Archive for January, 2014

Birding Hotspot on the San Pedro River

January 22nd, 2014 by Mike Hug

A Birding Hotspot on the San Pedro River is at Down By The River B and B

Path to the San Pedro River Birding Hotspot

From the back patio of Down By The River there is a path to the tree lined San Pedro River.

A birding hotspot on the San Pedro River is the Riparian National Conservation Area which is located just south of Down By The River B and B. Down By The River is abuts this birding hot spot and has access down to the river by a couple of ways.. One way is to travel about one half mile from our San Pedro River b and b property on Efken place back to Escalante Road and from there east to the San Pedro River. The other access is a pathway that has been established across the property of the b and b, through a gate and following a cut trail to another Texas gate. From there a path has been cleared to the river.

Property gate picture

The path leads to a gate to exit the property at the b and b onto a common area with a path that leads down to the river.

The birding hotspot on the San Pedro River is because it is a migratory path for the birds heading from Central America up into the Northern States and Canada. While there are many birds that live in this part of Cochise County year round there are up to 250 different species that use the San Pedro River for food and water as they fly through. There are birds that also winter in the area and when it warms up they fly back north.

Angie and I took some time recently to take the trail down across the property and through the two gates to the path leading to the San Pedro. We cleared brush and burrs from the trail to make it easier for guests to use. When we got to the bottom and came out on the banks of the river, we could hear the chatter of birds in the trees.  Even in January the birding hotspot on the San Pedro River found on the length of the river wherever water is above ground.

river bank picture

The bank along the San Pedro River is treacherous and if you go off the path.

As we walked the river, we spotted numerous birds although most were on the wing and we weren’t able to make an ID. There were 3 that we were able to get pictures of. One was a flycatcher but we weren’t able to get close enough to make a good visual as to the species. Many different flycatchers are found on the river. The other was a Northern Flicker that let me walk up close enough to photograph him. He was in a tree about at about 20 feet up on a branch and eyed me as I moved closer. I was able to get a good photo of him. The third bird was a song sparrow that was in and out of an old stump that had been washed down the river. He played hide and seek with us until I was finally able to get a few pictures of him so that I could get an ID later.

Fkycatcher picture

Unidentified flycatcher was spotted in a tree

As birding hotspots go, the San Pedro River is one of the best you will find. At the northern end of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Down By The River is the only B and B that is located on the river and has access from the back door. Guests have seen many birds here on their visit and we have documented that list. Click on this Birding Link to go the the page where we have our bird list. We also have a listing of guides that will make your experience at the birding hotspot on the San Pedro River a memorable time. To view addresses and phone numbers of these highly recommended guides check near the bottom of our birding webpage.  Check us out and find why our b and b is perfect for lodging near the birding hotspot – The San Pedro River.

Song Sparrow picture

The Song Sparrow was hiding amongst the branches in a old stump along the river.

Northern Flicker Pidture

The Norther Flicker can be found at the Birding hotspot on the San Pedro River

Our Southeast Arizona B and B hosted Bill Templeton

January 15th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Artist Bill Templeton visited our Southeast Arizona B and B

Bill Templeton Picture

Bill Templeton visited our Southeast Arizona B and B and signed some artwork that he had done for Angie

When you own an Southeast Arizona B and B you meet many interesting people. We were hosts to William Templeton. Bill stayed with us in December. He was down in St. David to help one of our neighbors erect a large cross on his property. Our neighbor chose our Southeast Arizona B and B for his lodging requirements.

Bill told us that was an artist. He said that he was born in Illinois and grew up in the Chicago area. In school Bill continued working in different media and finally he went on to graduate from The University of Arizona in Tucson. He told us that his artwork was available through galleries in various parts of the country. Now that he is an established artist, he is working at becoming independent and wants to stop using the galleries because of their high commissions.

Cross CardOver breakfast at our Southeast Arizona B and B, he talked to us about his art and the different things that he had done. He brought out a box of cards that he had that showed much of his artwork. Bill enjoys making his art and he creates his work with bold bright colors. The subjects that he paints are from his experiences and travels. His artwork carries a theme for a series and then he will start a different series with another theme. He showed us the cards that he made using his art from his trips to Mexico and the Caribbean.

His most recent endeavor in fine art has a window theme where you look pig party picturethrough a window to see the scene on the other side. One card he left with us is about three partying pigs. The picture is full of hidden gems as is much of his art. Looking at the picture you can pick out glasses, bottles corn and pearls on one pig that are hidden in the scene. This all reflects the humor in the picture.

Cross PictureBill also showed us another of his talents. He is making crosses out of various types of wood and finds old crucifixes to provide the figure of Christ for his cross. He also uses other materials in place of Christ. Angie bought one that is pictured here because of the way it looked and its uniqueness. Bill says he never makes two crosses that are the same. After talking with him, I thought of the crosses and what I have done with stain glass crosses that I made. He inspired me to see if I can produce those at another level.

Bill has his studios in Scottsdale and Pine, Arizona. You can view his work on his website.

San Pedro River Lodging Birding

January 8th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Ponds near our San Pedro River Lodging can provide some intimate bird watching without a lot of interruption of other birders.

Millers pond picture

From an overlook on the road to Millers Pond you can view the activity at the pond.

Nearby our San Pedro River Lodging, known as Down By The River B and B, are a couple of ponds that are accessible only for guests at our B and B. The pond is inside the gated area of DMR Ranch but is a short walk from the property.  One is rather small and fed by a small spring and you can find birds in the trees around the pond. The second is about 7 or 8 acres and has reeds and cat tails to give the water fowl cover. Whenever Angie and I walk to the ponds we haven’t encountered any other people during our visit. The odds are that you may be the only visitors if you visit the ponds. From a gravel road there is an overview so you can see where the activity is located at the pond.

dragon fly pictureIn the month of December we had visited the ponds twice. Both times we found mainly the American Coot. During second visit, we stopped to view the action at the pond. We found that there were other birds in amongst the  American Coots. As we viewed the birds that were at the pond, we found a pair of Ruddy Ducks, a loggerhead shrike, dove and a large group of Northern Shovelers along with the coots. There were some birds that we thought might be Cinnamon Teal but they went into the reeds before we could make a good identification.

Ruddy Duck picture

A pair of Ruddy Ducks were at the pond and we were able to watch them for a while.

On our first visit to the ponds near our San Pedro River lodging along with birds we found insects along the shore and in the reeds. In particular we found Damsel Flies and Dragon Flies. There were many birds in the reeds looking for insects and other menu items. If we had taken the time we probably could have identified the types of birds but we had a short time frame for the walk as guests were coming to the b and b.

When you visit our San Pedro River lodging, ask us about the pond and we can direct you to its location. It is always nice to be able to see something that is more off the beaten track that other people can’t get to or don’t know about. There are not the variety of birds that you will find at White Water Draw or Twin Lakes but it can be a special place in an intimate setting that can be your alone.

Loggerhead shrike picture

The loggerhead Shrike was waiting for insects during our visit to the pond

Northern Shoveler picture

Northern Shovelers took flight after we had come out of a reedy blind and disturbed them

American Coot Picture

American Coot caught st the start of a dive underwater

Lodging Near Tombstone

January 3rd, 2014 by Mike Hug

It is well known that the best lodging near Tombstone is called Down By The River B and B and has the advantages of modern comforts for our guests.

Down By The River offers superior lodging near Tombstone with the modern comforts not found in older buildings that date from the 19 th and early 20 th century. Our San Pedro River b and b is within a short 20 minute drive of the Town Too Tough To Die. We call ourselves the Lodging Hub of Cochise County for a reason. Our B and B is close to all the attractions that guest will want to see in Cochise County while allowing them to stay at a single location – particularly Tombstone.

Tombstone Courthouse 1952 Picture

The Tombstone Courthouse in 1952

Tombstone was founding in 1878 when silver was found in the area. There are many old pictures that were taken during those early years. We have old friends that visit our lodging near Tombstone. Angie and I recently had the opportunity to visit with Sharon. She gave us the opportunity to scan some old photos of Tombstone. She had taken these pictures when she was visiting back in August of 1952. I haven’t seen many pictures of Tombstone from that era. If someone took pictures of Tombstone during that time, few have survived from 60 years ago. A lot of the town was dilapidated and there were wide open spaces to explore. Boot Hill was just the grave yard without any buildings or shops nearby like today. Some places like the Crystal Palace Saloon were located on the main street of town and appear to have been open for business. Some of the buildings were in disrepair, such as the Courthouse. The OK corral was just a sign hanging in the area and it delineated information on the gunfight. Now there is a daily live reenactment that is held behind a fenced in set.  I have a few photographs from the 50s and also some recent photos so that you can compare the changes.

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