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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 NEAR MANCOS, COLORADO AUGUST 6-8TH 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”


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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

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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

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.

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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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