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TUCSON’S DOWNTOWN NEW STREET CAR SYSTEM ROLL OUT OVERWHELMINGLY RECEIVED BY 60,000 RIDERS EMBRACING THE NEW RIDE

TUCSON STREET CAR-4521

TUCSON STREET CAR-4511

The new Tucson Street Car System was rolled out for public inspection last weekend much with the fan fare of a Walt Disney Production this pumpkin of a RTA project, might well bloom into a Cinderella story, if the 60,000 riders who participated each buy a monthly pass. Realistically, Tucson expects the daily fare to run around 3600 riders each day, instead of the 17,000 who rode Friday, the 25,000 who rode Saturday or the 17,000 counted on Sunday, today each trip costs $1.50 or $4 for 24 hours or $40 for monthly coverage.The free weekend was a lot like Disneyland’s Log Ride, each car was filled (about a 100 people), and the backup buses picking up overflow from the Street Car were filled of folks too tired to wait for another Streetcar.  Saturday night in the middle of the 25,000 crush, the Street Cars filled up, and stacked up somewhere because around 9 pm no street car could be found. Six passed us going West and after more than an hour one East bound street car showed up and filled up remarkably tightly, but riders seemed to embrace the armpit laced journey. I noted Mayor Rothchild on that last Street Car on the “Street Car to NoWhere”… he or someone arranged for stranded voters to be picked up and taken to their cars. Where the rest of those street cars went I can not say, perhaps they all stacked up on the bridge across the Santa Cruz.

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In fact, at that point, I noted how “Eastern” an experience this Street Car ride had become. It reminded me of train rides I have had in the “rustbelt” of the East Coast, and found there is an element in Tucson who wants to embrace more of an Eastern lifestyle. Many of those folks live near downtown and now find themselves living along the Street Car route and will no doubt embrace this new conveyance into their travels. There is another part of Tucson who scarcely noticed, in spite of the $OneBillion rollout investment for infrastructure, they will never go downtown and will not benefit greatly from the City’s new toy.

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The tightening up of downtown parking continues to push motorists into parking garages. It will continue to get worse, Tucson plans adding parking meters to what little open parking still exists, you don’t like parking meters? Wait until you get one of the $187.50 parking tickets, you won’t like them any better. This is summer, wait until the snowbirds and next semesters students arrive, there will not be any parking at all. Realizing last weekend as a “learning moment” I joined friends on Saturday afternoon, to go downtown and meet another couple for dinner, we parked at the University Medical Center, walked to the Street Car and rode downtown.

 

TUCSON STREET CAR-4457

Pretty easy travel getting on a car and heading into town (the day before I hit the UA just before 5 pm and the street cars were all packed solid and everyone knew each other) but after 8 pm, when the Street Car was supposed to quit on Sunday (the overflow bus was full also) conductors continued to run because people continued to line up for the street car.
TUCSON STREETCAR-6068
TUCSON STREET CAR-4527

 

But last weekend was also about adventure. Kids loved it! Most kids saw very little since their point of view was at the belt buckle level-but still they soldiered on… The UA types seemed jazzed since this Street Car is really aimed at them and the 5000 plus UA students now living downtown, they will get the most from this investment, while others will have to pay the freight. TUCSON STREET CAR-4443Sixty police officers were assigned the New Street Car system last weekend and there will be additional staffing, in addition to the already increased downtown policing to deal with the new reality there. Many have complained the Street Car is not “bike friendly” and recent studies show 87 bike riders who have already had serious injuries and for others, the new system has disrupted their daily commutes. I witnessed a young women bike rider accidentally ride into the track which grabbed her front wheel–froze it–which spun the young rider headfirst into the pavement as the rear wheel continued to travel, paramedics were called. The long roll out has hindered businesses, keeping away shoppers for almost 2 years, the route saw business’s fold and solicited “the Street Car to NoWhere” mood among the survivors. It wasn’t surprising to see members of the Tucson Transportation Staff drinking Friday celebrating the launch of “SUNLINK” Tucson Street Car, their baby to present to the public. At each of the 20 stations along the Street Car route, volunteers lectured those waiting in safety, and they offered cold water bottles from a kid’s swimming pool, filled with bottles and ice.

TUCSON STREET CAR-4557

TUCSON STREET CAR-4477

And last weekend was festive. Folks turned out for the new ride and showed great patience and few seemed disappointed. Many supporters believe the new street car system is breathing new life into Tucson’s once dead downtown. The truth is–Downtown has been growing and gathering critical mass for the past few years, local investment, the Rio Nuevo projects buoyed by key local movers and shakers who continue to mold this city around the history that built it. Projects like the San Augustin Mercado on Tucson’s westside, or the greening of the San Augustin Mission Gardens at the base of A-Mountain, are still buds of growth, which few Tucsonan’s have yet discovered. Perhaps the completion of the Street Car which now runs into that development will provide the incentive needed to launch west side infill. In the next 3 to 5 years, developers plan to build 700 to 800 additional residences, both high and low end. That construction should begin in the fall, while more retail and a questionable “boutique hotel” are also planned.

Advocates look forward to the day when the system expands further east to Wilmot Road and eventually north up La Cholla to the Pima College North Campus. Light rail in Phoenix which runs from Mesa to downtown has been really successful and has helped make downtown Phoenix vital, but so has moving ASU’s Walter Cronkite School there. Presently, the Tucson Street Car runs 3.7 miles from the University of Arizona along University Blvd to North Fourth Avenue through Downtown on Congress across the bridge spanning the Santa Cruz River back under I-10 along Broadway back to Fourth Avenue.


TUCSON STREET CAR-4476

 

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Regular fares will now be charged on the streetcar. A one-way trip is $1.50. Kiosks at the Streetcar Stations will sell for $4 for the next 24 hours, and these machines accept only exact change and credit cards. Passes can be purchased online or at any of the municipal transit system three centers.

 

 

TUCSON STREET CAR-4568

TUCSON STREET CAR-4570

TUCSON STREET CAR-4563

The schedule:
Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every 10 minutes 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. every 20 minutes
Thursday-Saturday nights: 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. every 30 minutes
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every 20 minutes
Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every 20 minutes

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THERE’S A BUS COMING IN ! WAS THE ORACLE IMMIGRATION PHOTO OP, A PROTEST OR WAS IT PERFORMANCE ART, YOU DECIDE ! THE U.S. POLITICAL WORLD IS A STAGE NOT REALITY !

Guardian Angles lined the road to Mt Lemmon offering protection and love for the kids on the bus

Guardian Angles lined the road to Mt Lemmon offering protection and love for the kids on the bus

The Mexico-U.S. Border across the SouthWest has long been ground zero for political debate between the American liberal left and conservative right, today, that debate finds new strength in the thousands of Central American children hot-footing it across our fences in hopes of finding safety in the long reported “Land of the Free”. In spite of recent press, this has been happening for years and has again reached critical mass due to the numbers of children finding sanctuary in Texas and now overflowing into new states like California and Arizona where locals have long been divided over whose responsibility it is to provide for those who arrive here in the newest invasion.

First thing the Bus would see was an American flag and messages of support

First thing the Bus his would see was an American flag and messages of support

Much like the American Civil War, a battle for human rights masked as a struggle for states rights, some have opened their arms and embraced those crossing our borders in need for safety and others, like in Murrieta, California have chosen to repel them from their communities. Murrieta named after Basque immigrants who first settled what is now one of the fastest growing communities in California surfaced in headlines recently when the city’s mayor and residents blocked the arrival of buses carrying Central American immigrant children who were to be processed there.

In the town of Oracle residents turned out to make sure the first thing the kids in the Bus saw were signs of Welcom.

In the town of Oracle residents turned out to make sure the first thing the kids in the Bus saw were signs of Welcome.

In Arizona, a politically-damaged Sheriff, whose sees his political future embolden by the onslaught of illegals in the state made a point of alerting the Conservative Right of a busload of Central American immigrant children arriving in the small community of Oracle, 30 miles north of Tucson, a 100 mile drive to the U.S.-Mexican Border.

This calculated move had the desired effect, all the Nation’s media fearing another Murrieta, converged on the bottleneck in the road where the buses carrying 50-60 children were expected to be stopped there and turned around. Any media organization who missed this potential slow-summer news story, would have looked likes fools and perhaps biased.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC EDITORIAL BOARD: SHERIFF PAUL BABEU, A MAN CHARGED WITH KEEPING THE PEACE BROUGHT CHAOS TO ORACLE. HOW INCOMPREHENSIBLE CAN YOU GET ?

SHERIFF BABEU LAUNCHES $5000 FUNDRAISER, ROBO CALLS TO “SHARE THE NEWS”

Pinal Sheriff Paul Babeu answers questions telling the press he is there to protect everyone rights

Pinal Sheriff Paul Babeu answers questions telling the press he is there to protect everyone rights

Any Conservative political who missed this opportunity to show up and preach their hatred for the Obama Administration was obviously asleep at the switch knowing full well this was going to bring out a charged community of activists who seldom missed an opportunity to push their agendas, aka, another Murrieta, and lots of national press.

Russell Pearce has lots of friends in the Pinal County Sheriff Depts top administration.

Russell Pearce has lots of friends in the Pinal County Sheriff Depts top administration.

“This is a lawless and godless administration putting Americans at risk and we’re not going to take it” said Russell Pearce of SB10-70 fame who was escorted by the Arizona State Militia as he milled around in the crowd, speaking into every microphone he could find. “I’m here as an U.S. Citizen'” he said. “I came here to stand up for the rule of law and I’m going to do whatever it takes. (Stopping that bus by whatever means it takes) I will defend America and will stand with these people.”

A small city sprang up over night.

A small city sprang up over night.

Perhaps 200 activists, sheriff deputies and an entire posse of media from all the big outlets arrived hours before the buses was expected to pass through their choke point on the back road to Southern Arizona’s highpoint, the Santa Catalina Mountains, which lead to the Sycamore Canyon Academy, a home from troubled youth, many of whom are in the Arizona criminal justice system. Speaking to a charged audience–the Sheriff made his case for everyone obeying the rule of law and promised that “everyone’s rights would be protected”… The Arizona State Militia “was asked by the State to provide security” for dignitaries who showed up to speak their minds. As you might expect, arguments broke out — people spoke their minds while music played in the background, tunes like Dixie, Born in the USA, set the tone for the day.

Mariachi Luz de Luna with supporters serenade the choke point on the Mt Lemmon highway

Mariachi Luz de Luna with supporters serenade the choke point on the Mt Lemmon highway

It wasn’t until Ruben Moreno, a leader of Mariachi Luz de Luna, a Tucson Mariachi group arrived from behind the checkpoint and took everyone by surprise when the group of a dozen musicians and activist came walking up the road holding signs that read “Open your Hearts, not your Hate!”, “Show the Children Love” (heart) and the large group greeted them with some yelling, pushing, then attempted to drown out the traditional mariachi sound with their own refrain until Moreno’s trumpet solo broke out with “America the Beautiful”. Literally quieting and taking the wind from the sails of the hatred raining down on him–his group of mariachi and hispanic activists, all the cameras were on him. TV loves good video and great sound.

Ruben Moreno from Mariachi Luz de Luna plays "America the Beautiful" for the National News. No one booed.

Ruben Moreno from Mariachi Luz de Luna plays “America the Beautiful” for the National News.

There's a Bus coming In...

There’s a Bus coming In…

Then the buses arrived! Children on board pressed their faces against the windows, peering out at the crowd holding signs, waving U.S. flags (some upside down), POW-MIA flags, “Don’t Tread on Me” said some and screaming at the children “Go Home”. It was great sport for the YMCA campers who had every right to be there and had never had as much fun as being the center of a national news story they scarcely understood. Still one political tweeted from the scene “Bus coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law”. He later reported, “I was able to actually to see some of the children in the buses. And the fear on their faces … This is not compassion!” When Adam Kwasman was then told by a reporter that the children on the yellow school bus were actually YMCA campers from Marana, Kwasman said, “They were sad, too,” and admitted he made a mistake. The kids I saw, and photographed on the bus were having the time of their lives.

With the national anthem playing protestors walk back and forth in front of the bus because pedestrians have the right of way

With the national anthem playing protestors walk back and forth in front of the bus because pedestrians have the right of way

Tuesday was a day for performance art! When I arrived in Oracle, I first encountered a large group of Oracle protesters six were costumed as Guardian Angles aligning the road that the Central American children would see first, signs screamed “Bienvenidous a Todos”, “All Children deserve Human Rights, All Children are Children of God, So are You !”, a 25 foot white banner lined the roadway proclaiming, “AMOR (heart) LOVE”…not the worst first impression!

Twenty-five foot banner screamed love instead of Go Home Illegals

Twenty-five foot banner screamed love instead of Go Home Illegals

 

More messages of love

More messages of love

Several miles further up the back road to Mount Lemmon you ran into the main protest, a pickup with a generator and a stereo, truck loads of water for the participants and two outhouses were setup for those attending. Impromptu, I don’t think so, this was a planned political event and the target for the whole event never showed up, the buses from Nogales carrying 40-60 illegal Central American Children. Around l pm, everyone was told by sheriff deputies that they had received word that the buses would not be coming that day. So pretty quickly people folded their signs, downed their water bottles and took off for lunch someplace cooler and less toxic. Conservative politicians had turned out to make this day all about them and their upcoming race for election.

More dueling conservatives arguing amongst themselves.  Some seemed confused and others complained when liberals showed up at their fork in the road.  Go back to your own protest spot…we're protesting here they said.

More dueling conservatives arguing amongst themselves. Some seemed confused and others complained when liberals showed up at their fork in the road. Go back to your own protest spot…we’re protesting here they said.

 

Adam Kausman on his soap box preaching how incompetent this administration is to the people of the US

Adam Kausman on his soap box preaching how incompetent this administration is for the people.

“I SAW THE FEAR ON THEIR FACES ! ” KTAR VIDEO…CLICK HERE

Dueling conservatives were as common as snide remarks and dirty looks from both sides

Dueling conservatives were as common as snide remarks and dirty looks from both sides

“They are using fear and hatred in hopes of generating demonstrations like those in Murrieta” says Latino civil right group Somos America. Republican Rich Nugent (R-Florida) told a radio show Monday, that the children crossing into the U.S. are “gang affiliated”, he promised listeners. “When you have those types coming across the border, they’re not children at that point. These kids have been brought up in a culture of thievery. A culture of murder, rape. And now we are going to infuse them in the American Culture.” It’s just ludicrous, Nugent said.

Compassion was seen everywhere and no way was the message of Hate the overwhelming point

Compassion was seen everywhere and no way was the message of Hate the overwhelming point

Bob Moore standing on a hill overlooking the protest said, another sheriff, would have created this day differently. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is on our side he said to me. Turning to his phone video Moore does a “selfie” of himself in front of the protest and speaks into his phone. “Lot’s of patriots here–lot’s of freedom-loving Americans”. Then he turns back to me and says, I’m 62 years old ! I figured by now I would be traveling the USA in an RV but instead I’m buying beans and bullets and protesting the government he said. “I’m here for my grand kids, he concluded.

Another sign that caught my eye read: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuge of your teaming shores. Send these, your homeless, the tempest tossed, to me!

I will lift my lamp beside the Golden Door …” taken from the inscription carved upon the Statue of Liberty that greeted all of our ancestors when they arrived in New York harbor, decades ago.

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MORE PHOTOS FROM THE ORACLE PROTEST CLICK HERE FOR GALLERY…

TEXAS GOV. RICK PERRY SENDS 1000 NATIONAL GUARD TO THE US-MEXICO BORDER TO AID THE HUMANITARIUM CRISIS CAUSED BY CENTRAL AMERICANS REFUGEES…CLICK HERE

THE WITCHES BREW: DESPERATION AND HOPE, CHILDREN ON THE BORDER

AMERICANS FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION HAVE 300 PROTESTS PLANNED

There is a perverse irony to the Murrieta protests, given that the rallying cry for the anti-illegal immigration movement is “What part of illegal don’t you understand?” By blocking the buses, the protestors were engaged in the illegal act of interfering with law enforcement.

MURRIETA: HATE CITY USA ?


THE DRIEST & HOTTEST YEAR IN 500 YEARS ! THE RELENTLESS SOUTHWESTERN DROUGHT: EXPERTS SAY ‘GET USED TO IT’…WILL ARIZONANS BE THE NEXT ‘CLIMATE REFUGEES’ ?

PreHistoric Man in the SouthWest moved toward water, larger groups and on to high cliffs battling to survive against the Environment and Raiders who stole what they want.

Drought a 1000 years ago moved prehistoric man in the South West toward water, he moved into the safety of large groups and he moved on top of high cliffs fighting to survive against the environment and raiders who stole their crops, will the South West become a dry wasteland again ?

A SKY ON FIRE, global warming will bring Mankind  to the brink if steps aren't taken NOW>>>

SKY ON FIRE, global warming will bring Mankind to the brink if steps aren’t taken say scientists who believe 2014 could be the hottest and driest year in the last 500 years the Southwest drought for the past two decades has been hotter than any time since records began…

Lake Mead has dropped below 1,082 feet above sea level — 7 feet above the level at which the federal government would declare its first shortage on the Colorado River, the lake is 39 percent full.
“How urgent it is depends on what you think the risk is,” said attorney Wade Noble, who has represented Yuma-area (above) irrigation districts for 30 years. “If the risk is high that the water is not going to be there … then something needs to be done in the immediate future, not next year.”

Since December 2004, the basin of the Colorado River lost nearly 53 million acre feet (65 cubic kilometers) of freshwater, almost double the volume of the region’s largest reservoir, Nevada’s Lake Mead, the researchers reported. About 75 percent of the total — about 41 million acre feet (50 cubic km) — came from groundwater, the new study found.

“We don’t know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don’t know when we’re going to run out,” Stephanie Castle said. “This is a lot of water to lose.” Castle and her co-authors tracked groundwater loss in the basin with NASA’s twin GRACE satellites (for Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment). The satellites circle the Earth, monitoring the slight changes in Earth’s gravity from increases or decreases in ice and water.

Sitting on Interstate 40 which has a reach all across the United State this coal fueled power plant is called Cholla Power Plant named after the dreaded cactus .

Sitting on Arizona’s Interstate 40 this coal-fueled power plant is called the Cholla Plant named after the dreaded cactus.

In the Spring of 2014 the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has reached the highest level in human history, exceeding 400 parts per million in April. Ice cores taken from Antarctica with air bubbles as old as 800,000 years has not revealed a level higher than 300 ppm. “This should be taken as a warning,” said Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist with the Carnegie Institution’s department of global ecology at Stanford University. “It is time to stop building things with tailpipes and smokestacks. "If we fail to heed this warning, our children will end up living in a world that is much hotter than any human being has ever experienced," Caldeira said.

Clifton-Morenci Stack_Clifton-Morenci Stacks at sunset, Arizona’s Oldest Copper Mine and Smelter since 1849.

PHOENIX RESORT--2Scientists predict this 2014 summer we will experience a new global record for all time HOT … ! Nature reported within 35 years, a cold year, will be warmer than the hottest year now on record.
Thirty nine climate models were used to make a single temperature index for places all over the world, findings estimated when major US cities' average temperatures will never again dip below that of the hottest year in the past century and a half. Data showed Phoenix and Honolulu would swelter as early as 2043 with 2049 taking San Francisco, and by 2071 Anchorage Alaska would melt.

The Rio Colorado is running dry, too many depend and there is not enough water for 27 million people.

The Rio Colorado is running dry, there is not enough water for 27 million people.

Sharon Megdal, director of the Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, says she doesn't want to alarm people, but she thinks our water situation could be serious.

MexicanWater257"I don't want to get people worried. If there is a shortage in 2016, it won't affect the Colorado River water to Tucson and Oro Valley, but it's getting real," she said. "I think the reality of a shortage is resonating with people."

 SHARON MEGDAL 2002

SHARON MEGDAL 2002

Megdal believes “toilet to tap” water is in Tucson’s future believing the city will have to implement new systems for recycling water, including cleaning waste water for use again by the customer. Much of Arizona's water comes from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project, but the river is in trouble, Megdal told AZ Illustrated Nature. "The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the manager of the Colorado River says there's a two percent chance of a shortage in 2015, but a 50 percent chance in 2016, Megdal said. "The Colorado River flows, are based on rain falling on the headwaters and how much water they're releasing from Lake Powell to Lake Mead."

Former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said last year that to avoid a water crisis, Arizona should partner with Mexico to establish desalination plants to bring water north, if the Colorado River’s flow continues to suffer. The U.S. Department of the Interior could declare a shortage as early as 2017.

Stocking up for the 4th of July Holiday, buying fruit, ice tea and hotdogs–I ask my grocery checker what folks are buying to cool off today …. "Water!" she says, "people are loading up on water"."I never thought I'd see the day she says–when folks would pay good money-a dollar or more-for a plastic bottle of water", I mutter pushing my cart across the parking lot. "Now we can't keep it on the shelves" and we are running out!

Suffering from drought the once three pond compound has shrunk up and has only the main pool.

As many already know, Tucson’s historic Agua Caliente Park is experiencing the extended drought and changes in the water table. The stream that feds the ponds is not currently flowing and, although Pima County is pumping well water to augment the pond, it is insufficient to counteract the water loss. Continuing drought has been blamed for dropping water table, as well as, the significant amount of palm trees and cattails that use lots of water. The park originally was once a three pond compound which has shrunk up and has now only the main pool. Twelve new nearby wells have reportedly dropped the water acquirer and additional pumping has been unable to replace the monthly loss. The County wants now to bail on the two ponds and shrink the main pool.

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PKW_0229Last Spring something mysterious happened in deserts of the West. In the Mojave Desert's Joshua Tree National Park. we're talking about blooms on the Joshua trees that are larger than locals say they've ever seen, the reason may be grim but the effect was beautiful. "I don't know what happened this year, but it was an incredible display," Virginia Willis, a 15-year resident, told ABC. Biologists have said they think the blooms are a stress response by the trees to climate change, specifically, to no rain. Joshua Tree National Park receives two to five inches of rain a year but this year only received 7/10 of an inch, the Los Angeles Times reported. The theory is that the trees are producing more flowers, and thus more seeds, in an effort to survive with less rain. And locals hope it works, because right now the iconic trees are in decline. "We haven't had a new, young Joshua tree emerge on our Wickenburg study site in almost 30 years, and there have been a number of trees that have died," desert ecologist Jim Cornett told USA Today. "They're just not getting the kind of environmental conditions that they require to survive." PKW_0200 The Wickenburg Joshua Tree Forest also produced large blooms and maximized seed output "It's more than interesting, it's probably unprecedented in anybody's recent memory anyway," Cameron Barrows, an ecologist at the University of California, Riverside, told ABC.

Mexico has reclaimed this rich farmland from the golden dunes but for how long ?

The Colorado River helped Mexico reclaim this farmland from these golden dunes but for how long ?


COLORADO RIVER--2

Get used to the heat!”, says Jonathon Overpack, a UA Scientist, “Expect 130 degree days and by 2050, the Colorado River will probably be dry.” “Once the Central Arizona Project (canal) goes dry for one year, Arizona is dead,” Overpeck warns. “People won’t want to live here anymore.” Economic calamity will result. The question isn’t whether the man-made Colorado River and its reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell will go dry, it’s when.”

PHOENIX RESORT-


“PHOENIX IS DOOMED” NEW TIMES LAYS OUT HOW CLIMATE CHANGE TAKES PHOENIX’S AND ARIZONAN’S BECOME THE FIRST CLIMATE REFUGEES…”NO ONE WILL WANT TO LIVE HERE…”

PHOENIX WATER PARK RESORT-
Phoenix will become the largest ghost town in history-extending to every corner of the Valley of the Sun. The few folks who remain will do so mostly to provide services for people passing through.

The date is January 1, 2114 and Phoenix is dead.


THE RELENTLESS DROUGHT…it’s getting more real !

Scientists predict this 2014 summer we will experience a new global record for all time HOT … !

“Temperatures are more frequently going beyond the bounds of what we’ve seen before,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center. It wasn’t just Phoenix that simmered last summer. It was the fifth-hottest summer worldwide since record-keeping began in 1880, and the 15th-hottest in the United States, Crouch said. Most of the hotter areas were in the West. Nationwide,it reflects a warming trend of 1 degree over the past century. In Arizona, the increase has been about 2 degrees, he said. Higher temperatures can affect moisture in the air, Crouch said, leading to more floods and longer droughts. “When it’s wet, it will be wetter. When it’s dry, it will be drier,” he said.

ASU students traditionally have migrated to the Salt River to cool off and drink some beer tubing down stream

ASU students traditionally have migrated to the Salt River to cool off tubing and drink some beer.

It isn’t your imagination-since Phoenix recorded its all-time high of 122 degrees on June 26, 1990-it has just gotten hotter, last summer was the hottest in Phoenix since U.S. record-keeping began in 1895. 2013 was the 6th hottest year in Arizona since 1850, the National Weather Service says the average temperature in Phoenix was 95.1 degrees from June through August. Tucson recorded its second-highest average temperature, 88.3. John Glueck, a meteorologist notes those temps were partly from heat-island effects, the tendency for concrete and asphalt in urban areas to retain heat, raising night-time temperatures. Every day last summer in June the temps pushed past 100 degrees, and news stories promised all-time heat records and Phoenix finally topped out at 118, Death Valley reached 128, pushing the all-time Death Valley record, of 134 degrees at Furnace Creek Ranch, recorded on July 10, 1913 it’s the highest or hottest temperature ever recorded in the World.

Valley residents better prepare to swelter through more days like the June 26 record temperature when in 1990 the heat soared to 122 degrees in Phoenix, the hottest recorded day in the city’s history. That extreme heat does more than make people sweat. Temps climb over 119 in Phoenix, cancels air flights because excess heat affects a planes’s ability to take off and land.

The American Southwest will be ground zero for extreme heat. The Southeast and Upper Midwest of the United States will add 27 to 50 extra days each year when temps hit at least 95 degrees by 2050. By 2100 45 to 100 additional days when days exceed 95 degrees. These ground temps will make being outdoors so difficult, labor productivity will drop. Demand will increase for air conditioning, requiring more power thus increasing costs.

MORMON LAKE, just East of FLAGSTAFF, AZ has shrunk down to a puddle. Will Rogers once said, "If that was my lake, I'd mow it."

Today MORMON LAKE, just East of FLAGSTAFF, AZ has shrunk down to a puddle. Will Rogers was reported to have said of the once spring fed lake, “If that was my lake, I’d mow it.”

In the Southwest, we have plenty of drought experience. The region has been in drought much of the last 14 years, including several years of unprecedented drought, first early in the 21st century, and then eclipsed by the burning dryness of the last two years. Burning dryness because we’ve literally seen unprecedented wildfire, but also because Southwest droughts of the last two decades have been hotter than any time since we started keeping track reports Johnathan Overpeck.

Looking back a thousand years ago by studying South West tree rings between A.D. 1125 and 1180, we see very little rain fell in the region. After 1180, rainfall returned to normal briefly. Between 1270 to 1274 there was another long drought, followed by another period of normal rainfall. In 1275, yet another drought began. This one lasted 14 years. When this cycle of drought began, Anasazi civilization was at its height. Communities were densely populated. Even with good rains, the Anasazi were using their land to its limits. Without rain, it was impossible to grow enough food to support the population. Widespread famine occurred. People left the area in large numbers to join other pueblo peoples, abandoning the Chaco Canyon pueblos and, the smaller communities that surrounded them.


Looking back a thousand years ago by studying South West tree rings between A.D. 1125 and 1180, we see very little rain fell in the region. After 1180, rainfall briefly returned to normal. From 1270 to 1274 there was another long drought, followed by another period of normal rainfall. In 1275, yet another drought began, this one lasted 14 years, much like the drought we have today. When the drought began, Anasazi civilization was at its height, communities had large populations. Without rain, they couldn’t grow enough food to feed the people, widespread famine forced people to leave in large numbers, they abandoned Chaco Canyon’s twelve great houses and, later, they left the communities that surrounded Chaco.

NEW MEXICO IS WORSE IN U.S.Today throughout the South West individual states are fighting their own battles with drought, Las Vegas is paying its residents $2 a square foot to pull out their grass and lush gardens, the landscape is changing slowing. Nevada is removing wild horses and cattle from all federal rangelands. Wyoming is seeding clouds as part of a long-term “weather modification program,” officials in Colorado say the state’s southeastern plains are experiencing Dust Bowl conditions, and the entire western U.S. has been beset by ferocious wildfires across an ever-more combustible landscape. In small towns all across New Mexico residents are subsisting on trucked-in water, and others are drilling deeper wells. Eighty-seven percent of New Mexico is in drought, the last three years have been the driest and warmest since 1895. All of New Mexico is officially in a severe or exceptional drought, water reservoir storage statewide is 17% of normal, the lowest in the West. Wildlife managers are hauling water to elk herds in the mountains and blame drought for the high number of deer and antelope being killed on roadways.

A rare Tornado in Arizona swept through forest near Flagstaff and heat Bellmont head-on taking out an entire neighborhood of homes and a huge trailer sale operation on I-40,

A rare Tornado in Arizona swept through the forest near Flagstaff and hit Bellmont head-on taking out an entire neighborhood of homes and a trailer business.

Thousands of Albuquerque’s trees have died because homeowners under water restrictions can’t water them, and in the NM state’s agricultural belt, low yields and crop failures are the norm. Livestock levels in many areas are about one-fifth of normal, and panicked ranchers face paying inflated prices for hay or selling off their herds.

CALIFORNIA’S HOTTEST YEAR ON RECORD…….SAN JOSE MERCURY

Last year was California’s driest on record for much of the state, and this year, conditions are only worsening. Sixty-three percent of the state is in extreme drought, and the Sierra Nevada snowpack is just 10 to 30 percent of normal. Last year was California’s driest in 119 years of records, Los Angeles and other cities around the state recorded their lowest precipitation amounts for a calendar year. Urban areas are feeling the pinch, the Metropolitan Water District, which serves about half of heavily populated Southern California, has been using reserves to meet residents’ needs, and plans to do the same next year, said spokesman Bob Muir. If 2015 is also dry, rationing may be required. Water levels in key reservoirs have been dropping when they should be rising with winter rains, storage in Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville, the two largest reservoirs in California, is at 57 percent. Gov. Jerry Brown has asked Californians to reduce their water use by 40% in this drought emergency. Lake Mead’s water levels is eight feet above the cut off level where a shortage is officially declared and rationing goes into effect for Nevada and Arizona, and at that point, Hoover Dam’s hydroelectric output could be seriously jeopardized and may brown out the Vegas Strip. Lake Mead could be dry by 2020 and Lake Powell will never fill up again. “This strikes me as such an amazing moment” says Barry Nelson, an analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, “It’s three-quarters of a century since they filled Lake Mead. And now at the three-quarter-century mark, the world has changed.”

In the winter of 2005, Lake Powell reached its lowest level since filling, an elevation 150′ below full pool. Lake levels recovered during 2005 – 2011, but the resurgence of extreme drought conditions have provoked a steep decline in 2012 and 2013, with the lake falling 35′ over the past year. As of August 18, 2013, Lake Powell was 109′ below full pool (45% of capacity), and was falling at a rate of one foot every six days.

LAS VEGAS, the StripLAKE MEAD GOES DRY, THE VEGAS STRIP BROWNS OUT – WILL VEGAS BECOME THE NEW CHACO ?

 Arizona Prehistory saw migrants immigrating to Roosevelt Lake and south down the San Pedro River in search of water to farm and survive. In Cherry Creek alone, archaeologist found ten different strains of corn, brought in by migrants. The great civilization of Chaco Canyon was completely deserted by 1100 AD

Arizona Prehistory saw migrants immigrating to Roosevelt Lake and south down the San Pedro River in search of water to farm and survive. In Cherry Creek alone ten different strains of corn, was brought in by migrants. The great Anasazi civilization of Chaco Canyon was gone by 1100AD.

TREERING3674Looking back in time through the tree rings, scientists have determined that the current Southwest drought, beginning in 2000, is the fifth most severe since AD 1000. Devastating mega-droughts have occurred regularly in the region, one struck during the latter 1200s (probably driving people from the region) and another in 1572-1587, a drought that stretched across the continent to the Colonies. Few conifers then abundant in the Southwest survived including piñon, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir, despite lifespans approaching 800 years; those species have now regrown.

Corn was the crop that showed that man had become farmers and stood and defended their fields.

Corn was the proof that man had become farmers and defended their fields.

By the Classic Period, 1150 to 1450, the Hohokam irrigation systems could deliver water to over 110,000 acres and support the largest population in the Southwest. It was the largest canal irrigation system ever developed in the prehistoric New World. The Hohokams created a sustainable agriculture that survived for at least 1,500 years. From 1200AD to 1350AD, their irrigation systems delivered water and fed the Southwest, today, canals still follow prehistoric routes, and many were built by cleaning out original Hohokam canals.

The Hohokams were also the only prehistoric culture in North America to rely on irrigation networks to raise crops. They transformed their environment creating fields that stretched as far as the eye could see.
CRACKED EARTH …. PLATFORM MOUND-3054

Scientists studying the drought say the extensive damage done to trees shows what the future holds for other forests worldwide face rising temperatures, diminished rainfall, and devastating fires.

As air grows warmer, its capacity to hold water vapor increases exponentially, which speeds evaporation and sucks more moisture out of trees’ leaves or needles, as well as the soil itself. If the vapor pressure deficit sucks out enough moisture, it kills trees.

U.S. Drought Monitor Click Here…

PKW_8063

‘The forests in the Southwest probably cannot survive in the temperatures that are projected.’

Global warming will make feeding the world harder and more expensive, a warmer world will push food prices higher, trigger hunger among the world’s poorest people and put the crunch on delights like fine wine and robust coffee, says the Panel on Climate Change in a 32-volume report. Food prices are likely to go up in a wide range of 3 percent to 84 percent by 2050 just because of climate change, said the United Nations scientific panel.“We’re facing the specter of reduced yields in some of the key crops that feed humanity,” panel chairman Rajendra Pachauri said.

We will still get good years—wet years—but they will be more and more the exception. A better bet is to expect more drought and plan for it.

Climate change is affecting today’s world’s oceans as well as every continent and it’s going to get much worse if emissions are not curbed, scientists say in the sweeping report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last spring. The report asserts that ice caps are melting and global water supplies are being affected. Important for many island and coastal countries, the pace at which sea levels are rising is endangering coastal areas. The list of problems reads like an unending parade of misery, including rising acidity in the oceans, a threatened world food supply, and possibly mass migration and violence as a result.

Once Mt Lemmon's Cabins were hidden in a carpet of trees, now the plants get plenty of sun.

Once Mt Lemmon’s Cabins were hidden in a carpet of trees fire changed all that.

January 2014 was recorded as the warmest January in fifty years in Arizona. Tucson’s Ski Valley on Mount Lemmon lost the whole ski season to the lack of snow in the southernmost ski area in the United States. Sabino Creek, a mountain stream fed by snowfall and rain stopped running three weeks early this year. Residents of Oracle on the North side of the Santa Catalinas find their beloved oak trees receding and withdrawing up the mountain. Fires and tree die off makes longtime residents like Rick Volante, think their forest may soon become a grassland. Elsewhere in Arizona, plant species are scaling the Sky Islands growing uphill to reach higher altitudes and cooler habitats.

Last year Drought covered 30 percent of Arizona–this year it has almost doubled to 57 percent settling in the southern counties of Pima, Pinal, Cochise and Graham, where residents there are being hammered the hardest.

U.S. Forests shows stress, 20th-century temperature records show a connection between drought and tree mortality associated with huge wildfires and bark-beetle outbreaks, like we have seen here in the past two decades. Projections say forests by 2050 in the Southwest will be suffering regularly from drought stress at levels exceeding previous megadroughts. After 2050, 80 percent of the years to follow will exceed those levels.

“The majority of South West forests will not survive the temps projected”.

In 2013 the USDA designated a Drought Disaster Areas in Arizona where Navajo Reservation water supplies were being compromised by the springs drying up and folks turning to shallower wells that might have been impacted by uranium or arsenic. On January 9, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated Apache, Maricopa, Navajo and Pinal Counties as primary natural disaster areas due to drought. Eight other counties were named as contiguous disaster counties Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Pima, Yavapai and Yuma.

The Waila Fire to 10,000 square acres of woodlands.

The Wallow Fire took 10,000 square acres of woodlands.

The tragic Wildlands firefighter death toll taken last summer when 19 members of the Arizona’s Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots died fighting a wild fire near Yarnell, Arizona, it was the worst tragedy since 1903. More than 500 homes were lost in a firestorm of epic proportions in Colorado Springs, where wildfire triage wanted to save “every other house” but saved only one in four homes. In California the Fire season just didn’t end last year which prompted Gov. Edmund Brown, to declare a state of emergency. “It’s not if–it burns,” he says. “It’s when.”

After a year of asking Californians to cut back their water consumption, water use has gone up one per cent. A $500 Water Waste fine has now gone into affect…

Thomas Tidwell, the head of the United States Forest Service, told a Senate committee on energy and natural resources recently that the fire season now lasts two months longer and destroys twice as much land as it did four decades ago. Fires now, he said, burn the same amount of land faster.

The Slide Fire’s 1200 firefighters are now just winding down with a 32 square mile damage footprint wiping out iconic Oak Creek Canyon which would just now beginning to pull in Phoenix tourists for cooler get-aways and now will not attract any tourist, causing huge damage to the high country economy when it is just beginning the season. Flagstaff averages a 100 inches of snow a year, last season, the area received 19 inches of snow, they now fear fire.

Cabins built 50 years ago had survived unscathed for a half century and then the fire came in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona

Cabins built 50 years ago had survived unscathed for a half century and then fire came to the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona



WASHINGTON AND OREGON DECLARE FIRE EMERGENCY…TWENTY PLUS FIRES RAGE

The All American Canal borders the right side of the Imperial breadbasket in Southern California.The bottom border is the US-Mexican Border where water stops and the dunes begin.

The All American Canal borders the right side of the Imperial breadbasket in Southern California. The bottom border is the US-Mexican Border where water stops and the dunes begin. Around 90 percent of the vegetables that Americans eat in the winter are grown here. Lettuce, potatoes, sweet corn, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and alfalfa. The All-American canal, crosses 82 miles of desert just north of the Mexican border to reach Imperial Valley farms, when the dam and canal system were completed in the 1930s, they were considered one of the wonders of the world.

LAKE POWELL

LAKE POWELL

The present 11-year drought, says Nelson, has caused the Colorado River to deliver considerably less water than users were promised. The Bureau of Reclamation’s current plan calls for an increase of up to 40 percent in the amount of water delivered to Lake Mead from Lake Powell, the big reservoir upstream, a step that may help equalize the amount of water in each reservoir and possibly avoid triggering the shortage declaration that cuts off towns like Tucson from the concrete tit.

LAKE MEAD

LAKE MEAD

Nate Stephenson, a research ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), based near Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, says that if climate warming continues tens of thousands of the ancient Sequoia trees will be at risk in the coming century from destruction. “In 25 years, we would see trouble for sequoia seedlings, then in 50 years trouble for the whole population,” Stephenson said. “In 100 years time, we could lose most of the big Sequoias.”

The threat that climate change poses to giant sequoias is indicative of a broader danger to tree species worldwide. A study published in December in the Journa Science found rising death rates among trees 100 to 300 years old across a wide range of global landscapes, from forests, to savannas, to cities. The study noted that mortality among older trees is linked, at least in part, to higher temperatures and drier conditions, according to a paper in Nature Climate Change.

THE REDWOODS-

A 2010 study conducted by 20 researchers worldwide and published in Forest Ecology and Management documented dozens of cases of “significant tree mortality” on every continent (except Antarctica) over the last 40 years — all of which were linked to heat and drought. According to Craig Allen, a USGS research ecologist based in New Mexico and the Forest Ecology and Management paper’s lead author, ‘Old trees and ancient forests everywhere are arguably at risk.’ Mortality rates have not only risen in dry regions, but also in wet forests. “Old trees and ancient forests everywhere are arguably at risk,” says Allen. “If projected temperatures rise by 4 degrees by 2100, that warming alone could cause most old trees to die sometime this century.”


CALIFORNIA WATER RESOURCE CENTER
ARIZONA DROUGHT PROGRAM
NEW MEXICO DROUGHT MONITOR

The Prehistoric South West by Steve Lekson

A new study center at the University of Arizona thinks residents of the Sonoran Desert are lucky to be the canary in the coal mine. “In Arizona, many opportunities will come from the fact that we are early adapters. We have so much focus here on drought and extreme temperatures that we’ve actually developed techniques to deal with them: artificial groundwater recharge, reuse of waste water, conservation and efficiency.” We’re going to have to adapt to more huge wildfires, prolonged heat waves, electricity brownouts, floods and more drought in the future, thanks to climate change, says the new director of the Center for Climate Adaptation Science and Solutions that will try to help people do that. “That’s really how people experience climate change,” says director Kathy Jacobs.

SAGUAROS ARE BLOOMING EARLIER AND EARLIER, THIS YEAR ORGAN PIPE NATIONAL MONUMENT REPORTS APRIL BLOOMS FOR THE GIANT CACTUS.

SAGUAROS ARE BLOOMING EARLIER AND EARLIER, THIS YEAR ORGAN PIPE NATIONAL MONUMENT REPORTS APRIL BLOOMS FOR THE GIANT CACTUS.

“People are confident in their ability to take off another layer of clothes or put on the thermostat. What is of greatest concern is extreme events,”

The center is a virtual center, with no formal office or headquarters, and with only Jacobs and an assistant as full-time staff. It operates out of the UA’s Institute for the Environment headquarters in the Marshall Building near Main Gate Square. Being prepared is a key theme the center will focus on. Starting operations in January, the center’s basic purpose is to help people in Tucson, nationally and globally adapt to a changing climate by offering management options and practices aimed at protecting lives, property and the national environment from its impacts. The center will connect with the UA’s climate science community, so ideas stemming from climate research have a better chance of becoming reality. “How do we make science useful?” Jacobs said. Helping manage risks that come with climate change, particularly a cascading series of risks such as public health problems from a major heat wave that damages the electrical grid. “Managing risk is the central nut we need to crack here,” Jacobs said “Risk is a complicated, interdisciplinary problem — it’s hard to understand the factors for risk.”

Last year’s drought scorched over half of the U.S. last year. Now that drought is targeting the Southwest and western Plains, according to Mark Svoboda, climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center. Svoboda says the Southwest and Great Plains are likely to see the drought deepen, and it’s possible the drought will reach the Pacific Northwest, like Oregon and Idaho. At the end of last summer, about 65 percent of the country was experiencing drought. Today, the extent of the drought has dropped to 48 percent — but it is far from over Svoboda warns.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists reports misinformation about climate science on cable news channels is pretty common. A study found that last year, 30 percent of CNN’s climate-related segments were misleading, compared with 72 percent on Fox News and just 8 percent for MSNBC. The methodology for the study was quite strict: segments that contained “any inaccurate or misleading representations of climate science” were classified as misleading.


OBAMA CUTS CARBON DIOXIDE COMING FROM POWER PLANTS BY 30%

OBAMA CARE FOR THE AIR …. CLICK HERE

PEOPLES MARCH FOR CLIMATE, SEPT 21, NEW YORK CITY

SOUTH WEST STATES WARMING UP FASTER THAN REST OF THE U.S…..CLICK HERE

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OLD TUCSON’S MESCAL CHANNELS THE OLD WEST’, IT’S PRICELESS, BUT MOVIE SETS ARE NOT BUILT TO LAST ONLY FILM MAGIC LIVES ON !

Tourist visit MESCAL on one of the weekends when Frank Brown gives tours.

Tourist visit MESCAL on one of the weekends when Frank Brown gives tours.

Since 1913 over 126 movies and television shows have been filmed in Southern Arizona; from Oklahoma! to McCLintock! to The Bottom of the Bottle, movies and television shows provide an economic boost to southern Arizona, which continues to inspire film companies as “the homeland of the Old West”, picking up movies like the recent Hangover III that was partially filmed in ‘Nogales because vestiges of the past still linger on the landscape, perhaps forgotten in the desert, but celebrated in the Spirit of the Old West. Old Tucson Studios set the pace in Southern Arizona for decades beginning in 1939 with “ARIZONA”‘ filmed at the studio. Dozens followed John Wayne, Glenn Ford, John Huston, Steve McQueen, Danny Glover, Clint Eastwood, and the Highwaymen, new generations followed, like Young Riders.

Frank Brown has been the Sheriff in these parts for the past twenty years

Frank Brown has been the Sheriff in these parts for the past twenty years

In the 1960’s MESCAL was built originally for TV filming “The Young Riders” and Michael Landon’s “House on the Prairie”, but classics followed like Jose Wales, The Quick and the Dead, Stagecoach with the Highwaymen, Buffalo Soldiers with Danny Glover… For almost 20 years, Frank Brown has been the Sheriff in these parts. Frank is the sole resident of MESCAL except for Samantha, a stray black cat, that follows him everywhere.

 FRANK BROWN

FRANK BROWN

Frank is the caretaker of this slice of the Old West. He jokes and laughs about working with some of the greats in todays film making, Val Kilmer told him he regretted his “I’m your Huckleberry” line in Tombstone when facing down Johnny Ringo. Today he says, “No one ever comes up to me anymore and says Hello, It’s always, “I’m your Huckleberry”. Just for the record, there is no way that movie should have been called “TOMBSTONE”, it would have sold out as “DOC HOLIDAY”. Val Kilmer stole the whole show from Kurt Russell. We walk through the Saloon where EARP (Russel) walks into the bar and straight up to Billy Bob Thorton who is dealing cards and bad-mouthing everyone around. Earp back hands Billy-Bob a couple good licks and says “You gonna stand there and bleed or you gonna peel that smake wagon”? Brown giggles to himself as we exchange lines from the scene and relive the moment. Franks loves this job.

MESCAL FRANK BROWN-3881-2

Brown is retired Military, been married six times and all of them got new houses and cars, and he paid for them all so he likes living alone, “I love being by himself”. He is on duty 24/7 week-in, week-out. Sometimes kids show up late expecting to party on the site and when I show up, and slide a shell into the shotgun, you can hear their assholes puckering. Brown hasn’t had much problem, he scares away someone, at least once a week.

FRANK BROWN

FRANK BROWN

Sam the cat is nice and friendly but Frank has an allergy to cats and can’t pet her so she is always underfoot begging for the attention Frank can’t provide. Samatha showed up about two weeks after Henry, the mouser at Mescal for fourteen years disappeared, SAM has been there now for six years.

As we wander through the streets Frank relates stories about each building and points to a staircase constructed for just one scene years ago, the OK Corral where the Earps went toe-to-toe with the Cowboys it is now a grassy lot. The Ghosts of Steve McQueen, Michael Landon and David Carradine linger along the Boot Hill built for the filming of TOMBSTONE. Just West of town stands the dead tree used in the movie “Maverick” where Mel Gibson is being hung on his horse and rattlesnakes are thrown at his horse’s feet.

Tree in the opening of Maverick as Mel Gibson is being hanged is now anchored in cement.

Tree in the opening of Maverick as Mel Gibson is being hanged is now anchored in cement.

Brown originally found the tree in the Sonoita area and dragged it to the site for the filming, later in 2007 winds topping 70 mph knocked down the tree and 20 building on the Mescal site, each had been constructed for a scene or a movie in the past. The tree was resurrected by 3300 pounds of concrete, many of those twenty buildings still lie as stacks of lumber aging in the sun, just awaiting the next movie crew to blow in and start hammering away building something new.

Stairs built for one movie scene.

Stairs built for one movie scene in
The Ballad of Cable Hogue.

Fly's Photo Shop

Fly’s Photo Shop

Scene of the ShootOut at the OK Corral in Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell.

Scene of the ShootOut at the OK Corral in Tombstone, starring Kurt Russell.

MESCAL FRANK BROWN-3945MESCAL FRANK BROWN-3932-2
AFTER 30 YEARS IN THE MILITARY FRANK TRIED TO RETIRE. TRIED FLY-FISHING BUT AFTER PROWLING EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AND EARNING 4 DEGREES, HE MOVED HOME TO THE DESERT. HE HAD TRAINED AS A SNIPER AND LIKES TO WORK ALONE, "YOU'RE NOT A SPOOK ARE YOU"? I asked. "I would leave home for six months at a time, my wife would get a phone number she could call to see if I was okay! That's all. "YEAH, I"M A SPOOK,"  Brown said.

AFTER 30 YEARS IN THE MILITARY FRANK TRIED TO RETIRE. TRIED FLY-FISHING BUT AFTER PROWLING EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AND EARNING 4 DEGREES, HE MOVED HOME TO THE DESERT. HE HAD TRAINED AS A SNIPER
AND LIKES TO WORK ALONE, “YOU’RE NOT A SPOOK ARE YOU”?
“I would leave home for six months at a time, all my wife would get was a phone number she could call to see if I was okay! “YEAH, I”M A SPOOK,” Brown said.

Frank is a little frustrated because his efforts to get MESCAL recorded as a historic park or memorial, have gone nowhere, mainly because nothing here is built to be permanent. Nothing but Frank Brown, who is permanent, Mescal has had four caretakers, the first was “Tex”, the second was “George”, then the couple, “Bill and Marlene”, and now, “Frank”, who says “you betcha” if asked if he wants to die there. He has a trailer, Old Tucson provides power, water and septic. He seldom leaves, he likes the peace and quiet, often thinks he was born too late in the last century.

Frank takes pleasure preserving his small piece of the “Old West”. The Oklahoma Land Rush was filmed here and history will remember Mescal as the place where movies were made that glorified the Old West and opened a window to the world here before Statehood. Frank feels history all around him. He thinks his Dad and kin folk would be proud of the fact he wears a badge every day, he comes from a long line of Marshals, Sheriffs and Constables and Franks wants Mescal to last as long as he does. So they can just carry him over to Boot Hill and erect another cross to balance out that composition.

Pool table Bill Paxton died on as Wyatt's brother after being shot.

Pool table Bill Paxton died on after being shot.

Until that day, Frank’s too busy to worry, “if you want to die–just sit there, but if you want to live, keep moving and honestly the seventy-nine year old “hopes to die getting shot jumping out of some window”. In the meantime, Frank is learning to shoot a 70lb compound bow to fill his Elk tag for this fall’s hunt. So, this summer, arrows will be flying once again where Fort Apache was filmed to grace the BIG screen. MESCAL TOUR INFORMATION

MESCAL FRANK BROWN-3952-2


According to Wikipedia Old Tucson Studios
was built in 1938 by Columbia Pictures on a Pima County-owned site as a replica of 1860s Tucson for the movie Arizona, starring William Holden and Jean Arthur. Workers built more than 50 buildings in 40 days, many of those structures still stand.

Arizona was the first movie filmed at the new Old Tucson Movie Set

Arizona was the first movie filmed at the new Old Tucson Movie Set

Ernest Borgnine yucks it up during the 1958 filming of "The Badlanders" at Old Tucson. The movie dealt with two men being released from the Arizona Territorial Prison at Yuma in 1898. Both want gold and revenge from a small mining town who imprisoned them unjustly.

Ernest Borgnine yucks it up during the 1958 filming of “The Badlanders” at Old Tucson. The movie dealt with two men being released from the Arizona Territorial Prison at Yuma in 1898. Both want gold and revenge from a small mining town who imprisoned them unjustly.

FILMING OF MCCLINTOCK MAUREEN ODOWD AND JOHN WAYNE

Filming of McClintock starring Maureen ODowd and John Wayne


Ricky Nelson, Stars in Rio Bravo

Ricky Nelson, stars in Rio Bravo

John Wayne 1932

John Wayne 1932

OLD TUCSON KEEPS THE OLD WEST ALIVE

OLD TUCSON KEEPS THE OLD WEST ALIVE

OLD TUCSON SINGER ENTERTAINING SNOW BIRDS WHO SHOW UP TO SPEND MONEY

OLD TUCSON SINGER ENTERTAINING SNOW BIRDS WHO SHOW UP TO SPEND MONEY

OLD TUCSON MOVIE SET AND SOUND STAGE

OLD TUCSON MOVIE SET AND SOUND STAGE

GOLD PANNING AT OLD TUCSON


After the filming of Arizona was completed, the movie set lay quiet for several years, until the filming of The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. Other early movies soon were filmed including The Last Round-Up (1947) with Gene Autry and Winchester ’73 (1950) with James Stewart and The Last Outpost with Ronald Reagan. The 1950s saw the filming of Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957), The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold (1958), Cimarron (1959) and Rio Bravo (1959) among others.

Robert Shelton holds a Winchester Centennial 30-30 rifle given to him by his former partner and friend John Wayne.

Robert Shelton holds a Winchester Centennial 30-30 rifle given to him by his former partner and friend John Wayne.

In 1959, entrepreneur Robert Shelton leased the property from Pima County and began to restore the aging facility. Old Tucson Studios re-opened in 1960, as both a film studio and a theme park. The park grew building by building with each movie filmed on its dusty streets. John Wayne starred in four movies at Old Tucson Studios. Rio Bravo (1959) added a saloon, bank building and doctor’s office; McCLintock! (1963) added the McCLintock Hotel; El Dorado (1966) brought the storefronts on Front Street; and with Rio BRAVO (1970) came a cantina, a jail and a ranch house.
Among thousands of artifacts and posters is a signed photo of Robert Taylor.

Among Shelton’s artifacts and posters is a signed photo of Robert Taylor.

Preparing battle injuries.

Preparing battle injuries.

Paul Newman applies makeup in preparation to filming at Old Tucson, the “Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” in 1972.

In 1968 Old Tucson began adding tours, rides and shows for the entertainment of visitors, most notably gunfights staged in the “streets” by stunt performers, the 13,000 square foot soundstage was built to give Old Tucson Studios greater movie-making versatility. The first film to use the soundstage was Young Billy Young (1968), starring Robert Mitchum and Angie Dickinson.

Michael Landon, left, sets up a scene with Moses Gunn, center, and Merlin Olsen, right, during the filming of an episode of "Father Murphy" at Old Tucson.

Michael Landon, left, sets up a scene with Moses Gunn, center, and Merlin Olsen, right, during the filming of an episode of “Father Murphy” at Old Tucson.

This is the Tucson Citizen front page for April 25, 1995, when Old Tucson Studios caught fire.

This is the Tucson Citizen front page for April 25, 1995, when Old Tucson Studios burned.

On April 25, 1995, a fire destroyed much of Old Tucson Studios. Twenty-five buildings, costumes and memorabilia were lost in the blaze, 100 pieces of fire equipment was deployed and over 200 firefighters from every fire department in the Tucson metro area, including Davis Monthan Air Force Base and the Arizona National Guard fought the wind-driven fire for four hours. The loss included all of Kansas Street and Front street to the wash on the east side, the corner store on the west, and the entire sound stage. The Mission area was destroyed along with the Mission, the Greer Garson house, and the cantina from Rio Bravo. Damages were estimated to be $15 million. Fortunately, there were no human or animal casualties.

Old Tucson served as an ideal location for shooting scenes for TV series like NBC’s The High Chaparral (1967–1971) where the ranch house survived the 1995 fire: Little House on the Prairie, and later, Father Murphy, featuring Merlin Olsen and “Petrocelli”. Three Amigos was a popular comedy shot there in the 80s, using the church set.

Movies filmed at Old Tucson

Movies filmed at Old Tucson

From 1989 to 1992 the show The Young Riders filmed at MESCAL Old Tucson’s sister site. The main street appears prominently in 1990s westerns such as Tombstone, a mirror set still exists at Mescal, AZ and is featured in The Quick and the Dead which filmed all of the town of Redemption scenes there.

In 2013, Old Tucson and Mescal was featured in “A Hot Bath An’ A Stiff Drink”.

DIRECTIONS TO MESCAL MOVIE SET: From Tucson, follow I-10 East. Take exit 297 for J-Six Ranch Rd towrd Mescal Rd. Turn left onto South J-Six Ranch Rd (signs for Mescal Rd). Continue onto N. Mescal Rd (dirt road). Turn left into drive. TOURS ARE $10 EACH. EXCEPT FOR TOURS DAY, MESCAL IS CLOSED TO VISITORS.

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Elsewhere in Arizona on June 1960 Apacheland Studios opened for business and filmed its first TV western, “Have Gun, Will Travel” in November 1960 and its first full length movie “The Purple Hills”. From the beginning as Superstition Mountain Enterprises in 1959 as Apacheland Studio until its demise in 2004 as Apacheland Movie Ranch, this historic Arizona landmark has seen Hollywood’s finest western actors walk the streets on Kings Ranch Road in Gold Canyon, Arizona.

Movies filmed at Old Tucson

Movies filmed at Old Tucson

Actors such as Elvis Presley, Jason Robards, Stella Stevens, Ronald Reagan and Audie Murphy filmed western television shows and movies, such as Gambler II, Death Valley Days, Blind Justice, Charro!, Have Gun, Will Travel and The Ballad of Cable Hogue at the western movie studio for some or all of the filming. The last full length movie to be filmed was the 1994 HBO movie Blind Justice with Armand Assante, Elisabeth Shue and Jack Black.

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On May 26, 1969, fire destroyed most of the Movie ranch. Only 7 buildings survived. The sets were soon rebuilt but then almost 35 years later on February 14, 2004, 2 days after its 45th anniversary, another fire destroyed most of the Apacheland. On October 16, 2004 Apacheland closed its doors to the public permanently.

The cause of both fires remain a mystery.

All that remains of CATCH22 Beach in San Carlos Sonora where the satirical movie was filmed.

All that remains of CATCH22 Beach in San Carlos Sonora where the satirical movie was filmed.

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The freestanding fireplace the center of the love nest shared by Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristoferson in the Sonoita, AZ area.  It stood for years as a testimony to the Power of Rock and Roll but one night it burned and was wiped from the face of the earth by day break.

The freestanding fireplace the center of the love nest shared by Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristoferson in the Sonoita area. It stood for years as a testimony to the Power of Rock and Roll but one night it was torched and burned from the face of the earth by daybreak.

Exterior of the Love nest filmed in the making of A Star is Born.

Exterior of the Love nest filmed in the making of A Star is Born near Sonoita, Az.

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Many films, not all of them Westerns, were shot at Old Tucson Studios, either in whole or in part;

1940: Arizona
1945: The Bells of St. Mary’s
1947: The Last Round-up
1950: Broken Arrow
1951: The Last Outpost
1955: Strange Lady in Town
1955: Ten Wanted Men
1955: The Violent Men
1956: The Broken Star
1956: Walk the Proud Land
1957: 3:10 to Yuma
1957: Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
1957: The Guns of Fort Petticoat
1958: Buchanan Rides Alone
1958: The Badlanders
1958: The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold
1959: Last Train from Gun Hill
1959: Rio Bravo
1959: The Hangman
1961: The Deadly Companions
1962: Young Guns of Texas
1963: McLintock!
1964: The Outrage
1965: Arizona Raiders
1965: The Great Sioux Massacre
1966: El Dorado
1967: Hombre
1967: Return of the Gunfighter
1967: The Last Challenge
1967: The Way West
1967: A Time for Killing
1968: The Mini-Skirt Mob
1969: Heaven with a Gun
1969: Lonesome Cowboys
1969: Young Billy Young
1970: Dirty Dingus Magee
1970: Monte Walsh
1970: Rio Lobo
1971: Wild Rovers
1972: Joe Kidd
1972: Night of the Lepus
1972: Pocket Money
1972: The Legend of Nigger Charley
1972: The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
1973: Guns of a Stranger
1974: Death Wish
1974: A Knife for the Ladies
1974: The Trial of Billy Jack
1975: Posse
1976: The Outlaw Josey Wales
1979: The Villain
1980: Tom Horn
1981: The Cannonball Run
1986: ¡Three Amigos!
1989: Gore Vidals Billy the Kid
1990: Young Guns II
1993: Nemesis
1993: Tombstone
1994: Lightning Jack
1995: Hard Bounty
1995: The Quick and the Dead
2000: South of Heaven, West of Hell
2002: Legend of the Phantom Rider
2004: Treasure of the Seven Mummies
2005: Miracle at Sage Creek
2007: Legend of Pearl Hart
2008: Mad, Mad Wagon Party
2011: To Kill a Memory
2013: Hot Bath an’ a Stiff Drink


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MEXICO’S ONLY CORAL REEF, CABO PULMO ON BAJA’S EAST CAPE, NEEDS PROTECTION FROM GREEDY DEVELOPERS WHOSE LUST FOR 23,000 NEW ROOMS WILL KILL THIS PARADISE !

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Untouched and pristine North America's only coral reef was a personal adventure in the 1980's.

Untouched and pristine North America’s only coral reef was a personal adventure in the 1980’s.

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The first time I visited Cabo Pulmo I drove right past it. True it’s unique beauty lies beneath the waves in this enormous bay which is quite shallow and nurtures young life and marine treasures. The view from the road was the same view that I had enjoyed for the past 100 miles since leaving La Paz so when I drove past this faint truck path disappearing into the sand and dunes who knew it would led us to a farmhouse and a gate and the most outrageous campsite on the Baja.CABO PULMO--7 Over the years I visited three or four times each time I was more excited and pushed out from the shoreline, further and further. Once we rented tanks in La Paz and diving at Cabo Pulmo in 20′-45′ of water our tanks lasted forever. Free diving allowed you to get a better overall view but the tanks made things more personal, the colors, the life and the over whelming size of this undersea garden which is unique to the Sea of Cortez because of the temperate weather, the shallow cove captures the natural solar power from the sun and never dips beneath 70 degrees. In those days I tried to know something about the marine biology of the area, so I had some idea of what I was looking at and what not to touch. Cabo Pulmo has one very curious affect on one resident, the Gineafowl Puffer, which is black with white spots all over its body. Apparently, at one moment in the Gineafowl Puffer life, they have a golden moment, literally a golden phase, where their black and white spots disappear and they turn gold. The reef is a protective place where they can dress outlandishly and not get harvested for their pretty hue. Camping on the beach allowed the early riser to watch the sun climb out of the Sea of Cortez lighting up the world as it rose.

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CABO PULMO2“The coral reefs in Pulmo Bay consist of eight long bars of igneous rock, upon which coral and other marine flora and fauna grow.;

MORAY EEL

MORAY EEL

All eight of these bars extend out from the beach and are easily visible, resembling rocky dikes that project from the sand and continue into the sea. Marine life around the coral reefs include; the White-banded Angelfish, Moray eels, lobster, puffer fish, Yellowtail, Surgeon fish, Pork fish, Butterfly fish, Parrott fish, Moorish Idols, Hawk fish and blennies. Along the deeper reefs, schools of grunts with larger game fish and large grouper appear, as well as a greater abundance of gorgonians and sea fans,” this is the picture painted by the “BAJA CALIFORNIA DIVER’S GUIDE, which guided me to Cabo Pulmo the first time back in the 1980’s. The outer Cabo Pulmo reef lies two miles from the point and features 60′-70’dives into caves and crevices covering with rich layers of sea fans. http://www.cabopulmopark.com/

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Intova Digital Camera

Since I last visited this sleepy cove, the Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort, has grown up around a small, rustic, romantic village of palm-thatched bungalows that are located right in front of the National Marine Park of Cabo Pulmo just 60 miles up the Sea of Cortez from Cabo San Lucas on the gulf side. Cabo Pulmo is a quiet village that has no salesmen or trinket sales to bother you, no paragliders or noisy jet skis, you can walk for miles on the beach and not see anyone at times. The village of Cabo Pulmo has it’s own well and the quality of water surpasses most water found elsewhere on the Baja Peninsula.

The village is off the grid and relays totally on its own solar power.

Cabo Pulmo Beach Resort sells lots on the East Cape of Baja California Sur, Mexico all with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez, desert and mountains. Lots are said to sell for prices ranging from $39K to $200K and taxes are about $100 per year!

Development along the  East Cape Road started a long time ago. But development threatens the Treasures of the BAJA.

Development along the East Cape Road started a long time ago. But development now threatens one of the Treasures of the BAJA.

A new 23,000 room hotel complex called “Cabo Dorado”, has been proposed for Cabo Pulmo which is strikingly similar to two previously canceled projects that were proposed for 3,769 hectares in the exact same location as the other. These projects would change the current landscape entirely, Los Pericúes wanted to include nine hotel lots (eight of which were proposed as unobstructed beach front) and 6,650 residential units built on two 18-hole golf courses.

CABO PULMO MAP

Now for the third time, the threat of massive coastal tourism and real-estate development has returned to Cabo Pulmo National Park, one of the world’s most robust marine reserves and home to a critically important coral reef system. The new mega-resort project, now called “Cabo Dorado”, raises the specter that Cabo Pulmo’s fragile coral reef and the local community’s fresh water supply could once more be at risk.

Here’s what we know so far about Cabo Dorado:

The 3,770 hectare project is proposed on the same lands – just north of and adjacent to the Cabo Pulmo reserve – where first Cabo Cabo Cortés and later Los Pericúes were also proposed.SEA TURTLEThis new mega-resort would be built in five phases at a cost of at least 3.6 billion dollars. The project would have 22,500 rooms, nine hotels and more than 6,000 residences. There would be two golf courses, sports facilities, beach clubs, a 14 kilometer aqueduct, a new airstrip on the site but a project of this scale and scope would also generate 711,900 kilograms of waste per day and could extract up to 4.8 million cubic meters of water from the local aquifer of this arid, desert region. Apart from the proximity to the fragile Cabo Pulmo coral reef and the marine life it supports, the proposed project site is home to 26 species considered at risk under Mexican law, including endemic plant species and endangered sea turtles.

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The sheer scale of the proposal has brought concern about the Cabo Pulmo reserve, a gem internationally recognized and treasured by both the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and it was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. Representatives from both of these international organizations after a visit recommended that Mexico restrict future large-scale development in the vicinity of the park to avoid the risk of damaged habitat.

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UNESCO and Ramsar are not the only ones to have weighed in about the risk of large-scale development in this region. The IUCN’s World Conservation Congress in September 2012 issued a resolution urging Mexico to guarantee the protection of Cabo Pulmo, including from the risk of large-scale tourism and real-estate developments.

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Fortunately Cabo Cortés was eventually halted by former President Calderón in June 2012, but it should never have progressed as far as it did. Now, with a new project proposed near Cabo Pulmo National Park it is absolutely critical for Mexican authorities to ensure that history does not repeat itself. A project that would endanger the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystems near Cabo Pulmo and the neighboring communities must not be allowed to move forward as Cabo Cortés did. A bad project that threatens one of the country’s and the world’s crown jewels must simply not get the green light – no matter how many times or who proposes it.


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Subject: SAVE NORTH AMERICA’S ONLY CORAL REEF…CABO PULMO!

Hi,

This petition is about saving God’s treasures on this Earth. I have visited Cabo Pulmo and I have dove into this bay and can testify how beautiful all of this reef can be, with the schools of colorful juveniles and huge schools of jacks, grunts and barracuda. Proposed development will only destroy the reason people want to go there. To enjoy the pristine beauty unique to the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) we need to fight to save it now.

That’s why I created a petition to Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, which says:

“Cabo Pulmo reserve is an internationally recognized treasure it is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. As North America’s only Coral Reef it has been recommended that Mexico restrict future large-scale developments in the vicinity of the park to avoid the risk of ruining what nature has built.”

Will you sign this petition? Click here:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-north-americas-only?source=c.em.cp&r_by=2351495

Thanks! Pass this along to like-minded individuals….

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TUCSON’S NEW SKATE BOARD GENERATION CATCHES WAVE TOWARD THE NATIONS BEST SKATESCAPE …

22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3446 SKATE PARK The first skateboarding wave washed across the United States in the 1960’s. Like all fads from the coast I had seen the hula-hoop and had little hope skateboarding would last long, locals nailed their sister’s skates to the bottom of a board and went for the downhill. You either knew if you were a skater or not, I was not the right stuff and knew it instantly. Historically the first skate park was made of plywood on a half acre sand lot in Kelso, Washington in 1966 and it had lights. The first modern concrete skate park opened in 1976 in Port Orange Florida and Carlsbad California, followed by indoor parks in less temperate climates but high insurance premiums caused the first wave of skateboarding died in court, but realized a resurgence followed in the United States when legislation in states like California’s 1998 law that said skateboarding is an inherently “Hazardous Recreation Activity” and cities will not be held liable for claims of negligence resulting in a skateboarding injury. Skateboard construction improved and skate parks have become more common.

TUCSON'S 22ND STREET SKATE PARK

TUCSON’S 22ND STREET SKATE PARK

SKATE PARK Today some cities put in skate parks with features not designed for skateboarding, but are street legal for skaters, other not. Tucson’s has a number skate parks in different parts of town, Tucson was once one of the best skateboarding scenes in the country, which is a little known fact about earlier times when Tucson skateboarders had permission to skate “THE BLOCKS” at El Presidio Plaza after 5pm until 1994. Rumor has it Skateboarders got the skate park at Randolph Park in exchange for no longer skating at “The Blocks” downtown. Today Tucson Skateboarding is a new force and has hopes of becoming politically active and wants to approach the city council in hopes of taking back “The Blocks”, and Tucson’s claim to top ten spots in the US to skate. Downtown Tucson has a new skateboarding shop opened by two brothers Kenzo and Zen Butler and their partner Jerry Jordon have moved into The Arches, a high ceiling warehouse at 35 E. Toole Ave and have spacious floor space and stylish fashions, boards at their The BLX Skate Shop dedicated to the “Golden Age of Skateboards” and the Skateboard culture which has its own set of values and language. Since downtown is the heart of this skateboarding culture, BLX is pronounced “Blocks” named for the feature now off-limits to skaters, but a short distance away. THE BLOCKS "Skateable THE BLOCKS 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3425 Skateboarding is a popular recreational activity among children and teenagers — especially boys. In recent years, skateboarding spin-offs, such as long-boarding and mountain boarding, have become increasingly common. Although it is a fun activity, skateboarding can result in a serious injury. 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3437In 2011, skateboard-related injuries accounted for more than 78,000 emergency room visits among children and adolescents 19 years old or younger. On average, about 52% of skateboard injuries involve children under age 15. Eighty-five percent of the children injured are boys. Many injuries happen when a child loses balance, falls off the skateboard and lands on an outstretched arm. Skateboarding injuries often involve the wrist, ankle, or face. Injuries to the arms, legs, neck and trunk range from cuts and bruises to sprains, strains, and broken bones. Wrist fractures are quite common. Wearing wrist guards can reduce the frequency and severity of these fractures. Facial injuries, such as a broken nose or jawbone, are also common. Severe injuries include concussion and other head injuries. There are many things that parents and children can do to help prevent skateboarding injuries, such as carefully selecting safe places to ride, and wearing protective gear, especially helmets. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under age 5 years should not ride skateboards. Children aged 6 to 10 years old need close supervision from an adult whenever they ride a skateboard.22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3473

Practice tricks and jumps in a controlled environment, such as a skate park that has adult supervision and appropriate access to emergency medical care.

Be considerate of fellow skateboarders, especially those who are younger and/or less skilled. Take turns on ramps or other equipment.

Learn the basic skills of skateboarding, especially how to stop, slow down, and turn. Be able to fall safely: If you are losing your balance, crouch down on the skateboard so that you will not have as far to fall. Try to land on the fleshy parts of your body rather than your arms. Relax and roll.

Skateboard according to your ability level. Skateboarding skill is not acquired quickly or easily. Do not take chances by skateboarding faster than your experience allows, or faster than is safe for the surrounding conditions.

Practice and master each skill before moving on to a more challenging trick. Staying in good physical condition can help to prevent skateboarding injuries.

SKATE PARK

Directions to follow to Santa Rita Skate Park I-10 Fwy Westbound – exit Starr Pass Blvd/22nd St, take 2nd right at 22nd St, left at 3rd Ave into Santa Rita Park. 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3419

Albert M. Gallego Skate Park Santa Rita Park 3rd Ave and 22nd St GPS 32.207522,-110.963395 Date Opened 2009 Square Footage 12,000 22nd STREET SKATE PARK-3424x Just off the 10 Fwy in Tucson lies Santa Rita Skatepark.

The Albert M. Gallego Skate Park is located within the Santa Rita Park and should be on your list of places to go. This park opened in 2009 after almost 10 years of fundraising and plan changes. Santa Rita consists of three separate bowls: The Bonnie Bowl (a 12’ deep keyhole), a 4-6’ deep flow bowl, and a good size kidney. The Bonney Bowl is a classic 80’s style keyhole. It felt 12’ deep and fast. The shape is not perfectly round, but slightly squashed and the lip is finished with tiles and orange pool coping. The flow bowl varies in depth from 4′ to 6′ with a clamshell in the middle and a couple of hips. The bowl is finished with metal coping. The last bowl is a righthand kidney with an 8′ deep end and 3′ shallow end. This bowl is pretty mellow and good for beginners learning to carve. Santa Rita skate park opens at 6am and has lights until 10:30pm, which is necessary considering the daytime heat of the desert.

Now go check this one off.

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SKATE PARK SKATE PARK

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THE CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST: A GREAT SHOW, GREAT BATTLES, GREAT RE-ENACTERS, GREAT TIME TO CLEAN UP THE BACKGROUND, ANNOYING CAR ALARMS !

CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-3674 TROOP B 3703 CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-3700CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-5706 Few people have watched the Civil War in the SouthWest as many times as I have. It is a great show and it celebrates the small but important role the southwest played in the Great American Civil War. Over the years, the quality of the troops have excelled and their numbers have grown. All that equipment and period gear, they buy and donate their efforts to make this incredible performance come together each year in March. The quality of cannon now on the field, all privately owned, this year fell shy of ten, far beyond performances in the past. More than 2,000 people turnout each day to wander through the tent village visiting with folks living in the past. They watch church sermons, yesteryear entertainment, troops drill and snoop through the regimental camp inspecting the lifestyle of blue and grey troops on the front lines of the worst war in America. You can buy a ball cap or a confederates cap, pick whatever side you wish, cheer for your heroes, however, the smart money is on the boys in gray, the Johnny Rebs and their rebel yell, just saying. 2014 performance like every March, Picacho Peak State Park hosts a re-enactment of the Civil War battles of Arizona and New Mexico, including the battle of Picacho Pass. The re-enactments now have grown so large that many more participants tend to be involved than took part in the actual engagements, and include infantry units and artillery as well as cavalry. To add to the excitment, flash pans down field explode to add to the feel of combat and give the cannon fire a sense of completion and reality. CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST2-5714 This year, cannon fire set off a car alarm in the middle of the battle, it screamed and annoyed for seemingly endless period of time. Picacho State Park has grown a lot over the years, they have expanded their campground which now wraps around the battle field, so everyone gets recreational vehicles in all their battle pictures. CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-5692 March is also Picacho peak season for visitors, cause in two months, few if anyone will be there. But maybe for the weekend of the battle perhaps closing off that area and during the battle it should be closed to spectators. Encircling the battle with spectators really takes away from the ambiance’ everyone has worked so hard to achieve. CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-3725Young re-enactors have really added a spark to the performance, their ad lib mid-battle give the real feel of lead flying, their numbers are on the rise and this battle will only get bigger and the space needed greater. Right now battles are fought on a dog leg so the cannon isn’t fired at the target, but we know what they mean–right!CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-3747CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-3642 Presently the crowd in pushing out in the middle and to see both sides of the battle folks have to walk back and forth, photographers have to jockey for position, but in the days when everyone is a photographer, there is usually someone in your frame. Professional photographers in such a setting realize that they have a responsibility not to get in the middle of everyone’s photograph, folks videoing with their phones never seem to think about it. The safety officers do a good job of keeping the cavalry from running through the spectators and few injuries come from horses or gunfire, perhaps sunburn and scrapped knees on young ones running when they shouldn’t. Why not more shade for folks spending a whole day in the sun, lots of older folks, many would benefit to bring their own chairs, sun lotion, cool drinks and shade. CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST-3769

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM 2014 CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTH WEST

PICACHO STATE PARK CLICK HERE

MULTI-MEDIA VIDEO OF STILLS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS CLICK HERE

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COWBOY UP ! COWBOY DOWN…SACATON JUNIOR RODEO A BOOT CAMP FOR ARIZONA’S NEXT RODEO STARS

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It was family time around the Rodeo arena Friday when 200 participants turned out
for the Gila River Indian Communities’ annual Junior Rodeo sponsored by the Mul-Chu-Tha
Festival and Rodeo in Sacaton, Arizona. Everything is scaled down in the Junior Rodeo for the
next generation of Cowgirls and Cowboys, there are contests for ages six through seventeen.
Stick horse racing is introduced early as five year olds push their steeds through their paces around
the red pylons, there were a few falls, some tears, but everyone a winner.
SACATON JR RODEO 5496SACATON JR RODEO 5467SACATON JR RODEO 5057SACATON JR RODEO 5325Barrell racing was again a question of scale, with thirty-five pound cowgirls, pushing these 900 pound horses through their route. Still the mutton busting capture your heart and imagination. The gate would open and these bags of wool on legs come running out and mostly you can’t see the rider buried in all the wool, until they rolled off onto the ground. Many just lied there unmoving, and mothers would rush out but mostly they shook it off, with a few tears, but many took it in stride and moved on. SACATON JR RODEO-5035 Junior Rodeos
are made up of all the Indian rodeo talents in the State of Arizona the same folks hit many the
same rodeos coming in from Whiteriver, Windowrock, Sells, or San Carlos, Arizona representing
the Apache, Navajo and O’odham Tribes like the Tohono, PeePosh, Akimel, Maricopa are all Piman
tribes. These talented contestants get their start at Junior Rodeos and Sacaton’s rodeo gave all the
little guys and gals all the time they needed and encouraged everyone to participate. Few showed
but a few tears were shed over the steer riding. All riders wear a protective vest which one steer
was able to hook and twirl his rider over it’s head on its horn. That rider was a bit dizzy. There were a
few hard falls, but no injuries, there was however an arm cast or two in the crowd. There were some
very professional riders who scored well and finished lst, 2nd, 3rd, others got their share of hard knocks
and some great experience. These guys and gals will work for the next year to hone these cowboy skills and next year they will be a little bigger and the lasso a little smaller and a little easier to throw…..

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A GATHERING OF WARRIORS; IRA HAYES WELCOMES HOME TRIBAL PATRIOTS TO SACATON TO CELEBRATE THE WARRIORS’S FIGHTING SPIRIT !

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American Hero IRA HAMILITON HAYES, a Pima Indian born to the Colorado River Community in Sacaton, Arizona was celebrated for the 69th time in 2014 for his role in World War II where he fought the Japanese for the Island of Iwo Jima. Hayes and other soldiers fought to take the islands summit and once there with four other soldiers they raised a battleship’s flag big enough for everyone on the island to see. The photo of that flag-raising by Joe Rosenthal has become symbolic of American Fighting Spirit and each year for 69 years Indian Tribes from all over the United States have sent color guards to Arizona to participate in this warrior gathering where they celebrate this warriors life and honor all warriors before and since.

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Tim Murphy and William Radebaugh dressed out in the WW II battle gear Ira Hayes would have worn fighting on the island of Iwo Jima, to serve as a honor guard for Ira Hayes statue which was the magnet for all attending the parade. Many wanted to be photographed with the hero! in honor of Hayes and all vets including those from World War II, a disappearing generation, but Oliver Babbitt an Iwo Jima survivor walked the entire parade with a hip native American escort. Color guards from all over the United States poured into Sacaton Saturday some like the San Carlos Apache drove in that morning, others held up at the Ak-Chin Casino but several thousand participants funneled into Sacaton, lining up for the parade and after the flyovers, for two hours paraded through the streets of Sacaton for several hundred participants.IRA HAMILTON HAYES-4698 The B-17 flying fortress, the “Sentimental Journey” performed four fly-overs for the parade, followed by six biplanes flying in formation and trailing smoke in their wake. Vietnam vet David Vigil communed with the statue of Ira Hayes, towering over the life size 5’6″ likeness, calling him a “hero” for his service, noting a hero is a soldier who did a good job. Still the streets of Sacaton filled with people of all walks of life, ages and ways of life, everyone a patriot, everyone rejoiced in their warriors. The Arizona Patriot Guard Motorcycle Unit contrasted by numerous ROTC drill teams.IRA HAMILTON HAYES-4784Following the parade that perhaps had 5000 participants from reservations, Legion Posts, color guards from all over Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Colorado, to name a few. Pat Rice from Chandler noted seldom will reservation culture single out one individual and hold him up — so for Ira Hayes to get a send off like this every year, it’s amazing he said. With the U.S. now in a time of peace Rice wondered if the next generation will lose the reality for war and hopes events like this will keep the reality alive. At the end of the parade all the visiting color guards, ROTC and ceremonial units came together for a “massing of colors”.

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Tohono Oodham Royalty Malaya Antone, 21, left and her court Tohono Oodham Royalty Malaya Antone, 21, left with her court[/caption]

The battle for Iwo Jima was particularly bloody, being the only battle in which the U.S. Marine Corps suffered more casualties than the Japanese Army. The Japanese were well entrenched on the island when the U.S. decided to invade. Iwo Jima’s, a mountainous island proved extremely difficult for U.S. troops. However, Iwo Jima proved of extreme tactical importance to the U.S. policy of island hopping to the Japanese mainland. For this, the military command decided that the 26,000 American casualties was worth the island.

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Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
is a historic photograph taken on February 23, 1945, by Joe Rosenthal. It shows five United States Marines and a United States Navy corpsman raising an American flag atop Mount Suribachi, a 546-foot dormant volcanic cone situated on the southern tip of the island during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. The photograph was extremely popular, being reprinted in thousands of publications. Later, it became the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as its publication, and came to be regarded in the United States as one of the most significant and recognizable images of the war, and possibly the most reproduced photograph of all time. Joe Rosenthal, an Associated Press photographer, is the man behind the photo. The raising of the flag at Iwo Jima, 69 years ago, is perhaps the most iconic image of World War II. No other picture so succinctly and evocatively captures the triumph of the Allied forces, while also highlighting the critical role that U.S. troops played in the Pacific. The picture has become an enduring symbol of the steadfastness and strength of the Marine Corps.

The annual parade is the efforts of the IRA HAYES AMERICAN LEGION
POST NO. 84 IN SACATON, AZ EACH THIRD WEEKEND IN FEBRUARY

IRA HAMILTON HAYES-4885Three Marines depicted in the Associated Press photograph, Harlon Block, Franklin Sousley, and Michael Strank, were killed in action over the next few days. The three surviving flag-raisers were Marines Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes, and sailor John Bradley, who became celebrities after their identifications in the photograph. The image by Joesph Rosenthal later inspired Marine Felix de Weldon to sculpt the 1954 Marine Corps War Memorial, located next to Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C. 170px-3c-Iwo_Jima The Iwo Jima flag-raising has been depicted in other films including 1949’s Sands of Iwo Jima (in which the three surviving flag raisers make a cameo appearance at the end of the film) and 1961’s The Outsider, a biography of Ira Hayes starring Tony Curtis, the new book “Flag of our Fathers” inspired Clint Eastwood’s movie. In 1961, Ira Hayes’s life story was the subject of the movie, The Outsider. The movie inspired songwriter Peter La Farge to write the The Ballad of Ira Hayes, which became popular nationwide in 1964 by singer Johnny Cash. Hayes was portrayed by actor Adam Beach in the World War II movie Flags of Our Fathers in 2006. In July 1945, the United States Postal Service released a postage stamp bearing the image. The act of raising the flag captured by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal became the photo on the biggest-selling American postage stamp of all time.

The five Marines together with Navy corpsman John “Doc” Bradley raised the second American flag and flagstaff. Bradley from 3rd Platoon, was part of the original 40-man patrol that climbed up Mount Suribachi. Hayes fought on the island until the battle was over on March 26. Killed and wounded losses were heavy, he was one of five Marines remaining from his platoon of forty-five including corpsmen. IWO JIMA FLAG RAISINGThe raising of the second American flag on Mount Suribachi on February 23, 1945 was immortalized by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal and became an icon of the world war. Overnight, Hayes and the other second flag raisers became national heroes except for Harlon Block who was misidentified for several months as Sgt. Henry Hansen from 3rd Platoon.

When he enlisted in the Marine Corps, IRA HAYES had hardly ever been off the Reservation. His ambition was for him to be an “Honorable Warrior” and bring honor upon his family. A Dept of Defense website Ira Hayes is called a dedicated Marine. “Quiet and steady, he was admired by his fellow Marines who fought alongside him in three Pacific battles. Ira Hayes was a noted World War ll hero. Although he had a normal childhood on his reservation, his life changed dramatically when war broke out and he joined the Marine Corps. After he completed courses under the U.S. Marine Corps Parachutist School at San Diego, California. He was lovingly dubbed “Chief Falling Cloud.” Ira Hayes was assigned to a parachute battalion of the fleet Marine Force.”

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One Tempe Vietnam vet found standing along the parade, seen saluting the American flag and waving to the passing color guards, said he comes every year. “This is the only place I have ever been were I truly feel honored for being a Warrior.”

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TOHONO O’oDHAM 76TH RODEO and FAIR BRINGS FAMILY AND FRIENDS TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE

 The Wild Horse Race climaxes at the Sells 76th Rodeo and Fair in Southern Arizona Saturday. Februrary 1st 2014. The nation's oldest All-Indian Rodeo crowd watched the Felix Cruz Team saddle up a wild horse and take it for it's first ride winning first while Team Cowboy Dreamers (in background) take second.Thousands of spectators filled the Silas R. Hendrick Rodeo Arena during the Tohono O'odham's four day event featuring Toka Tournaments, Pow Wows, Chicken Scratch Bands and a carnival Midway. Traditional dance and song was celebrated by groups attending the event from all over the South West.


The Wild Horse Race climaxes at the Sells 76th Rodeo and Fair in Southern Arizona Saturday, Februrary 1st 2014. The nation’s oldest All-Indian Rodeo crowd watched the Felix Cruz Team saddle up a wild horse
and take it for it’s first ride winning first while Team Cowboy Dreamers (in background) take second. Thousands of spectators filled the Silas R. Hendrick Rodeo Arena during the Tohono O’odham’s four day event featuring Toka Tournaments, Pow Wows, Chicken Scratch Bands and a carnival Midway.Traditional dance and song was celebrated by groups attending the event from all over the South West. P.K. WEIS / SouthWestPhotoBank.Com

MORE PHOTOS VISIT SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK.COM IMAGINE GALLERIES….2014 TOHONO OODHAM RODEO

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ALYSSA R. GARCIA MISS INDIAN ARIZONA  greets fair goers in Sells

ALYSSA R. GARCIA
MISS INDIAN ARIZONA
greets fair goers in Sells


MALAYA ANTONE 2014 MISS TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION from Pisinemo Village.

MALAYA ANTONE
2014 MISS TOHONO
O’ODHAM NATION
from Pisinemo Village.

The annual tournament is held as a sidebar to the rodeo, powwow and midway.  It's open only to women of any age and the competition is fierce and generational.

The annual tournament is held as a sidebar to the rodeo, powwow and midway. It’s open only to women of any age and the competition is fierce and generational.

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MORE PHOTOS VISIT SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK.COM IMAGINE GALLERIES….2014 TOHONO OODHAM RODEO

SERINA DANIELS SHOWS EVERYONE HOW IT IS DONE.

SERINA DANIELS SHOWS EVERYONE HOW IT IS DONE.

76th SELLS RODEO and FAIR lr4305

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ALEXANDRA FELIX IS LITTLE MISS SAINT PETERS A INDIAN MISSION IN GOODYEAR, AZ.

ALEXANDRA FELIX IS LITTLE MISS SAINT PETERS
A INDIAN MISSION IN GOODYEAR, AZ.

TOSHIA FOLSON FROM NORTH SANTA ROSA

TOSHIA FOLSON FROM NORTH SANTA ROSA

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CUBA’S LOVE – HATE RELATIONS WITH AMERICAN CARS LEFT IN A 1950’S TIME WARP – EVERYONE MAKES DO !

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Today for the first time since the 1959 revolution, Cubans will have the right to buy new and used vehicles from the state without government permission, taking one more step toward economic freedom on the island. PKW_0261The newly en-acted reform allows Cubans to buy and sell used cars from each other, but must request authorization from the government to purchase a new vehicle or second-hand one, usually a relatively modern rental car, from State retailers. The newspaper Granma said, “the retail sale of new and used motorcycles, cars, vans, small trucks and mini buses for Cubans and foreign residents, companies and diplomats is freed up.” Newer car models are largely in state hands and sold used at a relatively low price to select individuals, for example, Cuban diplomats and doctors who serve abroad, then often resell them at four or five times the price.The Cuban state maintains a monopoly on the retail sale of cars. The liberalizing of car sales was one of more than 300 reforms put forth by President Raul Castro, who took over for his ailing brother Fidel in 2008, and approved in 2011 at a congress of the Communist Party, Cuba’s only legal political party.

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The changes put a greater emphasis on private initiative, which was largely stifled under Cuba’s Soviet-style system, and less government control over sales and purchases of personal property like homes and cars.

CAR REPAIR HAPPENS SPONTANEOUSLY IN HAVANA.  WHERE EVER A CAR BREAKS DOWN ITS OWNER AND MECHANIC SITS DOWN WITH A BOOK AND RESTORES THE STATUS QUO...

CAR REPAIR HAPPENS SPONTANEOUSLY IN HAVANA. WHERE EVER A CAR BREAKS DOWN ITS OWNER AND MECHANIC SITS DOWN WITH A BOOK AND RESTORES THE STATUS QUO…


Havana Cuba is a cool place. Americans tourist will be captivated by the “Yank Tanks” still in use in this 500 year old city, they ebb and flow through traffic all around you, they never disappear for Cubans they are a way of life. This time warp in this Caribbean city began when America pulled out and left this communist leaning community behind and off limits. To trade with Cuba was “Trading with the Enemy” and no one excused not even the world famous “Pappa Hemingway, who was forced to leave his beloved Cuba and Cadillac behind. Cuba had a wonderful rail line which the Italians had installed and allowed for transportation all over the island, particularly in the cities. When the Americans arrived the first time, Ford, Chevy, GMC all made the Island “smoking good deals” for buses, large trucks and cars. The population who had been served by rail, changed to automobiles, buses and trucks and rail service diminished and when it became run down, it was discarded. WORKONCAR9304Meanwhile American cars, buses and trucks filled the local needs until the spare parts became scarce because of the U.S. boycott … after that, innovation and genius has been required to keep all these cars on the road. Many have been “cherried out” and still have original parts, many more have been crossed with spare parts from the Russian Lada’s or whatever might fit or work. Some Cuba lovers fear opening the Island up to the Americans again will ruin it! Folks fear car buyers will arrive and will buy up all the treasures, all the color, and material culture, like old the U.S. cars leaving behind the worn out and tired, stealing again, the island’s life blood and reason for others to come.

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Today to travel outside of Havana, you need to hire a car and a driver. Most cars come with drivers and for many, that car is their livihood so you have to put up the driver and feed him also. There are some local buses and they can provide slow transportation but there is no security beyond its bumpers. One day after touring the Havana Cemetery, my comrade and I, were asked if we needed a ride by am un-marked “cab” driver in a Russian Lada. Nice fella, who usually was a maritime marine but Havana was his home port and he leaves his car with friends. When we got in the Lada, it was a bit stuffy in the warm tropical sun so I reached for the window crank and found none. CHEVY9272 I asked the driver, who gladly pluck the handle from his shirt pocket and passed it back. After I returned the crank, he offered it to my friend and then returned it to the safety of his shirt pocket. This “illegal” cab was one of hundreds and usually operated a little cheaper than the main cabs running from the Park Lane Hotel which catered to the high-end foreign tourist. Tourist staying elsewhere often come here for drinks, the view off the roof, and to check email and to surf the internet to find out what’s happening elsewhere. Cabs can be found here and some feel “safer” taking these cabs rather than just hailing one on the street.

chevycab1225Personally I walked for miles wearing cameras and a smile and ran into no problems. Downtown Havana has numerous nice young men and women who police various neighborhoods. They usually stood on the corner and occasionally wrote something down. I always thought they knew more about where I was going than I did. Never saw them say anything. One day a young fella came up to me and said quietly “give me all your money”. I smiled and I said “no problema” and walked off, leaving the confused thief behind.

This cherry chevy was parked in front of the Havana InterNational Airport and was attracting big crowds,

This cherry chevy was parked in front of the Havana InterNational Airport and was attracting big crowds,

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Before September 2011, only automobiles that were in Cuba before the 1959 revolution could be freely bought and sold, which is why there are so many cars from the 1950s or before, most of them American-made, rumbling through Cuban streets. There are also many Soviet-made cars, dating from the era when the Soviet Union was the island’s biggest ally and benefactor. Newer models are largely in state hands and sold used at a relatively low price to select individuals, for example, Cuban diplomats and doctors who serve abroad, who then often resell them at four or five times the price. Cubans and foreigners still need government permission to import a new or used car, a regulation Granma (the Cuban Political newspaper) said was not been lifted. The new regulation is expected to include stiff taxes, currently 100 percent for new cars, with the proceeds going to fund the country’s decrepit public transportation system, the newspaper said.

A new Kia Rio hatchback that starts at $13,600 in the United States sells for $42,000 here, while a fresh-off-the-lot Peugeot 508 family car, the most luxurious of which lists for the equivalent of about $53,000 in the U.K., will set you back a cool $262,000. But even many of the used cars had huge asking prices, such as a 2009 Hyundai minivan that listed for $110,000.

“Let’s see if a revolutionary worker who lives honorably on his salary can come and buy a car at these prices,” said Guillermo Flores, 27, a computer engineer. “This is a joke on the people.”

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Isn’t this wonderful? There are 66,000 vintage cars in Cuba, all fifty to sixty years old, most held together with duct tape and baling wire. So, what’s the point of selling cars without the red tape when a used car will cost the average person ten years wages? Cubans don’t love the Yank Tanks but they are all they have and they are making do until trade opens once again with the U.S. mainland.

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SEE MORE ON THE SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK’S CUBAN CAR’S GALLERIES…………CLICK HERE

VISIT THE 500 YEAR OLD CITY OF HAVANA CUBA….CLICK HERE

TAKE A VIDEO TOUR OF MY HAVANA VISIT……..CLICK HERE


CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF CUBA AFRICAN SANTERIA CEREMONY


OLD AMERICAN CARS IN HAVANA ARE NURCHURED NOT LOVED….

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BIRDING IN THE SOUTHWEST, TAKE YOUR SCOPE ! NO MATTER WHERE YOU ARE IN ARIZONA THERE IS A HOT BIRDING PARADISE AT A WETLAND NEAR YOU !

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SouthEast Arizona comes out number TWO on a list of twenty-five of the best birding locations in the Southwest. For one thing Southeast Arizona is the hummingbird capitol of the United States, particularly in August. Ramsey Canyon in the Huachuca Mountains is the place to head toward for hummingbirds in July or Augustlike the Blue-throated, Broad-billed, Black-chinned. The Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum is said to attract desert species including Verdin, Gilded Flickers and Gila Woodpeckers. Cave Creek which runs through Portal in the Chiricahua Mountains along the South Fork Trail may yield Elegant Trogan or Flame-colored Tanager and owls. Madera Canyon/Florida Wash/Santa Rita Mountains area is known for its Magnificent Hummingbirds, Buff-collared Nightjar, Cassin’s or Botteri’s Sparrows at Florida Wash. The Strickland’s Woodpecker is found at higher elevation and the Elf Owls nests in the area. The Patagonia/Sonoita Creek is famous for its roadside rest area, watch for the Gray Hawk, Thick-Billed Kingbird, and Rose-throated Becard. Sonoita Creek Sanctuary is a hot birding spot, but may not be open every day .


NEED TO NAME A BIRD YOU HAVE SEEN TRY CLICKING HERE ….

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS INCREDIBLE BIRDING BLOG CALLED: TOMMY’S BIRDING EXPEDITIONS

GREAT NEWS ! PATAGONIA’S PATRON’S BIRD HAVEN TO BE PRESERVED

To reach Paton’s Birder Haven from Tucson, take Interstate 10 east to Arizona 83 and follow 83 south to Sonoita. From Sonoita, take Arizona 82 southwest to Patagonia. In Patagonia, take Fourth Avenue west from Arizona 82 four blocks to Pennsylvania Avenue. Turn left, south, on Pennsylvania. The haven is the first house on the left after the avenue crosses a small creek.


Tucson and Southern Arizona is one of the best bird-watching destinations in the United States. More than 500 bird species have been observed here at different altitudes throughout the year
. Hummingbirds are especially plentiful; more than 150 species have been seen in a single day during the spectacular spring and fall migrations. BLUEHERRON-2346Public gardens and state and national parks surrounding the city are havens for various winged natives and seasonal visitors. A short drive south of Tucson, in Southern Arizona’s rolling grasslands and lofty mountain ranges, one can find the Elegant Trogan, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Vermilion Flycatcher and many other species. Bird-watching festivals and nature walks are very popular during migration times.

Bird watching may be a quiet market, but Paul Green from the Tucson Audubon Society said cash is flying in with the help from visitors.
“When they come here they spend money mainly on food, lodging transportation and that’s worth to the state about 1.5 billion dollars a year. And Pima County more than 300 million dollars a year,” Green told KVOA TV
. An avid bird watcher for more than 60 years, Richard Carlson said tourists come to Tucson with binoculars in hand to watch more than 400 species, while bringing in some big bird bucks.”If it’s a really great bird people will be buying airline tickets that day to come to that spot,” said Carlson. Business owners in Madera Canyon said if it wasn’t for the birding community, they would notice a substantial loss of business. “We probably have 50 percent of our clientele are bird watchers. Out of state people are flying into Tucson, renting a car and obtaining lodging here with us,” said Luis Calzo. “We’re looking to work more with businesses there in town to market the benefits of coming to Tucson for birding,” says Green.

10 best birding spots in southern Arizona

1. Chiracahua National Monument
2. Portal
3. Ramsey Canyon Preserve
4. Whitewater Draw
5. Muleshoe Ranch
6. San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area
7. Buenas Aires National Wildlife Refuge
8. Sabino Canyon
9. Madera Canyon
10. Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve

The first thing you notice about the Sweetwater Wetlands is that it doesn’t smell so sweet. But the restored wetlands has brought back wildlife and habitat once lost to the Santa Cruz River Valley and now through recycling sewage, it gives new life to this river. The wildlife is thriving here, as attested by two visiting photographers who frequently come by like Tucson lawyer Steve Kessel and R.C. Clark, both drop by all the time and see what is happening. Kessel said he has visited for an hour or two most days for the past year. He recently got “skunked” or saw nothing for five days, and on day five he stumbles across a momma bobcat watching her two kittens play and scamper about. Being bobcats they could care less if anyone watched or made pictures. After recovering from the awesome bobcat encounter, Kessel comes across the memorible sight of “four Giant Egrets, they have black legs, orange bills and are powder white, you will never forget that sighting,” says Kessel fueled by those encounters he is now back out walking the pathways with Clark enjoying the deepening shadows, richer light and constant bird chatter. “All the birds you want to see, all types are right here! The raptors, the songbirds, owls and ducks all find there way here and you never know what you are going to see.”

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STEVE KESSEL (RIGHT) AND R.C. CLARK (LEFT)

STEVE KESSEL (RIGHT) AND R.C. CLARK (LEFT)

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Sweetwater Wetland is a constructed wetland located in Tucson between I-10 and the Santa Cruz River, near Prince Road. Built in 1996, it helps treat secondary effluent and backwash from the reclaimed water treatment system at adjacent Roger Road Wastewater Treatment Plant. Sweetwater serves as an environmental education facility and habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. Sweetwater Rarities seen here over the years include Least Grebe, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and many others. A group of Harris’s Hawks is often reported in the large eucalyptus trees north of Sweetwater, near the Roger Road Wastewater Treatment Plant. Sweetwater Wetland consists of several ponds surrounded by cattails, willows, and cottonwoods. Ducks visit the ponds while Red-winged, Yellow-headed, and Brewer’s blackbirds frequent the cattails. Thick stands of saltbush provide cover to Song Sparrows, Abert’s Towhees, wrens, and many other species. Paths, both paved and unpaved, visit all the ponds and give a view to the large detention basins to the south which attract wading birds and shore birds.

The hours for Sweetwater is 6am-6pm, opening 8am on Mondays. Tuesday to Sunday it opens at Dawn to approximately one hour after dusk Monday: 8 AM to one hour after dusk. Gates are locked 1 hour after dusk, don’t get locked in! The Wetland is closed on Monday mornings usually from late March to mid-November.


FREE BIRDING TRIPS IN TUCSON …..CLICK HERE

Trips hit all the important spots plus some out of the way locations but try Tucson’s Sweetwater Wetlands on Wednesdays. Join the TUCSON AUTUBON for an easy walk through the Sweetwater wetlands to see waterfowl in the hundreds, regular and visiting warblers, and several exciting species hiding in the reeds. Birders of all experience levels welcome! Contact leader for start time and to sign up, mike.sadat@gmail.com

See the Sweetwater online bird checklist.


LISTING OF BIRDING FESTIVALS ALL ACROSS THE UNITED STATES

Every year a part of Apache Junction, Arizona is transformed into a 16th Century European Country Fair when the Arizona Renaissance Festival opens to the public during the months of February and March. SAMERICANVULTUREOne of the favorite shows is the Birds of Prey show on the grassy green next to the bird castle called "The Falconer's Heath." You get to see up close the awesome power of nature's most exciting birds. The time we were there they had a falcon tear through the air like a little winged thunderbolt. Then there was a scary South American vulture that cleaned a whole turkey leg in a few seconds. Like a piranha with wings.

The Arizona Renaissance Festival is a wonderful combination of amusement park, shows, comedy, music, feats of daring, street performers, shopping, and indulging. The Festival is spread out over 30 acres, and it is easy to spend an entire day there. Arizona Renaissance Festival will be open every Saturday and Sunday from February through March. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is open rain or shine. Take State Highway 60 East, east of Apache Junction, just east of Gold Canyon Golf Resort, is the Renaissance Festival?

BEARIZONA
Bearizona Wildlife Park is proud to be the new home for the High Country Raptors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting raptor conservation through education. The High Country Raptors are stationed in Fort Bearizona. There are three scheduled free-flight shows daily, 11am-1-3:00pm, during these shows, visitors come face to face with hawks, owls, falcons and other raptors. Programs have included “on the fist” demonstrations and dramatic “free flight” shows, all with a narrative on natural history, conservation and interesting facts while entertaining audiences of all ages.

At the conclusion of every show the handlers will have the birds throughout Fort Bearizona “on the fist” for visitors to get an up-close look and answer any lingering questions they might have.

Directions to help you get there. Parking is free
Bearizona Wildlife Park
1500 Historic Route 66, Williams, AZ 86046
(928) 635-2289
Hours: Wednesday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm

The barn owl is recognizable by its ghostly pale color and heart-shaped facial disc. Barn owls do not hoot, instead emitting a long, eerie screech. They also hiss, snore and yap. With its asymmetrical ears, the barn owl has the most acute hearing of any animal.

The barn owl is recognizable by its ghostly pale color and heart-shaped facial disc. The barn owl is one of the most wide-ranging birds in the world. Barn owls do not hoot, instead emitting a long, eerie screech. They also hiss, snore and yap. With its asymmetrical ears, the barn owl has the most acute hearing of any animal.

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When we first opened the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum‘s hummingbird aviary, writes Karen Krebbs, we had no idea whether or not any of the seven species of the birds on exhibit would breed and rear young. HANDSOMEHUMMERSince opening day, however, we’ve seen Costas, Broad-billed, Black-chinned, Anna’s, and Calliope hummingbirds nest, lay eggs, and rear young. There have been a total of 114 nests built, 186 eggs laid, 116 birds hatched, and 102 birds fledged. No other zoological institution can boast of such success!

For more information, visit High Country Raptors. Arizona Sonora Desert Museum 2021 N Kinney Rd Tucson, AZ 85743 (520) 883-2702 desertmuseum.org

For more information, visit High Country Raptors.
Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
2021 N Kinney Rd
Tucson, AZ 85743
(520) 883-2702
desertmuseum.org

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Arizona’s unique combination of geography and climate supports more than 500 species of birds. That’s almost half the total of all bird species that can be found in the United States and Canada!

Feeding along side of one of America's grandest mirgratory flyways, the Rio Grande River which winds through New Mexico providing feeding and rest for migrating birds

Feeding along side of one of America’s grandest mirgratory flyways, the Rio Grande River which winds through New Mexico provides feed and rest for migrating birds, like these Sandhill Cranes.

Welcome to registration for the 21st Annual Wings Over Willcox Birding & Nature Festival
If you have any questions call 1-800-200-2272 To register online click here…


WINGS OVER WILLCOX

15 Jan 2014 – 19 Jan 2014 includes Sandhill Cranes Tours – Thousands up close and personal, southwest mountain birds, wildlife photography, and beginning birdwatching. Tours are limited and many fill early. Contact Terry Rowden with the Willcox Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture in Willcox Call the Chamber of Commerce at 520-384-2272, 800-200-2272 or go online at Website: http://www.wingsoverwillcox.com

1/17/2014 Friday
Daylong Photography Remaining Tickets: 7 Meet at WCC: 5:50 AM Return: 4:00 PM $100.00

Spend time with two wildlife photography experts THOMAS WHETTEN AND GEORGE ANDREJKO at Whitewater Draw and other southeastern Arizona sites, photographing Sandhill Cranes and other birds. Less than ½ mile of easy walking. Intermediate to Advanced Photographers. Includes lunch, drinks. A visit to the Willcox Playa Wildlife Area offers a rich experience in an otherwise desert environment. Bird-watching at the playa and associated habitats is a fantastic way to spend a day or a weekend. Birds that can be seen range from shorebirds to the always enjoyable flocks of sandhill cranes that are the focus of the annual Wings over Willcox birding festival where each winter, Bird-watching and photography takes center stage as hundreds of species of birds visit the Willcox Playa Wildlife Area. Growing interest in viewing wildlife sparked this annual event, Wings over Willcox.

Tucson Audubon’s Harvest Festival …August 13–17, 2014

Bring the family to Tucson Audubon’s Mason Center to celebrate the edible bounties of the Sonoran Desert.
There will be vendors and exhibitors, family activities, guided bird walks, sustainability tours, food trucks, a plant sale, and opportunities to mill your mesquite pods into delicious, gluten-free flour. Tucson, AZ, US Tucson Audubon Contact: Kara Phone Number: 520-629-0510 Website: http://www.tucsonaudubon.org/harvestfestival

THE TUCSON’S VALLEY AUDUBON CHRISTMAS COUNT WILL BE HELD DECEMBER 15, 2014

The National Audubon Society has conducted Christmas bird counts since 1900. Volunteers from across North America and beyond take to the field during one calendar day between December 14 and January 5 to record every bird species and individual bird encountered within a designated 15-mile diameter circle.

WINGS OVER WILLCOX

15 Jan 2014 – 19 Jan 2014

25,000+wintering Sandhill Cranes; area hosts many hawks,eagles,&falcons; also20+sparrow species. Bird tours(expert guides),free seminars, & nature expo(vendors & live animals). Banquet speaker Bill Thompson III (“BirdWatcher’sDigest” & “BilloftheBirds” blog) on “Perils and Pitfalls of Birding”. For non-birders–tours & free seminars on local history, geology, natural history, agriculture &astronomy. Sierra Vista, AZ, US

Tours include Sandhill Cranes – thousands up close and personal, southwest mountain birds, wildlife photography, and beginning birdwatching.
Tours are limited and many fill early. Contact the Willcox Chamber of Commerce at 520-384-2272, 800-200-2272 or go online at http://www.wingsoverwillcox.com

SOUTHERN ARIZONA is home to more than 500 species of bird which bring $1.4 billion of Tourism dollars to the Tucson area.

ARIZONA is home to more than 500 species of bird which bring $1.5 billion of tourism to the area.

In Parker, Arizona since the 1930’s the large cottonwood-willow forests along the lower Colorado River have largely disappeared. The Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge contains the last extensive native riparian habitat in the Lower Colorado River Valley. For many species of birds this is the only habitat remaining in the area for breeding; for others, it is a vital stopover during migration. The refuge is also home for the largest populations of many resident birds found in the valley. Habitats found on the refuge include desert uplands, marshes, riparian forests, and the open water of the delta. The diversity and uniqueness of the Bill Williams River NWR provides visitors with a rewarding birding experience.

Neotropical migrant landbirds are those species of land birds that nest in the United States or Canada, and spend the winter primarily south of our border in Mexico, Central or South America, or in the Caribbean. Many of them, including conspicuous or colorful hawks, hummingbirds, warblers, and tanagers, and less colorful but no less important flycatchers, thrushes, and vireos, are experiencing population declines due to widespread loss of habitats important for their survival. Preservation of many different habitats for nesting, wintering, and migratory stopover sites is becoming vital for the survival of many of these birds.

The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), the tallest North American bird, is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound. In 2003, there were about 153 pairs of whooping cranes. Along with the Sandhill Crane, it is one of only two crane species found in North America. The Whooping Crane's lifespan is estimated to be 22 to 24 years in the wild. After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of habitat to just 21 wild and two captive Whooping Cranes by 1941, conservation efforts have led to a limited recovery. As of 2011, there are an estimated 437 birds in the wild and more than 165 in captivity.

The Whooping Crane (Grus americana), the tallest North American bird, is an endangered crane species named for its whooping sound. In 2003, there were about 153 pairs of whooping cranes. Along with the Sandhill Crane, it is one of only two crane species found in North America. The Whooping Crane’s lifespan is estimated to be 22 to 24 years in the wild. After being pushed to the brink of extinction by unregulated hunting and loss of habitat to just 21 wild and two captive Whooping Cranes by 1941, conservation efforts have led to a limited recovery. As of 2011, there are an estimated 437 birds in the wild and more than 165 in captivity.


Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
encompasess 37,515 acres adjacent to the Colorado River. Topock Marsh, Topock Gorge, and the Havasu Wilderness constitute the three major portions of the refuge. Habitat varies from cattail-bulrush back waters and shrubby riparian lowlands to steep cactus-strewn cliffs and mountains. Due to the southery location of the refuge it is primarly a wintering area and stopover point for migrating birds.
The area in and around Lake Havasu City is rich in bird watching opportunities, with more than 350 species identified in the local area. Consult the Mohave County Field Check List to learn of the possibilities.BIRDING ALONG THE SALT RIVER- One of the best ways to observe waterfowl is from a kayak or canoe in early morning. Free non-motorized boat launches are located at Castle Rock Bay Canoe Takeout Point and Mesquite Bay, maintained by U.S. Fish & Wildlife.You’ll find cattails and sandbars for loons, grebes, ducks, larids, raptors and coots. Horned Grebes favor this area in winter, along with the more usual grebes and flotillas of coots. For land based excursions, try the free fishing piers at Mesquite Bay on London Bridge Rd., just north of Industrial Blvd., which are open 24 hours. The walking trail and Arroyo-Camino Interpretative Garden at Lake Havasu State Park offers opportunities for both land and water bird viewing.

Leaving early the first morning, take Highway 95 South for approximately 20 miles to the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge office is located between mileposts 160 and 161. There is plenty of parking. The Visitor Center is open from 6:30 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday through Friday and from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on weekends. Stay as long as you like, then return to Lake Havasu City for dinner.

Leaving early the next morning, take Highway 95 north to I-40 West (direction of Needles/Las Vegas) to the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Exit I-40 at exit marker 1. It is posted as Havasu National Wildlife Refuge; follow the signs to the refuge. There is plenty of parking. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Monday-Friday.


Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
consists of approximately 25,000 acres along the lower Colorado River. Spring and Fall offer the greatest variety of birds and the best birding opportunities. Also, the refuge is important as a wintering area for Canada geese and many species of ducks. Maps and regulations are available at the refuge headquarters for your convenience.

COLORADO RIVER NEAR PARKER DAM

Little Picacho is a hot spot in the summer and this bird and his buddies look for the unprepared.

Little Picacho is a hot spot in the summer and this bird and his buddies look for the unprepared.


Welcome to the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Yuma District. The District encompasses over 2.5 million acres of land, of which almost 1.25 million acres are public lands. These are your lands to enjoy and protect. They are managed and administered by the BLM to maintain the multiple use values of all resources, for you, and for future generations.

The Yuma District encompasses over 2.5 million acres of land, of which almost 1.25 million acres are public land along the entire 280-mile length of the lower Colorado River, from Davis Dam along the Nevada border on the north, to the border with Mexico on the south. It includes portions of Arizona and California and contains a wide diversity of wildlife habitat.

Winter visitors flock to the Yuma Colorado River each fall for the warmer temps and bird-watching.

Winter visitors flock to the Yuma Colorado River each fall for the warmer temps and bird-watching.

It varies from an aquatic big river, lake, and marsh environment to terrestrial areas such as broad sandy plains, rocky foothills, high mountain peaks and agricultural fields. Vegetation ranges from riparian cattail, willow, and cottonwood to desert creosote bush, palo verde, and giant saguaro cactus. Annual rainfall averages as much as 10 inches at 5,000 feet in the mountains to less than 3 inches at 150 feet above sea level near Yuma.

Cibola National Wildlife Refuge on the Colorado about 40 miles north of Yuma includes 18,300 acres of riparian habitat with more than 288 species of birds, including endangered southwestern willow flycatcher and Yuma clapper rail; desert tortoise, mule deer, bobcats and coyotes. Use the visitor center, and enjoy the 3-mile auto tour loop and 1-mile nature trail but camping is not permitted.

This list of 271 species highlights birds found along The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area includes over 56,000 acres in Cochise County, Arizona. Extending approximately 40 miles northward from the Mexican border to a few miles south of St. David, the NCA represents the most extensive, healthy riparisanpedro2007an ecosystem remaining the desert Southwest. The Bureau of Land Management manages the area to protect and enhance the existing riparian habitat and wildlife communities, as well as provide for recreational use, cultural interpretation, and educational opportunities.

The 40,000-acre Cienega de Santa Clara is a principal stopover point for migratory waterfowl and home to hundreds of bird species, including the endangered Yuma clapper rail, a secretive shorebird whose cry sounds like hands clapping.

Santa Clara Wetlands lies in Mexico in the Colorado River Delta and serves as a flyby rest stop.

Santa Clara Wetlands lies in Mexico in the Colorado River Delta and serves as a flyby rest stop.

The 40,000-acre Cienega de Santa Clara is the largest remaining wetland in the Rio Colorado delta; it supports endangered bird and fish species. The wetland is maintained by agricultural drainage water discharge from the USA which may be diverted to the Yuma Desalting Plant in the future. The distribution of marsh plants is related to salinity and water depth within the Cienega. During 8 months of unplanned flow interruption due to the need for canal repairs, 60-70% of the marsh foliage died back. Green vegetation was confined to a low-lying geologic fault which retained water; though the vegetation proved resilient, prolonged flow reduction would unavoidably reduce the size of the wetland and its capacity to support life.

FALL PILGRIMAGE STOPS OFF IN FLAGSTAFF

“I’ve been birding the Verde Valley and Flagstaff area for 13 years now and know it to be a wonderful spot where anyone can turn up a real gem at any time,” says Tom Linda, a birder and popular guide at the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival. The annual Nature Festival takes place at Dead Horse Ranch Park in Cottonwood, Arizona, during the last weekend in April.

The Continental Lake on Flagstaffs northeast side at sunrise.

The Continental Lake on Flagstaffs northeast side at sunrise.

It is an easy way to begin bird watching or to deepen one’s appreciation of the Verde Valley’s resident birds and visiting migrants. It is common to see more than 150 species of birds during the weekend, including grebes, tanagers, flycatchers, shrikes, warblers, egrets, herons, orioles, cardinals, woodpeckers, quails, sparrows and hawks. In 2007, 178 different species were spotted during the festival. In addition to seeing, identifying and learning about birds in on-site programs, the festival offers field trips and tours by expert guides who take festival attendees to the area’s birding hot spots. Participants can also sign up for other nature-oriented workshops, hikes, field trips and activities–from biking and canoeing to archeology and nature photography. All the programs are organized around small groups. New trips and programs are added every year. An exhibit tent is staffed by vendors who offer an assortment of birding merchandise. For more information, go to
www.birdyverde.org Although birders have discovered southeastern Arizona, the bird-watching paradise in Sedona and the Verde Valley is still a well-kept secret. The area, which encompasses the communities of Camp Verde, Clarkdale, Cornville, Cottonwood, Page Springs, Jerome and Sedona, offers abundant year-round opportunities for bird watching. Its mild, four-season climate and many miles of riparian habitat along the Verde River Watershed attract nearly a third of the 900 species of birds in the United States and Canada–from the miniature hummingbird to broad-winged raptors.

According to the Northern Arizona Audubon Society, the Verde Valley area offers “tremendous birding opportunities in an extremely compact area. Over a hundred and thirty species of birds are typically seen on one day excursion in May – and all in a traveling distance of less than 50 miles!”

SOUTHWEST BIRDING HOTSPOTS OR RARE BIRD ALERTS

SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK.COM PHOTOS GALLERY FOR SOUTHWEST WILDLIFE…CLICK HERE


Condor Viewing in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

ARIZONA STRIP'S VERMILLION CLIFFS IS HOME TO THE CONDOR

ARIZONA STRIP’S VERMILLION CLIFFS IS HOME TO THE CONDOR

California condors were placed on the federal Endangered Species list in 1967. Only 22 condors were known to remain in 1982, while today the world population exceeds 400, with over 225 condors living in the wild. Approximately 75 condors reside in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. In Arizona, reintroduction is being conducted under a special provision of the Endangered Species Act that allows for the designation of a nonessential experimental population, under this protections for a species are relaxed, allowing greater flexibility for management of a reintroduction program.
Since December of 1996, program personnel have released condors every year. Each condor is fitted with radio transmitters and is monitored daily by field biologists. Directions to visit the condor viewing site in Arizona, drive north on Highway 89 out of Flagstaff, Arizona. Turn left onto Highway 89A toward Jacob Lake and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Drive approximately 40 miles (past Marble Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs, and Cliff Dwellers lodges); turn right onto House Rock Valley Road (BLM Road 1065) just past the House Rock Valley Chain-Up Area. Travel approximately 2 miles to the condor viewing site on the right. Atop the cliffs to your east is the location where condors are released, and a good place to see condors year round. In winter months, condors frequent the Colorado River corridor near Marble Canyon, which is east of the condor viewing site on Highway 89A. In the summer months condors are seen frequently at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and at Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park north of St. George, Utah on Interstate Route 15. Hours: 7:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument 345 E. Riverside Drive St. George, UT 84790-6714 (435) 688-3200

photographed in Southern Arizona at Parker Canyon Lake.

photographed in Southern Arizona at Parker Canyon Lake.

Spring in the Chiricahua Mountains — BIRDING LINKS

Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory
P.O. Box 5521
Bisbee, AZ 85603-5521
(520) 432-1388

The Sulphur Springs Valley is a winter paradise for birds of prey. Up to twenty species may be found here between November and March, including eagles, falcons, buteos, accipiters, harriers, kites and owls. The Southern Arizona Bird Observatory Hawk Stalk tours take you down highways and back roads in search of these magnificent predators and other species that share their habitats. Along the way, your expert naturalist guides will share their knowledge of the identification, behavior, ecology, and history of the valley’s raptors, Sandhill Cranes, sparrows, and other wintering and resident birds. These all-day tours depart at 8 a.m. from downtown Bisbee and return around 4 p.m. Participants travel in a 15-passenger van (or minivan for groups of 5 or fewer), with frequent stops for roadside birding and short walks. The group will stop for lunch. Tours begin Thanksgiving weekend and continue most weekends through February. Please register at least one week in advance. $75 per adult for members of SABO, $85 for non-members; $40/members, $45/non-members for children age 10-16 when with by an adult. Educational handouts and transport from Bisbee is included.

SW RESEARCH STATION-

Massi Point in the Chiricahua National Monument over looks the Sulpher Springs Valley.

Massi Point in the Chiricahua National Monument over looks the Sulpher Springs Valley.

ECHO CANYON LOOP CHIRICAHUA Natl Monument- 2CochiseHead CHIRICAHUA Natl Monument-

Come visit the Southwestern Research Station Birding Paradise located at 5400 feet elevation in one of the world’s Biodiversity Hotspots.
The Southwestern Research Station is located in the heart of the Chiricahua Mountains and is famous for its close proximity to nesting Elegant Trogons, a large diversity of hummingbirds, and other spectacular bird migrants from Central and South America. Enjoy cabin accommodations, cafeteria dining, a reservoir for swimming, our hummingbird area and gift shop, and a multitude of hiking trails within walking distance or a short drive.
The Southwestern Research Station, located 5 miles from Portal, AZ, is hosting 7 day/6 night birding tours in Cave Creek Canyon, an area of high bird species diversity. Each trip is limited to 10 persons or 5 couples. Registration for tours is one month prior to tour date.

The Chiricahua Mountains of S. E. Arizona afford some of the best birding in the United States. Our 6 night Bird and Nature Tours include:
— Round trip transportation from the Tucson airport;
— Double-occupancy in our newly remodeled cabins, including a small kitchenette;
— Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner in the SWRS dining area;
— Hearty and sumptuous sack lunches and bottled water on day field trips;
— Professional guide and all park entrance fees;

As space permits, people other than scientists and researchers are welcome to stay at the SWRS. The Chiricahua Mountains are a prime destination for nature enthusiasts, with some 265 bird species recorded in the area, including nesting Elegant Trogons, Montezuma Quail, and over 13 species of hummingbirds. About 30 species are of sub-tropical origin and have their northern limits within this area.

Tour groups are welcome to stay at the Southwestern Research Station when space is available usually only during the spring and fall. Tour participants are housed in private rooms, double occupancy (some single occupancy rooms are available). All rooms have small kitchenette. Tour organizers must coordinate reservations and room assignments, and handle payment. Each room in our newly remodeled triplexes has either two single beds or one king size bed. Additionally, each room has a comfortable sitting area that includes a sofa that can convert to a bed, a private bathroom, and a kitchenette unit with microwave, coffee maker, and small refrigerator. The room cost includes three ample, delicious meals, served cafeteria style. Handicap accessible rooms are available.The cost per room, including three meals, is $90.00/person/night double occupancy or $130.00/night single occupancy.

Individuals may make reservations from 1 March to 15 June and from 1 September to 31 October. All rates include three full meals (vegetarian option) in our cafeteria where you have the opportunity to chat with other visitors and share birding experiences. On those days you wish to travel to more distant areas to bird watch, we will provide you with a sack lunch.

Cave Creek on the east side of the Chiricahua Mts where the Apache once farmed and where the Southwest Research Facility now calls home.

Cave Creek on the east side of the Chiricahua Mts where the Apache once farmed and where the Southwest Research Facility now calls home.


Biological Field Station located nestled in the Chiricahua Mountains in Southeastern Arizona, there the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) is a year-round field station under the direction of the Science Department at the American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY). Since 1955, it has served biologists, geologists, and anthropologists interested in studying the diverse environments and biotas of the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona. Southwestern Research Station, P.O. Box 16553, Portal, AZ 85632; FAX: 520-558-2018 http://research.amnh.org/swrs/about-swrs

HAWK-


Mt. Lemmon
– At 9157 feet, Lemmon is the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Vegetation ranges from saguaro-palo verde desert scrub at its base to mixed conifer forest at the summit. The drive from Tucson is via the winding paved Catalina Highway with frequent precipitous slopes that give majestic views of southern Arizona. Many miles of trails are available, traversing lush mountain meadows, dark forests and open woodlands of pine and oak. A remarkable variety of birds can be found April through September, including Red-faced, Olive, and Grace’s Warblers, Hepatic Tanager, Greater Pewee, Zone-tailed Hawk and many more.

Huachuca Mountains – Home to some of the best birding in Arizona. The superlative quantity and diversity of hummingbirds are probably unmatched in the U.S. and nowhere else north of Mexico are Buff-breasted Flycatchers more common. Spotted Owls and Elegant Trogons are also highlights. The main birding areas are in canyons on Fort Huacuhuca and the Coronado National Forest and at privately-owned feeders.

Santa Ritas (Madera Canyon) – Madera Canyon is one of the most famous birding areas in southeast Arizona. This canyon’s habitat consists of riparian woodland along an intermittent stream, bordered by oak woodland and mountain forests. The road enters through desert grassland and ends above the oak woodland, where hiking trails lead up the “sky island” through pine-oak woodland to montane conifer forest and the top of Mt. Wrightson (elevation 9453 feet). The spectrum of birds found in these varied habitats includes four tanagers: Summer, Hepatic, Western and Flame-colored as an occasional breeder. Hummingbirds, owls, flycatchers and warblers are also very well represented in this area.

Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve is the centerpiece of Santa Cruz County’s birding hot spots. This sanctuary, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy, is one of the best birding spots in the Southwest. This lush riparian area provides habitat for over 200 species of birds plus rare fish, frogs, and plants. Gray Hawks nest in the large Fremont Cottonwoods along the creek, and Zone-tailed and Common Black-Hawks are occasionally seen. Over 20 species of flycatchers have been recorded on the preserve, including Thick-billed Kingbird and Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet. Recent rarities include the first known Sinaloa Wren in the United States. The preserve is on the west side of Patagonia; turn off Hwy 82 at Fourth Avenue, then follow the signs to the visitor center. The Nature Conservancy charges a general admission fee of $5.00 per person for adult non-members, $3.00 per person for adult members of TNC. Children under 16 and Patagonia residents are admitted free. Admission is valid for 7 days from the date of purchase; annual passes are available. The preserve is closed Mondays and Tuesdays year round, and visiting hours vary seasonally.

Southwest of Patagonia is the famous Roadside Rest Area. Many rare or hard-to-find birds have been sighted here, the most famous of which are the Rose-throated Becards that often nest in the Arizona Sycamores along Sonoita Creek across the highway from the rest area.

BOSQUE DEL APACHE WILDLIFE PRESERVE
Make plans to attend the 26th Annual Festival of The Cranes, Nov 19-24, 2013. Six great days of workshops, tours, lectures, hikes, special activities, and wildlife exhibitions. Register today and don’t miss out on this unique festival celebration!

The tour loop is a 12 mile, one-way graded road with a two-way cut-off which divides the full tour into a shorter South Loop of 7 miles and a North Loop of 7.5 miles. Both portions provide excellent winter viewing of wetland wildlife and raptors; the North Loop passes close to daytime winter foraging areas of cranes and geese. In spring and early fall; both loops provide close viewing of shorebirds and waterfowl. During the summer, impoundments adjacent to the North Loop are drained for vegetation management, but wild turkeys, songbirds and mammals may be present. Summer wetlands for waterfowl are along the South Loop, and along a seasonal road which is open April 1 to September 30. Stop as often as you wish along the tour loop to view wildlife; just pull to the side so others can pass. If you remain inside your vehicle, it serves as a blind so wildlife may remain closer while being viewed. Viewing platforms along the tour route accessible to people with disabilities offer viewing of cranes and geese during fall and winter. Some are equipped with a spotting scope.

Click here for videos of Bosque del Apache….

BE SAFE WHILE BIRDING IN THE SOUTHWEST… HERE’S HOW, CHECK IT OFF !

HUMMINGBIRD

HUMMINGBIRD


Ramsey Canyon Preserve is located within the Upper San Pedro River Basin in southeastern Arizona, is renowned for its outstanding scenic beauty and the diversity of its plant and animal life. This diversity — including the occurrence of up to 14 species of hummingbirds — is the result of a unique interplay of geology, biogeography, topography, and climate.

$6.00 per person. Conservancy members and Cochise County residents, $3.00 per person. Children under 16 – FREE. There is no admission charge the first Saturday of every month. Annual passes available, as well as two-fer that covers this preserve and Patagonia-Sonoita Creek ($10 general public). Group visits require prior arrangements. Please call (520) 378-2785. 27 E. Ramsey Canyon Road, Hereford, AZ 85615
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays/Wednesdays. Preserve parking is limited to 23 spaces. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Entrance to Madera Canyon, one of Southern Arizona's favorite places to look for feathered winter visitors.

Entrance to Madera Canyon, one of Southern Arizona’s favorite places to look for feathered winter visitors.

Madera Canyon, one of the most famous birding areas in the United States, is a north-facing valley in the Santa Rita Mountains with riparian woodland along an intermittent stream, bordered by mesquite, juniper-oak woodlands, and pine forests. Madera Canyon is home to over 250 species of birds, including 15 hummingbird species. Visitors from all over the world arrive in search of such avian specialties as the Elegant Trogon, Elf Owl, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, and Painted Redstart.

MADERA CANYON is 25 miles south of Tucson and 11 miles east of Green Valley. Turn east off of I-19 at the Continental Exit 63. Follow the signs to Whitehouse Canyon Road and on to the Forest boundary, about 11 miles. At the end of the road at the parking lot, the trailhead leads to Old Baldy.

In the Santa Rita Experimental Range below Madera Canyon can be found birds of the desert grasslands and brush, including Costa’s Hummingbird, Varied Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Scaled Quail, Phainopepla, Botteri’s, Cassin’s, Black-throated, Brewer’s, and Rufous-winged Sparrows.

At Proctor Road, most birders walk the productive first section of the trail to Whitehouse Picnic Area to find Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Lucy’s Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Varied Bunting, Summer Tanager, and sometimes Yellow-billed Cuckoo. The dirt road shortly above the parking lot may have Western Scrub-Jays and a Crissal Thrasher. Farther up the road, the Madera Picnic Area has Acorn and Arizona Woodpeckers, Mexican Jay, Bridled Titmouse, Painted Redstart, and Dark-eyed Junco. Three Myiarchus flycatchers , Western Wood-Pewee and Hepatic Tanager can be found here in season. Watch overhead for Zone-tailed Hawk among the Turkey Vultures.

INCA DOVE

INCA DOVE


The road to Madera Canyon enters through desert grasslands and ends in juniper-oak woodland, where hiking trails lead up in the “sky island” through pine-oak woodland to montane conifer forest and the top of Mt. Wrightson (elevation 9,453 feet). The spectrum of birds found in these varied habitats includes four species of tanagers: Summer at Proctor Road, Hepatic starting at Madera Picnic Area, Western up the trails in the conifers, and Flame-colored as an occasional breeder. Hummingbirds, owls and flycatchers are also very well represented in this area. Montezuma Quail are inconspicuous but present near grassy oak-dotted slopes. Madera Canyon makes a large dent in the northwest face of the Santa Rita Mountains. Its higher elevation grants relief to desert dwellers during the hot months and allows access to snow during the winter. A world-renowned location for bird watching, Madera Canyon is a major resting place for migrating species, while the extensive trail system of the Santa Rita Mountains is easily accessed from the Canyon’s campground and picnic areas. Madera Canyon has a long and colorful history. The Friends of Madera Canyon, a cooperating volunteer group, has developed a small booklet that can be requested at the gatehouse. Elegant Trogons are most often found along the first mile of either the Super Trail of the Carrie Nation trail. Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Plumbeous Vireo, Painted Redstart, and Dusky-capped Flycatcher are common along the trails. Yellow-eyed Juncos breed higher up towards Josephine Saddle.Night birding is a Madera canyon highlight, especially in May. Listen for Western and Whiskered Screech-Owls, Elf Owls and the much rarer Flammulated and Spotted Owls. Whip-poor-wills are in the forest and Common Poorwills can be heard near Proctor and below. Lesser Nighthawks, Barn and Great Horned Owls often fly across the road through the beam of your headlights as you approach the canyon.

A Coronado Recreation Pass or a National Interagency Recreational Pass must be displayed. Day Pass $5. Week Pass $10. Annual Pass $20

BABY HORNED OWLS

BABY HORNED OWLS

Muleshoe Ranch Service, Gailuro Mountains, Arizona

In southeast Arizona, the great Sonoran desert and the Chihuahuan desert reach out to meet one another. Lofty mountains with large undulating flat basins provide runoff to the streams and tributaries of the San Pedro River. The river is born in Mexico and flows north with life-sustaining water to produce a desert wetland, a sanctuary for year-round mountain and desert species, and a rest stop for flocks of migrating birds.

Muleshoe Ranch, a special place…”The Muleshoe Ranch protects most of the watershed area for seven permanently flowing San Pedro tributaries, along with some of the best remaining aquatic habitat in Arizona.

Breeding diversity in southern Arizona riparian areas is higher than in all other habitats combined, and Western riparian areas contain the highest non-colonial bird breeding densities in North America. More than 400 species of birds have been recorded within the San Pedro River basin’s major habitats. Nearly one-half of the United States’ bird species frequent the area as they migrate. The tremendous importance of the San Pedro River system was established in 1988 when it was recognized as this country’s first Riparian National Conservation area. The river is a 140-mile long desert oasis — a dry San Pedro would mean no green corridor or birds migrating across the arid land of the Southwest. The consequences are hard to fathom. Careful conservation planning is necessary to help preserve the right kind of natural areas in just the right places in order to keep migratory corridors connected. Purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 1982, Muleshoe Ranch is one of the most biologically diverse desert riparian areas in the world.

SABINO CANYON

It’s easy to see why people fall in love with desert habitats after a late-afternoon walk in Sabino Canyon. When the setting sun casts a golden glow on the mountains, I have to remind myself that I visit this place with the intention of birding. I’m brought back to the task at hand by the inquisitive wurp of the locally common Phainopepla and the activity of bold, noisy Cactus Wrens. On spring evenings, Elf Owls can be heard barking from the surrounding saguaros, and they are often joined by Common Poorwill, Western Screech-Owl, and Great Horned Owl. Winter is my favorite time to bird the canyon. I like to walk the lower stretch of the creek to where an old dam has backed up moisture and created a thick willow forest. In the colder months, it’s possible to see four species of towhee here: Green-tailed, Canyon, Abert’s, and Spotted. Numerous rarities have also shown up over the years. Sabino Canyon’s variety of habitats (including a rare desert creek lined with riparian vegetation) has prompted its inclusion as an Important Bird Area in National Audubon’s program in Arizona. The birds seem to know of the canyon’s regional importance. They are abundant, taking advantage of the excellent protected habitat in the area. – Matthew Brooks
CROW-

Residents: Abert’s Towhee, Black-chinned Sparrow, Western Screech-Owl, Northern Cardinal, Pyrrhuloxia, Greater Roadrunner, and Rufous-crowned, Rufous-winged, and Black-throated Sparrows. Summer: Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Elf Owl, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Bell’s Vireo, Broad-billed Hummingbird, Lucy’s Warbler, Bronzed Cowbird, Hooded Oriole, and Varied Bunting (uncommon). Winter: Hermit Thrush, Lawrence’s Goldfinch, and Green-tailed Towhee. Rarities: Plain-capped Starthroat, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Winter Wren, and eastern warblers.

Sabino Canyon tours offers a narrated, educational 45-minute, 3.8 mile tour into the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. The trams have nine stops along the tour with several restroom facilities and picnic grounds located near Sabino Creek. The tram turns around at Stop #9 and heads back down to the Visitor’s Center, at which point riders may remain on board and hike back down. Trams arrive on average every 30 minutes.

Summer Hours: (July through mid-December) Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Weekends & Holidays 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Winter Hours: (mid-December – June) Monday-Sunday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m Visitor Center: Monday-Sunday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Fees: $8.00 adults, $4.00 children 3-12. Children 2 and under are free.
Driving from Tanque Verde Road in Tucson turn north on Sabino Canyon Road 4 miles to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Visitor Center or the coordinates: 32°18’36.09N 110°49’20.27W 5700 N. Sabino Canyon Rd. Tucson, Arizona 85750 (520) 749-8700

911 OR ARIZONA / SOUTHWEST BIRDING HOT SPOTS AND RARE SIGHTINGS

Suffering from drought the once three pond compound has shrunk up and has only the main pool.

Suffering from drought the once three pond compound has shrunk up and now has only the main pool.

WAKE UP WITH THE BIRDS
Join this guided birding walk in the desert oasis of Agua Caliente Park to spot wetland birds, hummingbirds, songbirds, and raptors. Binoculars are available for use. Every Thursday in November Except Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28 • 8:30 – 10:00 a.m.

QUINABITQUITO SPRINGS


Organ Pipe Cactus scheduled tours to historic Quitobaquito
last year and we hope they planned a couple weekend tours to give visitors an opportunity to take part in the tour. Last year’s tours were scheduled: February 8, 15, 17, 22 & 24 ; March 1, 8 & 15.

Anyone wishing to reserve a seat on the van this year should call 520-387-6849, extension 7302 for and see if they are taking reservations. The number of available seats were limited, so reservations were required. No personal vehicles are permitted on the tour. A National Park Service van will transport visitors to Quitobaquito with a Park Ranger who will provide a guided tour of the area. Participants should arrive at the Kris Eggle Visitor Center no later than 7:45 a.m. The tour will leave the visitor center after a safety briefing. The van will return at approximately noon. Children must at least 12 years old and accompanied by an adult.The walking tour will last approximately two hours and be through the historic area over uneven ground. Participants should bring a snacks, water, sunscreen, brimmed hat and wear sturdy shoes. People may bring binoculars and cameras, however the van does not have storage capacity so large camera bags and tripods will not fit. All participants will be required to go on the walking tour and stay as a group with the Park Ranger.

BIRDING IN ARAVAIPA CANYON … CLICK HERE

Aravaipa is famed as a birder’s paradise, with nearly every type of desert songbird and more than 150 species documented in the wilderness. Isolated Aravaipa Canyon is one of the true natural Arizona wonders, featuring a desert steam, majestic cliffs and bighorn sheep. Located about 50 miles northeast of Tucson, the preserve includes lands at both the east and west end of Aravaipa Canyon, as well as preserved lands intermixed with public land on the canyon’s south rim. The 9,000 acres owned by The Nature Conservancy are managed in conjunction with about 40,000 acres of federal lands. Preserve elevation ranges from 2,800 feet at the west end of the canyon bottom to 6,150 feet on Table Mountain. The 10-mile long central gorge, which cuts through the northern end of the Galiuro Mountains, is a federal Wilderness Area managed by BLM. Access into Aravaipa Canyon is by permit only and available only through BLM.Among the more than 200 species of birds found at Aravaipa are black and zone-tailed hawks, peregrine falcon, yellow-billed cuckoo, Bell’s vireo, and beardless tyrannulet. Saguaro and other cacti grow on Aravaipa’s rocky ledges, providing nest sites for small owls, woodpeckers, and other desert birds. Mesquite-covered grassy flats furnish cover for abundant birdlife on the canyon floor. Birds of prey include peregrine falcon, common black-hawk, zone-tailed hawk, and elf owl. Migratory songbirds include vermilion flycatcher, black phoebe, canyon and rock wrens, white-throated swift, yellow warbler, and Bell’s vireo. The sheer cliffs are good places to look for bighorn sheep. Riparian species include javelina, Coue’s white-tailed and mule deer, coyote, mountain lion, ringtail, and coatimundi. Nearly a dozen bat species flourish in Aravaipa’s small caves, emerging at dusk to hunt for insects. Aravaipa Creek is often considered the best native fish habitat in Arizona.A Wilderness permit is required from BLM. While a hiker can cross from the west end of Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness to the east end by hiking only 11 miles, the entrances are nearly 200 miles apart by road. Canyons can flood; be aware of weather forecast before entering.

Aravapai Canyon

Picacho Reservoir is a rarity in central Arizona: a marshy oasis in the midst of an arid cotton-growing region. The lake draws waterfowl and shorebirds, and attracts unusual vagrants. The reservoir is less than 60 miles from both the Phoenix and Tucson areas. Despite its proximity, the reservoir has been a somewhat obscure destination for Phoenix birders; this article is intended to serve as a guide for MAS members and others who may wish to visit the area. The reservoir was built in the 1920’s as part of the San Carlos Irrigation Project. The reservoir’s original purpose was water storage and flow regulation for the Florence-Casa Grande and Casa Grande Canals. The lake’s design capacity was 24,500 acre-feet of water, with a surface area of over 2 square miles. Over the years, siltation and vegetation have reduced the capacity and surface area, so that much of the reservoir is a shallow marsh with extensive stands of cattails and rushes. Water level is highly variable, and the lake is completely dry in some years.
Turn east onto the Selma Highway (which becomes a dirt road). Continue on the Selma Highway 1 mile east to a T intersection in front of some electrical equipment and an embankment. Turn right (south) and go 0.3 mile to a canal road; turn left and follow the canal about 0.6 mile. The reservoir levee will be in front of you; take the road up the levee. This is the “southwest corner” of the reservoir, with a view over the main body of the lake. The tour continues counterclockwise around the reservoir from here. If the water is low, you can drive down into the lakebed from the levee at the southwest corner; park here and walk toward the water for closer views Returning to the SE corner, take the road NNE along the canal. This road has a stand of mesquite along the left (west) side, with a similar stand across the canal to the east. Species such as Bell’s Vireo and Lucy’s Warbler may be seen here in spring and summer, and Pyrrhuloxia and Cardinal are both found along the road. Phainopepla also frequent the mesquites. The road is wide enough to park along the shoulder and walk. Occasional passages break through the mesquite to the west, into an open area. Thrashers and Abert’s Towhee may be found along the edge of the open space, and Gambel’s Quail are common. Ladder-backed and Gila Woodpeckers may be found in the mesquites. From fall through early spring, wintering sparrows may be found, including Lark Sparrow and Vesper Sparrow. The road continues generally north along the canal for about 2.9 miles before crossing a large floodgate. This gate is the main feeder for the reservoir; water may be sent down a channel heading WSW toward the lake. Just before the floodgate, a road heads SW (marked “E”) into the open region which may be birded for arid-scrub species. Just past the floodgate, the road around the reservoir turns WSW, while the canal road continues north. This is the “northeast corner”. Turn left (WSW) to continue on the reservoir road.

Cienega Creek riparian district is a protected area for birding without hunting.

Las Cienegas National Conservation riparian district is a protected area for birding without hunting.

At Cienega Creek Preserve, a perennial creek channel is surrounded by mountains and rocky hills.

Las Cienegas NCA – In 2000, the 45,000-acre Empire Cienega Resource Conservation Area was expanded and renamed Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. Starting in 2010, the BLM began working to restore the high desert grasslands to their original condition by removing much of the mesquite that invaded the arroyos during the cattle boom years. Several areas are now being used for the reintroduction of endangered black-tailed prairie dogs. Varied habitats including a perennial stream with cottonwood-willow riparian areas, cienegas (small marshlands), juniper-oak woodlands, sacaton grasslands and mesquite bosques support diverse bird species.

A section of the creek within the Preserve has been designated as a “Unique Water of Arizona”. The mature cottonwood and willow trees that line the creek are a dramatic contrast to the surrounding Sonoran Desert. Rich cultural and historical features are displayed here as well. One of the most significant vantage points is the area near the Marsh Station Road Bridge over Cienega Creek. The visual features and relatively good access from this point make it one of the most popular places to visit on the Preserve. The preserve is a protected riparian system without designated trails or facilities for visitors. The Arizona Trail system along the edge of the preserve allows equestrian, biking, and hiking use. The management plan for Cienega Creek Preserve restricts the number of visitors per day, and permits are required for access. Take a casual stroll through the cottonwoods and willows to spot songbirds as well as raptors. Start at the Gabe Zimmerman Davidson Canyon Trail head at Cienega Creek Natural Preserve, 16000 E. Marsh Station Rd.
More info 615-7855 or eeducation@pima.gov.

Cienega Creek & Davidson Canyon – Nine miles of dense riparian habitat between two railroad lines were acquired by Pima County in 1986 and set aside as a nature preserve. The Preserve is significant regionally due to the presence of perennial stream flow and lush riparian vegetation. In combination, these conditions create an area with very high values for recreation, scenic quality and wildlife habitat. It is a summer home for Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Bell’s Vireo, Summer Tanager and Yellow and Lucy’s Warblers. It is an excellent site to look for migrants and eastern vagrants.

The Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area includes four perennial waterways, the Gila and San Francisco rivers and Bonita and Eagle creeks. This region is a very special riparian ecosystem abounding with plant and animal diversity. Impressive Gila Conglomerate cliffs tower more than 1,000 feet above the Gila River, and bighorn sheep are commonly spotted. Canoeing, kayaking, and rafting enthusiasts take advantage of the spring run-off to enjoy an easy to moderately difficult floating adventure down the Gila. Many people also float the river in inflatable kayaks during the low water of the summer. Lower water also affords hikers the opportunity to safely enjoy the scenic canyon. Numerous prehistoric and historical structures can be viewed. A network of primitive roads provides hours of backcountry adventure for four-wheel-drive and mountain bike trekkers. The Bonita Creek Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area provides a bird’s-eye view of the riparian canyon below, with over 100 species of birds recorded here. A homestead cabin, rock art and cliff dwellings, show evidence of the occupation of this important perennial stream by earlier inhabitants.

Fees are charged at two developed campgrounds, Riverview and Owl Creek. Use of the Flying W Group Day Use Picnic Area is free of charge, but can be reserved for a fee. Those floating the river also pay a permit fee. Camping at developed sites, and primitive camping elsewhere, is limited to 14 consecutive days. No permits or fees are required for primitive camping. Camping is not permitted in riparian areas or designated picnic sites. All other activities, such as fishing, hiking and back country driving within the Gila Box are free of charge. Both Riverview and Owl Creek campgrounds, the Bonita Creek Wildlife Viewing Area, the Flying W Group Day Use Site, and all picnic areas are wheel-chair accessible.Developed campgrounds include the 13-unit Riverview Campground and the 7-unit Owl Creek Campground. Each has tables, shade structures, grills, restrooms, and trash cans. Riverview also has potable water. Fees are charged at both. Camping is also permitted on adjacent public lands, but no facilities are available. Camping is not permitted in riparian areas and designated picnic sites. Lodging is available in Clifton and Safford, AZ.

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The great blue heron is often observedmotionless, as it pursues its prey while standing in a stream, river or wetland. Unlike numerous other predators that actively stalk on foot or wing, the great blue heron takes the complete opposite approach-it stands still, watching the water for a fish. Then in the blink of an eye, in a sharp and seamless movement it will snare its prey.The great blue heron stands nearly four feet tall. It has a whitish head with black plumes that originate just above its eyes and project out behind its head. The plumage of the body is brown, black, and white, yet it gives an overall appearance of being a bluish-gray color. The toes of its feet are not webbed.

The great blue heron is often observed motionless, as it pursues its prey while standing in a stream, river or wetland. Unlike numerous other predators that actively stalk on foot or wing, the great blue heron takes the complete opposite approach-it stands still, watching the water for a fish. Then in the blink of an eye, in a sharp and seamless movement it will snare its prey. The great blue heron stands nearly four feet tall. It has a whitish head with black plumes that originate just above its eyes and project out behind its head. The plumage of the body is brown, black, and white, yet it gives an overall appearance of being a bluish-gray color. The toes of its feet are not webbed.

This checklist, documents over 370 bird species, has been compiled from historical avian records within the Upper San Pedro River Valley and from biological inventories.

USA Endemics in Arizona
___ California Condor

North American Endemic Specialities in Arizona
___ Abert’s Towhee
___ Allen’s Hummingbird
___ Anna’s Hummingbird
___ Aztec Thrush
___ Baird’s Sparrow
___ Bendire’s Thrasher
___ Bewick’s Wren
___ Black-capped Gnatcatcher
___ Black-capped Vireo
___ Black-chinned Hummingbird
___ Black-chinned Sparrow
___ Black-headed Grosbeak
___ Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
___ Black-throated Sparrow
___ Blue Grouse
___ Blue Mockingbird
___ Blue-throated Hummingbird
___ Bridled Titmouse
___ Brewer’s Sparrow
___ Broad-billed Hummingbird
___ Bullock’s Oriole
___ Bumblebee Hummingbird
___ Cactus Wren
___ California Gull
___ Calliope Hummingbird
___ Canyon Towhee
___ Canyon Wren
___ Cassin’s Finch
___ Cassin’s Sparrow
___ Chestnut-collared Longspur
___ Chihuahuan Raven
___ Clark’s Grebe ___ Clark’s Nutcracker
___ Common Poorwill
___ Cordilleran Flycatcher
___ Costa’s Hummingbird
___ Crissal Thrasher
___ Curve-billed Thrasher
___ Eared Trogon
___ Elf Owl
___ Ferruginous Hawk
___ Five-striped Sparrow
___ Gambel’s Quail
___ Gila Woodpecker
___ Gilded Flicker
___ Greater Roadrunner
___ Grey Flycatcher
___ Grey Vireo
___ Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch
___ Harris’s Sparrow
___ House Finch
___ Lawrence’s Goldfinch
___ Le Conte’s Sparrow
___ Lewis’s Woodpecker
___ Lucifer Hummingbird
___ Lucy’s Warbler
___ McCown’s Longspur
___ Mexican Chickadee
___ Mexican Jay
___ Montezuma Quail
___ Mountain Bluebird
___ Mountain Chickadee
___ Mountain Plover ___ Phainopepla
___ Pinyon Jay
___ Plain Titmouse
___ Prairie Falcon
___ Pygmy Nuthatch
___ Pyrrhuloxia
___ Red-breasted Sapsucker
___ Red-naped Sapsucker
___ Red-shouldered Hawk
___ Rufous-backed Thrush
___ Rufous-crowned Sparrow
___ Rufous-winged Sparrow
___ Sage Sparrow
___ Sage Thrasher
___ Say’s Phoebe
___ Scaled Quail
___ Scott’s Oriole
___ Smith’s Longspur
___ Spotted Owl
___ Spotted Towhee
___ Strickland’s Woodpecker
___ Thick-billed Parrot
___ Townsend’s Solitaire
___ Verdin
___ Violet-crowned Hummingbird
___ Western Bluebird
___ Western Grebe
___ Western Gull
___ Western Screech-Owl
___ Western Scrub-Jay
___ Williamson’s Sapsucker

Other Speciality Birds in Arizona
___ Black-capped Gnatcatcher
___ Bridled Titmouse ___ Dusky-capped Flycatcher ___ Mexican Jay
___ Yellow-eyed Junco

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ROCK ART RANCH TAKES VISITORS BACK IN TIME ! EXPERTS MARVEL AT “BIRTHING SCENE” A GLIMPSE OF SOUTH WEST PREHISTORIC LIFE ON PECOS 2013 TOUR

THE PECOS CONFERENCE IS HELD EACH AUGUST ALLOWING SOUTH WEST ARCHAEOLOGIST TO MEET, DRINK BEER, VISIT IN THE SHADE OF A PINE TREE WHILE DISCUSSING THE SEASON’S FINDS AND CONCLUSIONS. THE FIRST TWO DAYS FOLKS MEET BENEATH BIG TENTS AND LISTEN TO 10 MINUTE REPORTS, ON SUNDAY FOLKS BREAK CAMP AND HEAD OUT ON THEIR CHOSEN FIELD TRIP FROM A DOZEN TO CHOOSE FROM THIS CHEVELON CANYON TOUR FILLED UP FAST….MORE 2013 PECOS NOTES BELOW…

ROCKARTRANCH PHOTOS2To some, the land seen off I-40 just south of Winslow, Arizona, is featureless and seemingly without end. Others, more adventuresome, might find the finger-like canyons of precious water that collect on these lands and have supported life there for centuries. Those who stop and look closely might enjoy the language of prehistoric man left on the walls of Chevelon Canyon. Surprisingly, rock artists seven thousand years ago wrote about the same human conditions that preoccupy our lives today….life, death, birth and putting food on the table. CHEVELON CANYON

VERY SIMILAR TO ROCK ART FOUND ALONG THE SAN JUAN RIVER IN UTAH

VERY SIMILAR TO ROCK ART FOUND ALONG THE SAN JUAN RIVER IN UTAH

DATURA OR JIMSONWEED IS FOUND GROWING IN THE CANYON AND MIGHT HAVE LEAD TO A BAD DREAM OR TWO

DATURA OR JIMSONWEED IS FOUND GROWING IN THE CANYON AND MIGHT HAVE LEAD TO A BAD DREAM OR TWO

ROCKARTRANCH BIRTHMan’s need for spirituality is found in the two foot tall human-shaped figures who resembled the shamanistic drawing found in the San Juan River valley. Perhaps the most famous rock drawing found here is the “Birthing scene” which shows a unmarried pueblo women (wearing Hopi hair whorls) giving birth. Some of the paint of this design has been scrapped away over the centuries by women hoping to become pregnant, either by carrying the powder in a medicine bag or ingesting it in order to successfully conceive. For thousands of years these rock designs were the religious center of between 200-400 people living in the area who up to 1400 AD depended upon this canyon for their livelihood and probably their spiritual life also.
IS THIS A MAN WITH A MACHETE HOLDING A HEAD OR IS IT A PAINTER WITH A BRUSH AND PAINT ?

IS THIS A MAN WITH A MACHETE HOLDING A HEAD OR IS IT A PAINTER WITH A BRUSH AND PAINT ?

ROCKARTRANCH LOOKOUT2
CHUCK ADAMS EXPLAINS LIFE IN CHEVELON CANYON

CHUCK ADAMS EXPLAINS LIFE IN CHEVELON CANYON

Today Rock Art Ranch is a private ranch 25 miles southeast of Winslow, AZ, it still raises cattle and bison and encompasses 5,000 acres between Winslow and Holbrook. Rock Art Ranch is home to one of the best preserved and most extensive collections of ancient petroglyphs in the southwest. The spectacular rock art dates from 6000 BC to AD 1400 and lies in the deep lush canyons found in the high desert around 5100’ elevation. For thousands of years this area has been visited by hunting nomads and gathering groups. Charles Adams is a Professor in the School of Anthropology and Curator of Archaeology in the Arizona State Museum, both at the University of Arizona. Chuck directs a field school here each summer and is the overall principal investigator in Chevelon Canyon. Adams along with Richard Lange have conducted survey and excavations in this area through the ASM Homol’ovi Research Program, their research interests include proto-historic and historic Pueblo archaeology, Hopi ethnography, religion and ritual in the archaeological record, settlement patterns and land use. In 2013, the UA field school focused on describing the archaeological record of the ranch and its neighbors and conducted a limited excavation on an early 13th century pueblo of 30-50 rooms. They wanted to gain an understanding of how the landscape was used by groups over the past 8000 years, and why groups migrated to and from this area, and if this rock art communicated identity and ownership.

Visiting Homolovi Ruins (just north of Winslow, AZ) some folks hear of the Winslow ranching family who managed to keep a significant cluster of petroglyphs protected from vandalism for more than 50 years. Brantley Baird is a descendent who created “Rock Art Ranch AZ” and for a fee, the Baird’s will guide folks to the 3000+ rock art images located on the canyon walls. Some archaeologist have declared Rock Art Ranch as; “One of the premier rock art sites in the world” saying the significance of this site is amplified by rock art samples spanning 6000 years produced by Anasazi, Sinagua, Hopi, Navajo, and the Zuni cultures. Please note also this hike is on private property and arrangements must be made in advance with the Baird family prior to visiting Rock Art Ranch. Contact the Baird’s at 928-288-3260 to make your arrangements, and be sure to visit their museum setup, displaying a lifetime of discoveries. The ranch, which Baird’s parents purchased in 1945, features a barn stocked with artifacts found on the property as well as those passed down through the family, which has deep Arizona roots. Baird’s great-grandfather was William Jordan Flake, a co-founder of the town of Snowflake. Anasazi ruins and a Navajo hogan and sweat house are all part of the ranch.

Call 928-288-3260 and for a fee and the date, time can be arranged. You will be met by a ranch hand at the corner of Territorial Road and Bell Cow Road at 10 am on any Saturday. Be prepared to follow his truck along a rutted ranch road for a couple of miles. You will pass through a couple of locked gates along the ranch road until reaching a parking area next to Chevelon Canyon. As long as you are with Baird or his people, ignore all those threatening signs overhead, the tour is well worth the risks…

Called the Hunting Scene shows a number of antlered elk or deer and possible game for the residents of Chevelon Canyon.

The Hunting Scene show antlered elk or deer and which was possible game for the residents of Chevelon Canyon.

LONG TIME ESCAPE FROM THE HEAT OF SUMMER. A SWIMMING AS POPULAR AS TIME IS OLD.

LONG TIME ESCAPE FROM THE HEAT OF SUMMER. A SWIMMING HOLE AS POPULAR AS TIME IS OLD.

ROCKARTRANCHCHEVELONCANYON

From Winslow: Take SR87 south towards Payson. Turn left on SR99 and follow about 6 1/4 miles until you reach Territorial Road (McLaws Road on many maps). Follow the gravel surfaced Territorial Road for about 8 1/2 miles until you reach intersection of Bell Cow Road. This is the rendezvous spot for those interested in viewing the petroglyphs. Rock Art Ranch House Museum is three miles further east on Territorial Road on the south side..

Some experts suggest you might see an eagle when you look at this panel.  I saw an elephant first, then the wings....

Some experts suggest you see an eagle when you look at this panel. I saw an elephant first, then the wings…



FOR MORE CLOSEUPS OF ROCK ART AND DIFFERENT VIEWS OF THE CANYON VISIT SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK.COM ‘S PHOTO GALLERY….CLICK HERE

FOR MORE ON SOUTHWEST ROCK ART VISIT THIS BLOG: THE LANGUAGE ON THE ROCKS

THE 2013 PECOS CONFERENCE WAS HELD IN FLAGSTAFF, ALMOST 500 ATTENDED, THE EVENT WAS SPONSORED BY THE MUSEUM OF NORTHERN HISTORY. IN THE BUSINESS MEETING, THE CONFERENCE NOW IN ITS 76 YEAR, WILL HOLD THE 77TH MEETING IN UTAH HOSTED BY THE CITY OF BLANDING AND THE EDGE OF THE CEDARS MUSEUM. THE 78TH MEETING WILL BE HELD IN AZTEC, NEW MEXICO IN AUGUST 2015…

The Pecos Conference attendees are growing older and the conference is hoping to make itself relevent to students and younger archaeologist and anthropologist. Here Gwen Gallenstein shares a woven basket with the conference attendees in hopes of finding a date for the basket.

The Pecos Conference attendees are growing older and the conference is hoping to make itself relevent to students and younger archaeologist and anthropologist. Gwen Gallenstein shares a woven basket with conference attendees looking to nail down a date when the basket was made. Gwen curates for the Museum of Northern Arizona.

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THE LANGUAGE ON THE ROCKS : WAS THE FLUTE-PLAYING KOKOPELLI, A TRADER, DIPLOMAT, TEACHER OR WITCH ? DID ROCK DRAWINGS REVEAL THE SECRETS OF THE COSMOS AND THE FACE OF EARLY MAN?

The Battle of the ATLATL's these spear-throwers extended the arm increasing the leverage extending the throw.

The Battle of the ATLATL’s these spear-throwers extended the arm increasing the leverage extending the throw.

Sego Canyon Fremont Rock Art Panel, Utah

DOES THIS ROCK DRAWING PUT A FACE on prehistoric man in Utah 2,000 years ago, did this Sego Canyon Fremont rock art bring us face to face with our past ? In fact, doesn’t everyone have a Uncle Bob that looks just like this ?

The successful hunt meant meat for everyone. The bow and arrow and horse mounted rider dates this drawing to after 1540 AD

BIGHORNS are strong magic and preferred game

BIGHORNS were strong magic and preferred game

South West Rock Art scattered throughout the canyons, washes and gullies of today’s American West Landscape may be the first written language on this continent. For centuries man has wondered about the thoughts and messenages expressed on these rocks, we know these early rock artists were preoccupied with subsistence living, “the successful hunt” moved their world forward. So ritual drawings of game, might be followed by a shadow hunt including spearing the drawn game in anticipation of the real-time experience. Their Gods showed ancient man how to live in harmony with the land, so did their rock art depicted their God? The Devil and the spirit helpers who do their bidding, like the Kachina, who teach and whose arrival signals the time to plant or harvest and a number of ritual responsibilities of the clans of the Pueblo people.

CRACK-IN-THE-ROCK RUIN NORTH OF FLAGSTAFF AZ

CRACK-IN-THE-ROCK RUIN NORTH OF FLAGSTAFF AZ

HOPI says the first people emerged into the
Fourth World from the belly-button of the Earth
each was handed a tablet, with a tribe of birth; like Hopi, Zuni, Pawnee, or Ute and each was given a clan to be born to. All emerged through the same Sipapu their ancient ancestors had first exited from to enter the present world. No one really knows when that was, but Bible scholars says the Garden of Eden bloomed 50,000 years ago and everyone believes North and South America was peopled from the Bering Strait when big game hunters followed their game over the legendary land bridge about the same time geology-wise. Today several studies show an infusion of people into North America could have been supplemented from the sea earlier.

Newspaper Rock, Utah

Newspaper Rock, Utah

but many Native American Oral Histories report their hunters following the mastodons into the frozen north where their stone tool weapons caused a gradual decline in the mastodon populations, the large beasts all bleeped out with the mass extinction caused when an asteroid hit the ocean, blocking out the sun and killing off all Pleistocene megafauna as a result of rapid climate change. UA Archaeologist Vance Haynes coined the term “black mat” for a layer of 10,000-year-old black soil seen in many North American archaeological studies and presumed to be residue from that massive explosion off South America.

Rock Art, images pecked from rock, can’t be dated but the patina (varnish) formed on a rock gives some idea of age. Painted rock art, however offers some chance of judging the age of a petroglyph by carbon dating chips of paint. Further dating can be done by dating associated material culture but deposited artifacts can be dropped any time and many sites are visited continuously over time, some are added to, others are subtracted from.

NEWSPAPER ROCK in south central Utah reflects the world view of the pre-Puebloan People

NEWSPAPER ROCK in south central Utah reflects the migratory world view of the ancestors of today’s Pueblo People.

Julian Hayden, judged by many the best field investigator in American Archaeology, worked on both of the legendary Snaketown digs, where he met Pima elders who allowed him to sit in on a three day telling of their (Pima) oral history. Hayden found himself working all day on the dig, listening to the Pima accounting of their past much of the night, then going home and writing it up before work. The Pima Oral History spoke of the first people settling there, but others moved on and over centuries, which became hundreds of years, these first

HAYDEN reported also the Oral History said that a people from the southeast had attacked and destroyed the "great houses" of the Salt-Gila Complex or the Hohokam Canal and Platform Communities. Hayden took that to mean the Sobaipuri Indians of the Upper San Pedro River Valley, southeastern Arizona

HAYDEN reported also the Oral History said that a people from the southeast had attacked and destroyed the “great houses” of the Salt-Gila Complex or the Hohokam Canal and Platform Communities. Hayden took that to mean the Sobaipuri Indians of the Upper San Pedro River Valley who once lived in southeastern Arizona.

people eventually reached land’s end in South America. They settled but eventually new starts began making their way back north, and oddly enough, they found people speaking their own language.
Sharing some common language its not surprising but to find MesoAmerican influence scattered throughout the American South West and many studies have wondered out loud how much sway the larger civilizations held over the frontier, others have found direct connections between these prehistoric pioneers and Central and South America Civilizations. We find bells forged in Mexico, Macaws from South America, ball courts and Trincheras sites where black volcanic mountains are terraced and take the look of a lush pyramid in a dusty desert.
KOKOPELLI, the watersprinkler brought Spring

KOKOPELLI, the watersprinkler brings Spring

Trade goods, pots, dyes and fabrics might have been the sort of merchandise Kokopelli or a trader might have carried to each village or traded to lone outposts he encountered along his way. His flute would entertain, he would share new ideas, speak of change on the horizon. The South West rock art expert, Polly Schaafsma, first introduced me to Kokopelli on the Utah banks of the San Juan River. Since that first encounter I have photographed the flute-player on the banks of the Little Colorado River just outside of Springerville, Az. I have found Kokopelli hiding amongst the boulders lining a tributary of the Rio Grande south of Santa Fe, NM. Kokopelli has become an old friend, and a personal link to the past. I have found him lying flat on his back, blowing his horn against the canyons walls on the Navajo Reservation, you find him today from central Utah to central Arizona, often with a hard-on, he is most easily found where the Anasazi once lived.

CHINLE WASH, NORTHERN ARIZONA ON THE NAVAJO RESERVATION

CHINLE WASH, NORTHERN ARIZONA ON THE NAVAJO RESERVATION


In central Arizona where Kokopelli first showed up on pottery in the Hohokam village of Snaketown along today’s Gila River. In Pueblo myths, Kokopelli carries seeds, babies, and blankets to offer the maidens he seduces. According to the Navajo, his hump was made of clouds filled with seeds and rainbows. In the Hopi village of Oraibi, they believe he carried deer skin shirts and moccasins which he used to barter for brides or babies which he left with the young women. Others believe that Kokopelli’s sack contained the seeds of all the plants and flowers in the world, which he scattered each Spring. Legend tell us, everyone in the village would sing and dance throughout the night when they heard Kokopelli play his flute. The next morning, every maiden in the village would be with child. KOKOPELLICampers still report hearing the haunting, sweet flute sounds floating on the wind along the San Juan River, particularly near Chinle Wash, home to the Navajo’s watersprinkler, the god of fertility and the giver of rain. When Kokopelli played his flute, the sun came out, the snow melted, grass began to grow, birds began to sing, and all the animals gathered around to hear his songs. His flute music soothed the Earth and made it ready to receive his seed.

San Ildefonso Pueblo legend, believed Kokopelli’s flute brought happiness, joy and embodied everything pure and spiritual about music. Kokopelli was a wandering minstrel they believe who carried songs on his back, trading new songs for old ones. According to this legend, Kokopelli brought good luck and prosperity to anyone who listened to his music.

A 18x30 inch 300mm lens slice of a rock art panel at Sand Island near Bluff Utah

A 18×30 inch 300mm lens slice of a rock art panel at Sand Island near Bluff Utah

My most interesting flute-player experience came in the form of a 300mm lens slice of a large rock art panel at Sand Island just south of Bluff Utah. This view showed a flute-playing mountain sheep carved in rock in the midst of the Navajo Nation this rock art is an remnant of the ANASAZI prehistoric culture and this isolated view is only 18 inches by 30 inches sliced from a rock art panel on a 150’ cliff beside the San Juan River. Most of that 150 foot cliff is rock art, this is simply a paragraph.

The detail appeared to me as very unique — a Mountain Goat playing the flute, like Kokopelli, so I pulled this view in with my 300mm lens and thought no more about it until one day when I visited Edgar Perry, a White Mountain Apache Medicine Man and described the panel to him from memory.EDGAR PERRY WSNAKE
Is there a crack between the two groups of sheep? he asked. Yes, I said. “That line represent the real world (topside) and the supernatural world (beneath),” he said. Topside you see two sheep walking on all fours beneath the crack you see two sheep — one standing on two legs and playing a flute and the other on all fours with a bird (raven) appearing from its head the Navajos call this, shape–shifting or perhaps, skinwalkers. The Medicine Man points out the White Sheep becoming a black Raven characterizes the battle between good and bad, right and wrong. Imagine if that much meaning can be taken from a fraction of the panel, imagine what you might learn from the entire display.

Shape-shifting as depicted in this panel is a common supernatural feature attributed to shaman,

Shape-Shifting shaman took on whatever form that was needed.

Shape-Shifting shaman took on whatever form that was needed.

who legend says can become any creature necessary to their purpose–a raven could cover great distances and spy on ones enemy, and a flute-playing sheep was probably a big draw for Kokopelli when he blew into a platform mound with a new line of goods. But honestly, the sheep was Kokopelli and the shaman in him just preferred hooves for the rock prehistoric roads he traveled.

North American’s rock art began long before the birth of Christ, and continues today. It’s function varies all over the South West. North to New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon, a rock wall there has a series of lines in a single panel said to mark the coming of the summer equinox, a sun dagger is said to mark the coming and going of summer. Elsewhere in Chaco’s back country another panel is said to depict a 10th century Super Nova seen around the world in the prehistoric sky. Is Kokopelli, the flute-player, the first “Kilroy was here” ? Or does this tradition depict another tradition of Mesoamerican traders who plied the prehistoric pathways of yesteryear carrying trade goods, news, entertainment and their own special DNA.

CRACK-IN-THE-ROCK RUIN

CRACK-IN-THE-ROCK RUIN SUN DAGGER

What we believe is rock art is timeless, it began in Europe 50,000 years ago ! In the American South West, it is believed to be priceless. Last fall a Las Vegas nineteen year old spent nine months in jail and was fined shy of $25,000 for spray painting blue graffiti on top on Rock Art thought to date from 1100 AD. Another incident in the high Sierra, where a team of vandals using ladders, power-saws, hammers, generators–stole four mural scenes by cutting them from 15 feet high lava cliffs, damaging two others.

Incidents like the one in the high Sierra, where an audience is unlikely, sites go unmonitored and with increased human contact brings pressure, cuts to budgets and a lack of enforcement where an implicit risk exists to all the rock art panels scattered though out the South West and deep into Mexico. Many South West archaeologists, like renown rock art researcher, Polly Schaafsma who wonders if south central Utah may well have been the central heart beat of the Rock Art movement.

Mid-Utah Fremont Culture drew this panel in Sego Canyon east of the Barrier Canyon Style display in Horseshoe Canyon, which was drawn by the Anasazi ancestors of the Basket-Maker Culture

Mid-Utah Fremont Culture drew this panel in Sego Canyon east of the Barrier Canyon Style display in Horseshoe Canyon, which was drawn by the Anasazi ancestors of the Basket-Maker Culture

In a short distance, three distinct Rock Art styles, show regional similarities, the same stylized high priest shamans, each wearing similar symbols of rank and dress and all three messages deal with the shamanistic powers of the individuals who the design emulates. Throughout history, the fellow with the press (or the money or the power) has always been the person able to get his message out, so I have to believe, the Shaman illustrated on these covered rock habitation sites were sending out a message. Many of these archaic Utah Rock Arts panels, have images that are frequently two-three feet in size and some reach five or six feet. Over time, images get smaller and the message seems to be softer, less stressed and more focused on everyday things, corn, sheep, religious designs (some also seen on pottery) and while shamanistic influence was everything around 300-400 AD by around 11-1200 AD it was much less important to the rock artist then than it was at the time of Christ. But these Fremont/Anasazi farmers/hunters lived in and about the San Juan River and while they had regional similarities in dress and ornaments, the Fremont artwork was preoccupied with hunting and warfare and the Anasazi Basket-makers farmers seemed preoccupied with the supernatural. The Anasazi were perhaps seasonal visitors who had smaller family groups and were subject to living life in harmony with their world. Their Fremont neighbors hunted, competed for game and probably felt first the squeeze from marauding raiders (southern Piaute) who took their food and their family as slaves, their sites were lousy with arrow points.

BARRIER CANYON SHAMAN

BARRIER CANYON’S HOLY GHOST MAY BE THE MOST DRAMATIC ROCK ART PANEL ON THE COLORADO PLATEAU

Despite similarities, Polly Schaafsma suggests interesting differences; the Canyonlands Maze Unit Shaman gallery might be a portrait of all the shamans who over time have led and given direction about life, past spiritual leaders whose combined knowledge would be the fountain of understanding for all things. Unlike, other sites developed over time, this Shaman gallery in the Barrier (Horseshoe) Canyon might have been a single performance — by one artist a snapshot of the ancestors! Some paint is thought to have been blown through a straw.

Perhaps two thousand years have passed since an artist stood flat-footed and painted these drawings

Perhaps two thousand years have passed since an artist stood flat-footed and painted these drawings

Or was it a doorway for some to the Cosmos, was it an Oracle for others where they found the answer to life’s questions ? Did the Holy Ghost answer the prayers of the Anasazi Basket maker people known to be living in the area around the birth of Christ? Frequent Carbon 14 rating attempts to date this site suggest the rock art should be 2,000 years old or older.
While these shaman wear similar headgear and breastplates seen on the shaman of the Fremont People to the West, the Lower Butler Canyon Rock Art emphasized the animal helpers who worked with the shaman, the ability to hear and see what is hidden, the ability to change shape-a man becomes a mountain sheep or raven — whatever is needed. In Leslie Spier’s book “YUMAN PEOPLE” published around 1925 he interviews lots of Colorado River Tribe members who were 60-70 years old, one tale told of a shaman whose tribe was facing attack and perhaps ambush, who slept on the question and when he arose, he said he had seen the enemy camped on the other side of the mountain leading his warriors to a successful surprise attack.
Figure at left with enlarged hands may reflect a drug trip where the painter experienced hallucinations about the size of his hands.

Enlarged hands may reflect a drug trip where the painter experienced hallucinations about the size of his hands.

Hallucinogens, like Datura or Mushrooms have long been attributed to the trance experienced and to the exaggerated features shown on the Shaman. Today’s drug researchers have found subjects who take hallucinogenic mushrooms find the experience to be the most meaningful spiritual event they have ever experienced.”I was so small and everything was so big”, they report. The participant reports, “a self-awareness” and is often able to comprehend the scale of the Universe and see their small and insignificant place in the total scheme of things it was, they say, a “basically indescribable experience”. These rock art galleries held great importance for the people of their period. As time passed, rock art became less spiritual and more informational and more abstract and decorative, maybe Kokopelli was the “KILROY was here” of the time, his passing would have been worthy of note.
Kilroy' was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war who worked as a checker at a shipyard . His job was to go around and check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters  got paid by the rivet. He would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice. Soldiers, Sailors and Marines saw his moniker and began leaving it behind everywhere they went and soon Kilroy had liberated all of Europe before the allies had arrived.

Kilroy’ was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war who worked as a checker at a shipyard . His job was to go around and check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters got paid by the rivet. He would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn’t be counted twice. Soldiers, Sailors and Marines saw his moniker and began leaving it behind everywhere they went and soon Kilroy had liberated all of Europe before the allies had even arrived.


The Rock Art of the Anasazi Basketmaker Rock Art is still revered, perhaps even feared today, because of its potent power. Many rock art sites have been added to, over time, right up to the present. In the Chinle Wash where Tony Hillerman set the drama found in his book, "A Thief of Time" Polly Schaafsma shows us where someone has attacked a piece of rock art with an axe. The "vandal" completely destroyed the offending design, but Schaafsma suggests this may be a case of self-defense. This area of the Navajo Reservation is said to have skinwalkers who might even work with medicine men.
EARLY MAN CREATED THIS SHAMAN DRAWING BUT NAVAJO MEDICINE MAN USED AN AXE ON THIS DRAWING TO FREE HIS PATIENT

EARLY MAN CREATED THIS SHAMAN DRAWING BUT NAVAJO MEDICINE MAN USED AN AXE ON THIS DRAWING TO FREE HIS PATIENT

The destroyed rock art was an archaic design said to be used by a skinwalker for great power to place a curse on a now living Navajo, who by axing the rock, he freed himself from the skinwalkers curse. In Doug Preston’s Talking to the Ground, skinwalkers are said to shoot splinters of bone or teeth into their victims or sprinkle “corpse powder” triggering “ghost-sickness” in their victims, who then go to see the Medicine Man, who lifts the skinwalkers curse and splits the fee with the skinwalker, reservation-style free-enterprise?

POLLY SCHAAFSMA

POLLY SCHAAFSMA

“The power people perceive in these drawings, isn’t good or bad, it’s there for the using ! An evil-mined person might use the power to hex someone!”, says Polly Schaafsma. When this is done, it becomes necessary for a medicine man to break the connection by destroying the figures. If you are a witch (skinwalker) and the hex doesn’t works–it backfires on you.” So the village Shaman helped people cope and solve life’s problems, often performing shamanic feats with supernatural powers for the benefit of the group. With aid from their spirit helpers who contact the ancestors through supernatural spirits for help in curing, fertility, divining, hunting, battle and the weather.

The Lower Butler Wash site is more of a site showing shaman with their spirit helpers and displaying special abilities to see and hear and perhaps talk through spirit helpers to the nature world.

The Lower Butler Wash site shows shaman with their spirit helpers and displaying special abilities to see and hear and perhaps talk through spirit helpers or animal totem to the nature world.

The abstracted anthropomorphs with shamanistic supernatural abilities is a rock art subject repeated again and again in the canyons of the Colorado Plateau, many are surrounded or aided by “animal spirit helpers”, or demonstrate their shape-shifting skills or trance-like abilities that allow the shaman to see lost objects, the presence of evil spirits, the cause of an illness, the future and the past. The Horseshoe Canyon or Barrier Canyon site in the Maze Canyonland district could be the portrait of the principal shaman. When times got bad and resources were scarce they used magic to improve their lot. It would have been very dramatic to bring in new initiates at night with light from torches lighting up the rock art for ritual initiations, drug-assisted vision quests and for praying to your God. The name of your world means “Made for You”.

The Lower Butler Wash was chiseled by an artist pecking a straight controlled line, while the Holy Ghost Gallery was partially sprayed onto the limestone and both reflect this ghostly, ancestrial-spirit overtones which are absent in the Fremont Panels which highlight war-like motifs.

BARRIER CANYON SHAMAN

THE HOLY GHOST or EARTH GOD, door keeper to the 5th World of the Hopi and the Keeper of Fire and Master of the Fourth World (our present day world) or MASAUWV or Skeleton Man, the Spirit of Death surrounded by their helpers. This display is believed a one-time ceremony perhaps marking the doorway to the underworld or the Sipapu of all Life! Was it also entrance to both Heaven and Hell ?

HAND PRINTS APPEAR THROUGHOUT TIME RESEARCHERS BELIEVE IT WAS A WAY FOR SPIRITS TO ID WHOSE PRAYERS. ANTHROMORPHS BEGAN IN THE SAN JUAN AREA AND THE ROCK ART MOTIF SPREAD THROUGH OUT THE ANASAZI WORLD BUT AS TIME EVOLVED ROCK ART BECAME MORE STYLIZED OR DECORATIVE ALL OVER. HORSESHOE CANYON AND BARRIER CANYON ARE ONE AND THE SAME.

HAND PRINTS APPEAR THROUGHOUT TIME RESEARCHERS BELIEVE IT WAS A WAY FOR SPIRITS TO ID WHOSE PRAYERS. ANTHROMORPHS BEGAN IN THE SAN JUAN AREA AND THE ROCK ART MOTIF SPREAD THROUGH OUT THE ANASAZI WORLD BUT AS TIME EVOLVED ROCK ART BECAME MORE STYLIZED OR DECORATIVE ALL OVER. HORSESHOE CANYON AND BARRIER CANYON ARE ONE AND THE SAME.

“It’s like two different clubs were operating on separate sides of the (San Juan) river,” says Schaafsma about the similarities between the Fremont Culture Shaman Gallery and the one in Horseshoe Canyon judged to be a very old ritual site for the Anasazi Basket Maker Culture. Did the Holy Ghost figure represent the “soul force” of a departed shaman still aiding his flock from the underworld ? Schaafsma believe it was “important to do (paint) it here” beneath this 170′ high rock alcove which may have been viewed as a doorway to the supernatural world. Then there was a “ritualistic painting” which called for a ceremoniously gathering of the materials, sing song in prayer and then the painting in Horseshoe Canyon is believed to be done by one person in a single setting. In rock art an animal drawing upon completion its possible that the artist might attack it with a spear in anticipation of the hunt to come and in hopes of swaying the gods will about the outcome of the hunt.

Fremont Culture Shaman with their "spirit helpers"

Fremont Culture Shaman Drawing at Sego Canyon, Utah

FREMONT CULTURE ROCK ART AT CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL MONUMENT

FREMONT CULTURE ROCK ART AT CAPITOL REEF NATIONAL MONUMENT

Newer Rock Art does function much like the graffiti-kids spray on my neighbor’s fence, it shows their territory. Rock Art show many different styles and demonstrates a large number of cultural influences, even where one culture begins, where it begins to morph or blends with other nearby cultures or where an entirely different group begins. Over time researchers find the importance of the message changes, as does, the message. Anasazi Rock Art, like this Hohokam rock art from 1000 AD seems more casual or more graffiti-like than the much older Basket Maker archaic floating Shaman. There is an old Navajo saying that “pride and arrogance” were the downfall of the Anasazi who they believed learned too much and simply disappeared! The Navajo say “They wrote all their knowledge on the rock walls before they left, but over time it became too abstract to understand.

Newspaper Rock outside of Gila Bend AZ at Painted Rocks State Park.

Newspaper Rock outside of Gila Bend AZ at Painted Rocks State Park.

ACID RAIN has been blamed for diminishing the once dramatic rock art gallery of floating Shaman’s found on the covered back wall of an Anasazi Basketmaker II site featuring a fifty foot panel of a dozen figures in Horseshoe Canyon of the Maze District in Utah’s Canyon lands where it is feared the nearby coal-operated Page, AZ electricity generation plant has caused more deterioration in the past 20 years than seen there in the previous 2000 years. South West Rock Art might well have been the original email, a short concise message for a specific audience. Messaging has come full circle, if you buy the email you get today on your smartphone, is the rock art equivalent of a thought expressed on a prominent rock feature certain to capture the desired audience. Graffiti may also link us with those prehistoric artists and archaeologist must struggle with the question, does a nice blank surface require a creative hand to leave its mark–will man make art, regardless of what he has to say “Kilroy was Here!” for instance ? Or is the message everything ?

Prehistoric Rock Art is Disappearing ... people and pollution are the main culprits.  This famous artwork panel in North Central Baja has been destroyed by vandals drawing on the walls between the color rock paintings which were so characteristic of all of Baja's Rock Art and was once numbered among the best panels to visit.

Prehistoric Rock Art is Disappearing … people and pollution are the main culprits. This famous artwork panel in North Central Baja has been destroyed by vandals drawing on the walls between this old color rock painting so characteristic of all of Bajas’ Rock Art and was once numbered among the best panels to visit.


TEEN GETS PRISON FOR DEFACING 1000 YEAR OLD ROCK ART AND FINED….CLICK HERE

HELP PROTECT THE PAST Rock art must never be touched; oils from human skin can discolor or eventually obliterate the designs. Rock art is protected by the Archaeological resources Protection Act of 1979 and the Antiquities Act of 1906


ROCK ART OF UTAH BY POLLY SCHAAFSMA

INDIAN ROCK ART OF THE SOUTHWEST BY POLLY SCHAAFSMA
(School of American Research Southwest Indian Arts Series)

VISIT THE SECRET CANYON OF THE FREMONT PEOPLE: VIDEO OF SOME OF THE 6000 PRISTINE PREHISTORIC SITES

HANDBOOK OF ROCK ART RESEARCH BY DAVID S. WHITLEY


SOUTH WEST PHOTO BANK SOUTHWEST ROCK ART PHOTO GALLERIES….CLICK HERE

[caption id="attachment_6968" align="aligncenter" width="489"]"Baseball Man" perhaps the most intriguing rock art painting in the Chinle Wash System. “Baseball Man” perhaps the most intriguing rock art painting in the Chinle Wash System.

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MUL-CHU-THA RODEO and FAIR: IS A FOOT RACE TO A BETTER LIFE ! PEE POSH AND AKIMEL O’ODHAM TRIBES TAG TEAM COMMUNITY PROGRESS WITH GATHERINGS

ALL-INDIAN BULL RIDERS

TIME TO UPDATE FAMILY PHOTOS

TIME TO UPDATE FAMILY PHOTOS

Historically the Pee Posh and Akimel O’Odham Tribes have lived together in the Gila River Valley, farming and channeling water from the river to provide food, employment and cooling refreshment in one of the hottest places in the United States. Legend tells us the Gila River Indian Community dates back to the Hohokam who farmed Southern Arizona around 300 B.C. Following in their ancestors footsteps the Akimel O’Odham (Pima tribe) and the Pee Posh (Maricopa) now makeup the 372,000 acre reservation that is divided there into seven districts.

The Mul-Chu-Tha Fair, was born over lunch as tribal employees ate together and shared experiences from their youth. One hot day, they reminisced about the fun they enjoyed swimming in the water canals to cool off. The group decided a swimming pool was needed. The pool complex would give kids a place to have fun and to have activities, the community liked the idea of bringing their youth together and folks want to encourage the Pima family so they held a community fair to raise funds and invited the whole valley to come to the Gila River Indian Community in 1962 and celebrate with their people.

NORTHERN DRUM

DARRELL HILL DANCES JUNIOR BOYS DANCE GRASS FREESTYLE

DARRELL HILL DANCES JUNIOR BOYS DANCE GRASS FREESTYLE

In naming the fair and the Tribes wanted a traditional name so “Mul-Chu-Tha,” which means foot races in Pima, was selected. The foot-race historically, Pima runners would hustle from village-to-village or district-to-district and races became a tribal way of sharing entertainment, news and tribal events.

THE "WE CHILDREN" DANCE GROUP IS MADE UP OF DANCERS FROM EACH VILLAGE OF THE 6TH DISTRICT

THE “WE CHILDREN” DANCE GROUP IS MADE UP OF DANCERS FROM EACH VILLAGE OF THE 6TH DISTRICT

Mul-Chu-Tha was chosen as the Sacaton, Arizona annual Community gathering in March, which is preceded by IRA HAYES DAYS in Feburary when Indian color guards from all over the United States attend to parade in honor of one Sacaton favorite son, renown as one of five US servicemen raising the US Battleflag above the Island of Iwo Jima, immortalized by a photograph, that instilled into hearts of the US Public that for the first time since the bombing at Pearl Harbor the US had kicked some ass, and the direction of World War II had turned.
HAYES RAISED A LARGE FLAG FROM A BATTLE SHIP SO EVERYONE ON THE ISLAND COULD SEE

HAYES RAISED A LARGE FLAG FROM A BATTLE SHIP SO EVERYONE ON THE ISLAND COULD SEE

Every Feburary, warriors from all all over the US turn up to homage to Ira Hayes. In the Sacaton Square I have watched folks line up to have their picture taken with a life-size statue of Ira, one fellow was wearing the US Medal of Honor around his neck, I meet a white fella from Mesa who comes every year because it is the only place he feels honored for his roll as a warrior. Three X-16’s blast over the crowd at five story level beginning the Saturday morning Parade followed by a B-17, a P-52 Mustang and three bi-planes, very cool. I spoke with Indian color guards from Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Rhode Island, New Mexico, each of the 20 plus Arizona Indian Reservations was represented by bands, color guards, dance groups, ROTC Jr Cadets, vet groups like the Rez Runners Motorcycle Group, as well as, the Patriot Riders, along with vintage Army firepwer and jeeps.

LATE FEBURARY THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF ONE FAVORITE SON, "IRA HAYES"

LATE FEBURARY THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF ONE FAVORITE SON, “IRA HAYES”


PKW_3078
This unique community has a symbionic relationship between the Akimel O’Odham and Maricopa people, both Piman People, like their cousins the Tohono O’Odham, who live southwest of Tucson and into Mexico. In fact, the southern Piman People are said to live as far south of Mexico’s Rio Yaqui below Guaymas, Sonora. Chicken Scratch or Waila Music is a kind of dance music developed by the Tohono O’Odham people says wickipedia.com who says the genre evolved out of acoustic fiddle bands in the Sonoran desert. The term waila comes from Spanish bailar, meaning to dance. Chicken scratch is a traditional Tohono O’odham dance, which involves kicking the heels high in the air, which supposedly bears a resemblance to a chicken scratching. Chicken scratch, however, is at its root, an interpretation of norteño music, which is itself a Mexican adaptation of polka. Many chicken scratch bands play polka songs with a distinctive flourish, and may also play the waltz. “Chicken scratch” dance is the “walking two step or the walking polka with smooth gliding movements and is always performed counterclockwise”.
CHICKEN SCRATCH DANCERS ARE NOVEL TO SOUTHERN ARIZONA

CHICKEN SCRATCH DANCERS ARE NOVEL TO SOUTHERN ARIZONA


PERFORMING FOR THE CROWD THIS BAND HAD DANCERS ALL AFTERNOON

PERFORMING FOR THE CROWD THIS BAND HAD DANCERS ALL AFTERNOON

CROWD ENJOYING THE WAILA EXPRESS BAND

CROWD ENJOYING THE WAILA EXPRESS BAND

Since building their Swimming Pool, Senior Citizen’s Center and Headstart School for more than fifty one years these two tribal communities have pulled together like family and carved a life for their themselves and friends along the Gila River in Central Arizona. This year the Mul-Chu-Tha was held March 16-18, 2013 and like all years started with a Junior Rodeo on Friday morning featuring hundreds of future cowboys and cowgirls who struggled with the stock to rise to score.

DANCERS FROM THE 5TH DISTRICT

DANCERS FROM THE 5TH DISTRICT

"WE CHILDREN"
Traditionally, Miss Gila River Community, is crowned and she and her court go out to other Indian communities and represent the Gila River Indian Community throughout the South West. The Miss Gila River Pageant was established and girls were chose by their districts to compete for the title of Miss Gila River.
CRADLEBOARD BABY

CRADLEBOARD BABY

TRIBAL ROYALITY

TRIBAL ROYALITY

Since 1962, the Mul-Chu-Tha, has grown to become one of the most highly recognized tribal fairs in Indian Country. Back in the day. tribal members of the community competed in foot races, wood chopping contests, a small carnival and a fashion show featuring clothing made by community seamstresses. For more than 51 years, the Mul-Chu-Tha Fair has been a symbol of Sacaton Community Tribal spirit and dedication to pull together and to create a positive event, with something for everyone to enjoy. So today the All-Indian Rodeo and Pow Wow pull in participants from all over the U.S., in another huge tent, is the Battle of Chicken Scratch Bands. Traditional Indian dancing is featured for all participating tribes or villages who have traditional dances in another separate enclosure, there is a huge carnival midway with food court and another huge tent with seating for visiting and eating, bands play, people dance and folks visit, like family.

Saturday morning started with the parade downtown and featured many prizes for the participants.

LETICA GARCIA AND SHERRY MARK CONJURE UP SOME FRY BREAD FOR THEIR FOOD BOOTH. SATURDAY MORNING THERE WAS A FRY BREAD COOKOFF.

LETICA GARCIA AND SHERRY MARK CONJURE UP SOME FRY BREAD FOR THEIR FOOD BOOTH. SATURDAY MORNING THERE WAS A FRY BREAD COOKOFF.

BIRD SING AND DANCE COMPETITION IS HELD SATURDAY AT NOON

BIRD SING AND DANCE COMPETITION IS HELD SATURDAY AT NOON

The most interesting part of the first fair was that they held the traditional O’Odham game of “toka,” which today could be considered as similiar to lacrosse. Another big draw in those days, were the matachina dancers. Over the decades, the Mul-Chu-Tha Fair has supported and helped to promote unity within the Community. This fair continues to grow since that simple beginning with few who wanted to find a way to make their Community a better place and provide a little fun for everyone. They succeeded!

Tohono  O'Odham women for centuries have played this lacrosse style stick game.

Tohono O’Odham women for centuries have played this lacrosse style stick game.

The Fair continues in celebrating their people, their families, their friends, all together in “Honoring Our Ancestors”.

Top Parade Winners featured Salt River Steppers as the best Dance band, the District Five Jujudom won top honors in Chair Volleyball. The Chicken Scratch Battle of the Bands honored the Papago Warriors. Ira Hayes School won the best float for a school club while second place went to Baboquivari High School Road Warriors and third place went to Indian Oasis Elementary Cheer Squad and Gu Achi Cowgirls took fourth.

Andy Jackson (center) hugs his little brother Anthony (right) and Gavin Antone'  this trio were big fans of the midway...

Andy Jackson (center) hugs his little brother Anthony (right) and Gavin Antone’ this trio were big fans of the midway…

The Community groups winning in the Parade for floats were first place was the District Five Elderly Center, second place went to the District Four Recreation Committee and third went to the Health Resources Department.

Over the weekend, there was a Men’s Basketball Tournament where the Last Reds took the top bracket followed by the Da Spurs, the Komatke Kings and the Lake Powell Bombers. The Women’s Basketball Tournament honored top honors to Team Arizona, followed by the Hot Shots, Rez Gals and Lady Hoops.

ROBIN LITTLE CLOUD, has her own footrace to run. Little Cloud is the president of COYOTE KETTLE CORN, FOOD and CAKE SALES who along with family, a dozen of her children, grandchildren and five more working from the extended family they create popovers, burritos and cakes featuring their Chocolate, Strawberry, Lemon and Pineapple Upside Down Cakes. With the help of family, Little Cloud has been able to cover all the bases. Letica Garcia is the only outsider helping out with Coyote Kettle, she and Little Cloud’s daughter Sherry Mark met as students at Northern Arizona University. Garcia, is Tohono O’Odham from south of Sells, and helps out for the big events when they need people sweating over hot flames. Like Garcia, the Tohono O’Odham Tribe, also a Piman people and first cousins to the Akimel O’Odham Tribe is usually not far off, and always willing to participate in the Gila River Indian Community events because that’s what family does and the Southern Arizona Tribes for centuries have been partners in carving a better way of life from the Sonoran Desert.


CLICK HERE FOR MORE MULCHUTHA 2013 PHOTOS…..

CLICK HERE FOR earlier MUL+CHU_THA in SouthwestPhotoBank Galleries….

CLICK to view photos of the Tohono Historic Toka Game see SouthWestPhotoBanks Photos from Sells, Arizona

CLICK HERE to see photos from Sells, Az and the Tohono O’odham 75th Rodeo and Fair 2012


CLICK HERE to view photos from 2011 Tohono Rodeo and Fair..

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U.S. BRACES FOR WORST BLIZZARD IN RECENT HISTORY, TUCSON GIGGLES ABOUT THE WHITE STUFF….

AS NIGHT APPROACHES SNOW CONTINUED TO FALL IN NORTHERN TUCSON.

AS NIGHT APPROACHES SNOW CONTINUED TO FALL IN NORTHERN TUCSON.

SLUSHY, RE-FREEZING RAIN AND SNOW WILL MAKE DRIVING CONDITIONS DIFFICULT.

SLUSHY, RE-FREEZING RAIN AND SNOW WILL MAKE DRIVING CONDITIONS DIFFICULT.

THIS IS ONE CONVERTIBLE THAT DOESN'T HAVE ITS TOP DOWN TONIGHT.

THIS IS ONE CONVERTIBLE THAT DOESN’T HAVE ITS TOP DOWN TONIGHT.

TUCSON, ARIZONA was surprised today at Noon with a blizzard–not one of those ice cream drinks, a wanna-beee whiteout or blowing snow all through Tucson mid-town.

Chester, a Sheltie takes a hard look at all the white stuff falling on his patio.

Chester, a Sheltie takes a hard look at all the white stuff falling on his patio.

The higher elevations were receiving major snow and the road to the top of the Catalina Mountains was closed at the base, to anyone but residents and employees with 4×4 or chains. All the major southern Arizona Peaks will get snow tonight and as night fell in northwest Tucson, there was some accumulation–but elsewhere it was already gone…

MORE TUCSON SNOW PHOTOS VISIT SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK.COM….

RANCHO VISTOSO SAFEWAY PARKING LOT

RANCHO VISTOSO SAFEWAY PARKING LOT

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THE EPIC 24 HOURS in the OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE TEST THE METTLE OF THE BIKER AND THE METAL OF THE BIKE, COMPETING RIDERS CUTOFF AT 1875

24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE FIELDS ALMOST 2000 RIDERS WITH A RUNNING START

24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE FIELDS ALMOST 2000 RIDERS WITH A RUNNING START

PASSING ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL TAKES A LOWER GEAR

PASSING ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL TAKES A LOWER GEAR

THE EPIC 24 HOURS IN THE OLD PUEBLO MOUNTAIN BIKE RACE, has grown into a world class event, pulling in bike riders from all over the Unites States, Canada, four riders from Italy and raised 5 tons of food for the community food bank points out Todd Sadow, the 24 Hour event director. Weather makes Southern Arizona great this time of the year but in the fourteen years since 24 Hours began, several years were wet and muddy which produces grumpy riders. Many other years were a mix, some much colder, others not so, one year it rained all weekend. The 2013 24 Hours Bike Race was perfect.
HELMET CAMS ARE THE RAGE

HELMET CAMS ARE THE RAGE

RIDERS STACK THEIR BIKES  CLOSE TO THE START

RIDERS STACK THEIR BIKES CLOSE TO THE START

COMPANY FOR THOSE LONELY NIGHTS

COMPANY FOR THOSE LONELY NIGHTS

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Seat down meal or a quick bite, or a coffee to go...

Seat down meal or a quick bite, or a coffee to go…

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RUNNING DOWN THEIR BIKES

RUNNING DOWN THEIR BIKES

Bikers set up camp Thursday in 24 HOUR TOWN which has its own radio station K-EPIC 105.7 FM, tee-shirts, ball caps, the SW Best BBQ for Tri-Tip Steak Sandwiches and Blue Banjo Breakfast burritos, for caffeine, Peddler on the Path, offered both espresso and coffee. To sit down and enjoy sauteed mussel and shrimp dishes, both meat and vegan meals are available from the Chef’s Kitchen run by the Cryderman family who offer a host of savory dishes. Rules for 24 HOUR TOWN, is simply, BE NICE, HAVE FUN AND DON’T HARSH THE MELLOW. The Pinal County Sheriff has a whole list of other rules, but they were there to protect the public welfare or watch the mellow, everyone appreciates their help making the event safe and successful. The orientation ride for the newbee’s was led by Rebecca Rusch, the “QUEEN OF PAIN” who holds three 24 Hour Solo World Champion and four-time Leadville 100 winner. It was recommended as a good way to learn the course. Fires were small and contained, propane was big for heat but body heat was the recommended to minimize the impact on the Willow Springs Ranch where the race is held. Campers tents, cars BBQs were all packed in tight with only inches between each other, attempting to stay within the open space available without killing more desert. I met riders this year from Oregon, California, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, from all over Arizona and Tucson. Riders wanting to race were cutoff at 1875 riders, walk-ons if they had not preregistered, could not race. I met a 34 year old Junior High School Principal named Ryan who flew in from Wisconsin to Tucson with his buddy and their bikes to race, and they couldn’t race but they rode the course prior to the race and slept in their car, rather bother coming back to Tucson and bed, “this is where we want to be he reported”. They were having fun anyway, “Mountain Bikers are much more outgoing folks” says Ryan, “Roadies or road racers, stare at the ground and say nothing to nobody and are competitive as hell, all about winning”. Mountain bikers are all about having fun, their campground-city 24 HOUR TOWN is jammed together into the smallest footprint possible, with trailers, winnibagos, fith wheel campers, car camps, cactus, canopies and trucks, plenty of cholla. At noon on Saturday everyone heads down to the start line where all riders have stashed their bikes on racks, afterwards the riders walk about 400 yards down the road where 1800 riders will get a Lemans-style running start, initiated by a 12 gauge shotgun. There are solo riders who will be seated on that bike seat for almost 24 hours straight and there are teams, many 4-5 riders each who will pass the baton to each other off and on for the next day. Either way, many have decorated their helmets with lighting, cholla-preventers, web cams (front and back), dolls and dinosaurs and beer cans, and all have lighting on their bikes. Many participants have raced at the 24 Hours before, but many confessed to being newbee’s, all were ready and excited. Four teams were made-up of Tucson youth aging between 12-18, and all twenty-five riders are driven bikers called El Grupo Youth Cycling and winners already, I was told there is “a bad-ass or two” in that group. After the huge start, I headed over to the end where the riders descend a rock face to time out for the lap of 16 miles around Black Mountain, 40 miles north of Tucson, in the pristine Sonoran Desert.
END OF THE 16.3 MILE TRAIL

END OF THE 16.3 MILE TRAIL

RIDER TAKES A HARD FALL

RIDER TAKES A HARD FALL

When the leader started down the rock, Ryan pointed out he was a pro rider who lived in Wisconsin during the summer and in Arizona in winter, his lap had taken around a hour, twenty minutes. By noon on President’s Day this city of 4,000 will have disappeared without a trace. Except for the $20,000 raised for the Bag-it Charity and the four to five tons of canned food raised for the Community Food Bank, this event brings quality athletes into the South Western United States and brings big tourist dollars to communities nearby like Catalina, Oro Valley and Tucson. Many 24 Hour in the Old Pueblo participants were riders from Tucson, most of them knew that the Old Pueblo, is what Tucson was called in its earliest days during the 1700’s…

This thin ribbon of cactus free desert stretches 16 plus miles around Willow Springs Ranch.

This thin ribbon of cactus free desert stretches 16 plus miles around Willow Springs Ranch.

MORE 24 HOURS in the OLD PUEBLO PHOTOGRAPHS, GO TO SOUTHWEST PHOTOBANK GALLERIES….CLICK HERE

TRAFFIC EBBS AND FLOWS ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL THEN IT ALL STACKS UP IN THE CHOLLA

TRAFFIC EBBS AND FLOWS ON THE HIGHPOINT TRAIL THEN IT ALL STACKS UP IN THE CHOLLA

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SADDLEBROOK SNOW “PERFECT STORM”, WINTER-WONDERLAND MORNING, GONE BY MID-DAY…

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THIS SADDLEBROOKE GARGOYLE SHOWS LITTLE ENTHUSIASM FOR THIS CHANGE IN THE WEATHER-NO REAL FAN OF SNOW...

THIS SADDLEBROOKE GARGOYLE SHOWS LITTLE ENTHUSIASM FOR THIS CHANGE IN THE WEATHER-NO REAL FAN OF SNOW…

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While the Northeast United States is digging out of three feet of new snow and a blizzard of historic proportions — across the great divide on the opposite side of the U.S. Tucsonans awoke to a frosty white deposit on all the mountains surrounding this desert community. The Catalina Range above 9,000 feet took the biggest hit with a fancy white shawl laced down to her foothills. More surprisingly, was the dusting left on the Tortolita’s, the Tucson’s, the Santa Rita’s and the Rincon Mountains all had deep deposits on their higher peaks. Much like the song about Camelot, the rain fell during the night and was gone by daybreak, snow on all peaks is a unique event particularly when the overall temperatures were already in the fifties. Clouds kept sunshine from attacking the snow until around noon when it popped out and the snow began retreating but not before the breaking up clouds allowed the sun to spotlight the peaks setting off their snowy lids against dark backgrounds. Saddlebrooke, Arizona recently was selected as one of the best retirement communities in the United States, particularly due to its setting at the base of the Santa Catalina Range not far from the University of Arizona’s BioSphere, City of Tomorrow. The snow was a big draw and brought lots of walkers out to stride around and check out what snow does when it falls on the desert. It is very textured experience and folks can be very impressed, most remembered winters back east like today which has seized the entire eastern seaboard, shutting down businesses, keeping folks at home, stopping the trains, buses and more than 5,000 air flights. Today the east coast is paralyzed, highways shut down, folks are stranded, some without phone and power lines are down and people are again without heat and lighting–today in Tucson the sun showed itself around noon, warmed up the land and melted away all the snow. There was nothing worse back in the mid-west, three months into a long winter with the black dirty snow stacked against curb and at times in the middle of the streets and knowing you would be climbing over that ugly snow for weeks, except when it would melt quick and refreeze as a invisible glaze–that’s when things really got fun. Southern Arizona was magnificent this morning, the air was so clear you could see forever and by afternoon, it was just beautiful.

SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK PHOTO GALLERIES: FOR MORE SNOW PICTURES…CLICK HERE

U.S. and CANADA DIG OUT OF HISTORIC SNOWSTORM, 370 THOUSAND WITHOUT POWER, 15 DEAD… CLICK HERE

TORTOLITA'S MOUNTAINS 1460

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SELLS 75TH ALL INDIAN RODEO & FAIR, OLDEST IN THE UNITED STATES & BEST ENTERTAINMENT TICKET!

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Yree Lepa

Yree Lepa

Celebrating the 75th year of the Tohono O’odham Nation Rodeo & Fair, the longest running All-Indian rodeo in the United States! The Rodeo & Fair is the biggest and most expansive event of the year. Bring the family out to enjoy the full experience there is sure to be something for everyone – rodeo competitions, traditional games, food, crafts, carnival rides, fun run, exhibits and performances. The U.S. longest-running American Indian rodeo has a Junior Rodeo which this year fielded 300 young ones, it has a powwow, carnival, parade, Wailia dances, and food/crafts at the Livestock Complex in Sells, 60 miles west of Tucson. PKW_1326 This year’s schedule ran from January 31 through February 3, 2013 at the Eugene P. Tashquinth Sr. Livestock Complex in Sells, Arizona. Named after the long-time voice of Tribal Rodeo’s, the Chu Chui resident (1929-2006) Eugene Tashquinth spent his days bringing order to chaos, heading up most of the events at the livestock area, so when they built the new one, they named it after Eugene Tashquinth. Equally proud is the Tohono O’odham Hedricks family whose matriarch Silas’s name blesses the Rodeo pavilion where he excelled in the arena, his grandson Chad Hedrick put the first score (6.3) on the clock with his bareback ride. Sells is a place of tradition and for the ten thousand residents of the third largest Indian reservation in the United States the annual rodeo and fair is a time of gathering, folks begin gathering before noon and the festivities go way into the night with the Wailia ending around l a.m.. The Rodeo and Pow Wow bring in native American competitors from all over the South West, particularly from Arizona tribes, like the Navajo, Hopi, San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache Tribe and their Tohono cousins: the Pima and Maricopa Tribes. Every year, is an old-home-town visit, with folks coming together to visit, catch-up, see who big all the cousins have gotten and to get new pictures of the kids. PKW_1184PKW_1197PKW_1134 The mid-way is a beacon to all who love carnivals, greasy food, fast rides, regge music from Bob Marley, and tee shirts featuring heavy music idols and black goth signs. Visitors pay $8 for a wristband allowing all day access, for those over 55 years-of-age, the senior charge is $2. The annual Toka Tournament brings together the Tohono O’odham “Dream Teams”, like “Sun-Running-Women” who battle it out on a football sized field fighting over a wooden puck laced with leather and flung up-field with long sticks pulled from the ribs of the saguaro cactus. The start is much like the game lacrosse-another Indian game, it begins almost like a rugby scrum–and then off down field, very little is out of bound. These women celebrate this age old tradition all afternoon long with teams chasing each other up and down the playing field, the ebb and flow, the eventual goal and high-fives all around, losers too. The Pow Wow begins with the traditional Gourd Dance and breaks down into male, female, fancy, Plains categories featuring the finest in Pow Wow and Drum traditions. Just off the mid-way, the crowd not to photograph are the Yaqui Deer dancers nor can you record them with smartphones. The Yaqui Band features a combination of home-made instruments which accompany the dancers, one wears the head of a small deer atop the head, the main dancers each wore a mask to fill out the cast for their dance.

The Santa Rosa Shell Dancers

The Santa Rosa Shell Dancers


Earlier the Santa Rosa traditional dancers displayed their dance abilities, wearing their eye-catching shell-leg chaps, made from the shell carried from the Sea of Cortez by their ancestors who later traded the shell to Hohokam in the Salt-Gila River area for their cotton. The Tohono’s Hohokam ancestors valued the shell as a sign of rank, wealth, and much of it was fashioned into jewelry, like bracelets, necklaces, and leggings with shell leg tinklers for dancers The Tohono ancestors had a prehistoric salt trail across the vast waterless Sonoran Desert, across what is today’s US-MEXICO Border and into the blackened landscape of the Sierra de Pinacate lavafields, before crossing the enormous star sand dunes of the Grande Deserto for ten miles before reaching the Gulf of California where they harvested the precious salt and processed the shell, carrying home only what they needed to make jewelry to trade. Traditions have lasted thousands of years in the lands west of Tucson, they exist today and they will thrive tomorrow. The Tohono Tribe are gracious hosts and they welcome young and old, Indian or not as visitors to their Rodeo and Fair. It surprises me how few Tucsonans take advantage and visit the annual Tohono gathering, it surprises me more how few Tucson businesses sponsor, advertise or even acknowledge the tribe and its good work and its people of sterling, ageless character who have been our faithful neighbor for centuries.

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SOUTHWEST PHOTOBANK GALLERY FOR MORE SELLS AZ RODEO PHOTOS CLICK HERE ….

2013 RODEO SCHEDULE…CLICK HERE

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ARIZONA STATE of the STATE 2013 SPEECH by GOVERNOR JAN BREWER HIGHLIGHTS THE DIVIDE BETWEEN RICH, POOR, RED, BLUE AND MEXICAN, TASK FORCE TO STUDY BORDER SMUGGLING, SCHOOL FUNDS and AZ-FED LAND

SAN XAVIER DEL BAC COLOR GUARD INSTALLS THE US FLAG FOR THE 51ST ARIZONA LEGISLATURE

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ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER ADDRESSES THE ARIZONA HOUSE AND SENATE IN A JOINT SESSION FOR THE ARIZONA STATE OF THE STATE 2013 SPEECH.

ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER ADDRESSES THE ARIZONA HOUSE AND SENATE IN A JOINT SESSION FOR THE ARIZONA STATE OF THE STATE 2013 SPEECH.


ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER

ARIZONA GOV.JAN BREWER

Monday’s festivities were scheduled to include the swearing in of 30 Senate members and 60 members of the House of Representatives, keynote speakers and Gov. Jan Brewer’s State of the State speech.

Arizona’s newly retired U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl kicked off opening day of the 51st Arizona Legislature by urging state lawmakers to partner with the federal government on two of his legacy issues, immigration and water rights.

But some minutes into the speech, Kyl, 70, cut short his remarks and left, saying he didn’t feel well.

RETIRING SENATOR JON KYL ADDRESSES THE JOINT SESSION

RETIRING U.S. SEN. JON KYL ADDRESSES THE SESSION


REPUBLICAN JON KYL


REPUBLICAN JON KYL’S CONTRIBUTOR LIST

Kyl said there is a history of mixed success between Arizona and the federal government, but he urged the two levels of government to keep working together.

He defended Senate Bill 1070, even as he acknowledged the immigration-enforcement bill had some flaws.

“I think it was wrong for some elected officials and media to attack Arizona for trying to do something about it,” Kyl said.


Text of Gov. Brewer’s State of the State Address

[caption id="attachment_6348" align="alignleft" width="285"]ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER ARIZONA GOV. JAN BREWER

The highlights of the address are the governor seeking more CPS workers, more funding for schools, including a pay-for-performance plan, reform the sales tax code, creation of a few task forces including one to manage federal lands in Arizona (which the BLM, Forest Service and National Park Service will have something to say about) and one to combat human trafficking, a pledge to do something about immigration reform after the border is “secure” and the biggee – to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act to 133 percent of the federal poverty line.

All except the human trafficking and the state natural resources task forces will receive considerable resistance from her Republican colleagues who still control the House and Senate.

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id="attachment_6332" align="aligncenter" width="950"]THE SAN XAVIER DEL BAC COLOR GUARD INSTALLED THE FLAG FOR THE OPENING 51ST SESSION OF THE AZ LEGISLATURE. THE SAN XAVIER DEL BAC COLOR GUARD INSTALLED THE FLAG FOR THE OPENING OF THE 51ST AZ LEGISLATURE.[/caption]

FRESHMAN VICTORIA STEELE D9

FRESHMAN VICTORIA STEELE D9

MINORITY SPEAKER CAMPBELL WITH JOE ARPAIO

MINORITY SPEAKER CAMPBELL WITH JOE ARPAIO

This is Arizona’s legacy. We were the last of the continental states … carved from rugged country … a territorial landscape equally harsh and beautiful. Arizona’s challenges are great, but not greater than our capacity to meet them…Gov. Jan Brewer 2013


BREWER EXPANDS MEDICAID

ARIZONA LEGISLATURE WEBPAGE

ARIZONA LEGISLATIVE ROOSTER

FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THE ARIZONA 51ST LEGISLATURE
CLICK HERE TO VISIT SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK.COM GALLERIES

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SECOND ANNIVERSARY of JANUARY EIGHTH SHOOTING LAUNCHES GIFFORDS POLITICAL ACTION PACK TO FUND and BACK LAWMAKERS AGAINST THE RICH GUN LOBBY

2ND ANNIVERSARY OF JAN 8TH SHOOTING IN TUCSON
2ND ANNIVERSARY OF JAN 8TH SHOOTING IN TUCSON

2ND ANNIVERSARY OF JAN 8TH SHOOTING IN TUCSON

PKW_0720ELEANOR PERCELLO WIPES AWAY TEARS SHED FOR ALL THE SHOOTING VICTIMS (RIGHT) MANY JUST STOPPED TO PAY THEIR RESPECTS, OTHERS HAD BELLS TO RING

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CLICK HERE FOR SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK’S GALLERIES FOR MORE SHRINE AND MEMORIAL PHOTOS

One of thousand items boxed up for the permanent shooting achieve. The words to John Lennon's song "Imagine".

One of thousand items boxed up for the permanent achieve. The words from John Lennon’s song “Imagine”.

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Shrines at University Medical Center

Shrines at University Medical Center

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Tears were shed Tuesday as Tucsonans remembered the shooting two years ago that killed six and wounded nineteen. Bells rang throughout Tucson at 10:10am, where ever folks were-they stopped or went outside where churches and schools rang their bells, nineteen times, all in memory of Tucson victims and the hundreds victimized throughout the United States in eleven attacks since the Tucson shooting two years ago. Eleanor Percello, from Marana, wiped tears away Tuesday morning at the Safeway at Ina and Oracle Roads where the shooter killed nine year old Christina Greene, Gabriel Zimmerman 30, and Judge M. Roll, Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwan Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79. After the shooting in Tucson thousands visited the shrines and attended the vigils, each has shed a tear, you can’t help but feel touched by all the love, concern and sentiment expressed, “Let a new era of love begin with me” wrote one, “from this day forward I will…” said another. One was inspired to paint John Lennon’s words from “IMAGINE” on flagstone, including “Imagine all the people living Life in Peace”. President Obama came to Tucson and grieved. Since then Congress has done nothing.

FIGHTING GUNS: USA TODAY OP/ED by GABBY GIFFORDS and MARK KELLY

For some the event was life-changing…certainly no lives have changed more than Congresswomen Gabby Giffords who was shot in the Tucson shooting, and her husband, Mark Kelly. Today, Mark and Gabby announced “Americans for Responsible Solutions” an action pack to raise money to combat the gun lobby they say.

GABBY and MARK

GABBY and MARK

In a second anniversary OpEd in USA TODAY, Kelly and Giffords writes Americans for Responsible Solutions, which they launched on January 8th, to invite people from around the country to join a national conversation about gun violence prevention, ARS will raise the funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby, and will line up squarely behind leaders who stand for what’s right. Until now says ARS, the gun lobby’s political contributions, advertising and lobbying have dwarfed spending from anti-gun violence groups. No longer. With Americans for Responsible Solutions engaging millions of people about ways to reduce gun violence and funding political activity nationwide, legislators will no longer have reason to fear the gun lobby. Other efforts such as improving mental health care and opposing illegal guns are essential, but as gun owners and survivors of gun violence, we have a unique message for Americans.

We have experienced too much death and hurt to remain idle. Our response to the Newtown massacre must consist of more than regret, sorrow and condolence. The children of Sandy Hook Elementary School and all victims of gun violence deserve fellow citizens and leaders who have the will to prevent gun violence in the future.

I was shot in the head two years ago today. Since then, my extensive rehabilitation has brought excitement and gratitude to our family. But time and time again, our joy has been diminished by new, all too familiar images of death on television: the breaking news alert, stunned witnesses blinking away tears over unspeakable carnage, another community in mourning. America has seen an astounding 11 mass shootings since a madman used a semiautomatic pistol with an extended ammunition clip to shoot me and kill six others. Gun violence kills more than 30,000 Americans annually.

Dear fellow Americans,

Two years ago today, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others. My recovery has been tough, but I’ve worked very hard, and I feel lucky to be with my family and have this opportunity to do something important for my country.

Since that terrible day, America has seen 11 more mass shootings, but no plan from Congress to reduce gun violence. After the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary, however, it’s clear: This time must be different. As moderate, gun owners and victims of gun violence, we know there are some common sense things this country can do to reduce gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership. And we’re not alone.

CONGRESSWOMEN GABBY GIFFORDS

CONGRESSWOMEN GABBY GIFFORDS

The vast majority of Americans – including three-quarters of NRA members – support efforts that promote responsible gun ownership. But a gun lobby driven by an extreme ideological fringe has used big money and influence to stop Congress from acting.

That’s why, today, we are inviting you to join us as we launch Americans for Responsible Solutions. Our leaders must take action to reduce gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership. Please encourage your family and friends to join the conversation by sharing Americans for Responsible Solutions now.

We can’t take back the bullet that went through my head or fill the 20 empty beds in a Newtown neighborhood, but we can come together right now to prevent future tragic shootings wrote Gabby Giffords and husband, Mark Kelly.

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THE GUN FIGHTERS: GABBY GIFFORDS, VP BIDEN, MAYOR BLOOMBERG ON THE COVER OF TIME MAGAZINE

LAURA ROBERTS BELIEVES ONLY GABBY GIFFORDS CAN WORK A MIRACLE ON OUR GUN LAWS … CLICK HERE


MOTHER JONES GUIDE TO MASS SHOOTINGS IN THE UNITED STATES….CLICK HERE

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TUCSON’S NEW YEAR FROSTING, WINTER STORM BRINGS RAIN, SNOW TO SOUTHERN ARIZONA

Catalina State park received close to an inch of rain and flurries of snow.
Catalina State park received close to an inch of rain and flurries of snow.

Catalina State park received close to an inch of rain and flurries of snow.

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Grazing in Snow

Grazing in Snow

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Southern Arizona’s Sky Islands are frosted over for the 2013 New Year and new storms promise to spread snow throughout the border regions of Arizona. Forecasts predicts more, Bisbee has 9 inches, Naco has 7 inches, Sierra Vista has 3 inches and Mount Lemmon’s hwy is now open to four-wheel drive, and is a good place to screw up a nice 4×4, all that traction on ice…?
“It’s beautiful”, says a photographer at Catalina State Park, who has pulled over off the roadway to make a photo. Another lady stopped and rolled down her window, if the ranger sees you stopped on the shoulder, he will ticket you for being off road. Thanks I say as I pull away, that’s total bullshit I think.

VISIT SOUTHWEST PHOTOBANK TUCSON NEW YEAR’S SNOW……….CLICK HERE

CATALINA HIGHWAY THROUGH ORACLE ROAD IN SNOW FLURRIES

CATALINA HIGHWAY THROUGH ORACLE ROAD IN SNOW FLURRIES

SNOWBALLS ARE MEANT FOR LITTLE BROTHERS

SNOWBALLS ARE MEANT FOR LITTLE BROTHERS

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END OF THE WORLD COMING ON SOLSTICE ? WHITE BUFFALO WOMEN SAYS LOVE THE WORLD AND EACH OTHER LOVE WILL RETURN BALANCE TO OUR WORLD !

THE END IS COMING

THE END IS COMING

Much has been said about the upcoming end of the World on December 21st! During the election driving through north central Arizona I heard a Christian talk show blame it om Obama, since then Conservative are convinced a black president is truly the end of us all. FEAR…seems to be the message coming from a broad segment of the population, 24 hour cable news keep the most pressing world events center-stage. Right vs Left battles over your health care. Christian folks stabbing people after provoking them in the first place, all in the name of saving newborn. Mass shootings are on a record track and we have just experienced one of the worst in our country’s history, twenty innocent children gunned down. In a sense we find our World tilting out of alignment. In my view it is less a gun control problem than one Ronald Regan began when he mainstreamed the mentally ill, reducing services and forcing a new homeless revolution, mainly by people who can not exist within the framework of society as we know it. This is no small number and because the government and state’s have no funding to provide services for the mentally ill and homeless a terrible stigma has grown up around both the person who lives on the street and those Americans battling their inner demons.

EARTH

Universal health care is the beginning! In the decades to come it will make a difference. Still we are bedeviled by Global Warming and in some places steps are being taken to battle our changing world. New York and New Jersey is trying to rebuild in a way that protects the regions worst hit by Hurricane Sandy, the Gulf of Mexico has received some expensive first aid from the BP Oil Spill and the gulf is mending slowly and is being watched, studied closely.

Banks, lobbyists have run rampant, like the money changers in the Temples, they have corrupted everything they touched. Mostly law makers and their staffs, their money has bought influence at the expense of the public welfare and still they battle for de-regulation–it is one constant attack on all fronts, whittling down laws and clawing regs in place to protect the health and best interests of all Americans. Collective bargaining is a thing of the past.

WHY THE WORLD WILL NOT END IN DECEMBER 2012

Join us in person at SETI Institute in Mountain View. David Morrison, Ed Krupp and Andrew Fraknoi will discuss the topic of the end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012 and how this has been treated by the media. The negative effect on the public of this millennial memo will also be explored, Speakers: David Morrison, NASA Ames Research Center. Ed Krupp, Griffith Observatory, Southern California. Andrew Fraknoi, Foothill College.

The SETI Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to “explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe”. SETI stands for the “search for extraterrestrial intelligence”. One program is the use of both radio and optical telescopes to search for deliberate signals from extraterrestrial intelligence. Other research, pursued within the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, includes the discovery of extrasolar planets, potentials for life on Mars and other bodies within the Solar System, and the habitability of the galaxy. Photo taken near Socorro, New Mexico.

Listening Ears 2

So why in this time of all these horrible pressures on our way of life do we possibly believe America and the rest of the World, Europe, Africa, the Middle East can pull out of this deadly spiral, pull up and level off. For beginners, the Mayan calendar says so it goes on and besides what is reported, it continues. Secondly, there is now a level of optimism across our country that conveys a hopefulness, in spite of all the Republicans, acting as if the world in going to end. Mitts dog will get more road trips, besides, the price of gas has been dropping ever since they started investigating why it was so high. It wouldn’t be fair if the world can to an end now. NORAD, the folks that track space junk, satellites, incoming asteroids, comets, Death stars, like in Independence Day they already had a picture. NORAD says there is nothing on the horizon that would bring an end our world! So with the world tilting off its axis and when many believe it is spinning out of control and when some believe it is all over. I’m here to say — wait a minute. Yes, this World has lost some of its beauty, it is an ugly world and many people I know say the future will not be nearly as prosperous and promising for their children, as their generation enjoyed. Maybe or maybe not, my view that has always depended upon the individual and what they were willing to work for.

So besides all the hopeful reasons I have already conveyed to you, I have two words more for you White Buffaloes!

WHITE BUFFALO

WHITE BUFFALO

ARIZONA'S BEARIZONA HAS WHITE BUFFALO

ARIZONA’S BEARIZONA HAS WHITE BUFFALO

News of the calf spread quickly through the Native American community because its birth fulfilled a 2,000­ year ­old prophecy of northern Plains Indians. Joseph Chasing Horse, traditional leader of the Lakota nation, explains that 2,000 years ago a young woman who first appeared in the shape of a white buffalo gave the Lakota’s ancestors a sacred pipe and sacred ceremonies and made them guardians of the Black Hills. Before leaving, WHITE BUFFALO WOMEN prophesied that one day she would return to purify the world, bringing back spiritual balance and harmony; the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that her return was at hand.

“The White Buffalo is a blessing from the Great Spirit. “It’s a sign”. These white buffaloes are showing us that everything is going to be okay.”

The White Buffalo Woman showed the people the right way to pray, the right words and the right gestures. She taught them how to sing the pipe­-filling song and how to lift the pipe up to the sky, toward Grandfather, and down toward Grandmother Earth, to Uncie, and then to the four directions of the universe. “With this holy pipe,” she said, “you will walk like a living prayer. With your feet resting upon the earth and the pipestem reaching into the sky, your body forms a living bridge between the Sacred Beneath and the Sacred Above. Wakan Tanka smiles upon us, because now we are as one: earth, sky, all living things, the two-legged, the four-­legged, the winged ones, the trees, the grasses. Together with the people, they are all related, one family. The pipe holds them all together.”

“Look at this bowl,” said the White Buffalo Woman. “Its stone represents the buffalo, but also the flesh and blood of the red man. The buffalo represents the universe and the four directions, because he stands on four legs, for the four ages of man. The buffalo was put in the west by Wakan Tanka at the making of the world, to hold back the waters. Every year he loses one hair, and in every one of the four ages he loses a leg. The Sacred Hoop will end when all the hair and legs of the great buffalo are gone, and the water comes back to cover the Earth.WhiteBuffaloCalfWomanPeacePipe

The wooden stem of this chanunpa stands for all that grows on the earth. Twelve feathers hanging from where the stem­ the backbone­ joins the bowl­ the skull­ are from Wanblee Galeshka, the spotted eagle, the very sacred who is the Great Spirit’s messenger and the wisest of all cry out to Tunkashila . Look at the bowl: engraved in it are seven circles of various sizes. They stand for the seven ceremonies you will practice with this pipe, and for the Ocheti Shakowin , the seven sacred campfires of our Lakota nation.”

The White Buffalo Woman then spoke to the women, telling them that it was the work of their hands and the fruit of their bodies which kept the people alive. “You are from the mother earth,” she told them. “What you are doing is as great as what warriors do.” And therefore the sacred pipe is also something that binds men and women together in a circle of love. It is the one holy object in the making of which both men and women have a hand. The men carve the bowl and make the stem; the women decorate it with bands of colored porcupine quills. When a man takes a wife, they both hold the pipe at the same time and red cloth is wound around their hands, thus tying them together for life.

And when she promised to return again, she made some prophesies at that time ….One of those prophesies was that the birth of a white buffalo calf would be a sign that it would be near the time when she would return again to purify the world. What she meant by that was that she would bring back harmony again and balance, spiritually.

The woman gave the people a sacred pipe, taught them how to use it to pray and told the Sioux about the value of the buffalo. Before she left them, the woman said she would return, the legend says.

As she walked away she turned into a young white buffalo.

The return of White Buffalo Calf Woman marks the arrival of a new era of reconciliation among races and respect for the Earth. (excerpts borrowed from an article in the Chicago Tribune by Richard Wronski)


SEE BIRTH OF WHITE BUFFALO
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LteJdKp54yg

BIRTH OF WHITE BUFFALO FULFILLS TRIBAL PROPHESY…CLICK HERE


“It’s more of a blessing from the Great Spirit.” “It’s a sign. This white buffalo is showing us that everything is going to be okay.”

WHITE BUFFALO WOMEN

WHITE BUFFALO WOMEN

SACRED NINE COMMANDMENTS FROM THE CREATOR TO NATIVE PEOPLE AT THE TIME OF CREATION

1. Take care of Mother Earth and the other colors of man.

2. Respect this Mother Earth and creation.

3. Honor all life, and support that honor.

4. Be grateful from the heart for all life. It is through life that there is survival. Thank the Creator at all times for all life.

5. Love, and express that love.

6. Be humble. Humility is the gift of wisdom and understanding.

7. Be kind with one’s self and with others.

8. Share feelings and personal concerns and commitments.

9. Be honest with one’s self and with others. Be responsible for these sacred instructions and share them with other nations.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CIVIL DISCOURSE…CLICK HERE

SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA

SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA

WORDS TO LIVE BY …. IT’S A NEW YEAR ! WHY NOT A NEW WORLD !

WHITE BUFFALO WOMEN HAS SHOWN THE WORLD HOW TO LOAD THE PIPE THAT BRINGS HARMONY TO THE WORLD. AFTER WASHINGTON AND COLORADO PASSED NEW MARIJUANA LAWS RELAXING THE STIGMA OF POSSESSION AND SMOKING THE WEED THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT IN MY MIND WHAT THEY WILL BURNING IN THAT PIPE.

This summer the Vatican ordained its first Native American Saint, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, was canonized on 10/21/2012 by Pope Benedict XVI, two months to the day before the World Ends. In his remarks the Pope said he hoped the love of Saint Tekakwitha would bring together all Native Americans and all people. He “hoped she would be the great unifier”

SEE PHOTO GALLERY ON CELEBRATION OF SAINT KATERI TEKAKWITHA AT SAN XAVIER CLICK HERE….

SEE THIS END OF THE WORLD BLOG ON PROTECTING YOUR FAMILY FROM ZOMBIES….CLICK HERE

WHY THE WORLD DIDN’T END from the National Geographic Society who studies and reports on Maya traditions…

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SPANISH ENTRADA SEARCHES FOR CITY OF GOLD, CORONADO FINDS AMERICAN SOUTH WEST, SEES LITTLE TO VALUE EVEN LESS TO CARRY OFF!

ERIC THING and Associates retraced Coronado's trail along the San Pedro River, dressed as the Expedition would have dressed.

THE SPANISH ENTRADA AND CORONADO VISITED MANY OF THE RIO GRANDE PUEBLOS. THE TAOS PUEBLO (above) WAS VISITED BY OUT-RIDERS AFTER DEFEATING CIBOLA OR TODAY’S ZUNI PUEBLO IN NEW MEXICO.

Crossing into the US from Mexico at this spot in the San Rafael Valley, the Franciscan friar FRAY MARCUS de NIZA with his Moorish guide, Estevan, entered from Mexico at this spot in Arizona’s San Rafael Valley, where this concrete cross stands as a memorial of decades of Spanish rule in North America which was followed by a “tidal wave of white men”. De Niza’s journey ended South West prehistory and marked the beginning of written history.

Beside this dusty dirt road only a short distance north from Lochiel, Az, stands the 20 foot cross with a metal plaque that proclaims “On this spot FRAY MARCUS de NIZA entered this Valley of San Rafael, as Commissary of the Franciscan Order and a Delegate of the Viceroy of Mexico, de Niza entered Arizona the first European west of the Rockies on April 12, 1539. Here began the friar’s historic journey to explore the American Southwest, his journey ignited a decade of searching by conquistadors for the gold and riches they hoped to exist in the legendary “Seven Cities of Cibola”.[caption id="attachment_5114" align="aligncenter" width="950"]Marks de Niza Entry Marks de Niza Entry

Spain’s journey into Arizona and New Mexico was controversial then and remains controversial today. Some researchers argue de Niza never made his journey, he only pretended to have seen New Mexico. Some historians say de Niza faked the report in conspiracy with Viceroy Mendoza to encourage the conquest of the North. The friar’s trip did set off a contest between the governor of Cuba and Viceroy Mendoza Governor of New Spain, both sent their champions, Conquistadors Coronado and De Soto were chosen, edging out others, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado went through Arizona and Hernando de De Soto landed in Florida, both sought to find untold riches and make them all rich.

Ironically, at the time of the march to Cibola (Zuni N.M.) and Quivira (Kansas) in 1541, Hernando de Soto’s army was probing west from Florida. In May of 1541, at the same time Coronado was in Texas and starting north to Kansas, de Soto was crossing to the west bank of the Mississippi River. The armies may have passed within some hundreds of miles of each other. While Coronado was in Kansas and marching back to the Albuquerque area, De Soto was probing west of the Mississippi, where he died on the Red River in April of 1542. If the two armies had met up, they might have considered their expeditions more successful.

CONQUISTADORS CLIMBED INTO THE SKY CITY OF ACOMA, THEY WISHED THEY HADN’T.

NATURAL WATER CATCHMENTS ARRESTED RUNOFF ON THE MESA FLOOR

A POTTERY TRADITION EXISTS IN MOST PUEBLOS.

NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO

De Niza’s visit to Arizona’s opened the door for Spanish exploration that defined the size, the people and the nature of today’s American West. FRAY MARCUS de NIZA, found himself about 15 miles east of what is today’s Nogales, Arizona and Sonora as their horses picked their trail through the rich Arizona grasslands. De Niza was guided by Estevan, an Moor slave who had survived the same decade of slavery and walking through Texas to Mexico after being ship-wrecked off the Florida coast with the Spanish mariner named Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca who reported to the Viceroy of Mexico the riches of Cibola. The Viceroy sent the Friar de Niza and Estevan to learn the truth about “Cibola”, was it made from gold or wasn’t it? Estevan knew from his travels the Indian of the time perceived “Cibola” as the “greatest thing in the world”, so-the servant said. Survival had taught him how to excite the average Indian village, the large charismatic black man who wore tinkers and led a large entourage of slaves and women whom he had collected. Estevan had learned it was better to be the point of the spear ahead of the main expedition finding water and probing their path for guides and information, rather than playing the role of a slave. Estevan was charged to send back runners with crosses, if news was promising about riches ahead send a big cross, he had been told, if chances were poor, then send a small cross. Estevan decided to promote his own agenda sending back crosses that got progressively larger. Estevan was the original Kokopelli, he captivated the locals, wowed the maidens, had a few and moved on to the next village before the larger expedition arrived.

FIREARMS, HORSES AND CROSSBOWS TOOK A TOLL ON THE INDIAN

De Niza, upon his first return to Mexico City from Cibola, he had reported finding “good and prosperous lands” others soon twisted that translation into a new land of riches, equal to the wealth of gold, silver and gemstones, taken from the Aztec and Inca civilizations of Mexico and South America. Cibola was soon thought to be where “trees hung with golden bells and people whose pots and pans were beaten gold”, so with that promise of riches, finding soldiers and patrons to fund the journey became easy, everyone wanted a piece of the action. De Niza’s companion Estevan de Dorantes was killed at Cíbola, as de Niza watched from afar, but from that range the friar affirmed that the “grand city” report was true. The Friar’s report had inspired Francisco Vázquez de Coronado to make his famous expedition to Zuni Pueblo, using Fray Marcos as his guide; their journey had many hardships: thirst and hunger, many died and most were left penny-less. So it’s an understatement the expedition had a great disappointment, when they had finally saw Cibola for themselves, Coronado then sent Friar de Niza back to Mexico City for his own protection. Fray Marcos returned in shame and became the provincial superior of his order in Mexico and performed the highest office of the Franciscans Order in Mexico before dying in 1558.

In “Cities of Gold” by Doug Preston 1992 Simon/Schuster narrates the rich history of the American South West as the author retraces the Route of Coronado from the US-Mexico Border through a very rugged Arizona and into a waterless New Mexico. Preston and with his cowboy/photographer/artist/sidekick, Walter, with four horses found the trip, life-imperiling as well as life-changing. Another author, Paul Wellman wrote in his book; “Glory, God and Gold” that “Every Spaniard in the expedition” he wrote “would plunge his arms elbow-deep in gold ingots before he returned,” that’s why not a peso came from the King and each participant paid what they could. Captains paid $55,000 pesos, average guys paid $35,000 pesos and Coronado himself paid $85,000 pesos, taking a loan out on his wife’s estate. In preparation for this journey, Coronado had taken seven slaves four men and three women, others took their wives, children and companions.

Scholars say there were 2,000 in the expedition, with 67 plus European soldiers-45 fellas carried European metal helmets, 1300 natives were from central and western Mexico, some were servants, wranglers and herdsmen so writes Richard Flint in the Kiva article entitled “What they never told you about the Coronado Expedition”. He points out there were 19 crossbow, 25 arquebusiers and additional slaves to tend the 1,000 extra horses, 500 head of cattle, and more than 5,000 sheep was taken to feed the expedition. These folks were not trailblazers-they followed well established paths, each village they passed they would enlist guides to lead the way to the next water hole, to make introductions at the next village and to show the Spanish the road to the Seven Cities of Gold.

The beginning of History in the American West arrived with the Spanish exploration of the American South West.

Just a few years earlier the chosen champion of the Cuban governor, Conquistador Hernando de Soto, who learned the Indian slave trade in South America. There the Spanish looted temples and ransacked graves for their mortuary offerings. Finally De Soto captured the Inca emperor who offered him a room 22′ by 17′ stacked 9′ to the ceiling with gold ornaments, vases, goblets and statues plus another smaller room filled twice over with silver for his freedom. De Soto accepted the gold and silver treasure, still killed the king and soon returned to Spain and became a favorite in the King’s court to whom he loaned money and soon was given the license to explore Florida. In return the King was to receive “one-fifth of all spoils of battle, one-fifth of any precious metal taken from the ground and one-tenth of everything taken from graves. De Soto was to finance the entire expedition, at its end he would received 50,000 acres of his choice and an annual salary of $60,000, in return he would pacify all the natives, and provide the necessary priests and friars needed to convert them.

DESOTO; Followed the footsteps of his heroes, Balboa and Ponce de Leon….

CORONADO: Freely joined the chase for gold and riches ….

Meanwhile in Mexico, Viceroy Mendoza ordered 29 year old Francisco Vazques de Coronado to explore “Nuevo Tierra” and to bring back all the treasure he discovers.

EL MORRO NATIONAL MONUMENT STOOD OUT FROM THE FLAT LAND AND BECAME A BEACON FOR TRAVELERS. CORONADO DIDN’T LEAVE HIS JOHN HANCOCK, BUT HE DID VISIT

Once reaching Zuni, groups broke off one went to the Hopi Villages, another to the Grand Canyon and another to the Rio Grande Valley to claim those lands for the Spanish empire. One group of explorers pushed on to the Colorado River hoping to be re-supplied by ship but they found a note saying their supplies had come and gone. Sore, sick, hungry, constantly looking for water and upset by the lack of riches, Coronado strayed farther eastward with dreams of another unconquered province named Quivera. His expedition went through the plains of Kansas past today’s Liberal Kansas, in hopes of finding yet another Aztec Civilization rich with gold and silver. The Spanish told themselves they had come to North America “to serve God and His King, to give light to those who were in darkness and to grow rich, as all men desire to do”. Hernando de Soto, and the Mendoza expedition led by Coronado, beat out several other conquistadors: Cortes, Beltran de Guzman and Pedro de Alvarado, all of whom wished to establish lives of “ease and honor” by “performing feats of war”. De Soto and Coronado motivated the native Indian along their way to join them, many did, they hoped to take prisoners for themselves, and to become slave holders. Everyone had an angle how this journey was going to make them rich. The conquistadors were tough, disciplined and ruthless, their weapons outmatched the stone age weapons of the Indians who were no match against European arms and tactics.

The native Americans believed the Spanish horses were supernatural creatures.

But it was the horses that carried the battle every time in the today’s West, rock art and intaglio exist that document the first meeting of the horse with North American Indians. In Mexico and South America the Aztec and Inca had fought in formation and were outclassed by the warriors of Europe, but the native Americans of the north soon learned stealth and avoided open combat. Their skilled archers could drive an arrow through armor. the crossbow and musket proved useless while the sword, lance and infantry was very deadly in close combat.

This rock art in southern Utah commemorates the first time the two meet.

This rock art in southern Utah commemorates the first time the indian and the horse meet.


So eighty years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Spanish Explorers visited Kansas: Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, seeking gold in New Mexico, was told of Quivera where “people’s pots and pans were beaten gold”. With 30 picked horsemen and a Franciscan Friar, Coronado marched “north by the needle” from the Texas panhandle until he reached Kansas. Here he found no gold, but a country he described as “the best I have ever seen for producing all the products of Spain.” The expedition entered present Kansas near Liberal and moved northeastward across the Arkansas River to what is now Rice and McPherson counties perhaps probing to present day Lawrence near the Kansas River before turning back. The guide, they called the Turk, confessed he had deceived the Spaniards and one night he went into his tent and the next morning when they broke camp he left only a dirt mound. He was strangled, buried and forgotten. For 25 days in the summer of 1541 the Turk had led Coronado among the grass-hut villages of the Quivira Indians, hoping to lose Coronado and men in the tall grass and waterless plains.
PECOS PUEBLO stood at the Cross Roads of the Great Plains and the Rio Grande Pueblo Communities.

PECOS PUEBLO stood at the Cross Roads of the Great Plains and the Rio Grande Pueblo Communities.

After this month spent exploring central Kansas, the expedition disappointed in their quest for riches were still impressed by the land itself. Coronado’s Lieutenant Juan Jaramillo, wrote: “It is a hilly country, but has table-lands, plains, and charming rivers… I am of the belief that it will be very productive of all sorts of commodities. According to legend, Seymour Rogers, the first settler in the mid-1880’s, was said to have been “mighty liberal” with water from his well, from that came the name Liberal Kansas established in 1888, on the northwest border of Texas.

Statue of the Conquistador Coronado stands next to a traffic circle in Liberal, Kansas near where the Spanish entered from Texas. JOHN MADSEN, BELOW

CORONADO AND QUIVIRA

In August 2004, they launched the Coronado Project, which expanded on John Madsen’s idea of asking local residents to help solve the mystery of the expedition’s route. With the assistance of Don Burgess—a former general manager of Tucson’s Public Broadcasting System television station—this outreach and public education project involved the creation of a video on the Coronado Expedition and mailed, free of charge, to hundreds of local residents; a series of public lectures; and four Coronado Roadshows in Wilcox and Springerville, Arizona and also in Lordsburg and Reserve, New Mexico.

The exact route that the Coronado Expedition took between Sonora and the Zuni Pueblos is currently unknown writes John Madsen, curator at the Arizona State Museum. He writes some have surmised that the trail led through Arizona, as far west as the Casa Grande Ruin, before turning northeast into the White Mountains region. Others, like historian Herbert E. Bolton, suggest a route along the San Pedro River, turning northeast below Benson, crossing the Gila River near Bylas, and passing near White River and Springerville before descending into the Zuni region. Madsen prefers the path similar to that proposed by archaeologist Carroll Riley. It traverses the country on what is now the Arizona–New Mexico state line, following the San Francisco River. Spanish accounts as early as 1747 reveal considerable use of the drainage by Zunis and Apaches. In 1795, Sonorans viewed the San Francisco River area as a potential trade route linking them with the Pueblo of Zuni and Santa Fe area pueblos like Pecos and Taos Pueblos.

Madsen teamed up with a Public Broadcast Station and launched a search for clues of where the Spanish had been targeting areas along their suspected route. Many historians and archaeologists along the route have tackled their piece of the mystery, many adding to the research, Madsen “had a hunch that the best source of information would come from the ranching communities along the Arizona–New Mexico border. These people know the land, and generations of family members have covered most of this dirt on horseback. The end result were 33 Spanish colonial period or Mexican historic artifacts like period spurs, coins, and horseshoes. Chain mail was take from a site in Kansas….more clues appeared.


Hartmann Map for Tracking the Expedition’s Route: Sleuthing for Clues and Artifacts

For over 100 years, the exact route of Coronado has been an American mystery. Generations of scholars have tried to retrace the steps of the army from their descriptions of villages, rivers, mountains, and native communities. National commissions have grappled with the problem of designating a “Coronado Trail” that tourists could follow, but clues were sparse, and politics raised its head when various factions tried to claim parts of the route for their state. Because we don’t know just where they were, it is tantalizingly hard to interpret the Coronado chronicles’ descriptions of native villages and other sites they visited.

GREENLEE COUNTY ARIZONA

In our lifetimes, many potential Coronado sites are being destroyed by urban growth, vandalism, and plowing of fields for agriculture. However, if amateur sleuths report possible Spanish artifacts, it may still be possible to locate more of Coronado’s campsites and document exactly where the army went. Recent discoveries have found Coronado campsites near Albuquerque and another in the Texas panhandle at Blanco Canyon both help to pin down the expedition’s route. See the web page on helping scholars locate Coronado sites….

Archaeologists William K.Hartmann, his wife Gayle and Richard Flint have worked tirelessly to sleuth out the route of the Coronado Expedition being guided by de Niza who the year before had seen Cibola from a distance. They found he might have followed the Rio Sonora to the river’s headwaters and then crossed the Cananea grasslands for four days past Arizape picking up the San Pedro River North turning east toward the Wilcox Playa North past present day Safford or the present day Sulfur Springs Valley crossing the Gila River cresting the Mogollon Rim past Point of Pines. William and Gayle Hartmann sees them moving east from the San Pedro, stopping at Turkey Creek in the Chiricahua’s then moving east through Apache Pass via Portal and into New Mexico and eventually into Texas. For more explanation visit their website….http://www.psi.edu/epo/coronado/coronadosjourney.html

WEST TURKEY CREEK, IN THE CHIRICAHUA MOUNTAIN RANGE, ONE PROPOSED STOP ALONG CORONADO’S ROUTE.


REPORTED DISCOVERY OF CHICHILTICALE
The most exciting development is the apparent discovery of the long lost Coronado camp site at the Chichilticale New Mexican exploration geologist Nugent Brasher devoted several years to this problem. With brilliant deduction, mapping, and hard work, he began metal detecting surveys at several water-source sites he reported finding an iron cross bow point and other possible fragments from the Kuykendall ruin, a large pueblo ruin site at the foot of the Chiricahuas. The site appears definitely to be a the first Coronado camp site known in Arizona, and almost certainly is the Chichilticale ruin.

• ONGOING EXCAVATIONS AT CHICHILTICALE Brasher has set up a web site at www.chichilticale.com to record progress with the survey and excavations at the Chichilticale site. Excavations are continuing by Brasher and archaeologist Deni Seymour. Two more cross bow bolt heads have been shown on her web site that details excavation plans and progress, at http://www.seymourharlan.com/default.htm

• NEW BOOK FROM RICHARD FLINT In 2008, Richard Flint published a popular-level account of the expedition, “No Settlement No Conquest: A History of the Coronado Entrada,” a book that bids to replace Herbert Bolton’s volume as the best general account of the expedition.
• NEW BOOK FROM TONY HORWITZ In 2008, also, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist/writer Tony Horwitz dealt with the Coronado expedition as a major section of his book “A Voyage Long and Strange,” which is an account of the explorations in North America before the 1700s, adjusting and correcting some of the mythic tales that most American children learn about the initial European explorations of our continent.

PHOTOS OF THE RED HOUSE OR THE CHICHILTICALE SITE ON THE WESTERN FLANKS OF THE CHIRICAHUA RANGE IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA


Picked up by a local rancher In the 1960s and Little known for years, the Floydada gauntlet and some newly-found associated artifacts, such as odd-shaped metal arrow points, have recently been recognized as priceless relics of the Coronado army expedition.

THE JIMMY OWENS SITE IS LOCATED NEAR FLOYDADA ON THE TEXAS PANHANDLE SEE PICTURES OF COLONIAL SPANISH ARTIFACTS, SPURS, MESH GLOVE…

KIVA The Coronado Expedition to Tierra Nueva: The 1540–1542 Route across the Southwest by Richard Flint; Shirley Cushing Flint

The Route of Cabeza de Vaca Author(s):James Newton Baskett The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association
The Hopi Mesa have long offered protection from raiders and nosy outsiders. Today HOPI wants to guard against any further erosion of their culture.

HOPI WOMEN have been making the ceremonial PIKI Bread for centuries in a special cooking space behind the main house

HOPI WOMEN have been making the ceremonial PIKI Bread for centuries in a special cooking space behind the main house

HOPI WEAVER displays 300 year old Sukua

AFTERMATH of DE NIZA’S JOURNEY TO CIBOLA

Cultures, old as time, were attacked as pagan by the Catholic priests who accompanied the Conquistadors and who blessed their cruel attacks, in the name of saving pagan souls. The vanquished Indian was used as slaves, sold, slain or simply worked to death. The Cross, the symbol the Spanish brought the Indian and who adopted it, as pagans you can always use another God. Finally, the Spanish opened the West, the Conquistadors began the mapping of the West which became the United States of America’s quest for it’s “manifest destiny”. The American Indian, time and time again found himself in the way of the white man’s greed, the white men attacked the first Americans stealing their lands, their game and their lives, their homes, eventually they stole their children!

The facts show the journey of FRAY MARCUS de NIZA, a man of God, began an “era of extermination”, a period when approximately 20 million Indians inhabited this territory before the Conquest, and after just one century of Spanish rule there were only 1 million left! Many vanquished by Old World diseases brought to the New World with Europeans. The epidemics that broke out as well as the merciless workload imposed on the Indian dramatically diminished the Indian population. The scope of the epidemics over the years was tremendous, killing millions of people—in excess of 90% of the population in the hardest hit areas—and creating one of “the greatest human catastrophe in history, the most devastating disease was smallpox, but other deadly diseases included typhus, measles, influenza, bubonic plague, cholera, malaria, tuberculosis, mumps, yellow fever, and pertussis (whooping cough). The Americas also had a number of local diseases, such as tuberculosis and a type of syphilis, which soon went viral when taken back to the Old World.

“The moving multitude…darkened the whole plains,” wrote Lewis and Clark, who encountered a buffalo herd at South Dakota’s White River in 1806. With westward expansion of the American frontier, systematic reduction of the plains herds had began around 1830, when buffalo hunting became the chief industry of the plains, organized hunters killed buffalo for hides and meat, often killing 250 a day.

The White Man also almost exterminated the American Buffalo, herds said to be 20 miles wide and 20 miles deep, roaming the valleys they have always grazed, only a few small herds survive today. At that time, some white men sought to eradicate the buffalo to take away the Indian’s livelihood and well-being. Native American tribes depended on the buffalo’s meat and hides, and many still today believe the animal has special spiritual and healing powers, making it an important part of their culture. The railroads laying track across the plains further depleted the buffalo, as well as the Indian’s hunting grounds because hunting from train windows was widely advertised and passengers shot buffalo as they raced beside the trains. By 1883 both the northern and the southern herds had been destroyed. Less than 300 wild animals remained in the U.S. and Canada by the turn of the century out of the 30 to 75 million that was once thought to live there.

The Navajo “Long Walk” was the 1864 forced-deportation and some say attempted ethnic cleansing of the Navajo by the U.S. Government notes Wikipedia. The Navajos were forced to walk at gunpoint from their Arizona reservation to eastern New Mexico. Some 53 different forced marches occurred between August 1864 and the end of 1866. The “Trail of Tears” is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States Many of re-settled Indians suffered from exposure, disease and starvation on the way, many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee. By 1837, 46,000 Native Americans from southeastern states had been removed from their homelands opening 25 million acres for predominantly white settlement.


SOUTHWESTPHOTOBANK’S PREHISTORY PHOTO GALLERIES CLICK HERE….

CONQUISTADOR ARMOUR BY ERIC THING

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