04 December - Party!!!
Once again Jackie catered a feast for a crowd - this time at Carol Simon's.
Winston was patching the roof in LC and recuperating from a nasty cold
while Jackie shopped and cooked for 25. Menu to follow, but what Winston
remembers through his Nyquil induced haze is:
Basil Lemonade and Mint Tea
Baked Brie with Toasted Pecans and Maple Syrup
Goat Cheese Gallete with Caramelized Onions
White Bean Hummus from Trader Joes'
Herb Chicken with Cranberry and Leek Sauce
Pork Pimenton with Shallot Cream
Sweet Potato and Spinach Gratin
Polenta with Eggplant Capenade
Greenbeans with butter and garlic butter
Costco Cheesecake for desert (Specially Customized by Jackie)
Wines - a fruity Beaujolais and nice white, Sommelier recommended
Rave reviews by all and most likely a request or two will come for next year.
Jackie took a plate to our carpenter, who exclaimed: "This is a Picasso - not a meal!"
A very special thanks to catering pro Pam Eberline who expertly assisted
in the kitchen.
26 Nov - Road Closure - Tent. Dec 4 - April 30 2011
The Portal to Paradise road is planned to be closed December through
potentially April 2011. The Forest Service is closing the road to fix the bridge
by the Silver Creek turnout. No way for the road to be open even for emergency vehicles.
This will impact Jackie's EMT response time, the Christmas bird count
and possibly our occupancy and yard visits during peak birding season.
Either way around is @ 45 minutes to get to Paradise from Portal.
18 Nov - Paradise Fun
About 4:00 pm another semi tried to make it up the Paradise road. As of 6:00 pm
the tow truck had just arrived and tow truck driver and big driver are contemplating
how to get the rig turned around (or not). Jackie is leaving it to the experts and going
back to sit by the fire and warm her bones.
Upon returning from vacation on 14 November, Winston and Jackie arrived at the
47th street Marriott to find Winston's truck (White 2000 4X4 Chevrolet Silverado with
extended cab, blacked out windows and camper shell - by the way, the #2 most stolen
vehicle nationwide) had gone missing from the parking lot. After determining that it had
not been towed, a police report was filed.
Insurance was contacted - liability only, no help from them - so....a one way rental to
to Las Cruces was made, and Winston drove straight to LC Toyota and purchased
a nice used Toyota Tacoma.
Winston and Jackie never expected to see the Silverado again, but on 23 Nov, they
received a call that their vehicle and been recovered in the desert near Marana, North
of Tucson, and that it was in good condition. The Silverado was in an impound lot, and
to retrieve it, Winston would have to provide proof of ownership, ID, and pay the
towing ($125) and impound fees ($25 per day). Impound lot was in Tucson, a 5 hour
drive from Las Cruces.
So.....Winston took Tuesday afternoon off and went to Motor Vehicles and got duplicate
Title and Registration ($75 and a 1/2 day wait), drove to Paradise, and on Wednesday
thumbed a ride to Tucson with friends who were on their way to CA via I-10 for the holidays.
Good friends, great conversation all the way to Tucson. Winston and Rick B. viewed
the truck at the impound lot, determined it was drivable and off Rick headed to CA and
Winston headed to the car wash.
The truck was in good shape considering it had been driven at high speed across
the Tucson desert. Creosote bush branches poked out of the hood and grill, the
passenger side mirror was dented and the exterior door visor busted - like the truck
had sideswiped a mesquite tree - the towing plug and bracket was munched - like
it had bounced off a rock, the back seat was missing, and the cab and bed were filled
with human trafficking debris - gloves, watch caps, jackets, tortillas, pediolyte, water,
oranges, limes, canned vegetables, and the essence of unwashed bodies. About
1,000 miles had been added to the odometer, so it seems at least one trip had been
made south of the border, and perhaps the truck was on its second or third run when
intercepted. It will be interesting to read the police report.
No body damage, but the door locks were punched out and the ignition switch
busted so that the truck could be started without a key.
Winston spent the rest of Wednesday at the car wash throwing out trash and detoxing
the cab with Isopropyl alcohol and armor all cleaner and vacuuming, vacuuming, vacuuming.
After the cleansing, Winston fired up the Silverado and drove 3 hours South to their
Chiricahua property, noting that the truck ran well (and it had 1/2 rank of gas!), but
bounced mercilessly down the highway.
The tires were properly inflated (testimonial for Goodyear Duratrac Tires!).
Thursday morning, Winston took a final look around the truck and noticed
that the thieves had added overload springs to the back-end - installation
looked professional - That is why the truck bounced down the road....
Winston now has a truck that can haul more stuff, doesn't lock, and doesn't
need a key to start!
12 - 14 Nov Beach Bums
Snorkel Bob's - is the place to rent snorkel gear. They even had prescription
lenses that they snapped into place for Jackie (4.5, 5.5 diopter). She was able
to walk with her mask on almost as well as with her distance glasses. Off to
the Place of Refuge we went and Jackie managed finally to snorkel and see and breathe
underwater. Winston jumped into the water and found a live reef teaming with
fish and sea urchins and live coral. A wonderful snorkeling day. We recovered
with fresh Ahi and Tako Poke salads. Next day we snorkeled with sea turtles!
Alas, we had to turn in the gear, check out of the condo at 11:00 am, and then
find things to do until the plane left at 11:45 pm. Yes, the red-eye back to Phoenix.
So up the coast we went stopping to hike through the lava fields to the ancient
Hawaiian fishponds and marsh where Jackie did find the Hawaiian Coots.
Up the coast farther to another park we whiled away a few hours watching
children, fishermen, birds, including a Hawaiian owl, play in the tide pools.
We ended the day hiking along the beach in Waikoloa, looking for a white
sandy beach we never found, but did nab an outdoor table at the Waikoloa
Hilton and settled in to watch for the green flash - which did not appear
due to low clouds on the horizon. Too soon the sun was down it was time
to drive back to the Kona airport.
Good thing we got the airport early. All bags had to be screened by agriculture
agents prior to check in. Once checked in, we went through the now usual
security rigamarole - but no body scans. Carry on bags were screened
one more time before we entered the boarding area.
11 Nov - "Volcano Combo Tour"
What a day! We booked the "combo tour" aka Volcano Tour
with KapohoKine tours. We met Theryne, our tour guide at
the Keahou shopping center and off we went to pick up the
rest of the group at another shopping center and head north.
toward Waikoloa and the road over the mountain to Hilo.
We can not say enough good things about our Guide.
Theryne (the other half of Catheryne) was experienced,
educated, and engaging. She engaged the whole van of 12 people in dialogue
on what they knew about Hawaii, King Kam, volcanoes, and more. She told
us the history of the lava flows, the Parker Ranch, the rainfall amounts on Hilo,
allowed us to take pics of the observatories on Moana Kea, kept us rounded
up and on schedule. Lunch was deli sandwiches and salad from "Sun Your Buns"
and we arrived at the Hilo Japanese Gardens just in time for lunch. After lunch
we drove through to the Volcano Park and walked through the Thurston Lava
tube. Theryne was masterful, guiding, talking, herding, interpreting. She is
a natural presenter and story teller. She has not been on the Island long, but she
is a very active lady that interjected hiking tales and beach experiences with our
drive. We arrived at Puna Girl Farms in time for dinner - grilled teriyaki chicken,
potatoes, corn, salad, drinks. Theryne joked that the "Mongoose was ready" - our
group asked if it tasted like chicken and dug in. Theryne explained that on a previous
trip she joked about the chicken being mongoose and a tourist took her serious and
refused to eat until another member of that group tried it and explained, yes, indeed,
dinner was chicken. After dinner, to the black sand beach near Kehena, we went and
then out to the lava fields. We could not get close to the lava flows due to the VOG,
but Jackie got a few pics of the VOG illuminated by the Lava. It began to rain, so
back the van we went. After thanking Theryne, we settled in to watch Lilo and Stitch
on the trip back. Somehow the cartoon, the music, the day, all went together nicely.
The tour covered more territory and we learned more from our guide than we would
have ever covered or learned on our own.
10 Nov - Manta Rays and Downtown Kona
The downtown stroll included an obligatory visit to the Wyland art Gallery
and lunch facing the ocean where dolphins could be seen cavorting just
past what appeared to be a reef. With full tummies and descending clouds,
it soon was siesta time. After the siesta and a gnosh and kip, it was off to
the Sheraton to watch the Manta Rays. We were not disappointed. Huge Rays
could be seen patrolling the shoreline under the hotel lights. Jackie overheard a
a lady complaining that she never saw them. Being the good birder she is, Jackie
volunteered to "call the Rays" for the family. Back to the coast line with tourists in tow,
Jackie did get the family "on" the Rays. Of course, at night, under spotlights, what
you see as a giant (Cessna plane size) black shadow that rolls up and flips a wing
or white underbelly or tail into the light. Once you know what you are looking at and for
they were pretty easy to spot.
This will be a "tacky tourist day" - at least that is we called our occasional trips to San Francisco.
oh, and note for the foodies out there - Jackie is cooking and Winston is Grilling.
Ginger Sesame Marinated
and Grilled Mahi-Mahi
Asian Stir fry Vegetables
9 Nov - End of Day Report:
Jackie: The tour with Hawaii Forest & Trail was great! Highly recommended. Good long
day, good company, and good birds. Hawaii Forest and Trail website has a page of Hawaiian
birds: http://hawaii-forest.com/natural-history/hawaiis-native-birds.asp. Jackie's favorites
are the Hawaii Elepaioa and the Japanese White-eye. A special thank you to our Paradise
neighbor, Richard Howell, who loaned Jackie a copy of "Hawaii's Birds". This Hawaii Audobon
Society booklet has excellent photos and descriptions of Hawaiian birds. Jackie's list for the day:
Erckel's Francolin, Gray Francolin, Kalij Pheasant, Ring Neck Pheasant, Wild Turkey
Zebra Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Common Mynah, Japanese White-eye, Skylark,
African Silverbill, Yellow-Fronted Canary, Saffron Finch, and a Red-Billed Leiothrix was heard.
Nene (goose), I'o (hawk) Pueo (owl), 'Elepaio (flycatcher), Hawai'i Amakihi, 'Akiapola'au,
Hawai'i Creeper, 'Akepa, I'iwi, 'Apapane, and an 'Oma'o was heard.
Pacific Golden Plover
Winston: The Kona Coffee Country Driving Tour was delightful. A .pdf map can be found
with its trellis grown coffee provided a timeless stop. The coffee bar faces the sea a thousand
feet below overlooking the trellised coffee farm. The drive winds up and down the coast
with mini-coffee roasting houses and farms on both sides of the road. To Winston, this was
all very reminiscent of the Baguio hillsides in the Phillipines. Winston also visited
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau State Park. The Park was once royal grounds and a place of refuge
for noncombatants and kapu breakers. A great place to visit for those interested in
Polynesian culture and Hawaiian history.
9 Nov - Report from Nancy back in Paradise:
9 Nov - Winston dropped Jackie off with to join her "Peeps". Her "Peeps" being the gaggle
of birdwatchers signed up for an all day guided tour of birding hotspots on the Kona side
of the island. Winston commented to Jackie that they all looked like the people she hob-knobs
with back home. All in proper birding uniform - hiking boots, nylon hiking pants and shirts,
large hats, backpacks and binoculars. Winston suggested a title for Jackie's new book:
"Binoculars Under My Boobs, Bruise Avoidance at its Best." Jackie responded with
something about Winston being a class A-1 SOB (Spouse of Birder). The SOB will update
his readership post birding trip. He will be heading to Kona Joe's for a coffee plantation tour.
8 Nov - Road trip to Pua Mau place. 250 acre botanical garden with maze, visitors center, a host
of always blooming flowers, bronze sculptures, and two watch dogs. We saw introduced birds
including Wild Turkeys, African Silver bills, Peacocks, one ornery Rooster, and Grey Francolins.
Gorgeous views from the visitor's center. We packed a lunch and ate it on the veranda. After cooling off in the
trade winds, back down the road we went, checking out beaches and winding through downtown Kona.
Took a few interesting pics of black starfish, black gobies, and black crabs - all on black lava, of course.
Found a white sand beach and a black sand beach. Will snorkel later in the week.
7 Nov - Winston went fishing on Bite Me 1. No fish, but he did pick up fresh Ahi, Marlin and Mahi-Mahi.
The Sheraton Kona Coffee Recipe Cookoff was in full swing when he got back, so off we went for
a look-see and dessert! Coffee, candy, macadamia nuts, cakes, and even a Porter made with
Kona Coffee were available for tasting. The week of 5 - 14 November marks the 40th anniversary
of the Kona Coffee Cultural festival. Many coffee themed events all week. Interesting to note that
70% of all Kona Coffee is grown on Kamehameha School lands, a legacy of 365,000 acres
(yes, this is the BIG Island) endowed by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. On Tuesday, Jackie
will go birding (good luck with seeing the Hawaiian Crow), while Winston will tour at least one
coffee farm. Good details on the festival can be found at: www.konacoffeefest.com.
Winston also found out that one of his brothers is a non-fisherman (desert dweller), so here
are a few references for him to peruse:
Where we are staying:
Next door to this resort:
Mahi Mahi aka Dorado aka Dolphin:
Marlin - at Bite Me Sport Fishing :
Ahi - Yellowfin Tuna
Good pics of all three at:
6 Nov - Arrived PHX at 08:00. Got through check in and security by 08:45. Flight left at 10:45.
Not a long wait on the tarmac - but just past Catalina Island, the Pilot announced an electrical
problem on the plane......so he took the long route back to PHX to dump fuel. After a plane
change, back in the air with final arrival in HI, Kona @ 7:30 pm HI time, 10:30 AZT. Found
the resort in the dark - and it does get dark with no lights off the ocean!
5 Nov - Drove to Phoenix on Friday, spent the night at the 47th Street Courtyard (highly recommended).
5 November Heading Back to the Islands!!!
Photo of Winston and Jackie courtesy of Diane Drobka.
Pic was taken at the Taylor's Harvest Party in White Tail
Canyon. Just so happens 18 October this year marked
their 30th wedding anniversary. Lee and Susan (HMN)
were unable to get to their Kona time share this year, so....
they gifted a week to us. Thank you Lee and Susan! This
will be our first visit back to islands in too many years.
Winston will fish one day, Jackie birdwatch another,
the Moana Kea observatory is on the to do list. Maybe
we will meet the astronomer, whom we called one night
from Oahu. We observed a bright star scintillating in the
Hawaiian winter sky. Wanting to know what it was,
Winston called the observatory.
A nice astronomer took the call (about 10:00 pm), and actually went outside, took a look,
came back in and explained that we were looking at Canopis, and that atmospherics
were causing the scintillation. We will make this our "Hau`oli la 30th Ho'omana'o" trip!
(Happy 30th Anniversary).
Nancy will be caretaking the GWH, (Tundra simply adores Nancy). We do not expect
snow.....but lows at night are dropping into the 30's. Winston winterized the outhouse
and it is closed for the season.
30 - 31 October - Costume Party in White Tail Canyon:
31 October Winston sharpened the kindling axes and the afternoon was spent splitting
building scrap into kindling. Mesquite can be difficult to start and a goodly amount of
kindling might be needed. Mixing mesquite with a softer wood results in a very nice
fire that will make a bed of coals that can last for days in the GWH box stove.
30 October - Winston hauled in a load of mesquite wood and spent most of the day
Saturday cutting the load into Walker House and Jackie House stove sized pieces.
Jackie helped stack and sort. A
good start getting ready for winter.
After showers and a little down time, off to White Tail canyon they went with Jackie's latest
cornbread confection. They arrived and were greeted by a Cowboy and a Lady of the Night.
Ted Nugent arrived, as did G.I.Joe, and a member of the TEA party. It was soooo
much fun to be greeted by Ted Nugent complete with his book: "Kill and Grill It" available
on Amazon.com. Others were costumed in lights and as themselves. Pleasantries and
great conversations were woven around smoked quail legs, mesquite smoked pulled pork
with pomegranite sauce, home made pies, salads, and other delectables. A very, very
pleasant evening and a thank you to Tim and Victoria, hosts.
Winston and Jackie had started to watch Toby Keith's video "Beer for My Horses" Friday
night. The highlight for Winston was Ted Nugent starring as a Deputy Sheriff.
Movie has its moments. Ted Nugent shooting a suspect in the backside
with an arrow and the restroom scene on the way to Mexico are almost memorable. As
one critic noted, not a movie to seek out unless you are the fan of a cast member. Like Winston
being a Ted Nugent fan. Here is a link to Winston's favorite clip from the movie. Ask
Jackie about actually contracting "Cat Scratch Fever" when she lived in Hawaii. Thanks
to an astute Lady Army Doctor at Tripler, a biopsy was avoided, antibiotics prescribed,
and soon Jackie was on the mend.
27 October - A Paradise Find:
Jackie's mother found a 1904 liberty head nickel in the middle of the road on the way
back from checking mail! Very cool. Jackie has added it to her Paradise collection.
29 September - Another Pioneer Woman Passes Away:
Winston's Grandmother passed away.
She always commented that the Greenameyers
were new comers to the Chricahuas.
That means anyone that arrived post 1930
is a newcomer to the North face of the Chiricahuas.
She had many memories of the Chricahuas including:
Honeymoon night entering Pine Canyon covered with
pristine new fallen snow illuminated by a full moon.
NOT getting out of bed to watch the Northern Lights
when they lit up the Winter Sky.
Watching beavers splash when they were re-introduced into Cave Creek.
Telling Winston how to keep a leg of deer wrapped in cheese cloth
under the bed where it would cool and age properly.
Much more is remembered, and we honor and cherish those memories.
May she rest in peace, remembered and loved by all.
Obituary from the Arizona Silverbelt:
Winston and Jackie have two heirloom quilts crafted by his grandmother. A log-cabin style
"Paradise Quilt" and a contemporary kitty cat quilt loved by Jackie and Mischief. We
sincerely wish Grandmother Wakefield could come to Paradise now and enjoy the life Jackie
leads. . . . but we are sure she is truly in Paradise today.
21 September - Trip Report From Nairobi:
Amy Sun is setting up a new Fab Lab in Africa. Here is her first report. Jackie had just
reviewed "where the bed bugs are" in the U.S., and found the last line in this missive
most humorous, and maybe even appropo:
21 September - Where have all the hummers gone?
Labor day weekend and on through the month of September the
migration has been strong - thousands of feeder visits, 125 then
100 birds in hand during banding, and 8 species. Jackie expects
good numbers through mid-October. So where were the hummers
when the Kubitskys were here in August....and the rest of the summer?
How about the dearth of seed-feeders?
The following 19 September, 2010 article by Tony Davis in the
Arizona Daily Star explores the phenomenon:
Accounts of hummingbird decline raise question: Is it trend or cycle?
Two hummingbird feeders - but no hummers - were hanging out in front of the Chuparosa Inn in Madera Canyon last Thursday morning.
"This year, there was a crash - the bottom dropped out," said Luis Calvo, sitting outside the bed-and-breakfast he has owned for 14 years. "In a normal year, they are like bees, with every port on the feeders having a hummer on it and another one waiting to get on."
In the Huachuca Mountains, hummers darted that afternoon among 10 feeders dangling from a huge oak tree at Tom Beatty's Miller Canyon Guest Ranch. But Beatty, who has owned the bed-and-breakfast since 1998, observed that, "Right now, you see 50 birds here - but you used to see 500.
These stories match other accounts of a hummingbird population crash this year across Southeast Arizona, known as the hummingbird capital of the United States. But there is no evidence of a long-term decline, says a researcher who runs a four-state, one-Canadian-province, nonprofit hummingbird-monitoring network out of her Patagonia home.
That's because Arizona hummer counts this year, while significantly lower than from 2006 to 2009, are generally little different from those of 2005, said Susan Wethington, the Hummingbird Monitoring Network's executive director. Anecdotal accounts exist of long-term declines, but they date to before the network's 2002 startup.
Her data doesn't necessarily mean that hummer populations are fluctuating naturally, Wethington said, "But what I can say that this fluctuation is similar to what we saw in 2005 in Arizona. In the next couple of years, we'll have better data to see if populations rebound like they did from 2005 to 2009, or is this the start of a negative trend."
For this year's lower numbers at feeders, observers cite two possible reasons: Last year's dry weather, which could have reduced food production, and this year's wet weather, which generated more nectar-producing wildflowers, reducing birds' need for feeders.
Birding hotspots such as Madera Canyon, the Huachucas and the Cave Creek area in the Chiricahua Mountains each draw 14 or more hummingbird species a year. Eighteen hummingbird species live in Arizona, the most of any state, says the Bisbee-based Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory.
Besides helping the ecosystem by pollinating food-producing wildflowers, hummers boost business by luring tourists to pay anywhere from $70 to $200 a night at Beatty's and Calvo's places in the peak summer season.
"People kind of identify with these birds," Chuparosa's Calvo said. "They are so tiny and fragile. They are like little helicopters."
Diane Durkos-Smith, a birder from Culver City, Calif., described the "feathered jewels" she had just seen at Beatty's last Thursday.
"When the sun hits the green on their throats - you get this jewel that pops out," said Durkos-Smith, who saw 10 species at visits of three hours each at Beatty's and the neighboring Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon preserve and the Ash Canyon B&B
But the hummingbird crash and the bad economy contributed to a 20 percent decline in business this year from 2009, said the Chuparosa Inn's Calvo.
"I've had guests comment to me on a number of occasions, 'We've been here before, and there are a lot of hummingbirds. Where are they now?' " Calvo said.
The Hummingbird Monitoring Network uses bird banding and other means to count populations that are drawn to monitoring sites by feeders. Volunteers track 10 Arizona sites, out of 30 across the West, every two weeks from late March through October.
When Wethington analyzed Chuparosa's data, she found that breeding populations of all hummers were twice as high in 2008 and 2009 as this year, but the 2005 and 2004 breeding populations equaled those of 2010.
Focusing on the black-chinned hummingbird, Southeast Arizona's most common breeder, Wethington found that its highest breeding numbers across all 10 stations occurred in 2002 and 2006, with the lowest in 2003, 2005 and 2010.
During migration, black-chinneds peaked in 2004 and 2009, and bottomed in 2005. Since black-chinned migration started late this year in late August and early September, the network doesn't have total migrant counts although early counts look better than in 2005, Wethington said.
These fluctuations explain why studying bird population trends takes time, Wethington said.
"Basically, there are normal cycles in population numbers that change through time. What you are looking for in trying to manage and maintain populations is that they are staying within a normal range of variation."
One Southeast Arizona migrant known to have declined is the rufous hummingbird. The federal Breeding Bird Survey estimates annual declines of 1 to 2.7 percent from 1966 through 2004, although its population is still secure.
B&B owner Beatty says he believes his businesses' sugar consumption patterns suggest a longer-term hummer decline. From 1999 through 2006, consumption ranged from 745 to 1,361 pounds annually, varying with rainfall and wildflower growth. Since 2007, he's never used more than 475 pounds. Beatty said he pulls down feeders nightly so bats don't use them and said they hardly draw bees.
Other B&B owners and residents with feeders have different accounts of hummingbird populations ranging from fluctuations to continuous declines.
Sherry Nelson, a wildlife artist who lives in Cave Creek Canyon, has been feeding hummers steadily since the 1990s. She started keeping records in 2002, when she fed more than 14,800 hummers, and watched numbers plummet to virtually none in 2005 and 2006. Then numbers rose, topping at 20,750 in 2009.
But Rick Taylor, a professional bird-watching guide who has observed hummingbirds in this region for three decades, said this summer's numbers were by far the worst he'd seen.
"I remember wet summers with abundant natural food for hummingbirds in the 1970s, '80s and '90s, and hummingbird feeding stations were never as slow as I saw them this July and August. I have vivid memories of walking across the Ramsey Canyon Preserve parking area through a blizzard of living darts, and seeing the feeders in Cave Creek literally swarming with hummingbirds."
But he said this year's good rainfall produced ample supplies of gnats and nectar for the birds in the wild, and predicts "2011 is going to be great."
A big "THANK YOU" to all of the monitoring volunteers and guests that have helped
with hummingbird monitoring at the GWH. We will continue to monitor and watch for trends.
We hope Rick Taylor's prediction is indeed prophetic.
Harvest Party in White Tail Canyon!
Hope to get a few pics soon. A wondrous evening on Rick Taylor's Lawn.
Truly a communal event. Pics courtesy of Diane Drobka:
03 September - Hummers are BACK!!!
Jackie went through 1 gallon of nectar today - first time this fall!
We expect big numbers tomorrow - maybe as many as 100 birds in
Just for fun, a few quotes from Firefly and Serenity series and movie.
Maybe not fun, maybe reality in the borderlands. Substitute Winston for Mal
or Shepherd Book (seminary training sometimes comes to surface),
and Jackie for Zoe:
Mal: "If anyone gets nosy, just...you know... shoot 'em. "
Zoe: "Shoot 'em?"
Mal: "Well, what about you, Shepherd? How come you're flying about with us brigands?
I mean, shouldn't you be off bringing religiosity to the Fuzzie-Wuzzies or some such?"
Book: "Oh, I got heathens aplenty right here."
What might be favorite quote from one of our Rancher friends:
Mal: "No, a bad day is when someone's yellin' spooks the cattle. Understand?
You ever see cattle stampede when they got no place to run? It's kind of like a...a
meat grinder. And it'll lose us half the herd."
Shepherd Book: "If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of
hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater."
Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."
. . . and for you Firefly/Serenity afficianados, click here for more quotes.
02 September - Calliope!
Jackie went through 1/2 gallon of nectar today and saw a juvenile male Calliope!!!
Pennsylvania birders were in the yard to witness. Mischief brought in a juvenile
Packrat and Jackie let it go!!!!
30 August - Homework Assignment
Help!!!! We have many mysteries to unfold this summer. Where were the hummingbirds is one.
They are back this weekend, but not in numbers of years past. We also have not had the Broad-billed
female in hand that we have had in hand during banding the past 6 years. Another mystery that we
need help with is, "What movie did Emma Maloney (Sanders) make an appearance in in the 1950's?"
Winston's mother thought it was Shane, but that was not filmed in Portal. However, "Branded"
starring Alan Ladd was filmed at the AVA ranch in 1950. The AVA ranch is now owned by Ted
Troller, and we will have to consult with Ted to find out what movie Emma Maloney starred in.
On another note about family and movie stars, Frank Hulme, Winston's Step-dad, is reputed to have
kissed Sally Fields during one of his stints at the Orme Ranch School near Mayer.
06 August - "It's Always Busy in The Country"
A visit from Marvin Miracle! Marvin was Jackie's landlord in Aptos, above Trout Gulch.
When Jackie stayed at Marvin's, he was growing Proteas. Quite an accomplishment
in the Santa Cruz area! Dinner was wonderful, Jackie served up chicken parmesan
and pesto-pasta made from fresh Basil and Garlic Chives - yummie!!!
Dinner was interrupted at @ 7:30 by an EMT call that turned out to be a false alarm.
Shortly after that a neighbor called to report what appeared to be illegals breaking
into one of his trailers, and the neighborhood watch call was enacted. About
midnight, Jackie got a call from the occasional neighbors. They had started
up the San Simon road off I-10, and when they went off the pavement, hit mud,
cranked the steering wheel, and popped two tires off of their rims. There they
sat, in the mud, in the middle of the night, with two flat tires. After much discussion
and rumination, they called Jackie, and she drove down in the middle of the night
and tried to put the 4Runner spare on the Tacoma - and it did not fit. So, the whole
family piled into Jackie's 4Runner, and up the mountain they went. In the morning
Matt drove the 4Runner loaded with tires and rims to San Simon and got them reunited.
All is well that ends well, neighbors in safe, Jackie had a nap, Marvin will be
coming back, and Winston continues to keep the journal going. Good karma for all.
22 July - Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Mnemonic
Jackie recieved a wonderful thank you note from Brittany, Luke's girlfriend that started:
"Dear Mr. and Mrs. Pooh:". How did this ever happen??? Let me recast events that
began 3 July, When Brother Richard, Debbie, Luke, and Brittany arrived in Paradise
for the 4th of July festivities in Rodeo. Winston remembers that Britt could not remember
his name. At dinner, feasting on Elk burgers and Britt's most excellent vanilla-chocolate
chip cookies, Brother Richard asked Brother Winston what "Winnie" was short for.
Brother Winston replied: "Winnie, as in Winnie the Pooh, is most likely short for Winston."
Brother Richard told Britt that all she had to do was think of Winnie the Pooh and she
would remember the name Winston. To which someone at the party commented that
she could also call him "Mr. Pooh". An unknown voice replied that this would also imply
that Jackie is "Mrs. Pooh". And so......the Mnemonic that was supposed help Britt
remember that Pooh = Winnie = Winston was forever embedded in neurons and synapses
of those present as Mr. and Mrs. Pooh vs. Winston and Jackie!!! There was some
discussion regarding Winston's girth as resembling that of a honey-pot, but that is
a story for another time.
18 Jul 2010 - Where to Find Short Tailed Hawks
4th of July pics and more Marty Stouffer Moments to come. In the meantime,
a post from Helen Snyder:
5 - 12 July In-Laws and Marty Stouffer Moments
Jackie's parents came in on Monday and stayed a week at the GWH. They helped greet
bird watchers, clean up construction trash, paint walls and windows, and trekked to
Sierra Vista and back. Gerry was going through sports tv withdrawals so we watched a
a few movies. Jackie's current favorite is "Easy Virtue".
Gerry spied a Black-tailed rattlesnake slithering behind Winston in the yard and went
into classic Arizonan snake-shock. Words like "Watch out, there's a rattler" and "get
a shovel" were heard. Winston said no, he wasn't going to kill it and asked Gerry to
watch the snake while he got a long stick to encourage the snake away from the house.
Fortunately Jackie showed up, went to the Zweifel's, got Dick's snake stick and a 25
gallon trash can with lid and came back to wrangle the snake. Following is a picture
of the Marty Stouffer moment and a few comments from the eloquent Brother Richard:
4th of July weekend 2010 - Doin's
28 Jun 2010 - Doin's
Friday - Winston drove to Paradise. Cleaned House. Dinner with Harold and Nancy Farmer.
Great conversationalists and authors, the Farmers regaled us with their latest adventure -
moving to Portal! They will fit right into that eclectic and charming neighborhood. After
dinner Winston hauled all of the furniture out of the office area and got it ready for paint
Saturday Winston painted the walls with a very pleasing custom color by Jackie and then
painted the ceiling twice to get a nice glossy finish. Dinner with Bruce and Cathy from
Sturgis, ND., viewing of the next episode of Monarch of the Glen, off to bed and then......
Sunday, up at 4:00am for Hummingbird banding (31 birds in hand, and our first juvenile
female Magnificent of the season), then a race to Vail to pickup a desk and haul it
back to Paradise, where Jackie set it up and Winston reconnected all the computer
stuff. Then, Winston said adios to Bruce and Cathy and drove back to Las Cruces for a
bit of rest before work the next morning. Winston is beginning to hate Craig's list.
It makes his weekends miserable.....although Jackie has found some GREAT deals on it.
24 Jun 2010 - Grey Catbird
Jackie did spot and photograph a Gray Catbird that has been
be-bopping around the yard and coming to the jelly jars two days in a row.
Birds also mobbed a bull (gopher) snake today. Even the Juniper
Titmouse was getting in on the action. The end of the snake's tail was
picked raw by the birds. Jackie warned the Titmouse not to get to close
and tried to usher the snake to a safer location. Wasn't going to happen.
The garden is doing well, if we get even a few squash and green beens,
we will declare it a success. As Jackie will tell anyone that stops by,
"I love my life here!" If you do come to bird the yard, here are a few tips
for visiting Arizona. Note: Satire!!!
21 Jun 2010 - All Night Long!
Jackie sleeps with the windows open nearly all year round. If we had nearby
neighbors, or house guests, also sleeping with the windows open, they might
hear night noises....no, now, not those kinds of night noises - and lest your
imagination run wild (there is a massage table upstairs), click on these links
and enjoy some of the nocturnal auditory delights of Paradise:
Brown Crested Flycatcher - this recoding does not capture their morning scream
Cassin's Kingbird - sometimes all night long, usually in the dawnlight
Mourning Dove - surprisingly diurnal
Grey Fox - any of these all night long
Great Horned Owl - not too often, crickets and katydids do accompany all
Mountain Lions - in the distance
Screech Owls - Western and Whiskered
Bobcats - listen to number 11 - often dubbed in for movie Mountain Lion sounds
Poorwills - heard in the distance
and......on the rare occassion that Dane Heller stops in, he and Jackie can be
If you can play or sing, bring it on out. Not only will you be keeping up with the
all night jam sessions from the strigiform set, you will be carrying on a tradition
that dates back over 100 years and has been carried on through time by the fiddle
player Mark Chapman, and any number of keyboardists that played the Walker
house upright on the porch and down in the picnic grounds.
13 June 2010 - BABIES!!!
And big numbers of Magnificent Hummingbirds. On Saturday, 12 June, the
Juniper Titmice brought in 3 juveniles - we had 5 Juniper Titmice in the yard,
the juveniles calling and displaying their wing beat "feed me" behavior. Jackie
and Nancy said the adults looked very tired on Thursday and were in every
20 minutes like clockwork - indication young were about to fledge. On Sunday
we saw Housefinch and Whitebreasted Nuthatch juveniles in the yard also
displaying "feed me" behaviors. Banding was good, with Black-chinned and
Magnificents being the only ones in the yard. Mags were in good color and
at least one Black-chinned was gravid. Winston did mow the alley way
and turned the Walker House while Jackie, Nancy, and Melody went
looking for Mexican Chickadees on Mt. Graham. No Chickadees, but very
cold at the visitors station. As always, bring layers!!!! Layer up in the am,
layer off as the day wears on. We also had dinner on the Walker House
porch with Chuck Landis and Cousin Sue. Winston prepped and marinated
2lbs of shrimp in a Barracho Camarones (drunken shrimp) recipe that
turned out to be quite good with Chipotles and just a splash of tequila sealing
10 June 2010
Jackie's garden is planted. Keeping it moist for germination is a problem.
Oscillating sprinklers last about a week out here - yes, even the all metal ones.
So.....water by hand morning and night, and when seeds sprout, irrigate. Seeds
should sprout just in time for monsoons. Hummingbird count is still very low.
Anyone find a complete Chevy truck wheel and tire between LC and Paradise?
Yep, the cable on the spare tire winch on Winston's Silverado gave up the
ghost and the tire is not to be found. He will be looking for a spare tomorrow.
Fire has been downgraded, but is still burning. Crews are watching lest
it break through fire lines and roar down Cave Creek Canyon.
If anyone is keeping up with Amy Sun, her latest post from Jalalabad is here:
5 June 2010
Winston and Jackie try hard to stay politically neutral and keep this post focused
on bird watching and other fun events. We are close to the border and an illegal
or two has traipsed through Paradise. The absurdity of assigning 1200 troops
to the borderlands is nothing more than a token gesture from Washington. This
is also not new. Back in the 1980's Winston's step-father Frank, and brother Philip
were both NCOs in the Arizona National Guard and accepted assignments to augment
the Border Patrol performing duties like "terrain denial", reconnaissance and
reporting, movement tracking, and more. They, however, were not allowed to
interdict and detain - these are Border Patrol responsibilities. When the funding
ran out, so did the assignment and Frank and Phil returned to their mining jobs.
People in Washington and New York just do not understand the vastness of the
Western States and ruggedness of the border. Indeed, I-95 road signs measure
distances to the next exit in fractions of miles, while on I-10 distances are measured in
miles. There is a road sign in I-10 West outside of Phoenix that reads "Los Angeles
348 Miles". This cartoon from "The Daily Beast" sums up the futility of this token effort:
Memorial Day Weekend 2010
Completed 3 projects: painted Walker House stairs, repaired leach field, capped old
septic tank with 15 80lb bags of concrete - mixed and poured by hand. Jackie started
a small garden and is working with Nancy to get a big garden going.
Hummingbirds - 1.5 hour feeder watch on Sunday morning yielded 28 Hummingbirds
Magnificents and Black-chinned. Yes, we should have many more. The number of
hummingbirds and Nectar Feeding bats is very low this year. All three Orioles came
in as did a Summer Tanager. A few bird watchers and Winston's mother also stopped
in for a visit. Also made a run up to Rustler Park to look at the Fire. No flames,
just smoke were visible. And, believe it or not there is still SNOW in shady patches
in and around Rustler Park. Nancy took several pictures for proof. Winston could have
titled this entry "Fire and Ice".
29 May 2010
Winston travelled from LC to Paradise to house sit for Jackie while she headed to
FEMA training in Phoenix. Winston saw smoke over the Chiricahuas from Lordsburg
and called Chuck. Chuck learned that the fire was in South Fork area. Over the next
several days notification of a potential evacuation for Portal and Paradise was issued
and people FREAKED out. We even got calls from part-timers on travel abroad that
read about the fire on the internet and wondered of their most prized possesion were
at stake. As of Saturday night, the answer is NO.
On Friday, Winston had a Marty Stouffer Moment. He heard knocking down at the
outhouse and went down to see if maybe someone was locked in. He saw a gray fox
bound down the hillside with a long furry object in its mouth. Winston panicked, thinking
maybe the fox was a coyote and had grabbed Mischief. Later in the day Mischief
appeared. Which was a good thing since Winston could not think of gentle way to
let Jackie know her kitty cat had become fox or coyote kibble.
23 May 2010
After the weekend festivities, Winston made it back to LC for the Lost finale. For Winston,
it was a great ending - time to move on! He stayed up way too late watching the Jimmie
Kimmel tribute and farewell. A very nice tribute with lots of good natured satire and laughter.
Brunch with Ray and Dori Brooks. Winston and Jackie peered through Ray's Sun telescope with
views of solar prominences, toured the new house and shop, enjoyed a great brunch
prepared by Dori, and enjoyed the specialty of the house - very refined and scientifically
produced bloody Marys. For Winston it was a touch of nerdvana, for Jackie, it was a
great time chatting with and getting to know Dori a bit better.
22 May 2010
Winston left LC for Paradise at 0900 NMT. Jackie was on EMT support duty for Audrey
Morrow Miller's funeral at the Paradise Cemetery. At least 150 - 200 people made the drive
up the Paradise road to the Cemetery. Audrey was a horsewoman, and her ashes were
carried on horseback into the cemetery. Her ashes were placed on a saddle with one
stirrup looped up and over the saddle horn , symbolizing a lost rider. The pall bearers
ushered the horse into the cemetery, words were said, Kip Calahan sang, ashes interred
and respects paid. A follow-up potluck that lasted into the mid-afternoon was held at the
Rodeo Community Center. Many Old-Timers reminisced and renewed long forgotten friendships.
Winston's Great Grandfather, Bill Sanders, was a friend of the Morrow family. Indeed, both
families moved into Paradise during the boomtown days. A family tale is told that one day
when Audrey was riding round up in her early years, she lost a spur. Audrey was very upset,
and Bill assured her he could backtrack and find her spur. Finding the spur seemed nearly
impossible, but several hours and at least three miles later, Bill returned with her lost spur.
That pair of spurs remained on Audrie's fireplace mantle for many years.
After the funeral, Audrie's Doctor stopped in Paradise for a look-see and saw more birds in
20 minutes than he knew existed in the world. Conversation came 'round to hummingbird feeders
and the fact that nectar bats slobbered all over them at night. Being an infectious disease
specialist, the Doctor was quite concerned that we might be exposed to rabies virus via the bat spit.
That lead into a discussion as to whether nectar feeding bats were rabies carriers. Not being sure
but knowing that insectivorous bats are rabies carriers, the porch conversation turned to suppositions on what
the half-life of a rabies virus on a sun warmed humming bird feeder might or might not be.
Winston asked the question: "is rabies virus transmittable to birds - especially hummingbirds?"
We will defer to those who know to answer that question.
That same afternoon Winston and Jackie head to the Kimble Ranch in Apache for
Bill's Ball and Beer Bash. Rocky Mountain Oysters harvested during round up and prepared Cajones Fritas
style were the main dish. Ever the epicurean, Jackie had fretted about what she might pair with
Rocky Mountain Oysters. Winston had suggested Baca Nora. Bud light seemed the drink of the
day and the side dishes were brisket, cowboy beans, and Armenian style sandwiches prepared
with Jalapenos and cream Cheese. Jackie did run into a spot of trouble in the kitchen when she
volunteered to coat the oysters with seasoned flour for frying. Seasoned flour was placed into a
bag along with 10 or so oysters and Jackie gave it a big shake only to disappear into a cloud of
white powder. Bill yelled "don't move!" Jackie stood frozen in time as seasoned flour settled,
covering her from head to toe. Bill exclaimed: "Ya move and ya mess up the seasoning proportions!"
Jackie understood, and after rescuing the oysters and resetting the seasoned flour mix, Bill went
on to fry up more oysters and Jackie went to show Winston her new pouf and then clean up.
No, she didn't get plastered, but she did get floured!
Local Ranchers and cowboys shared their views on the Border Fence, center-fire rigs, trailering long horned
cattle, breaking a split rein after a fast catch, the number of degenerates per capita in Tonopah, Nevada and
other rancher, cowboy, and rodeo, tales. As the evening wore on, a labeless bottle of dubious origin was
produced and samples tasted. Winston now knows what pairs with Rocky Mountain Oysters - Jalapeno Vodka!
He did comment in front the rough and tumble assemblage that he once made Beet infused Vodka, to which
Bill Kimble replied: "What the hell is a Beet?"
A Note on the Border Fence
One of the entrepreneurial ranchers has a contract with the government to weld holes in the border fence that the
Mexicans cut through in the night. First he and his welders had to become certified welders in order to work on
Government property. Can he and his welding crews make real time fixes? NO - they have to be given, by the
Government, a GPS location of a hole, then, when the welding team arrives to weld, they first, have to get a GPS
coordinate and then, take a picture of the hole and uplink the picture and geocordinate back to Washington for
permission to weld. Seems ludicrous, but what got Winston scratching his head was learning that the Border
Patrol has 5 welding rigs in Douglas, but can the Border Patrol weld the fence??? NO!!!! They are not certified
and that is not their job - they patrol. Well, the welders are efficient, so the illegals are now burrowing under the
fence. Same story - now the welders are pouring concrete - but only into government approved burrows.
The entrepreneur is making some change, but he is about ready to turn his crews loose and find a less restrictive
way to make a living.
15 May 2010 - When the Birds are Lite, What's a Girl to do?
Take pictures of Wildflowers - of course! This set is of just a few of the locals followed by a "Natural Monet".
11 May 2010 - Bullock's/Baltimore Oriole Hybrid.
Judy Englemann spotted this bird at her place above the Walker House. Jackie got a few
pics good enough for id and confirmation. Winston thinks he saw this bird last time he was
in Paradise - couple of weeks ago - but he is not a birder. Jackie did see it in the yard
today. I wonder if the hybrid, like the Bullock's, can identify cowbird eggs in its nest and
poke holes in them and kick them out of the nest. Paradise is a very special place for
many birds - and this is yet another first!
04 May 2010 - Center for Bits and Atoms - Amy Sun on NPR
Winston and Amy are Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Space Systems Company's Systems
Engineering Training (SET) program alumni. Post SET they were carpool partners, commuting to LM
into Sunnyvale from Los Banos and Morgan Hill. 10 years later, Winston is still chugging along at LM, while
Amy is pursuing/finishing her PhD at MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms. You can keep up with Winston here
at Jackie's Journal, and with Amy in a recent NPR interview, where she briefly, in Amy style, describes
her FabFi work building a WIFI network from "junk" in Jalalabad:
You can keep up with her adventures at: http://scripts.mit.edu/~emu/fab/?p=736
Maybe Amy will make it to the GWH some day for a little R&R. Not so sure bird-watching is on her to-do list,
but she might be able to help engineer the Portal Rescue antenna/relay station that we will be installing
behind the little house some time in the future. Best wishes to the Jalalabad FabFi'ers.
30 April 2010 - Freeze Warning!!!
Gentle reminder to desert dwellers and transplants from back East: GWH is same elevation as Denver.
It is cold a mile above the desert floor. It snows here. Come prepared. There is no central heat.
Bring long pants and jackets. From the National Weather Service:
...FREEZE WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (30 April) TO 8 AM MST SATURDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TUCSON HAS ISSUED A FREEZE WARNING...
WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 8 AM MST SATURDAY. * TEMPERATURES...
TEMPERATURES ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTHERN GRAHAM... SOUTHERN GREENLEE...
EASTERN SANTA CRUZ AND COCHISE COUNTIES WILL DIP INTO THE UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S.
Albuquerque is 20 degrees below normal. Paradise "normal" low is 37. Jackie reported SNOW
today and a low of 30 last night. Could be in the 20s tonight. A recap of Jackie's day:
29 April 2010 - Historical note
Many folk stop and take pictures of the adobe house just north of us. This was Judge Hancock's
place, now owned by the Gilliland family (Winston's cousins). There was a frame building in front
of the adobe that served as the post office. When the post office fell into disrepair it was torn
down. Current photos can be seen at: http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/az/paradise.html.
28 April 2010 - More Birds - and a party?
44 species can be seen from the yard in a 10 hour span. Jackie always forgets somebody - so there are more!
Tundra and Mischief tag teamed a Chipmunk - catch and release. All is well. Julie from Tucson is Mischief's fave!
Spring roundup on the local ranches is complete, and we will be celebrating with ranchers in Apache on May 22 with a
Rocky Mountain Oyster event at the Kimball's - aka Bill's beer and ball bash. Jackie is working on pairings.
What goes with Rocky Mountain Oysters? Winston was thinking bacanora, the more the better.
23 - 24 April 2010 - More Snow!!!
Can you find Tundra??? She was COLD!!! Snow in Prescott. Jackie's weather report from Paradise:
April 23 2010 - WSMR Dining Out
While Jackie and Tundra were battling the elements, Winston was at White Sands Missile Range doing
his best to avoid being sent to the grog bowl at an Air Force Dining Out. Not only was the event open to
civilians and spouses, so was the grog bowl. Infractions of the rules abounded and many officers and civilians
were sent to the grog bowl. No NCOs were sent. Indeed, they were defended by their Colonel. A good time
was had by all. Winston will be back at work on Sunday.
April 22 2010 - Snow!!!
Jackie went on an EMT call and coming back up the mountain the snow was falling
down to about the 7,000 foot elevation. She called Winston about 6:33 pm AZT on
to report it is SNOWING in Paradise!!! Bring your long handles. If I can find the picture
of Brother Richard in nothing but his red long handles, black cowboy hat, and black cowboy
boots, and nothing else, I will get it posted. Jackie also reported an influx of 40+ Yellow-eyed
Juncos, a dozen Black-headed Grosbeaks, and a Great-tailed Grackle. Juniper Titmice
are nesting, and are infrequent in the yard. Arizona woodpecker was in the yard all day.
April 19 2010 - Trogan!!!!
Winston still in LC. Many bird watchers in the yard this spring - including Elder Hostel
tours - one group was treated to the sighting of a female Trogan as it meandered
deep into the shadows. This is the first confirmed sighting of a Trogan in Paradise since 1997.
Why they stop by about every 12 years is a mystery.....but maybe they are in the area
more often and we just don't know or see them. Thanks to another community effort
the toilet in the "birder's biffy" has been reseated and no longer leaks. Jackie made
the 90 mile round trip to the Animas Mercantile for the ring, Chuck helped pull the toilet
and reseat the new one. Our guest, Jerry, an old pro, was happy to help put the
guts back together. Be sure to pay homage to the Jay over the inside door!
April 18 2010 - Migration!
Western Tanger, Blackheaded Grosbeak, Juniper Titmouse, Townsend's Warbler, Black-chinned, Magnificent,
Broad-tailed hummingbirds. Banding today, we had 44 birds in hand, 18 previously banded, 3 same day recaps.
60+ people came through yard. During banding, Jackie provisioned @ 40 people during banding with 3 Quiches,
3 pots of coffee, 1 pot of tea, 1 bagel, and afterwards, Karen's Tamale pie. People food donations are as welcome
as seed fund, seed, orange, and peanut butter, and jelly donations. Seems to be the year for Canadians to come
visit. Jackie is making recommendations for the Ferndale Lodge. Jackie is still fascinated with having seen the
Limpkins and other Florida birds. Winston was busy with work in Las Cruces.
April 11 2010 - Calliope and Orioles
Little female Calliope came in today. Winston stayed in Las Cruces - but did get to hear
the Scott's Orioles in Paradise over the phone. A very welcome sound. The Canyon Wren
was escorting Jackie around the yard. A very pleasant weekend.
A good vacation generates great memories. Like the drive down Highway One from
Mendocino to Bodega Bay. Or the day spent on an 18 foot sail boat in the East China
Sea (Winston on board, Jackie on the beach), one turbulent flight across the Pacific
Ocean where the nice stewardesses asked if Jackie would like to lie across the seats.
Most recently, whale watching in Cabo, watching mum and baby whale spout in tandem.
Memories were the same for Jackie - motion sick to the point of song - like the one
April 08 2010 - Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Myrtle race
Just a few of the birds in the area this week. Today the Juniper Titmice were pulling nesting materials.
They prefer the raw cotton. They actually pulled and then dropped (or spit out) merino wool.
The Mexican Jays took all the horse mane and tail hair. Babies soon!!!!
22 Hummingbirds were in hand on 4 April, 4 species represented. It is a busy, busy, spring.
However, we are still waiting for many of our spring migrants - Black-headed Grosbeaks,
Bullock's Orioles are late. Cassin's Kingbirds are just starting to arrive. Elf owls are calling.
March 30 2010 - Williamson's Sap Sucker
Donations accepted! Dollars, oranges, bird seed, peanut butter, oranges are all welcome.
From birders and non birders alike. We had the septic tank pumped clean. Horehound will be
disappointed, but we with olfactory responses will be quite relieved from the odiferous water.
What is Jackie doing on the 10th? If you know, please call - 520-558-2287.
March 28 2010 - Orioles!
First Hooded and Scott's Orioles of the season came in this week. Road over the Onion Saddle is open,
and Turkey creek is running at the crossings on either side of Galeyville. Still snow at the upper elevations.
In times past, Snow pack might last until June. Will be interesting if we still have snow in June this year.
The weekend in reverse chronological order:
Palm Sunday - start of Holy Week
Low was 24F - but no wind. Lots of sunshine and birdwatchers. Orioles, Juniper and Bridled
Titmice danced in the yard. Many of the usuals are here:
Juncos - all races
Magnificent, Blue-throated, and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds
No recent sightings of Montezuma quail.
@ 14 birdwatchers and new guests from Colorado Springs graced the yard this evening as
Winston sojourned back to the Land of Enchantment to help support Jackie's habit in the
mountains. Jackie lit the fire in the Walker house, and toddled off to bed where Mischief
and Tundra keep her warm on these 20 degree mornings.
The Birder's Biffy has been repaired and is open for business. Winston got to play plumber and
replaced a ball valve, copper elbow, and faucet. All of which froze and broke during the winter.
Saturday evening dinner was a foodie's delight with smoked Turkey breast by Mike Williams,
Apricot dressing by Jackie, Sweet potatoes with Cranberry Chutney by Marcia, Asparagus with lemon butter
by Jackie, and Chess Pie by Cecil for desert. Good friends, good - no - great! food, and sharing
conversations made for a wonderful evening.
Friday's wind brought gusts of up to 84 MPH gust in El Paso and a brown-out in Las Cruces. Winston
left the kitchen window open Friday, only to come home to grit everywhere. With characteristic
sympathy, Jackie's comment was "well, did you write your name in dust on the kitchen counter?"
March 22 2010 - Painted Redstarts!
Temp was 30F at 8:00 am. Then dropped into the 20s. Rain off and on all day. Painted Redstarts
are in - first of the season, about 5 days earlier than last year. Wild flowers have just started to
pop out of the ground. We will see a spring bloom the likes of which have not been seen since
at least the early 1980's. This will also be a great butterfly year. It has been a good year for
business and yard birders. Been averaging 10 visitors a day since 1 March. We thank them
all for the their generous contributions of peanut butter, jelly, oranges, and seed fund contributions.
Click here for some pics of the current wildflowers: http://www.rshantz.com/RecentPhotos.htm
March 21 2010 - Tax time
Yep, Winston broke out the W-2s and 1099s while Jackie tallied up the inventory and expenses. Winston will
send the package to their CPA, Mark Pizarek, who will file with the IRS. It has been a very busy week for Jackie.
In addition to the usual GWH business and yard birders, she had three EMT calls and three Portal rescue meetings.
And......the migration is just beginning:
Turkey Vultures are back (arrived on the 20th, 5 days later than last year).
Rufous, Magnificent female, and Broad-tailed male Hummingbirds are at the feeders.
Purple Finch seems to have moved on.
Oh, and the Birder's Biffy repairs will wait one more week. Today's low temp was 23 degrees F.
The transmountain road over the Onion Saddle is CLOSED. Boulders, Rock Slides, Downed
trees AND 3.5 feet of snow with drifts much deeper all the way up to Rustler Park. Maybe Turkey
creek will flow all year long - like the wetter days early last century.
March 17 2010 - Vacation is OVER
Got back on Sunday to a flat tire in the 4Runner and a huge shopping list. Lows in Paradise are still in the 20s.
Winston's work is ramping up with a variety of activities and Jackie had at least 30 people in the yard when she
got back. The GWH is fully booked now through the end of May and Hummingbird banding starts soon - yikes!
March 12 2010 - COLD in the Chiricahuas!!! Sunny Florida
7th day of night time lows in the 20's reported by our caretaker, Nancy. Good thing she knows how to tend fire.
Guests will learn. Fast!!!
Back East on the Treasure Cost, the plan for the day is: Manatees, the Pelican Island festival, and SUN with breezes.
Morning bird count included a Bald Eagle, a Brown Thrasher, Blue jays, Eastern Phoebes and Mockingbirds.
This afternoon a morning of wind and sun required a siesta to recuperate. Tonight, a neighborhood barbecue!
Jackie made Vegetarian Enchiladas with Hatch Green Chili Enchilada Sauce from New Mexico. Much
great food was served - including kumquat pie done key lime pie cheese cake style - YUMMIE!!! Good appetites
cleaned the platters
March 12 2010 - Ice the Chiricahuas, Definitely not so Sunny Florida
E-mail from Nancy, said that the low was 21 degrees - not a night warmer than 29 this week. Guests showed up in shorts.
Gentle reminder to desert dwellers and transplants from back East: GWH is same elevation as Denver. It is cold a mile
above the desert floor. It snows here. Come prepared. There is no central heat. Bring long pants and jackets.
Rain all afternoon, most of the night and at 8:30 this am., Jackie was going stir crazy, so off to the Manatee lookout we went. In the rain.
Nice drive - except for 5 miles of muddy, slippery, dirt road that made Winston mutter about moronic behavior and Jackie respond
that the road was no worse than in front the Paradise Cemetery. True, but that is for only a few car lengths - not miles!
Look out was sodden, we did not see any Manatees - but Jackie agreed to cook up Winston's Sea Bass for lunch. Both agree
that the Sea Bass pan fried in just a little butter and a toss of salt and pepper was absolutely wonderful. A most excellent brunch meal.
Baja Tacos made with Amberjack for dinner should nearly finish Wednesday's catch. Winston's comment to Jackie: as long as you
are cooking - we are never going out to eat! Such are the lives of "foodies". Baja tacos did not materialize - but fish sandwiches made
with Cilantro/lime mayonnaise on toasted Italian sandwich buns did!!! Add asparagus, squash, and mango salsa
(all from the roadside produce stand at the end of the lane) to the plate and again, another delightful meal. Learned that a local
place will smoke your Amberjack and make a smoked spread from your catch. The price? - they keep 1/2 the catch and package
and resell inside their store. Sounds like a great deal to Winston and something to consider next trip.
Pic below is a Manatee from the Manatee look out off the Fellsmere Grade on sunny March 13th.. To Jackie's delight several were seen.
To Winston's surprise, he almost stepped on an Indigo snake. A heart-race inducing event for a native Arizonan - both survived.
March 11 2010 - More Snow and Ice in the Chiricahuas, not so Sunny Florida
From Nancy back in the Chiricahuas: ". . . it snowed AGAIN .17 on the black (NOAA) ruler . . ." @2 inches! This is the third snow in the
Chiricahuas this week. Nancy also reported first of the year Anna's hummingbird in Paradise. Rain here in Florida.
After grousing about incomplete maps and seemingly inconsistent place names for Florida State Parks and
Conservation areas, we made out to Stick Marsh and the T.M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management area. Jackie
added alligators and Roseate Spoonbills to her life list. Thursdays only - cars are allowed to drive to the northern-
most areas. Jackie and Winston managed to miss a turn and went even further. Just about the time they figured
out where they were and that it was time to head back, the thunderstorms started, so they headed back. On the
way, Jackie observer a flock of Swallows in the middle of the road. When approached they flew to the nearest
perch. Jackie has several pictures of the flock hanging on to the only branches nearby, facing into the wind, and
hanging on lest they be blown away. Near record rains on the edge of the storm front drove Winston and Jackie
down at least 10 miles of muddy roads and back into Sebastian. A real Florida adventure that was rewarded
with dinner at Squidlips. A very good dinner it was - Jackie's Coconut battered shrimp was wonderful as were the
cooked to order rice, vegetables and potatoes au gratin. Back at the Lodge Winston started an excel file bird list
that Jackie will update and will post as her "official" trip report. A few alligators were seen today. All pics are "au naturale" no editing.
March 10 2010 - Snow and Ice in the Chiricahuas, Fishing and Birding in Sunny Florida
Back in the Chiricahuas, Nancy reported about 1" of snow and ice frozen on the steps. Chuck nearly got his 4X4 Tacoma stuck in
mud near the cemetery. Mischief is behaving, and Tundra is her usual genteel self. Weather forecast is Sunny - next week.
Winston and Jackie both agree that they often do "apart" better than "together", so Winston headed to Captain Hiram's dock
for day trip on the ocean and Jackie trekked out to the Jungle Trail, Riverside Park, and Sebastian State Park North entrance.
Jackie had fun in the sun and did add a few new trip birds:
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
Big Voiced - Carolina Wren
A sand piper Jackie has identified and is challenging her friends to identify (Purple Sandpiper)
Jackie also met some very interesting people from England, The Netherlands, and Italy. Conversation lead to a discussion
on a book to add to our reading list: The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. Her first book, The Historian is intriguing.
Winston finished "The Lost City of Z’ about Percy Fawcett and his search for El Dorado and jungle mapping expeditions.
Highly recommended. Especially to our good friend who penned an article in the Journal of Insignificant events
about the "Virtual Margaret Mead".
Met with Captain Bill Stewart from Rogue Wave Fishing Charters and 4 Vietnamese fishermen at Captain Hiram's dock.
Captain Bill started off with a brief introduction, review of the plan for the day, and some water safety basics. At 08:00 sharp
we left the dock and motored up to the Sebastian Inlet. 5 miles offshore, we stopped and caught bait fish. Once we had enough
bait fish to satisfy the Captain, off we went to do some "bad ass bottom fishing". 2 hours and 30 miles off shore later we set
hooks with squid for bait and commenced drift fishing. Winston had never caught anything bigger than a large bass and was
totally unprepared to catch and reel in a 40 lb Amberjack. The other fishermen were experienced and helped each other,
Winston, and the Captain, haul in fish, re-bait hooks, and re-rig the poles when hooks were lost or Groupers ran the line
through rocks. All told, they hauled in 6 Amberjacks, and a number of Sea Bass, Trigger Fish, and Snappers. They caught
and released Red Snapper (protected) and Groupers (not in season) and Sea Bass too small to keep. A very satisfying fishing day.
Sent Capt. Bill a few pics and he responded with a very kind "thank you and looking forward to next time" message.
March 9 2010 - News from Back Home in "Sunny Arizona"
Nancy reported snow in Paradise yesterday. Sunny and Snowing - a new experience for her. Nothing
measurable - yet. Had rock-climbers call for reservations. They did not know that the Chiricahuas
still had snow, that the trans-mountain road (Onion Saddle) was closed and that Rhyolite formations
do not make for good piton placement. We wish them the best. Portal rescue has not had to rescue
any rock climbers in the 10 years Jackie has been an EMT - there is reason for that.
Catalina State Park in Tucson is closed due to flooding:
Meanwhile, it is cool here at Sebastian Inlet. Glad we brought jackets and long pants. Jackie will post her
bird list shortly. Took a wrong turn at the "Jungle Trail" yesterday and birded Captain Forster's reserve
and then wound up just north of Vero beach. Had lunch at Chelsea's - recommended. Made it back North
to Sebastian Inlet State park. Still cool, watched Surfers that were not part of the competition and Jackie
logged a Palm Warbler - interesting little bird. Dinner at Captain Hiram's was ho-hum. Will give Squid Lips
a try sometime this week.
March 7 - 14 2010 - Vacation!!!
http://www.ferndalelodge.com - Jackie and Winston are off to warmer
climes (they hope, since Florida has frozen citrus and tomato crops)
for R&R prior to the upcoming birding season. Nancy is at the GWH,
caretaking this week. Tonight there is a 100% chance of rain and or
snow. Showers throughout the week, and we might break 50 degrees F
on Friday. Nancy does have a little wood, Tundra, and Mischief
to keep her warm....so we suspect she will survive another round of
El Niño storm fronts. Pic to the left is Jackie on Siesta last day of vacation.
Must admit, the Ferndale lodge is very, very soothing. Good place
to recharge the batteries before engaging in what will be an outstanding
and busy year at the Geoerge Walker House.
March 3 2010 - A Study in Finches - and Two Hummers!
Purple, Cassin's, and House Finch; Lesser and American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and a Broad-tailed
and Rufous hummingbird were all in the yard at one time today. Broad-tailed was a fly-through. High temp
might have been 60F or so. Still freezing in the morning. Yes, the Birder's Biffy is waterless and closed -
but warmer days will return and we will have accommodations for those with the need to go. That is, after
Winston repairs the leaks in the pipes that froze this winter. Yes, he has at least two leaks to repair.
Lucky there isn't more.
March 2 2010 - "He Flew in From the North"
As Jackie was helping Chuck, our favorite carpenter, mark and level hangers for the North side deck, she heard him.
Him being an adult male Broad-tailed hummingbird, zinging in from the North. Coming from the North seemed
odd, and so Jackie commented. Chuck set her straight saying - "he's just circling." Our first hummer for the
year, almost a month later than our first in 2009 (a Black-chinned that zoomed through on 09 Feb.). We look forward
to spring as much as the east coasters still buried in yet another snow.
March 1 2010 - Quote from GK's 27 Feb Show:
March is not spring. "It is the month God created to show people who do not drink what a hangover feels like."
Of course his frame of reference is Minnesota, not Paradise, Arizona, where the northern migration starts and
brings the colors of summer - Tanager yellow and red, Oriole orange and yellow, and Cowbird black, and
a kaleidoscope of Hummingbird colors including Magnificent green and purple, Blue-throated turquoise
and all the buffy-flanked, green-backed females Winston will strive to learn all over again.
Feb 28 2010 - Snow - and Paradise Numerology
Global warming wonks have rebranded their research as "climate change" versus "global warming" - causes and effects will be researched
and debated for many years to come. Our microclimate in the Sky Islands may contribute a few empirical data points:
7 total snowfalls in January and February.
7.77 total inches of precipitation for January and February.
13 Snows since November (one snowfall doesn't show on NOAA records because it melted before 8:00am).
Comparing these numbers with historical records shows Paradise is wetter this year:
PARADISE, ARIZONA (026242)
Period of Record Monthly Climate Summary
Period of Record : 1/ 1/1906 to 8/31/1937
When discussing weather and especially climate stochastics, one should always remember the words of Andrew Lo:
"...if one tortures a dataset long enough, it will confess to anything!"
Feb 22 2010 - Purple Finch
Confirmed by the Arizona Field Ornithologists. New yard bird for the GWH and a life bird for Jackie.
Rounded upper beak instead of straight for Cassin's
No Streaks in under tail covert vs streaks in Cassin's (naughty place to be peepin' at)
Dark cheek vs. streaked in Cassin's
Indistinct streaking in greenish back. More likely a Pacific or Californicus race.
Surprised she wasn't joined by a flock of seagulls or pelicans blown in from the coast by the wind this weekend.
19 - 21 Feb 2010 - White Out in Paradise!!!
Friday, Brother Richard roared into town in his crew cab, long bed 4X4, lift kitted, Diesel engined, Ford F250. Upon arrival he
unloaded enough groceries to feed a third world army for a month, and hunkered down with Debbie in the Walker house for a
"woodstove weekend". He grilled elkburgers and Jackie served them with diced green olive tapenade. Stout's Apple pie closed
the evening - as did an attempt by the ladies to watch "My name is Nobody" - which was to the guy's way of thinking
one of the best spaghetti westerns ever. Do men ever grow up ???? (no, they watch "Once Upon a Time in the West!)
Saturday, Winston and Jackie woke to find Tundra having a paper towel tied to her collar. From downstairs, Jackie asked Winston if it
was a love note! - When Winston replied in the negative, Jackie untied the paper towel and opened it to find a note that read:
"Breakfast is ready. Come Eat. Richard." A grand breakfast of cheese omelets, fried potatoes and elk breakfast sausage was waiting
and ready at the Walker house. After breakfast, Winston and Jackie made soup deliveries and took the trash down. On the way back up
the mountain, the skies grew darker and darker, and the wind which had been howling in 35-40 mile an hour gusts since Friday, settled
down to a mountain swirl. Atmospherics got the better of all and napping commenced @ 1:00 pm as did a near vertical shower of rain.
At 2:00 pm or thereabouts an Arizona blizzard hit Paradise. Wind was swirling and snow was falling so fast and thick that visibility
was reduced at times to less than 5 feet. Jackie woke from her nap to look out the upstairs windows and commented that it was
like being in a snow globe that someone had frantically shaken. After about 2 hours, 2 inches of new, wet, snow had blanketed the area.
Officially, the melt measured out .52 inches of precipitation. As the evening cleared, Winston and Jackie tossed a few snowballs at the
wood stove set and settled in for an evening of Netflix movies. A chick flick recco that did make Winston laugh at times is: "New in Town"
with Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. Fit the mood better that Winston's choice of some obscure travel movie about SCUBA diving
in Cozumel. Sunday brought a nice day, most of the snow had melted, clouds are gathering, looks like more snow. Brother Richard trekked down to Rodeo
to visit his mother and all will be back in the business world come Monday morning. Even though he is from Tucson, Brother Richard made sure to let us know
he was prepared for cold weather - he brought insulated boots, down filled vest and coat and even long johns. He was prepared for 0 degree F weather or colder.
Given the mid - 20 degree lows earlier in the week, he was well justified in being adequately prepared for any turn in the weather.
8 - 10 Feb 2010 - Portal Rescue Soup Kitchen
Jackie drove down the mountain to support the 14th annual Soup Kitchen fund raiser for Portal rescue.
Joanne and Doug Julian are the key coordinators of the kitchen and are to be commended for their
organization skills and leadership making this a success for the past eight years.
The 2010 event was also a qualified success bringing in:
TOTAL SALES & DONATIONS: $6,813
Raffle tickets=$ 3412
Cook Book/Mug Sales=$ 39
Total meals served: 307
Jackie contributed Beef Stew, (sold out 1st day), White bean and Cabbage Soup, and a Smoked Chicken and Toasted Corn Chowder.
The Smoked Chicken and Toasted Corn Chowder was a real treat!
3 and 7 Feb - 2010 - More snow!!!
7 Feb - Woke up to Coatis in the feeders, wind in the trees and fast moving clouds that delivered sleet, snow, drizzle, and rain. A hot cocoa day.
3 Feb - Snow - at least three inches. Rain continues.......el nino in full effect. . . . Or is it the effects of HAARP? Conspiracy theorists certainly think it is.
When Jackie arrived back from Portal EMT training, there were Coatis in the yard and they ran up the Elm tree and did their best to hide in the
bare branches. Cave creek, Turkey creek, Cemetery Wash, Silver Creek, and more are all flowing. Water is always welcome, especially
in the transition zone. Arizona has had its share of extreme weather. Winston can tell you about living in the Prescott winter of 1967-68.
Locals in Paradise tell stories of finding deer skeletons under juniper trees where they had died under the snow. Click here for a summary.
02 Feb - 16 April 2010 - DeGrazia Exhibit in Old Bisbee
The Muheim Heritage House in Old Bisbee is hosting "DeGrazia: The Bisbee Years" through April 16, 2010.
Original art by the late internationally acclaimed artist Ted DeGrazia, who lived in Bisbee from 1936 to 1942 will be on display.
DeGrazia studied under Diego Rivera and Jose Orozco and later founded Tucson's Gallery in the Sun. The Muheim Heritage House
operates under the auspices of the Bisbee Council on the Arts and Humanities and is open Friday through Tuesday, 10 am to 4 pm.
For information call 432-7698. Winston's mother, Pam, mastered DeGrazia's oil techniques under the tutelage of Degrazia's son.
Ted DeGrazia was riding his horse in Prescott's 4th of July Parade one year and trotted over to chat with Winston's Granddad,
Gene Wakefield, who was also an accomplished artist and sign painter. Thinking maybe DeGrazia wanted to chat art, Winston's Granddad
leaned in closed and DeGrazia said: "Can you help me off this horse?" Winston's Grandad obliged and asked why DeGrazia might have
have singled him out of the crowd. DeGrazia replied: "Because you were the only one I could see wearing a cowboy hat - and I want
off this horse!"
31 Jan 2010 - Weather and Portal Rescue News
Weather - Winston slid into Paradise around 3 pm on Saturday. Jackie has not seen more than 1.5 hours sunshine since Thursday. Rain, fog, and clouds hanging
in at about 6500 feet last night. Jackie has already missed the brightest full moon of 2010. Rain and snowmelt totals for January are 4.24 inches.
According to the National Weather Service this is @ 4x "normal" precip of 0.99 inches. A wee bit more than the 0.63 inches we recorded January 2009.
Weather forecast calls for Rain Tues - Wed, with a chance for more snow on Thursday.
We just watched an Apache (Chiricahua) Fox Squirrel run up the Elm tree. These guys appear almost twice the size of Gray Squirrels
Portal Rescue - Website!
Portal Rescue now has its own website: http://www.portalrescue.com. Be sure to click on the "News" tab and then the January 2010 newsletter.
Website by Karen Fasimpaur. Newsletter compiled and edited by Jackie Lewis, Dick & Fran Zweifel, Winston Lewis, and contributing authors.
This is a really nice, clean website and an excellent newsletter - both reflect Portal Rescue Professionalism.
GK Broadcasts live from Tucson
Garrison Keillor brought his Prairie Home companion show to Tucson. Winston listened as it was broadcast live and again on Sunday.
Winston and Jackie's reference for Tucson is framed between Linda Rondstat, The Eagles, and the Beatles tune "Get Back" (JoJo left his home
in Tucson Arizona for some California grass. . . ) Not quite the music of the show, but hearing the audience sing along to "Cool Water",
and responding to "Phoenix got the capitol and the insane asylum, but Tucson got the University" made for another enjoyable event. Listen
to the 30 Jan broadcast on the American Public Media website. Having cousins that were ticketed by the Tucson water police for allowing
their pool to drain into the street brought the "Lives of the Cowboys" skit to life. Some times you just have to clean the pool, and in a land
of cactus, creosote bushes and caliche soil, there was nowhere else for the water to go.
28 Jan 2010 - Flashback to 25 July 2009
Maybe it is the fog, rain, and sleet in Las Cruces today that made Winston go back in time and review summer emails:
This was a great interview - captured Dave at his best - click here to go to the NPR site for a listen.
27 Jan 2010 Coati's in the Country!!!
Jackie saw 6 in the yard including a Mama and a juvenile. They leave a musthy scent. Must have been what had Tundra all
"boogered up" (spooked in cowboy horse parlance) last night. Bruce and Cathy also observed them strolling through downtown
Paradise. Winston's Grandmother does not remember Coatimundis in Paradise in the 1940s and 50s. She thinks they have
followed the human trash trail up from the tropics. So far the only guests to get pics of Coatis in the yard are the Chorltons.
The fox was beautiful and the Coatis are fun to watch - it is sort of like having your own personal troupe of monkeys!
Hummingbird identification Lesson - Jackie created a cross-stitch pillow for Melody Kehl. Winston commented that
the bird looked like a Ruby-throated. Jackie responded: "Look closely. It has buffy flanks. It is a Broad-tailed hummingbird."
This admonition is an indication that Jackie has spring fever and is looking forward to the Northern Migration and working
with the Hummingbird Monitoring network as they resume studies in Paradise in April. As Winston admires the New Mexico
sunset from his back patio, Jackie is on a Birding trip with Melody and Judy between Tucson and Tumacocori. She did hit
major rain near Benson. Maybe it washed the mud off her rig. Between Tucson and Tumacocori. That is either the title of
an upcoming novel, an Indie movie, or maybe, just a fleeting thought about a peaceful easy feeling.......like the one The Eagles
sing: "I like the way your sparkling earrings lay, against your skin, it's so brown and I wanna sleep with you in the desert
tonight with a billion stars all around 'cause I gotta peaceful easy feeling and I know you won't let me down 'cause I'm already
24 Jan 2010 Weather - or "Why Winston Cuts Wood"
Winston was planning to catch his readership up on the pre-New Year's events spent driving to Prescott, having second Christmas,
watching the new Sherlock Holmes Movie with his Father-in-Law, back to Paradise for an overnighter and then the drive up to
Globe for his Aunt Diane's memorial service, same day drive back to Paradise, next days the Chiricahua and Peloncillo Bird
Counts. Jackie performed her usual culinary magic for both count compilations - Lasagna one night, Green Chile Chicken
Enchiladas the next. The real story this weekend, however, was the weather. Winston left Las Cruces in rain to find Paradise
in cloud cover and mist with intermittent rain and sleet showers. Late Friday evening it began to snow, and Saturday, we were
snowbound. Winston and guest, Bruce, did drive down the mountain and over to Herb Martyr Dam where they
could see Wynne Falls frozen solid - a 300+ foot long ribbon of ice. No, they did not get stuck in the snow due to Bruce's
expert driving tips - "stay in the ruts and keep the wheel straight". Meanwhile Central and Northern Arizona were getting
pounded with Snow and Rain totals of which have not been experienced in years - or ever by Arizona neophytes.
Paradise numbers for 23 January 2010
are Why Winston cuts wood:
Max temperature 39 degrees F;
Min temperature 30 degrees F;
At observation (08:00) 31 degrees F;
Precipitation 1.18 inch;
Snowfall 2.7 inches;
Snow depth 3 inches.
Storm rain totals from Central and Northern Arizona:
Ahwatukee - 2.36"
Anthem - 5.98"
Apache Junction - 2.83"
Avondale - 2.56"
Buckeye - 3.23"
Carefree - 3.95"
Cave Creek - 5.91"
Chandler - 2.76"
Deer Valley - 3.27"
Fountain Hills FS- 3.50"
Gilbert - 2.48"
Glendale - 2.64"
Goodyear - 3.11"
Luke AFB - 4.02"
Litchfield Park - 3.75"
Mesa - 2.95"
Paradise Valley - 2.40"
Phoenix (Downtown) - 2.44"
Queen Creek - 3.27"
Scottsdale AP - 3.11"
Surprise - 4.21"
Sky Harbor Airport - 4.21"
Tempe - 2.72"
Wickenburg - 6.02"
Snowfall totals since the storm began on Monday:
SUNRISE MOUNTAIN 70 INCHES
ARIZONA SNOWBOWL 67 TO 92 INCHES
NORTH FLAGSTAFF 55.6 INCHES
GRAND CANYON S RIM 51 TO 55 INCHES
FLAGSTAFF AIRPORT 53.8 INCHES
BELLEMONT 52.5 INCHES
MUNDS PARK 50.0 INCHES
KACHINA VILLAGE 48.0 INCHES
Rain totals across the rest of the state since Monday:
WET BOTTOM CREEK NEAR CHILDS 12.17 INCHES
GLOBE 11.99 INCHES
TONTO CREEK FISH HATCHERY 11.12 INCHES
HAPPY JACK 7.90 INCHES
PAYSON 7.50 INCHES
OAK CREEK CANYON 7.34 INCHES
PLEASANT VALLEY 7.10 INCHES
SEDONA 6.99 INCHES
FLAGSTAFF 5.27 INCHES
FORT VALLEY 4.95 INCHES
BELLEMONT 4.66 INCHES
BAGDAD 3.78 INCHES
HEBER 3.48 INCHES
PRESCOTT AIRPORT 3.33 INCHES
WINDOW ROCK 2.81 INCHES
GRAND CANYON AIRPORT 2.09 INCHES
WINSLOW 2.00 INCHES
We are also happy to report both houses are warm and dry. Remember to bring clothes to layer on and off when you
do come to visit.
17 Jan 2010 PBS Special: Hummingbirds: Magic In the Air
A most beautifully filmed and narrated video. Captures the magic of hummingbirds and provides an excellent overview.
Chapter 1 explains aerial movements – high speed photography is great. Loading is not.
Chapter 2 discusses hummingbirds and plants – some plants are thought to release nectar timed to hummingbird visits.
Chapter 3 compares hummingbirds to other predators – like Great White Sharks!
Chapter 4 as with people, it is the females that make the decisions – females know what they are looking for. Up to males to figure it out.
Chapter 5 features Harold Greeney and footage from the Chiricahuas of Black-chinned Hummingbirds nesting near Cooper’s Hawk Nests.
Documented in: Greeney, H. F. and S. M. Wethington. 2009. Proximity of Active Accipiter Nests Reduces Nest Predation of
Black-chinned Hummingbirds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121(4):809-812.
Chapter 6 has banding – similar to Hummingbird Monitoring Network protocols; migration trends; conservation efforts.
16 Jan - State budget cuts hit state parks:
14 Jan 2010 letter to the editor - unedited - another reason to have family check your write-ups before you post......
A picture of me and an article about me being a champion team roper.
The problem is they said the name of my horse was Barney. That pissed me right off.
I immediately wrote the author and told him there are two things you do not mess with.
My hat and my horse.
Barney is purple and lame and my horse DUSTY is a Buckskin Paint and far from lame.
I got so angry and involved that I burnt my Elk burgers. Now I am REALLY pissed."
Brother Winston's response: "I didn't know anyone in the family read my website or much less cared. -
My apologies, and I am updating my website right now!" (Brother Richard is still quite angry - and sez, anything but BARNEY!!!)
1 - 11 Jan 2010 - The Things We Do
2 Jan - Organize, cook, and compile for the Chiricahua Christmas Bird Count:
Possible Green-tailed Towhee and 96 species seen on 1/2/2010 plus 4 for count week:
Species & total seen
Great Blue Heron - 1
Green-winging Teal - 2
Mallard - 25
Northern Shoveler - 1
Prairie Falcon - cw
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 4
Red-tailed Hawk - 18
Golden Eagle - 3 adult
American Kestrel - 2
Montezuma Quail - 2
Scaled Quail - 24
Gambel's Quail - 436
Sandhill Crane - 56
Killdeer - 1
Band-tailed Pigeon - 3
Eurasian Collared Dove - 14
White-winged Dove - 3
Mourning Dove - 71
Greater Roadrunner - 8
Western Screech-owl - 1
Great Horned Owl - 6
White-throated Swift - 1
Violet-crowned Hummingbird - CW
Blue-throated Hummingbird - 17
Magnificent Hummingbird - 1
Anna's Hummingbird - 2
Acorn Woodpecker - 114
Gila Woodpecker - cw
Red-naped Sapsucker - 7
Ladder-backed Woodpecker - 32
Hairy Woodpecker - 3
Arizona Woodpecker - 23
Northern (red-shafted) Flicker - 40
Black Phoebe - 2
Say's Phoebe - 16
Steller's Jay - 1
Western Scrub Jay - 48
Mexican Jay - 322
Chihuahuan Raven - 15
Common Raven - 40
Mexican Chickadee - 6
Bridled Titmouse - 70
Juniper Titmouse - 20
Verdin - 15
Bushtit - 29
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch - 32
Brown Creeper - 1
Cactus Wren - 73
Rock Wren - 12
Canyon Wren 9
Bewick's Wren - 31
House Wren - 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 43
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher - 11
Western Bluebird - 135
Mountain Bluebird - 3
Townsend's Solitaire - 76
Hermit Thrush - 45
American Robin - 211
Northern Mockingbird - 9
Sage Thrasher - 4
Curve-billed Thrasher - 39
Crissal Thrasher - 36
Cedar Waxwing - 3
Phainopepla - 12
Loggerhead Shrike - 20
Hutton's Vireo - 5
Yellow-Rumped - 11
Myrtle - 1
Audubon's - 10
Townsend's Warbler - cw
Painted Redstart - 2
Olive Warbler - 2
Northern Cardinal - 76
Pyrrhuloxia - 42
Spotted Towhee - 34
Canyon Towhee - 137
Abert's Towhee - 1
Rufous-crowned Sparrow - 3
Chipping Sparrow - 2
Vesper Sparrow - 1
Lark Sparrow - cw
Black-throated Sparrow - 171
Sage Sparrow - 1
Savannah Sparrow - 1
Fox Sparrow - 10
Song Sparrow - 1
White-crowned Sparrow - 619
Dark-eyed Junco - 220
Slate-colored - 4
Oregon - 73
Gray-headed - 7
Pink-sided - 18
Red-backed - 10
species - 108
Yellow-eyed Junco - 88
Red-winged Blackbird - 17
Eastern Meadowlark - 17
Western Meadowlark - 40
Brewer's Blackbird - 9
Cassin's Finch - 2
House Finch - 219
Pine Siskin - 71
Lesser Goldfinch - 78
American Goldfinch - 5
House Sparrow - 143
31 Dec 2009 - Blue moon and all the creatures were stirring
The moon was bright on the non-melting snow. Winston and Jackie headed out to attend the Paradise Town New Year's Eve
party (whole town turned out at Jody & Gerrys) - and then off to the Research Station for a private party held in the "great room".
On the way back, the full Blue moon was so bright one did not need headlights to go up the mountain. This also roused
The Ring-tailed cats, Chipmunks, Raccoons, Foxes, and other mammals from their semi hibernation. Winston Felinicus
was active at our house throughout the night and a cousin or other mammalia was active in the Walker house. Our guest
and Poet, David Chorlton recorded the event through in this poem:
26 Dec 2009 - Stuck in the Snow
No more snow, but Jackie did want to make a reconnaissance run 'round the mountain and up to the Onion Saddle to assess conditions and forewarn
the Christmas bird counters next weekend. Yes, Jackie volunteered to lead and feed the Chiricahua count and feed the Peloncillo counters
next weekend. Up to the Onion Saddle we went. Almost. Winston wanted to turn around, but Jackie thought they could make it. They got stuck in the
snow about a mile down mountain from the Onion Saddle. Winston managed to slide the truck into a drift that was waist deep. Two lion hunters
in a Toyota Tacoma winched them out and got them on their way back down the mountain. In recounting the tale with a local, Winston was told
that back in the day, sledders would travel up to Rustler Park in a Volkswagen Beetle. The Beetle engine was right over the rear wheels and
gave good traction, and if stuck, the sledders could simply pick the Beetle up and turn it around and head down the mountain. Of course,
if worst came to worst, they could always turn the Beetle upside down and tobaggon down the mountain "people's wagon" style. Not a preferred
method to get down the mountain, but it could certainly lead to finding new short cuts. Even though the low was 14 last night, the high was in
40s and snow is melting fast and the roads are mucky. We do not recommend travel around the mountain unless you have 4 wheel drive and
a winch. Roads are open to Paradise, but are a little muddy. Winston left 4 inch deep ruts in the parking area as he slid the truck into place.
As for an update on the hard sauce - Winston did just fine whipping melted butter, powdered sugar, dark rum (egg yolk optional) into a
frothy, smooth, accent to the Cross and Blackwell plum pudding and Jackie's dried flower infused short bread.
25 Dec 2009 - Christmas in the Snow
7 more inches this week - and as usual it is melting fast. The Guests are snug in the George Walker house and Winston and Jackie are prepping
for Christmas dinner. This will be a small affair with our carpenter and Winston's mother. Menu will be grilled Cornish game hens, oyster dressing,
broccoli, sweet potato au gratin, finished with Plum Pudding. Winston will be making the hard sauce using a recipe perfected
over many Christmas weekends by his step-father. His mother might be coaching. We will have to wait and see...
24 Dec 2009 - Christmas Eve Guest
Winston Pestus Felinicus - or one of his cousins came to visit last night. Cute little guy, also the state mammal of Arizona. Big Sur was the evening
theme. Jackie had purchased a copy of My Nepenthe, a book about the family that started and to this day owns and operates the
Nepenthe restaurant just south of Carmel. Jackie and Winston reminisced about the coast and started planning a July get-away to the Post-Ranch Inn
and the Big Sur area. Who knows, they may even book a massage at the Esalen institute! If you ever go to the Nepenthe restaurant, do try the
Ambrosia Burger. You will not be disappointed.
Jackie's Nepenthe inspired Christmas eve menu:
Grilled Swordfish - (Yes, Winston grilled in the snow under the moonlight - and the swordfish was perfect) with sour cream - caper sauce
Sweet and White Potato au gratin (Jackie's recipe, Nepenthe inspired).
We do miss California cuisine and its fresh fruits and vegetables. Jackie's Grandfather always ate seasonally, and Christmas was
time for Dungeness crab. Maybe that will be on the menu for next year.
12 Dec 2009 - Celtic Wedding
Yet one more wedding. Philip, Winston's youngest brother, tied the knot for the second time. As only Phil
can do. Wedding was at the Tumacacori Mission. Replete with a Scottish Bagpiper regaling a truly
southwest gathering with Scottish folk tunes, piping in the bride, playing Amazing Grace, and piping the
The bridesmaids were in Celtic dress and cloak. A few pictures here will help you imagine the
evening. 'Twas no Dunnotar but if Phil was looking to capture the feeling of the "Old Country" he couldn't
have done better. The bride was beautiful in a white pearl encrusted gown that contrasted beautifully
with the dark and somber setting. Ariana has a quite resilience that reflects the eternity of the Southwest.
Jackie was enchanted by a toddler at the reception who found a dollar on the floor during the dollar dance.
The little girl picked up the dollar and looked and it, held it up, looked at it again, and the "ah ha" moment occurred. She literally beamed
with delight as she realized that this dollar belonged on the bride's dress, and she stood holding the dollar in two outstretched hands hoping
the dancing bride and groom would turn to her so she could place the dollar in its rightful location. The bride and groom never saw her,
but her mother did and scooped her from the floor. The moment was over, unknowingly shared. More moments were shared and
memories made. Here is wishing Phil and Ariana the very best.
Winston Pestus Felinicus maybe or maybe not. Jackie does have a ring tailed cat living where the Packrats roamed ... between the old
and new houses.
30 Nov 2009 - Winter Storm and REAL snow!
.72 inches of rain + 6 inches of snow that melted down to .86 inches of precipitation then we had 2 more inches of snow that melted
down to .4 inches of precipitation for a total of 1.98 inches of precipitation from the storm. Needless to say this was a wet, heavy snow
that weighed the branches in the Siberian Elm down so much that some snapped off like rifle shots and instantly cleared the yard of birds.
Jackie was also without power most of the day. No worries. She had a good fire going, called her Mom, and organized her new wardrobes.
Meanwhile it was also raining and snowing in Las Cruces. The pass to Whitesands was closed as was the trans-mountain road.
Freeze warnings are in effect for the whole area. While Jackie was toasting her toes and talking with her Mom, Winston was braving
the elements, driving back from work to re-hitch the trailer, take it the U-Haul place at the edge of town, unhitch it in the pouring rain
and then back home to dry-out, and when his fingers thaw, update Jackie's journal.
29 Nov 2009 - why there were no more updates.....
Because Jackie found six 8 foot tall Ikea wardrobes for sale on Craigslist . . . in Tucson. Not what she wanted, but good enough to help her get started on
organizing her new home. So, Jackie did the math, ordered a U-Haul trailer, and off we went on Saturday to Oro Valley to pickup a U-Haul trailer, and
stop at the bank, load the U-Haul and drive back to Paradise. On Sunday we unloaded the trailer and hauled the wardrobes upstairs. Some intact
and others in pieces. Neighbors came by after bagging a deer (late hunt, little white-tailed deer) and helped with two of the wardrobes. Jackie
paid them with fudge and Sangria de Montana Late Harvest Syrah from Colibri vineyard. Sunday night Winston headed to Las Cruces in the driving
rain, sleet, wind and holiday traffic. Highway rain was good. It washed the San Simon road mud off of the U-Haul trailer.
27 Nov 2009 Mexican Chickadee!!!!
Back in the yard for what we hope is more than a cameo appearance is the Mexican Chickadee!!! A fun little bird, this one has spent all
afternoon entertaining cameramen and women as they try to take pics of the Chickadee as it flits from branch to peanut butter and back
again. Thanksgiving was a quiet affair with Winston coming in from Las Cruces and His mom up from Rodeo. Jackie performed food
magic with smoked ham, Dijon greenbeans, gingered carrots and pecans. Carrots and pecans were dessert. Paired it all with a
very dry Cote's du Rhone meritage. Winston's border patrol brother called to say "seasons greetings" between shifts. We then watched
a Jeff Dunham Christmas CD. Not sure who we enjoy more, Achmed the Dead Terrorist or Senor Jalapeno (on a stick).
October 17, 2009 - Historical Society Picnic in Paradise
What an absolutely beautiful day and satisfying event. Indian summer graced the grounds and folk brought their
favorite dishes - all home made - and as one city dweller noted: "everything is home made - there is nothing
from Walmart on these tables!". Good weather, food, company, enterainment and stories contributed to the
feelings of well being and nostalgia. Pam Hulme told how Bill Sanders proposed to her Grandmother Willie Mae
on those very picnic grounds 50 years ago. Other old timers told of Bill and his dynamite escapades. Winston
and his mom lead the crew on a walking tour, stopping to share what they knew and learn from
the locals. Topics ranged from the red light district and Budweiser on Tap in 1911, to boom and bust times to
the hippie era, and goings-on today. Delaine Blondeau and Kim Murphy provided excellent recollections of their
times living in the area. Click here for pics of the day.
September 19th, 2009
Victor Armbruster wedding. Jackie catered. Menu, head count and pics to come. Jackie catered for a crowd of 200.
Bake and decorated the cakes, boiled the beans, cut the cabbage and for coleslaw, baked cornbread, prepped smoked
hams and Bill Cloudt provided the brisket. Great outdoor venue at the Cavecreek ranch officiated by a Baptist preacher
that brought the "Song of Solomon" and its teachings into a western venue. Nicely done.
August 27th, 2009 2nd Batch of babies
Jackie hand feeding a Black-throated sparrow.
A fledgling in need of a warm hands and good food.
A few good feedings and off to the woods it flew.
Even though it was a very dry year, it seemed
there was a second hatch. Lots of juveniles. This
one needed just a little TLC.
August 2009 - Lost in the Chiricahuas - a Poet's Perspective
From a real-life experience. Yes, we know the heroine. That makes this poem by David Chorlton all the more special to us. We hope many readers
find the reading as much fun as the experience may not have been.
04 July 2009
Winston and Jackie headed down the mountain to spend the 4th in Rodeo. Brother George brought his New York
City wife - who got a taste of small town USA and western lifestyle. Brother Richard fixed the living room ceiling fan,
Brother Gene brought fireworks and children. Gene's boys all but set the desert on fire. They discovered that if they lit a
ladyfinger firecracker, dropped it in a plastic coke bottle, and screwed the lit down tight the exploding firecracker would launch
the bottle cap up and into the air upwards of 30 feet. Getting a little close to the house, they managed land a number of bottle
caps on the roof. When Winston told Jonathan that he needed to work on his trajectory analysis, Jonathan replied:
" I am a redneck, not a rocket scientist!!!" That quote will be made into a bumper sticker and become Jonathan's
Christmas present. 4th was fun, and the Parade was great. A few pics:
09 June 2009
The Luau was a hit. It raised @$1400 for Portal Rescue, and like many events in the area, was truly a community event.
Weather was perfect and the garden was almost as good as being back in the islands. Winston selected 4 hours of
islands music that ranged from Paniolo folk songs to Don Ho to Hawaiian Grammy winner Tia Carrere.
Larissa the fire dancer knew she made impression when she heard a fire-fighter exclaim: "No Way!!!" She even invited
audience members to be fire eaters. Testosterone and knowledge of basic physics took over and Ray and Lee did indeed
"eat fire". "Mahalo nui loa na ho'olaule'a me la kaua"
08 June 2009 - "Hele mei Hoohiwahiwa" (Come Celebrate). . . . . It is...
LUAU time!!! In addition to being Gallery President, Portal Rescue Board Member,
Walker House Proprietor, Carpenter's apprentice (pics to come, I promise!), and
occasional wife to her husband, Jackie decided to sponsor a Portal Rescue fund
raiser this month! Maybe she will lead us all singing that great Hawaiian hit:
"Numbah One day of Christmas" - an Islands version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas":
Last verse: Numbah (number) 12 day of Christmas, my Tutu (grandmother)
give to me:
11 can spam
8 pounds of poi
7 shrimp a'swimmin'
6 hula lesson
5 big fat pig
4 flower lei
3 dried squid
2 coconut &
1 mynah bird in one papaya tree
Mauka showers and Leeward breezes are on order for the 18th.
"Mahalo nui loa na ho'olaule'a me la kaua"
(Thank you for celebrating with us)
25 - 26 April 2009 - A very typical weekend in the country - or not - you decide:
Winston woke early, gassed up, shopped (Shoyu and Eggs - what kind of shopping list is that???) and drove to Paradise
just in time to load up the trash and head down to Rodeo for Jan Gee's memorial service. The memorial service was
really, really, well done. The speaker was well prepared and organized. Jan meant much to many people, and many
good words and fond memories were shared. May Jan rest in peace while the memories live on.
Somewhere enroute, Winston picked up a nail in the passenger side rear tire. So, while Jackie went into the
Gallery to check on Art Scholarship applications, Winston pulled off the rapidly deflating tire and put on the spare, only
to find that it was aired up to a whole 28 lbs, (rest of the tires are at 40 lbs). He also discovered that there is no
air in Rodeo on Saturday. Given that the spare was holding air, we limped up the hill to Paradise where Winston plugged
the tire, aired it and the spare up, put the plugged tire on the truck, and stowed the spare and the jack. Having to crawl
under the truck in the dust and gusty winds, Winston looked like he had been riding herd and got rode over hard by the
time the tire fixin' was all done and it was time to head to White Tail Canyon to check in on Rick Taylor's place and feed
the hungry hummers, if need be.
"If you don't like the news, go out and make some of your own." is the parting comment of the Dr. Demento show.
Here in the Chiricahuas, this might be modified to: "If you haven't experienced a Marty Stouffer moment, make one of your own."
This is what Jackie did on Saturday evening. We were heading out to White Tail Canyon about 4:00 pm and after dodging
a Whip snake and Gopher snake, Winston slowed down at the silhouetted outline of a baby cottontail sitting stone still in
the middle of the road - sitting stone still and almost nose to nose with an equally motionless gopher snake about 3 feet in length.
Winston stopped about 40 feet from the snake and bunny and Jackie got out of the truck to inspect the goings-on. She walked
around behind the bunny and neither the snake nor bunny moved. Quietly, slowly, Jackie inched herself behind the bunny and
reached down and goosed its behind. The baby cottontail, certain it had been snake-bit exploded forward, running right
over the top and down the back of what had been a motionless gopher snake. Upon being run over by dinner, the snake recoiled
backward, saw Jackie and then whipped around and raced into the same thicket the bunny ran into. Bunny was definitely off the
"hunt-and-kill-it-yourself" menu for the evening.
On the way back from Rick Taylor's, Winston ran over a Ring-necked Snake. Jackie made Winston go back and assess the damage.
The injured snake had gone into a defensive posture: accordioning itself into a series of tight symmetrical "S" shapes and
flipping its tail into a corkscrew so that the bright orange underside was displayed like a tightly coiled fluorescent pig tail.
Thinking the snake was dead and maybe a rarity, Jackie popped it into an Albertson's grocery bag (the cloth reusable kind) and
told Winston to head to Dr. Dick Zweifel's to report the find. Winston straddled (we hope) another gopher snake with the truck.
When we stopped to check on its welfare, we walked past a fourth Gopher snake. As Winston was driving slowly and carefully,
Jackie decided to look in the snake bag. To her surprise and delight, the Ring-necked snake had come to life and was about to exit
the bag. Jackie encouraged it back to the bottom of the bag, noticing a musty odor that is now lingering in Winston's truck.
Jackie squinched the bag closed and held it tight until we got to the Zweifels. Dick was delighted to see the snake and reached
into the bag and pulled it out commenting that it was quite a nice specimen. Putty gray symmetrical body, black head ring
ranging from white to coral to very orange-red. Ring-necked snakes are venomous - their venom paralyzes salamanders, and probably
other small amphibians and reptiles. They also exude musth (as we found out). They can be found from seemingly anywhere in the
area - from grasslands to creeks and altitudes from 4-6000 feet. Dick had trapped several specimens at the research station, and
found one Ring-necked snake that had swallowed a Garter snake nearly the same length and size as the Ring-necked snake. Dick
put the snake in a glass jar with air holes and a small dish of water for it to drink and keep it moist. Dick also commented that when
gopher snakes emerge this time of year they are very thirsty and if you catch one and hold its head close to a water source, it will drink
and drink - just like the hummingbirds when we feed them before releasing them during banding. Dick promised to keep an eye on the
snake and to give us the Doctor's report on the extent of injury in the morning. We then headed home for dinner and a movie.
Dick kept the snake for about two weeks. It mended, and we took it up Turkey creek to let it go. It stopped at the creek
and drank and drank, and then swam down the creek and took refuge under a rock. Some pics:
Dinner was a very satisfying gumbo with smoked sausage and the movie was Joss Whedon's "Serenity - Firefly". This was Winston's
third watching, and is still enchanted with this cross-genre Space-Western set 500 years into the future. A study in contrasts,
the Serenity Crew wears 1860's U.S. Civil War inspired uniforms while the Alliance uniforms are a near clone of those used in Starwars.
Unlike light sabers of the Jedhi nights, the crew of Serenity uses good old fashioned six shooters, lever action 30-30's, Sniper
rifles and shotguns. The heroine is also study in contrasts - a small, seemingly fragile girl with a deadly secret. Oriental motifs
abound and Mandarin (mostly cursing and swearing) and English are spoken as easily as English and Spanish is spoken and
heard here in Las Cruces. Lots of action, good special effects, great sound-track and an air of plausibility make this a fun
movie. It also makes one wonder what group of boneheads at the network made the decision to cancel the television series.
Jackie's comment: "Do you mind if I look at the catalogues while we watch this?" Obviously not a sci-fi fan.
For Sunday's entertainment we readied the Walker House for guests, entertained bird-watchers, and a Sunday driver
that drove in from Skip's around the horse-trailer, over the air and water hoses, around the construction debris and Jackie's
4Runner without stopping to offer explanation or apology, threw Winston into a first class rant about a stupid, inconsiderate
people. Indeed, he ran off the Walker house porch, broom in hand, yelling at the perpetrator who gunned his red truck
with red camper shell and little dog inside, to put more distance between himself and this mountain madman. Jackie's
comment - "Winston, you just proved you should be riding that broom". Winston is sometimes wound WAY too tight.
The entertained birdwatchers asked Winston what he did for a living and Winston replied: "Yell at people who do stupid
things." The astute observation was: "Oh, so you must be a supervisor!"
21 April 2009
Where, oh, where does the time go????
Jackie and I have many, many adventures to share with our readers - and
yes, Winston is remiss in keeping one and all informed. Birding season
has arrived in Paradise in full force. The events of this weekend reinforce
the saying: “It is always busy in the country.” How busy were we this weekend?
16 April - Winston drive to Paradise from Las Cruces.
17 April - Jackie drive to Tucson for a shopping day.
17 April - Winston stay in Paradise and entertained at least 45 people who
arrived in the yard nearly at the same time - one group from
Rusty's RV that were having the best time ever driving through
the mountains and just enjoying life. The other 20 or so were
with Elder Hostel tours and were in the yard for a little history and
a lot of birding.
18 April - Kitchen prep for Jackie while Winston entertained the bird watchers.
19 April - Hummingbird banding with the Hummingbird Monitoring Network.
24 birds in hand, BCHU, MAHU, BTLH, RUHU. Started at dawn and
banded for 5 hours - normal protocol.
19 April - Jackie loaded up the 4Runner and headed over the mountain to the
Austen's ranch near the Coronado Monument to cook dinner for 30
people. Yes, dinner, breakfast, and lunch for 30 people. The event
was a migratory bird symposium sponsored by the U.S. Fish and
Game and at least The Hummingbird Monitoring Network. A
transnational event, people in attendance came from Mexico, Arizona,
Colorado, California, and other places far from the Chiricahuas. Of
course, they were all biologists of one sort or another with specialties
in everything from statistical compilation to wildlife management.
Their goal was to develop action plans that would help wildlife
management in general, and migratory birds in specific. Being a
scientist requires a lot of brain power, and an active brain can
can consume a lot of calories - think about it - have you ever seen
an overweight physicist? To help fuel those thought patterns, Jackie
developed, prepared and served the following menu with a special
thanks to Lee Rogers who came in to sous chef while Winston stayed
in Paradise to call birds and help our carpenter. The Menu:
Rustic Cheeze Gallete
Baked Brie with Pecans and Maple Syrup (Apps + wine = very happy crowd)
Roast Chicken with Maple Cider Vinegar Glaze (decadent!!!)
Pork Pimenton with Shallot Cream Sauce
Quinoa Pilaf (most popular dish - almost none left over)
Goat Cheese with Kale Pasta
Asparagus with Lemon Garlic Butter (also “gone”)
Chocoflan and Vanillaflan Cakes
Muffins, fresh fruit, Granola, Yogurt, O.J., French Roast Coffe
Roast Chicken with Maple Cider Vinegar Glaze
Mashed Potato Salad
Vegetable Tray & Humus Dip
Blondies & Flancakes
”The food was really good.”
My favorite: “I am amazed you cooked for this many people.”
20 April - Winston drove back to Las Cruces and Jackie crashed for 12 hours straight.
Jackie's next culinary event is a Luau in the spring. She is going to
keep it simple this time: Kahlua pork, Poi, Macaroni Salad, 2 Scoop White Rice
and if the fish looks fresh, maybe some Lomi-Lomi salmon and Poke salad (sea weed is the clincher)..
Check back by for the date and time, and if in the area, stop by, make a
donation to Portal Rescue (Jackie is an EMT and Board member), join
the Luau and watch Larissa do a Tahitian fire dance. This will be a most
And, we are building above the little house. Second floor. More Pics to come. It all started when Jackie wanted to replace the carpet....
A family tale - Deer Ropin':
My Granddad Lewis roped a 4 point mule deer from his cowpony. For you easterners, this means
4 antler tines on one side - don't know why you have to count both sides in the East. 4 point Muley probably
weighs 180 lbs on the hoof. My Granddad lassoed the deer around the neck, made a quick turn,
(his rope was tied hard and fast - none of that finger-losin' fancy dally ropin') and when the rope went
taught, it threw the deer to the ground so hard it was stunned. The cowpony went into action and pulled
the rope tight, not releasing any slack, and dragging the deer ever so slightly. My Grandad ran
down the rope like a rodeo cowboy, got to the stunned deer, and realized he needed something to "finish it off."
He grabbed an antler and thought he might reach into his jeans pocket, whip out his pocket knife, and slit the
deer's throat. Problem was that he was wearing shotgun chaps and had to peel them down mid thigh to get
out his pocket knife. About the time that he got his chaps down and his hand in his pocket, the deer came to
and "exploded". My Granddad was hanging onto an antler with one hand, his other in hand in his pocket, and
the deer was pulling him up and down like a rag doll all the while being drug backward by the cow pony when
my Uncle Ray, on horse back, pulled his .30-.30 out of its scabbard and aimed it at the deer. At that point, my
dad, also on horseback, grabbed the rifle and yelled "don't shoot" you might hit Dad!" Well, when it was all
said and done, the deer became dinner, and as the family was retelling the story around the table, one of the
cousins asked my Uncle Ray, "What would you have done if you shot your Dad?" My Uncle Ray, never at a loss
for words, replied: "I woulda gutted him out an' brought him home. Some folk like Jackass Meat."
True story, still told by the Lewis clan to this day.
Dick Lewis @ 1964
February 12, 2009 6:31 PM
Global Warming and Obama Article
You will enjoy the start to this weeks Rich Kaarlgard's Forbes Magazine Column:
"Obama's Catastrophic Start"
"I spent the weekend in Prescott, Ariz., where my search for global warming went unrequited. Monday morning brought a blizzard of snow so heavy
and wet it stuck to the car's hood for half an hour while going 70 mph down Highway 69."
The article goes on, but here are some pics of Gerry, Jackie's stepdad digging out from under the same snowstorm. Global warming or not, he is stylish!
27 Jan - What Jackie saw
Lest our fair readers think that we are foodies (heavens! - not Winston and Jackie!!!), we thought
it best to share our return events and Jackie's Cabo bird list. Jackie would have had been able
to snap a pic of the adult male Xantu's near the Pueblo Bonito Flamingo area - but Winston wanted
to head to the airport to make sure they got out on time. Silly Winston, this was the off-season, the
airport was near empty, the flight 1/2 full, and taxi's RACED to the airport. There would have been no
harm done or time lost waiting another 30 minutes - but Winston had to get to the airport. Once we
did arrive in Phoenix, it was to the usual winter festivities that draw the snow-bird crowd to the desert.
The 44th street Marriott was weekend home to a volleyball and soccer tournament, the Barret-Jackson
auto auction was in full swing, the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll 1/2 marathon route was right beside
the hotel - 500,000 moving bodies running down the street, except for one poor soul (obviously
out of shape and "done for") that hobbled into the hotel lobby and asked the concierge to call a cab.
He just couldn't finish. But Jackie's folks did get home (Prescott) in time to watch the Cardinals win their play-off game and head to the
Superbowl - Go Cardinals!!!
Cabo San Lucas January 10 - 17, 2009
Bird List in order seen - twitching was not allowed.
Magnificent Frigate Bird
Verdin (heard only)
Common Ground Dove
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
22 Jan - The return from Cabo
What a week it was! Mornings spent watching the whales spout, the Manta Rays leap, and the
Cabo Navy heading out for the day's Marlin fishing. Of course we found time to tour Cabo, bird watch,
whale watch, trek the beaches, climb the 149 stairs between the main pool and our pool, swim
to the swim-up bar and order a dirty monkey and fish sandwich. The poolside service was first
rate and the fish sandwich and guacamole with chips were exquisite. We also dined at the
Milan - and the wood fired Pizza was the hit of the evening. At the La Nao, Jackie ordered
Mexican coffee for dessert. Our waiter, Sandro, heated what appeared to be the tips of two
silver gravy boats over an open flame. Then he added tequila to one and kahlua to the other
and set them a flambe! But that was only the beginning. He then mixed the tequila into the kahlua
in a series of flaming arcs, finishing with a three tiered fiery pour from tequila boat to kahlua boat
to the coffe cup! A round of applause from dining room, a finish with whipped cream and
marischino cherry. and service with smile and admiration from all. It is taking Winston little time to get back in the groove
at work. Hard to beat whale watching from the balcony and learning new card games from some very, very, serious Canasta
players. The flights were on time, the resort was wonderful, and we highly recommend staying at the Pueblo Bonito,
Sunset Beach. Quite a nice time was enjoyed by all. A few vacation pics:
06 January 2009 - First snow of the new year!
Winston and Jackie shared family events - Jackie's family was noisy as only a house full of teens and
pre-teens can be. Winston's family relived growing up with step Father Frank Hulme and centered the
reminiscing with an homage, a toast, and a bit of friendly desert advice:
"Frank raised us to be men - not boys - men." - Richard
"Here is to like mindedness and family." - Philip
"Ya don't eat cactus or rattlesnakes unless you are dyin'" - Richard
Gene was absent, George was occupied, and Winston learned he did not need to share the facts
of life with niece, Kelly, who was more than willing to share her knowledge with him. Note: Never
underestimate the knowledge store of a bi-lingual, bi-cultural teenager. They know 2X as much
as the average WASP child. While Winston was trekking to White Sands for work on 06 January, Jackie awoke to a fresh blanket of snow in
the Chiricahuas. As New Year celebrations go, this was a quiet entry into 2009. Winston wrote and Jackie edited the annual newsletter while Mischief
made it known that she, too, should partake in the seasonal festivities by curling up in the incoming Christmas card box. What a spoiled
kitty cat. Jackie is taking reservations for 2009, and even with the dismal economy, is filling up March, April, May, August, and September
quickly - make reservations Now! As for the Christmas Bird count, @141 species were counted in a 7.5 mile (believe it or not) radius
around Portal. Click here for initial compilation summary, and click here for radius that was covered. Of course, a flock of @30 Bushtits
came into the GWH yard AFTER the official close of the CBC (I think Jackie called them "little stinkers" in exasperation). Winston and
Jackie are off to CABO for a week of fun in the sun. See you guys (this is an Arizona term - opposed to the Texan "y'all") at the end of
January when Winston gets to sojourn to Phx for work while Jackie gets to play in the snow in Paradise with her tuned up '94 4Runner.