To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

Welcome to Birding High Season!

Willow Tank's 12-Hour Ibis Spectacle
Rene Donaldson
At 7 am on Friday, April 6, when I pulled up to the gate at Willow Tank to water the native trees and shrubs, I suspected that there was an interesting bird because I spied another birder walking down and around to approach the second blind. Normally, one just walks across the top of the berm. Can you imagine my astonishment when I looked through the blind at 75 fatigued white-faced ibis? I didn't even have my binoculars so the two other birders had to tell me what the large very dark birds were. They thought this occurred all the time until I assured them it was a rare occurrence and that we have seen only flocks of at most 4 to 6 birds in the past. At 4:30 pm the ibis were becoming more lively, preening, stretching wings, and some were even searching for worms. They were off by 6:30 pm the same day. They have a long journey ahead of them. Having left their wintering grounds in Mexico, they will fly to Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and northern California, among other places, to breed.

[Pictures by Tony Donaldson]

If it wasn't for Larry Rivers [owner of Willow Tank], many generous donors and, especially, First Solar Corporation's financial and solar support, Willow Tank would not be such a wonderful migratory bird mecca.

Northern Harrier at Willow Tank [Steve Wolfe]

9 AM - 1 PM


Many Local Experts & Exhibits

[*While supplies last]

Rufous Hummingbird

[Steve Wolfe]

The Delightful Painted Redstart
by Laura Paulson, VIC Host
[Taken at Cave Creek Ranch]


Stop by the VIC and ask to see some of her other pictures.

News From The VIC!

The Cave Creek Canyon
Visitor Information Center was
built in 1924.  

In 2017, visitation at the Center almost doubled from 2017, with over 8000 people came to the VIC.  Our many volunteers donated over 3000 hours  during 2017.                                         
We are happy to welcome back Steve & Laura and Rick & Joan, 4 of the best hosts you can meet.   We have been so fortunate at the VIC to find such great hosts over the last 2 years.  Many visitors say that the VIC is the best visitor center they have found.  
Through March visitors have increased 55% this year.  In March alone we had over 2000 visitors.  We even have had 3 days with over 100 visitors.  Below right is the first "100th" visitor in one day at the VIC!   We opened a store in January inside the VIC, selling FOCCC shirts and hats, our Book, cards and maps.  It has been very successful.  All of the profits go to projects in Cave Creek Canyon  and to help the VIC.  Thank you for your support!                                                                                                                                 
Rick & Steve, not brothers!

Lucifer Hummingbird by Tony Donaldson

Gray Hawk
Taken near the VIC by Laura Paulson


Stories of the Past 

The Chiricahua Bullsheet, an entertaining and highly opinionated newsletter and journal of local history written by Carson Morrow
Courtesy of Dick Zweifel 

In past issues we have mentioned a few of the people who resided in Paradise during its heyday. This time we will give you the names, occupations and as much other data as we remember regarding each person mentioned. 
 Scotty Cobaugh and Jim Coachmam owned and operated the C06k A Too Saloon which was housed in the second lumber building constructed in Paradise. Upon completion of the building and before the Bar and fixtures were installed a big dance was given, everybody was invited and a big crowd gathered from miles around.

   A character by the name of Tod Katy who was breaking broncs for Stephen B. Reed at the time got full of panther juice and shot out the lights with his pistol which broke up the baile and sent all the women and kids and most of the men scurrying for home.

   Cobaugh was a prospector from Colorado and in addition to the saloon business he worked a mining claim which was located about a mile South of town and about a half mile East of S6ldier's Flat. His claim covered a little round, isolated hill which is still called Coubaugh Hill by the few old timers who were here at that time. He camped in a tunnel which was dug into the hill from the north side. He had a little Mexican mule that he used to pack water and grub to his camp. The mule had bucked him off every time he tried to ride it, so he claimed it couldn't be rode and bragged about its Buckability until Alvin Dunnagan rode it bare backed with only a rope around its neck for a purse of two dollars and a half at a Fourth of July Celebration.

   When Paradise begin to fold up, Scotty faded out of the picture mule and all.
Joe Larrieu ran a combination Saloon and billiard hall in one of the larger buildings in the main street. Joe was born and grew up over around Fairbank and Tombstone Arizona. His father John Larrieu was justice of the peace at Tombstone for several terms and only went out of office a very few years ago. The last we heard of Joe, he was somewhere in California. He was a quiet sort of a fellow, but was married to a gal who was lively enough to keep the family in the limelight most of the time. She engaged in a few hair pullings and fisticuffs with some of the other ladies around town occasionally.
Jack Cross stayed at Paradise for several years and prospected and mined after he quit the saloon business, but about all we know about him is that his wife went insane and was committed to the asylum at Phoenix. He married again after she died. 
[Editor:  We don't know what was going on, but in its short history this she is at least the third person to go insane in Paradise]
Another one, a red headed gink by the name of Cochrahan was owner and operator of one of the dives "across the Creek". 
[Editor: Does anyone know what is a "red headed gink"?]

Images from Tim Lawson

Milky Way arch over Douglas, AZ and Aqua Prieta, Mexico 


Join Friends of 
Cave Creek Canyon

This issue is being sent to all members of the Portal-Rodeo community that are on the  community email lists.  

FOCCC provides many activities and events that benefit the entire community.  Please consider joining FOCCC and support your community and your mountains.


Friends of Cave  Creek Canyon
Wish List
Garden Coordinator to manage VIC wildflower and native plant  gardens supported by other volunteers. Retiring present coordinator, Barbara Miller, is available for consultation and some work.
Contact Mike Williams [520-558-1045] for further information. 

Education Outreach Coordinator to contact educators in the surrounding communities to schedule class events in Cave Creek Canyon and to develop a set of grade-appropriate activities for those events. Contact Reed Peters [520-558-2334] or Mike Williams [520-558-1045] for further information. 

    * 10 Binoculars to be used in the educational outreach programs, including student groups from local schools.

    * 1-2 Spotting scopes to be used in educational outreach and bird walks.

FOCCC 2017 Officers and Board

Reed Peters         President                                            Other Board Members  
Sheri Ashley        Vice President                           Bob Ashley     Wynne Brown  
Mike Williams      Vice President 
                       Alan Craig     Rene Donaldson
Rick Beno 
Rolf Koford         Kim Vacariu
Stevie Wayman    Secretary
  Cecil Williams




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.    
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                           Wynne Brown 
                  Chiricahua Gallery                             Debbie's Cleaning Service
               Mark and Lori Conrad                            Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                    Sky Island Lodge
                   Rodeo Tavern                                     The George Walker House                       Painted Pony Resort                             Portal Peak Store and Lodge
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!