To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon
The Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher
[Brian E Small]
The Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher is one of the last nesting arrivals in Cave Creek Canyon. They are being seen and heard on South Fork Rd. and in and around Sunny Flat and Stewart Campgrounds. Their call is like the children's toys - the rubber duckies! To hear it's vocalizations, go here and click on the links.
[Above 4 images by Peg Abbott]
Spring Garden Party
Saturday, May 27
Thanks to all who made this such a successful day. Over 130 people enjoyed the festivities.
The highlight was Tom Boulton and his non-releasable Eagle, who was eyeing Stevie hungrily.
The Visitor Information Center Project
As many of you know, FOCCC is now managing the VIC under the gui
of the Forest Service. We started in the Fall of 2015 when the Forest Service [circa 1940]
was no longer able to hire seasonal staff for the VIC.
FOCCC has made many changes inside and out. Plans are for further improvements to make the facility and grounds more educational and fun. The VIC is used by many people both local, school children and other visitors.
In addition to a computer and printer, we added a 55" monitor. We are able to show the road and trails using both Google maps, satellite images and our own images and video. One of our hosts, John Johnson, used his drone and captured video of many of the trails and other areas.
We have been told numerous times by visitors that we offer more detailed information than any other visitor center that they have ever seen.
Below is the back wall of the VIC that was completely replaced by a crew led by John Johnson and included Rolf Koford, Tony Donaldson and Greg Wayman. The wall was full of dry rot, termite damage and other issues.
We are very proud of the beautiful native garden designed by Greg McGee and managed by Barb Miller. She has put hundreds of hours into the garden and has had lots
of help by many others.
Since 2015 Friends of Cave Creek Canyon has invested $17,730 in the Visitor Information Center. Thousands of hours have been donated by volunteers to the VIC.
A portion of what we have provided:
55" TV/monitor printer software
DSL line public wifi cell phone access
Heater canopies tables
Garden equipment rebuilt back wall rebuilt screens
Bathroom repairs plants 18 months of supplies
DVD player monitor DVDs
Hard hats hummingbird feeders
RV pad electrical hookup garden plants and supplies
Hired an intern for 3 months
Hired part-time former Forest Service ranger for 3 months
Hummingbirds at the VIC by Steve Wolfe
Magnificent and Broad-billed Blue-throated
Volunteers have come from as far away as Oregon, Minnesota and Florida, as well as dozens of local people to put hard work into the VIC facility and grounds. Visitors come from all over the world. The Elegant Trogon image below was taken by a man from Iceland! They all came to see the beautiful birds, take walks and hikes, and to soak in the awesome views.
Below you can see the visitor totals and volunteer hours at the VIC and gardens. You can see the acceleration in visitors and hours in 2017 versus 2016.
1/1/17-5/31/17 ALL OF 2016
Visitors 1878 2289
Volunteer Hours 3705 4767
Anyone interested in helping with trail work, gardening or leading bird or nature walks contact Mike Williams at
In the near future we will be replacing the walkways into the Center and making them more handicapped accessible. We also really need to provide parking pads for the hosts' RVs. Numerous times we have been unable to provide the correct place for a prospective host and we lost the host. To meet our goals for the VIC and to provide additional education programs for adults and school children we need to have hosts at the VIC year round. Thus we need more parking pads. Any donations will be greatly appreciated. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help.
Amazing Night Sky
by Tim Lawson
A Night in Cave Creek Canyon.
Recently, during sunset, I hiked a little ways to find this spot. I set up, figured out all the technical stuff about
my shoot ahead, and commenced the shoot.
Every 30 seconds for the next 8 hours and 45 minutes I took a shot. Some times were more hands on, and at other times,
I could drift off and not do much for a couple hours.
When I had finally taken all 1,050 frames, I captured some background noise to add to this short clip
many hours of processing later, here is the final result, that I'm certain I will be tweaking a bit more later.
Lucy's Warbler and Ladderback Woodpecker by Steve Wolfe
Violet Crowned Hummingbird and Mexican Chickadee by Steve Wolfe
Common Poorwill and Whiskered Screech Owl by Lori Conrad
Note: the Common Poorwill is very difficult to find at night, much less take a picture. Great job, Lori!
THE SAME JUNE DAY.....MORNING & AFTERNOON
FIRE IN PORTAL!
In early June there was a fire in downtown Portal. Neighbors and fire trucks came from all over to put out the fire which started from unknown causes. There was a communication glitch in getting in touch with the fire districts with cell phones. Many neighbors were able to keep the fire down until the trucks arrived. Grass, low shrubs and trees and 2 sheds burned down. We were all VERY fortunate that there was no wind that day. If we had strong winds of a few days prior, it is very possible that all of the "downtown" [including post office and library] could have been lost. Here are a few pictures from Debb Johnson and Maya Decker.
Stories of the Past
The Deadly Paradise Rodeo
EXCERPTS FROM THE CHIRICAHUA BULLSHEET
The Chiricahua Bullsheet, an entertaining and highly opinionated newsletter and journal of local history written by Carson Morrow
Courtesy of Dick Zweifel
The Two Wheelers, Old Joe and Little Joe, haled from Magdalena, New Mexico. Old Joe was Little Joes uncle and in later years came to be generally known as Uncle Joe Wheeler. The were both good cowboys and Little Joe rated himself pretty high as a Bronco rider and made a lot of spectacular rides; That is in Bar Rooms and around camp fires. His ability to talk a good ride and his in-ability to actually stay on top of a bucking horse was the direct cause of his untimely death.
On the Fourth of July 1904, Paradise put on an Independence day celebration which included among other attractions, free barbecue, dancing and bronco busting. The word went out for everybody to bring in their bad bucking horses and for all the gents who thought they could ride them to get set.
Only two horses were brought in but they both had a reputation earned by unseating a number of the best cowboys in the business. Henry Buckelew and his step sons, the Noland boys, furnished a black mare whose mother had thrown and dragged Mrs. S. B. Reed to death and the daughter kept up the family reputation by bucking Little Joe off in about a jump and a half. She didn't kill him right on the spot but his foot hung in the stirrup and he was dragged and kicked until he died some months later from internal injuries. As we remember he was buried at San Simon.
The name of the owner of the Bay gelding is not remembered but the horse was plenty salty. A fellow by the name of Jack Townsend was making a pretty good ride on him until he bucked into a black Jack Oak tree and not only knocked him off but tore most of the skin off Townsends face and head.
Babe Stidham, from over in the Animas Mountains rode the horse to a squealing stop a few hours later and also rode the black mare for a purse of five dollars.
The Wheelers owned and operated one of the larger Combination Saloons and dance halls "Across the Creek" during the boom days of Paradise. When Oscar Cochran resigned as Wagon Boss of the San Simon Cattle Company, [illegible]. In about 1909, Old Man Joe got the job. He stayed with the Company until they were completely Nestered out of the Cattle business a few years later, then bought the remnant of the cattle and some of the range. he got married in his old age and settled down up near Mal Pais Tank and became a rather wealthy and respected citizen before he cashed in his mortal chips, some years ago.
FOCCC 2017 Officers and Board
Reed Peters President
Other Board Members
Sheri Ashley Vice President
Mike Williams Vice President
Stevie Wayman Secretary
Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
PO Box 16126
Portal, Arizona 85632
Visit Our Website
Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" members
for their generous support:
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Mary George, Renata Golden, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Don Hollister, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation, Barbara Lounsbery, Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, CeCe Raak, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Donald and Martha Squire and Bob and Sherry Zoellick.
Please support our Business Members who have given generously to Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon. Without their assistance, we would be hard pressed to accomplish our goals. Click on their names to check out their websites.
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!