Archive for July, 2013

Pictures of Desert Flowers At Down By The River B and B

July 31st, 2013 by Mike Hug

Pictures of Desert Flowers At Down By The River B and B

Cane Cholla flower Picture

Cane Cholla flowers in April and May after the last frost.

We have taken pictures of desert flowers that grow on or near the property at Down By The River B and B. The flowers start to grow in late March after the last freeze and cactus start to bloom after it starts warming up in April. Some flowers pop up and just use the moisture that is in the ground from the winter rains and snow. The cactus blossom after the weather is warmer in April and May and a couple that we have don’t blossom until after the monsoon rains hit in July.

Some pictures of desert flowers have to be taken the day that they blossom. Cactus in some cases blossom in the morning and fold up and wither away by the afternoon. One cactus that we have is not native to Arizona. Barb was a cactus lover and found an Argentine Giant Cactus in the Phoenix area when we lived there. This cactus flower blooms in June for about 6 hours then withers away. There is a large reddish pod that comes out the side of the cactus and this pod opens up when the flower blooms. The flower is about 5 or 6 inches in diameter and is pure white with a yellow and green center.

Argentine Giant Cactus picture

Argentine Giant Cactus flowers are about 6 inches in diameter and only last from morning to afternoon.

Most cacti will bloom only for a short period of time even if you water them to try to keep blossoms alive. The barrel cactus that was on the property will bloom later in the summer after the monsoon rains have started. Cane cholla and walking stick cholla bloom in May. We also have some pencil cholla that will be blossoming in July. Prickly pear cacti usually bloom in April and May. Prickly pear can have different flower colors ranging from yellow to orange and reds. It depends upon the species of cacti as to what color the flower will be.

There are many smaller flowers that are less than 1 inch in diameter that blossom in spring. They last through the heat of June and then when the summer rains begin they really start to grow. There are many types of morning glories that are around the house. Red, blue and purple colors decorate the yard especially under the trees where the water runoff pools. The other colors of white and yellow blossoms abound in different areas of the yard also. We especially like the flora that delight your eyes with the brilliant display of vibrant colors. These flowers attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds during the day. Throughout Cochise County there are many other flowers to see. There will be some more that we have blossom later in the year and we will be adding this to the photo albums.

flower pirture

This group of flowers grows every year under the mesquite tree at the front of the building. The red flowers are Tran Pecos Morning Glories, the purple flowers are Ivy Leaf Morning Glories and the yellow flower is the Golden Crown Beard

The desert is not a dreary bleak area and you will realize that as you go through the pictures of desert flowers that we have shown on the Pinterest page or our Facebook page. Clicking on the picture will bring that flower up and give you the name of the flower. Our Facebook page has over 25 different varieties of flowers that are found right around the b and b. Take a look at the pictures and enjoy the colors and the wonderful designs of the various flowers that are here in Cochise County. Also if you are at our Facebook page give us a like. We would appreciate it. If you are a flower lover, be a guest at Down By The River as your Lodging Hub of Cochise County and enjoy all that this area has to offer.

 

 

 

Kartchner Caverns B and B has The Caverns News

July 24th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Kartchner Caverns B and B – Photograph the Caverns?

Kartchner Caverns Entry Sing picture

Kartchner Caverns State Park is the most pristine live cave in the United States.

Would you like to take photographs at Kartchner Caverns while staying at Down By The River, the closest Kartchner Caverns B and B? Maybe you would enjoy the view out the west windows of our Kartchner Caverns B and B. The view is toward the Whetstone Mountains and you can see the hill where Kartchner Caverns is located from the Prospector Room private patio. I have written about the Caverns before and you can read that blog by clicking here.

Kartchner Caverns has special events over the year beside their tours. They do stargazing at certain times of the year but there is a special one that they haven’t done before, to my knowledge. It is called Bug Night. Bug Night will cost $6.00 for a vehicle to enter the park. The agenda is for the people that come to view the insects that can be found around the grounds of the Park. Entomologists, insect experts, will be there to give information and show the insect world to the participants. The bat population at Kartchner Caverns in Southeast Arizona feasts on the many flying insects that are in the area. This should be an interesting experience for anyone that is a little buggy about insects. Bring a flashlight and water. But that really isn’t the big news.

With Bug Night there is also a limited tour of Kartchner Caverns specifically to allow up to 15 people to photograph the inside of the caverns. This special event may be a once in a life time opportunity for the lucky people that get their ticket. This will be a private tour of the Throne Room. During that tour, photography will be allowed. There are a couple of catches. One is that photographs that are taken must only be for personal use,  not for commercial use. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Photographers must be able to carry all their gear and tripods will be allowed. The last item is that this tour will cost $150 per person. The money raised will benefit the programs of the Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park.

Kartchner Caverns news release stated that Bug Night will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2013 from 6:30 to 9:00 P.M., weather permitting. The photo tour will be held on the same night from 5:00 to 8:00 P.M. You must arrive at the Discovery center at the park by 4:30 P.M. to participate in this event.

The contact information for those interested, you can email Gretchen@fkcsp.org or visit the Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park website at  to make a payment. For more information about the photo tour call the Friends of Kartchner Caverns State Park office at (520) 668-7707.

If you wish to do a tour of Kartchner Caverns at a time other than on Bug Night you can make reservation by visiting the website or by calling (520) 586-2283 between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. (Mountain Standard Time) seven days per week. And if you are staying at our Kartchner Caverns B and B, make that reservation after 11 A.M. so that you aren’t rushed at breakfast. The Throne Room tour is open all year but the Big Room tour is only open from October 15 until April 15.

Field Trip Attendees Given Warm Welcome by Tucson Audubon B and B Affiliate

July 17th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Tucson Audubon B and B Affiliate Hosts Field Trip Attendees

Hummingbird feeder picture

Black-chin hummingbirds gather at the feeder for nectar.

When we decided to build Down By The River, we wanted to be one of the Tucson Audubon B and B affiliates. We looked in Southeastern Arizona for the location that would allow us to be a Tombstone B & B but also near the San Pedro River for the birding activities. Our desire for the combination of the two things wasn’t feasible, unless we could find a way to reroute the San Pedro River. Oh and there wasn’t even a small glimmer of hope for that, don’t you know! The next plan was to find a location on the San Pedro River for our B and B but near Tombstone. After a long search and with some help, we found the land here in St. David to build our San Pedro River b and b.

After we finished construction, we became a Tucson Audubon b and b affiliate. Our first encounter with the staff at the Tucson Audubon was a great experience and we were introduced to the wonderful staff at the University Street office. We were beginning bird watchers; we didn’t have enough experience to call ourselves birders. We signed up for field trips with guides mainly in St. David and down at the San Pedro House. After a while, we began gaining some knowledge and found the game of identification of the LBJ, little brown jobs, was a challenge that all birding enthusiasts know. Luckily we have a resource as a

Birding tools picture

The birders tools vary but usually binoculars, camera and book to ID the birds are the main items used.

Tucson Audubon B and B affiliate, and I always thank Jennie who is willing to help me out with some ids when I have sighted something I can’t identify.  It usually is a morph of a common bird that I have found and I get an answer relatively quickly. Along with Sibley’s reference, we have found a website that does help out with many identities so I don’t have to bother anyone very much.

We have had many Audubon members come and stay at our Tucson Audubon B and B, some of which have found us through the Tucson Audubon website others by word of mouth. We have a great time with the birders that come and many show us the wonderful photos that they have taken during their visit to the area. Some even give us copies to put up on the website and we do credit them when we post a picture. In February, we had two guests, who were working on their big year. During their stay with us, they were able to add to their list right here from the patio and on the back property toward the river.

Lucheon Picture

Our Tuscon Audubon B and B affiliate hosted a field trip lead by Cliff Cather.

The Tucson Audubon does many field trips down to locations in Cochise County and the San Pedro River specifically. In June, the Audubon had a scheduled field trip to Cochise County with a stop in Willcox and then they were stopping in St. David as they returned to Tucson. We kept in touch with Cliff, who was guiding the tour and he was able to stop here at our Tucson Audubon B and B. When the group arrived, Angie and I introduced ourselves and gave the group a tour of the B and B and the grounds. We also provided them with some light snacks and drinks. We had many compliments about what we have here and many told us that they would like to return to further explore the area and the San Pedro River. They discovered that we are centrally located and why we call ourselves “The Lodging Hub of Cochise County”.  The next time you are planning a trip check us out and see for yourselves how great this birding area is.

Group picture

Cliff Cathers, The tall man in the back, and Audubon field trip group photo taken during their visit.

Tombstone Vigilante Days lodging at our B and B nearby Tombstone

July 10th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Our B and B nearby Tombstone is close to all the action

Stage Coach Picture

Take a guided tour of Tombstone in a stage coach and learn about the history of the town.

Down By The River B and B nearby Tombstone is the perfect choice for lodging when you attend the 65 th Annual Tombstone Vigilante Days event. The three day event has something for everyone and starts Friday August 9 and runs to Sunday August 11 between 10 AM to 4 PM daily. The Vigilante Days Event includes live entertainment throughout the day such as gun fights, mock hangings, no one is actually hung by accident like the grave stone says in Boot Hill, an1880 fashion show and the pretty saloon girls are wandering around looking for the perfect guy to buy them a drink. There are period children’s games available for activities for the younger set. The Tombstone Vigilantes will raffle off a .45 caliber long colt lever action rifle which is the 27th in a series.

Saturday there is a chili cook-off that starts at 8 AM and the chili can be sampled at 1 PM. The samples are available until the concoctions run out.  This will take place on Allen Street in the center of town. Sunday will feature the 27th Annual 10K race that is mapped out on the website.

The cost of the race is $18 with a shirt and $8 without. There is also a 2 K race that costs $15 with the shirt and $5 without. The race starts at 6:30 AM with registration starting at 5:30 AM or you can preregister if you wish. Visit the Tombstone Vigilantes Website for more information or call 520-457-3291.Staged gunfight

There are other lodging choices for a B and B nearby Tombstone, but we feel that our San Pedro River B and B, Down By The River, is actually a better place to stay. Being the Lodging Hub of Cochise County, our B and B nearby Tombstone is a short day trip from many attractions throughout Cochise and Eastern Santa Cruz Counties. After you have had your fun in Tombstone you visit other locations in the area or just sit on the patio and watch the monsoon storms that are should be in the area.

Lodge at Our B and B near the wineries – Join one of the Wine Clubs

July 4th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Terry and Jacque Picture

Terry and Jacque of Coronado Winery greet all the club members during their visit.

Being a b and b near the wineries in southeastern Arizona has its advantages. Since we are a centrally located Southeastern Arizona B & B, our guest have easy access to both the Sonoita and Willcox wineries while lodging at one location. There have been wineries in Southeastern Arizona have for decades and they provide some excellent wines. These wines are on par with many wines from the larger wine producing areas of the country. With new wineries starting up every year there are many different styles to choose from. Most if not all, the wineries in Arizona have their membership clubs which give their members discounts and allow them special access during private events. This may include a special pairings dinner, possibly a barrel tasting or it may be to let members taste a new release before it is introduced to the public.

Presentation Picture

A description of the wine is given to let you know what to expect of the sample that you are given to taste.

Club membership privileges varies among the wineries but usually it allows the member free tastings and discounts on wine purchases. Generally the signup is free but there is a requirement that you purchase wine from the winery at designated times during the year. The purchases are generally within a price range and quantity that is agreed upon when you sign up for the club. Shipping can be done from the winery to your home of office or you can pick it up at the winery. This allows you to enjoy the wine and have it shipped to you, without going to the winery.

New Release Picture

The new release was set out for all the members to see and look at prior to tasting.

On the 28th of June, Coronado Winery had a wine release party for all the club members. Angie and I were invited to the event. That night we didn’t have any guests so we decided to attend the evening festivities. When we arrived we were greeted by Jacque Cook, the owner of Coronado Winery. We first met Jacque a week after she had opened Coronado’s tasting room but we hadn’t seen her for a while. It was good to renew old acquaintances again. Behind the scenes Terry, the manager of the tasting room, was in the kitchen making sure all the food was prepared to perfection.

We arrived just as the club event started and took a seat in the dining room on one of the comfortable overstuffed couches. Coronado was featuring 4 new wines which are being released to the public after the 4th of July. Two wines were whites; one a crisp Chardonnay and the other was a dry Riesling. Both went well with the food pairing of bruschetta topped with a fig jam, brie cheese and a slice of pear.

Pairing picture

Bruschetta with fig jam, brie cheese and pear slice is a fantastic combo with the white wine that was served.

Group seating

Stuffed Date with bacon wrap was paired successfully with the different red wine selections.

Shrimp appitizer

The spicy shrimp in the pairning really brought out the flavor of the Two Heads Red wine .

This combination was very tasty and we think that it is something we can offer to our guests when we have our New Years Eve Party this year. The other two wines were Two Heads Red, a blend, and a Sangiovese. Both of these went well with the spicy shrimp and the stuffed dates wrapped in bacon.

Relax and enjoy picture

When attending one of the club meetings sit back and enjoy the view, the ambiance and the people that you meet.

The best part of a club event is being able to meet other people that enjoy the ambiance, food and wine. We made connections with some people from Safford that we had met at the Grape Stomp last year. We had a good time catching up on things and meeting other people that had decided to come to the club event. We even had time to tell them about Down By The River, our b and b near the wineries. These events are always good for networking and distributing to potential guests our brochures and business cards. We get to talk up our centralized location in Cochise County and even had a few new acquaintances give us “Likes” on our Facebook page. We let them know that we do post offers for special events at our B and B on Facebook.

So when you go wine tasting, take a look at the wineries that you like and evaluate the idea of becoming a club member. There are advantages with membership that the normal wine taster doesn’t have and each winery is different. As for our B and B near the wineries, there are many events which are scheduled in the area besides the winery events. Many of these county events are free to the public and we post them on our website events page – so check that out. We try to keep the events in our general area up to date at least 2 to 3 months in advance. This allows our guests the ability to plan their trips to Cochise County during times that events happen. For those of you that live out of the area and are in need of lodging, consider Down By The River B and B near the wineries. We are “The Lodging Hub of Cochise County”. After you do wine tasting in Southeastern Arizona, it is nice to relax on the patio at our San Pedro River B and B and watch the sunset. You may also use the barbeque as you sample some wine that you purchased at one of the wineries in this part of Southeastern Arizona.

Cheers!

 

Glass of wine picture

Cheers

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