To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

Bird Sightings! 

     Elf Owl
[Images by Tony Donaldson]
Painted Redstart  

Mexican Chickadee

                                                                                                                   [Robert Shan tz]       

            Western Bluebirds by Sarah Thomson                         
Blue-Throated Hummingbird taking a Bath

Images by Cecil Williams, taken at Cave Creek Ranch

Horned Owls
         by Frank Keim 
Some said it was a tragedy
when their nest in the thick branch
of the sycamore tree near the library
went down
in the fierce winds
and their eggs spilled on the ground
and broke,
and killed the still unborn owls inside...
But it wasn't.
Because in Nature there are no tragedies.
Somehow, though, the neighborhood has changed...
it's quieter, especially in the evening dusk
after the sun has dropped behind the mountains
and the stars begin to twinkle....
Not long ago,
the big owls hooted back and forth,
like they did every year in late winter,
preparing to nest and raise a family
of little owls with their furry feathers
who would pop their heads out of the hollow limb
and open their wide beaks
for food from mom and dad -
maybe a mouse or rabbit,
or quail caught resting at night
in a low bush
unaware of its phantom nemesis
silent wings outstretched,
stiletto talons poised for the kill -
another meal for hungry owlets
waiting inside the limb that is no more.  

But the other night I heard promising sounds,
(and I heard them again tonight)
from somewhere up the creek,
like the owls might try hooting back and forth,
for another family,
like maybe they found an empty bowl
in a branch of a tree just the right size
for two new eggs
and two new fuzzy-feathered baby owls
to one day pop their bug-eyed round heads
out of their crowded cranny
for the first time,
wondering what that noise was
just below them in the creek,
of purling water,
precious desert water
that would feed the animals
that would feed the owlets
so they may live to perch on their branch,
spread their fluffy gray wings,
and finally fly for the first time,
fly free like they should,
free to stalk and chase and catch their wild     prey
as they have for eons in the past                                  [Images by Helen Snyder]
and will for eons into the future.
I hope.
April, 2016
(beside Cave Creek)
Portal, Arizona
The venerable old great Horned Owl nest tree at the library cracked in two right at the owl's nest in today's windstorm, spilling the two eggs that were ready to hatch onto the ground. The nest had been in use since at least 1988. Debb Johnson reported seeing the female sitting on the log later, then watched her fly off, apparently unharmed. Helen Snyder


Cave Creek Canyon
Forest Service Visitor Center


                                                                                                                                     [Images by Steve Wolfe]
 With the support of volunteers and Ron Kaczor, Friends of Cave Creek Canyon and the Forest Service have arranged to have the Forest Service Visitor Center open at least 5 days/week.  Every open day we are having 24-65 visitors! 

We Really Need Help!    And it's lots of fun! 
Are you interested in volunteering at least one or more days [9 am - 3 pm] or a 4 hour part-day per month in 2016?  If so please contact Mike Williams at 
520-558-1045 or mike@mikeandcecil.com

Happenings in Portal, AZ

Portal may be small, but there is 
always something going on.

Hiking Group by Jonathan Patt

Price Canyon & Price Shake Trail Hike April 7, 2016

Starting up the Price Canyon Trail, ten hikers enjoyed an overcast but humid morning, walking easily up the trail, as a number of downed trees had been cleared from the trail-presumably as part of a new ranch water line running down from Price Spring. We shortly made it to the junction with the Price Shake Trail and decided to take it this time. It hasn't seen a great deal of use, and as we pushed our way through downed trees and branches, we made our way up the otherwise quite scenic canyon bottom before switch-backing out and across a series of ridges. The trail eventually transitions into a side hill with switchbacks, climbing towards Dobson Saddle and passing below and amongst many rock formations and cliffs. This upper part of the canyon burned quite a lot, unfortunately, but has a lot of excellent views back down Bull Canyon towards Price Canyon.

Shake Gulch on the left, Bull Canyon on the right, with Erickson Peak in the background in the center.
[Images by Jonathan Patt]

Willow Tank is place of Special Interest to FOCCC

Rejuvenating continues with the help of the Rivers Family and donations from the Leuthold Family Foundation and First Solar.   Construction has now resumed: improving the viewing blinds, stairs have been added and there is a walkway around the pond.  More plantings will be made and many other additional improvements.  Have you seen it?  Check it out!


If you are interested in contributing to the project contact

Image taken through a viewing slot in one of the blinds by Cecil Williams

SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2016
9 AM - 1 PM







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, Bud and Kate Fackelman, Mary George, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Richard and Patricia Parran, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Sarah and Keith Thomson, Mike and Cecil Williams 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.    
                     Birders B & B
                 Cave Creek Ranch                              Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                      Wynne Brown LLC
                  Chiricahua Gallery               Everett Jones Realestate (Helen Snyder)
            Pi Irwin & Zsombor Zoltan                            Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                      Mercury Websites
                   Rodeo Tavern                                     Portal Peak Lodge & Cafe                  The George Walker House                             Painted Pony Resort
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!