded up all the neighborhood kids and given them a bath mid-week.....
A natural gem in the Southwest
Cave Creek Canyon offers winter escape without the crowds
By Wally Elton Special to the Albany Times Union
Updated 05:36 p.m., Friday, October 28, 2011
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/living/article/A-natural-gem-in-the-Southwest-2241285.php#ixzz1cMaFqEoU
08 October 2011 First Freeze
29 degrees F. This am. Jackie is picking frozen green beans from her garden.
Nectar feeding bats are still coming in. Blue-throated hummingbird in yesterday.
House Wren calling. Jackie is getting ready for Octoberfest today in Portal.
Winston will be Innkeeper next week while Jackie is off to Tucson for EMS training.
Winston will be cooking tonight......what pairs well with fresh frozen green beans?
Winston is thinking about rib-eyes, lamb or chivo chops, or maybe elk tenderloins.
Jackie will tell him to check his checkbook balance first. Even chivo is pricey here.
04 October 2011 Coming To Theater Near You
The Big Year - a movie about competitive bird watching. Trailer made Winston
smile. We have had some very competitive birders visit the yard. Some
have visited places in the movie. Maybe they will include birding in Paradise
in the sequel. . .
03 October 2011 Isolated Thunderstorms
With hail and lightning so close it caused the outlets to trip. 1.25 inches in less
than an hour. Turkey Creek and Cemetery Wash running. Jackie is soaking
wet from driving in the rain and checking the road conditions. Winston and
Jackie have been through Typhoons, Earthquakes (Loma Prieta was largest),
Fires, and now Floods. We sometimes wonder what the next adventure might
18 September 2011 Rustler Park after the Burn - Narca Blog
Spotted Owls fledged young this year.....will they be back?
18 September 2011 Community Art Fair
Collages of the event by Jackie. Nicely done!
Friday, 26 Aug 2011 Doin's
What Jackie did this week: Watched rattlesnake who had decided to camp out in the backyard, cleared road
from flood debris, changed Walker house 3x, went on EMT call, endured a night of roof top thunder, made
wedding cakes, frosted wedding cakes, went to Wilcox for supplies, entertained bird watchers, picked fresh
squash from her garden, shared with neighbors. And to wind down - watched entire first season of Glee on Netflix.
Hummingbirds coming in waves. 6 weeks of hundreds of birds. 25 lbs of sugar a week. Dr. Wethington has
data she can use to map Hummingbird movements between Sites. That will make a great graphic. Seems
Paradise is a central cross roads for Hummingbirds. .
Saturday we are off to Silvercreek church for Zola's wedding. Jackie did the cake, no singing this time.
Winston will help with set up. Meanwhile the Deming Duck races are on and Nephew Jason is wearing
the Duck Mascot costume this year. Older brother Josh relinquished the costume so he could concentrate
on finishing college. Josh is rooming with Winston in LC as he completes his studies. Josh is majoring
in animal science and his last three classes are breeding, beer making, and butchering. Sounds like
a normal Frat house Friday night vice college curriculum......maybe not in that order.
Jackie in the news:
Wed, 20 Jul 2011 Fire - now Floods
Bears and Bobcats are seeking forage.
Mon, 18 Jul 2011 08:25:20 -0700 - GWH Yardbirds!
fledgling Juniper Titmouse in with parents
Summer Tanager pair
Western Tanager passed through
Montezuma Quail were seen at the mailboxes on Sunday, July 10th.
Gambel's Quail were seen just north of the mailboxes on Monday, July 11th.
The yard is always open.
Post fire update 7.1.2011
by Helen Snyder on Friday, July 1, 2011 at 9:50am
Here goes another long one... just skip if you're suffering from update overload!
Thank you to Richard Webster for the excellent reporting and most welcome bird news from the high country above Portal. I can add a little more about some other popular birding areas around the Cave Creek Canyon and Whitetail areas, and second the comment that wildlife viewing should be different but very good in the coming weeks, months and years. Mammals seem everywhere – squirrels, fox, deer, chipmunks and bear are out and about, and bats are flying.
Two weeks ago Noel and I got to go see the Herb Martyr area as Paul Hirt had invited us to speak about ecotourism and conservation to his ASU class staying at the station, and he had permission for us to go owling there. We went up before dark and the students had a good look at a very healthy bear that tried first to climb a big Apache pine to safety, but the thick bark kept breaking off under its claws, causing bark to fly and the bear to slip repeatedly back down every time it gained a foot of height. The bear only got about 4 feet off the ground before deciding to save what was left of its dignity, plopped back to earth and lumbered off.
A Whiskered Owl at Herb Martyr and an Elf Owl at the research station gave us a good show, and it was reassuring to hear these familiar voices in the dark after so many weeks of wondering how owls as well as everything else could possibly survive this catastrophic fire.
I got permission to re-run some owl surveys last week and while Elf Owls numbers were down, these results were from unburned areas and my survey was done late, and with the freeze and no rain there might have been low numbers due to other causes. Two different Spotted Owls in South Fork turned up, both in areas that had burned. The owling for birders should be as good as ever in the future, especially in the lower canyon’s campground areas where no burning occurred.
Back to Herb Martyr: The basin above looked surprisingly good. With the exception of one scorched patch of maybe 150 acres of Ponderosa and manzanita, the burn was light and patchy with many stringers of green trees. The skyline around Pine Park looked thinner than before but Centella Point from below looked like it did before the fire. We could see nothing of Ash Springs behind the nearby trees though and I worried about its survival since first hearing it had burned one night in mid-May.
So on the trogon census I covered Ash springs. No trogons, but what a relief it was to find the riparian area in good shape. Hermit Thrushes, Hepatic Tanagers, House Wrens, Black-throated Grays, Sulphur-bellied Flycatchers, Strickland’s Woodpeckers and Painted Redstarts called as Band-tailed Pigeons arrived by the dozens to land at the spring boxes to drink. The fire burned at ground level in all the riparian that I covered, killing Douglas firs and oaks that were under 5 feet tall – but a month post-burn, the oaks (mostly silverleaf and Az white) were already re-sprouting from the bases, and grass, canyon grape, bracken fern, New Mexico locust and beech-leaved buckthorn were sending up new growth. Many small snags had fallen and burned to white ash but next to these lines of ash, only the top inch or two of the leaf litter burned, leaving charred packed leaves and needles in place to help hold runoff.
The more sloped canyon sides above Ash springs burned hotter and again, the floods to come will bring further change to the riparian areas, I’m afraid. The Burned Area Emergency Response team is already at work with big yellow machines, sculpting the creekbeds around vulnerable bridges to prevent debris dams, campground damage and road washouts. Paradise had a small amount of rain yesterday and Jackie Lewis said a sludgy ash-flow appeared soon after. See Winston Lewis’ facebook page for pix.
After the wild firestorm in Whitetail 3 weeks ago, I went in as far as Rick Taylor’s to check one of my real estate listings and lock it back up. The effects of the firestorm there made some stretches of the road unrecognizable but other patches looked untouched. I could not go past the residences into the forest due to the forest closure. The single biggest burned area I saw was the entire ridge between Whitetail and the N fork of Pinery, which is now a soft gray moonscape of ash-covered rock and thin black sticks, the remnants of a former thick pinon-juniper cover. When the rains come, this will undoubtedly bring big changes to the canyon bottom.
The fire in Whitetail was almost capricious. A melted phone junction box and the skeleton of a torched juniper stood not far from a completely green ash tree. Many of the huge sycamores had both brown withering leaves on one side and bright green leaves on another as though random dragon-breaths of superheated air had shot through the canopy. Some trees had scorched tops only, with green limbs and grass below. The ancient eagle nest on Split Rock is still there: a single firebrand in that huge pile of dry limbs could have turned it into charcoal. A deer watched us from thick unburned cover and was reluctant to leave – maybe resting near a fawn? – and birdlife was noisy and visible.
The winds came up while we were in Whitetail and with so many fire-weakened trees it was an incentive to get my jobs done and go home, where we followed the news of the Monument fire all day, riveting and horrifying as it blasted through both populated areas and yet more of the montane canyons we love so much in this part of the world.
At one of the last 6 am fire briefings I attended, the Incident Commander spoke of some of the challenges they’d all faced on this fire: working in places where rare birds and 5 species of rattlesnakes live together; where illegal aliens and drug smugglers come bursting through fire lines; and where he’d had to discuss evacuation with a group of residents who do not speak -- at all. This last was at the tiny community of Diamond Mountain near Bowie, where a group of several dozen Buddhists have taken a vow of silence during a 3-year retreat.
The Forest faces another challenge. Some of us have been following and commenting to the Coronado National Forest on the development of a revised Forest Plan over the past few years. The drafts we’ve seen made no mention anywhere of the impacts of illegal immigration on the Coronado, a startling omission we pointed out well before these fires of 2011. It’s going to be hard to continue to ignore this reality during the revision process, considering the complete transformation of one entire Sky Island and much of some others as a result of fires that started because of border security issues. Let’s hope the Forest Service deals with this all-too-obvious impact when planning for the future of the Coronado.
Forest closure info - some roads and trails are open.
Monday June 27th 2011
The Forest is closed, but we are open. While parts of the Chiricahuas are moonscaped,
Cave Creek, Silver Peak, and the area around Paradise were not burnt. The fires did
reach (or backfires were started) at the second cattleguard south of the GWH, and appear
to have burned along the Forest border west of Paradise, then running north down past
Galeyville area. Winston and Jackie did not make a trip to Whitetail Canyon or past the
forest closed sign. Winston's Facebook Fire album is at the following link:
Horseshoe 2 Fire information is at following links:
or just the fire photos:
Narca Moore-Craig blog - be sure to scroll down and read the archives for June:
Nice blog by Cara Marcelle Mancuso:
Monument Fire - Sheri Williamson Blog:
Monument Fire - Facebook page:
Monday, June 20, 2011 7:19 PM Miller Canyon Update From Tom Beatty, Beatty's Guest Ranch
Following is from Narca Moore-Craig's Blog, June 18, 2011
Winston note: Claiming "The Border is Secure" is the same as declaring "No New Taxes". . . .
" . . . Divisions A and B were well into their burn when suddenly four undocumented aliens burst through
the flames and ran out of the fire (apparently uninjured), and past the firefighters. . . . "
Read more at: http://narcamoorecraig.blogspot.com/
Following is from Narca Moore-Craig's Blog
Friday, June 10, 2011
Homecoming to the Horseshoe Two Fire
Yesterday evening as we dropped down Granite Gap into the San Simon Valley, plumes of smoke
still churned from the Chiricahua Mountains. Homecoming is bittersweet.
Smoke from Whitetail Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains
(Photos by Narca)
Horseshoe Two continues to surge north and west, driven by erratic––and sometimes unpredicted––winds.
Crews have come to expect the unexpected: wind blows when little wind was forecast. Fire burns into the
wind as well as with it. Steep terrain is crisscrossed by canyons which suck wind into the inferno, against
the direction of prevailing winds. Fire can sprout anywhere as it spots up to 2 miles away from the body
of the fire, creating very dangerous conditions for the firefighters.
In Whitetail Canyon, whirling fire jumped the line and destroyed some residences and outbuildings.
The sheriff is in the process of contacting our neighbors who suffered that loss. Among those whose homes are
safe are Rick and Lynne Taylor, Jim Brown, and Tom and Debbie Collazo. Wynne Brown lost her hay barn, but her
home and other structures are intact. (She very characteristically saw a positive angle: the barn wasn't big enough anyway!)
Breach of the fire line means that crews have to drop back to the next defensible place, shown by dotted lines on
today's fire map. The new goal in the north is to prevent Horseshoe Two from reaching Fort Bowie National Historical Site.
The fire is burning into Chiricahua National Monument, and work continues there with the goal of protecting both the monument's
resources and its structures. The fire's growth potential remains extreme, and the difficulty of the terrain is still extreme.
Fire map for the 10 June 2011 briefing
This fire is setting new local records right and left, not only in sheer size (now estimated at 128,652 acres), but also in
categories such as low fuel moisture. Fuel that would be expected to burn for 10 hours before drying out is instead drying
in a single hour. That is extreme. The overall burn index is 95%: this measurement is the ignition probability with wind factored in.
So a spark falling on fuel would ignite fire 95 times out of 100. That is extreme. Many of the indices used by firefighters are at
an all-time high for this locale, the Chiricahua Mountains.
While we are focused on our local inferno and damage here, the national media is focused on the Wallow Fire
burning in the White Mountains, where similarly extreme conditions apply. As of June 10, the Wallow has burned 408,887 acres,
mainly in pine forest, and is only 5% contained. Of more than 4,000 residences, 67 have been lost.
A third big Arizona fire, the Murphy Complex, is burning east of Arivaca and west of Tubac. It is moving through grass,
shrub and oak habitats, has consumed 68,033 acres, and is now 75% contained.
Given the extreme dryness and unusually windy conditions, it has not been possible simply to extinguish these raging fires.
The fire crews have instead had to use all their skill to moderate the fires wherever possible. When the fire jumps lines, control
is lost and a much more severe burn results. Where it has been possible to moderate the fires' intensity, a mosaic burn is being
achieved. The burn in South Fork was reportedly well-controlled and moderate. Elsewhere, crown fires are causing replacement
of entire stands of forest.
One of the major fears about climate change in the Southwest is that forest types such as spruce-fir which need moister
conditions will be driven completely off the tops of the mountains. We will lose those refuges and the animals and plants
ied to those communities, and thus suffer a loss of richness, a loss of biological wealth.
I have heard scientists' predictions about the changes in store for the Southwest, and about fire being a mechanism
for bringing about those changes. But somehow I didn't expect it to happen all at once, in a few short months.
Most of us aren't geared to accept drastic change at the speed of light.
Faced with change and crisis, most of us grieve what is lost. We rage. Acting from anger, we assign blame. In the midst
of our reactions, we need to be sure that any blame is correctly assigned. It is very difficult to know with 100% certainty
who set these fires. (In the case of the Wallow Fire, the cause is thought to be an escaped campfire.) However, authorities
do need to recognize the communities' frustration with the matter of designating a cause. On the one hand, the responsible
individual may never be known. On the other hand, an employee of the Coronado National Forest told a Portal resident this
spring that 12 of the last 18 fires in the Chiricahuas were set by illegal immigrants. By that accounting, Horseshoe Two is fire
number 19, and circumstantial evidence points to that same origin. Yet no official statement ever supports what we are told
unofficially. That dissonance breeds trouble.
I agree with Rick Taylor that one way to prevent many of these fires is to institute a good workers' program that allows people to
enter the country legally for a specified amount of time in order to work. With a legal program in place, participating workers
would avoid the hazards of illegal entry, and many fewer people would seek a way through these mountains. And a hypothetical
12 of the next 18 fires might be prevented.
Although most of the community is solidly supportive and appreciative of all that is being done to help, I have come home to find
talk of conspiracies between Border Patrol and firefighting agencies. Seeing conspiracy is usually delusional and paranoid.
But given the lack of real political discourse, and the use of anything to further a political agenda, the current mistrust of agencies
is not surprising. People caught in the middle react, sometimes without logic or solid judgment. We need to rein ourselves in,
stay as balanced and calm as possible. Long sieges are very wearing.
The fire crews are willing to face firestorms with the intention of salvaging what can be saved from incineration. They are operating
with complete transparency, as anyone who attends the briefings can judge. Blaming the fire-fighting tactics for causing additional
damage shows a lack of understanding of what is needed to moderate (and ultimately, contain) the fires during this season of extremes.
And to the fire team: if we need to learn more about the rationale behind the strategies in play, please educate us. Knowing more helps
to dispel ungrounded fear. (The well-grounded fears are bad enough!)
Wednesday June 9, 2011 - Homecoming!!!
David Sanders/Arizona Daily StarParadise, Arizona resident Jackie Lewis returns
to her home at 228 W. George Walker Lane in Paradise, AZ after having been
evacuated on June 2 because of the Horse Shoe 2 Fire. Lewis has lived in
Paradise for the past 12 years.
Tuesday June 8, 2011 - Evacuation Lifted, Firelines Holding - Report from Paradise
Jackie arrived in Paradise 0600 this morning. Smoke everywhere. Houses intact. Birds scarce, much seed
untouched. Fridge not too bad for a couple of days with no power. If smoke stays bad, she will retreat to AVA ranch.
Answering machine in Paradise is on - please call/leave messages: 520-558-2287.
From Inciweb: 08 June update for 07 June: Strong, erratic winds and low humidity dominated weather conditions
on the fire today, causing active fire behavior and short, intense runs. SW winds pushed the fire to the north and northeast.
The firelines protecting Chiricahua National Monument and the community of Whitetail were not breached. In contrast,
gusty winds caused an approximately 100 acre spot fire west of containment lines in the vicinity of West Turkey Creek.
Firefighters are expecting gusty, erratic winds to continue into the night and through tomorrow.
Tuesday June 7, 2011 - Evacuation Lifted, Firelines Holding - Report from Jackie Tomorrow
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Complete article at: http://narcamoorecraig.blogspot.com/
I don't think I can report dispassionately the latest developments in the Horseshoe Two Fire, raging in the
Chiricahua Mountains. When the fire jumped containment lines near Saulsbury Saddle, it roared through
Rustler Park, Onion Saddle, Barfoot Park, and the high ridges so familiar to everyone who has roamed the
high Chiricahuas. It is too soon to know just what has been lost.
In the other direction, it raced in high winds through the village of Paradise, toward Whitetail Canyon, and
Helen reported that last night Jhus Canyon was burning, next to Whitetail. So far people's homes and historic
structures like the George Walker House in Paradise have been spared, thanks to thorough preparatory work by fire crews.
4 June 3:00 am MODIS Shot:
(Yes, Winston was up this early - Allergies are kicking his tail.)
3 June 9:30pm Update From Inciweb:
The fire reached Paradise today forcing crews to initiate burnout operations to protect
the community late this afternoon. The burnout was successful with no loss of property.
Structure protection work was initiated in East Whitetail Canyon which is 6 to 7 miles
north of the fire front.
A dozer line is being constructed along the North Fork Rd from Pinery Canyon Rd north
along the eastern boundary of the Chiricahua National Monument.
In fully contained areas of the fire efforts have shifted to resource rehabilitation on the
roads and trails that were impacted in the construction of fireline and burnout operations.
This includes: chipping and scattering brush and slash, covering newly created firelines
with brush, constructing water bars to prevent erosion, and removing flagging and fire
suppression related equipment and material.
Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) assessment teams are in place and are
evaluating burned areas as they cool. BAER teams typically review post-fire conditions
and recommend and implement treatments to begin rehabilitation of watersheds affected
by fire. These efforts are intended to help speed up nature's natural recovery processes in
an attempt to stabilize soils before rains arrive with the summer monsoon season.
3 June Evening Update - Burnouts/backfires have been started around Paradise.
Fire teams probably had to wait for the wind to die down.....Jackie has no other news.
If you are frequenting the MODIS site and see red all around Paradise, do not
fret until you hear from Winston or Jackie that all is well . . . or not. Firefighters were
able to save the research station. They will save Paradise.
3 June Afternoon Update - Fire Moved Miles During the DAY!!!
From Helen Snyder:
The fire team leaders briefing us this morning praised Jackie Lewis for her calm efficiency
in the notification of residents in the evacuated areas. Crews worked to clear and prep Paradise
and sprinklers are set up with pumpkins nearby.
3 June Update - Fire Moved Miles in the Night.
Each MODIS square = 1 kilometer, little bigger than 1/2 mile:
2 June Update - 2nd Paradise Evacuation.
1 June Update - Dick Kamp Article in the Willcox Range News
31 May Update - Jackie at Fire meeting, Winston in LC
From Las Cruces:
27 May Update
Evacuation Lifted at 8:00 a.m. Today - Paradise, Cave Creek and the SW Research Center.
Fire personnel will remain in the area to monitor and patrol. Residents will be allowed to travel
back and forth from their homes, and people doing business will also be allowed within the
area; non essential travelers are asked to remain outside of the area.
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2225/ for details.
25 May Update
20 May Update - Jackie has been evacuated from Paradise at 16:00 AZT
View from Space: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=50676
19 May Update - Life Continues - New Yard Bird:
18 May Update - 100+ Fire Fighters in Paradis, Pumpkins in place:
17 May Update - Good Summary:
15 May Update
Paradise populace swelled to 40+ when fire crews came to make the town "Fire Wise" by
clearing brush, downing trees, chipping wood, pruning trees and more. We can now clearly
see neighboring houses. Crews will be back tomorrow. Jackie was in the thick of it all, hauling
benches away from the house, raking leaves and debris, setting out critical hoses working like
the country woman she is. We are very grateful.
15 May Update
Fire moving northeast. Jackie has been given notice to be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.
Thank you to everyone in Portal and Rodeo who have offered transportation, lodging, move help, and prayers.
15 May Update
The Horseshoe 2 Fire is now "terrain driven". Still burning. Click on the
following Links for time lapse photos of the fire.
09 May - Incident Link and Other news
Right now, Paradise is seemingly safe. Jackie, neighbors and guests are watching
the smoke, manning the phones and are packed and ready to head out if the winds turn.
Cousin Zola has moved in with Winston's Mom in Rodeo. SWRS received a MANDATORY
09 May - Evacuation? Border Patrol In Town this Morning Issuing Evacuation Notices...
Horseshoe 2 Fire threatens southeast Arizona homes
Posted: May 09, 2011 4:24 AM MDTUpdated: May 09, 2011 5:45 AM MDT
By Courtney Carlmark, reporter - bio | email
KOLD News 13 will have late breaking live reports starting at 4:30 a.m.
PORTAL, AZ (KOLD) - A KOLD News 13 crew is on the way to a fire burning in southeast Arizona.
The Horseshoe 2 Fire is threatening hundreds of southeast Arizona homes.
The fire has already burned 2,000 acres in the Chiricahua Mountains near Portal, Arizona,
which is about two miles west of Rodeo, New Mexico.
The Cochise County Sheriff has issued evacuations for several hundred residents living east
of the Forest boundary from Sulphur Draw north along the Forest boundary to Robinson Ranch and west along Portal Road.
Evacuation centers have been set up at the Portal Rodeo Community Center and the Animas Community Center.
The Coronado National Forest Service says the fire is human caused and sparked around 11 a.m. Sunday.
Fire fighters have seen extreme fire behavior overnight.
They expect the fire to grow toward the northeast on Monday because of forecasted high winds.
Fire fighters will scout the area for potential fire lines Monday and provide protection for any homes or
structures in danger of burning.
Fire fighters will also protect the Cave Creek Canyon area, which is a renowned birding area.
08 May 2011
Horseshoe 2 fire. Started in "illegal alley" near Sulphur Canyon.....
Narca has the latestand best description on her blog at:
We pray the fire is contained and does not roar down Cave Creek
Canyon. Brother Richard sez: "I hope your fire insurance is paid up."
As Narca notes, this spring is different than last year. A dry winter
after a wet year has allowed fuel to accumulate.
Winston notes that years of not letting cattle graze down
Cave Creek Canyon and the near instant extinguishment of any flame in the Canyon has also allowed fuel to
accumulate. Perhaps the fire breaks and burn from last year will keep this fire from Cave Creek.......
01 May 2011
A 3 Tanager day!
Hepatic, Western and Summer Tanagers in the yard. Scott's, Bullock's and an occasional
Hooded Oriole. The trees are dripping with color. We have observed at least six male
Scott's in the yard at a time, and at least three Bullock's. Too many Tanagers to count.
Hummingbirds are in good numbers:
Previous weeks we had good Calliope and Rufous numbers as they headed North.
Spring is almost here. Low of 24F yesterday. Hail on Monday. But the Birds are Back:
4 inches of snow and Jackie and Mischief were in heaven.
Jackie made an Arizona Snowbird and threw snowballs
at Winston. Mischief plowed through the snow and made
snowballs that Jackie is sure Mischief would have thrown
at Winston if only she had opposable thumbs. The cutie
to the left is Jackie's Snowbird. Tundra retreated to
the fire and barely went outside at all. One Boxer-burnout
and she was done for the day. Jackie has not named
her snow bird, but is certainly open to suggestions.
Needless to say, we may have at least one more snow
before spring and a freeze in late May is not uncommon.
Oh, yes, shopping for plumbing parts in Las Cruces
continues to be blood sport...
04 February 2011 - COLD
But as of right now, no record breakers and now Snow. Jackie is in Las Cruces for the week
getting the timing belt on her 4 Runner replaced. She has had to endure Winston at home for
part of the week because his work site was closed to bad weather, and then a frozen then busted
water main, which flooded part of the work spaces.
Our neighbors recorded -4F in Paradise. Las Cruces had a record low of -6F. A search
of the Historical Weather Records revealed a low of -6F on February 8th, 1933.
When Winston gets a break, he will update the Journal with 2010 year end events: SWRS New Year's Eve
party; the Chiricahua CBC wine and cheese social, count, and dinner; the Peloncillo CBC and dinner;
the 2010 yard list; and a note or two more on the joys of hauling the 4Runner down the mountain
on a flatbed towed behind his Silverado. The Silverado has 227,000 miles and still running like a champ.
It will soon be sold to Nephew Jonathan whose $1000 Jeep is requiring more of his allowance than he
would like to keep it running. Jonathan is a good mechanic and is taking electronics at a combined
High-school/Junior College program. He has the time, inclination, and ability to get the brakes,
ignition switch, door locks, U-Joints, and anything else that might go wrong fixed. He might even find
a new/used replacement back seat - or make a built in tack/tool box.