Archive for March, 2014

Movie Making in Benson and St. David

March 28th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Movie Making in Benson and St. David

Movie staging area picture

Movie Making in Benson and St. David occurred just off Apache Powder Road during March of 2014.

You wouldn’t think that there would be movie making in Benson and St. David, Arizona. All the Arizona movie studios are in Tucson, right? Well the short answer is no. There is Gammon’s Gulch that is owned by Jay Gammon and he has built a movie set at this location. Benson and St. David have been used as locations for making movies. Los Locos and South of Heaven, West of Hell were made in Benson. Scenes in Rio Lobo were shot in St. David. Gammon’s Gulch has been the location of many films by American and foreign companies.

Wardrobe picture

The wardrobe props were located along the road next to the prop trailer.

Why do I bring this topic up? I will explain. On March 24 some of our guests told us about a lot of cars, trucks and trailers that were parked along Apache Powder Road. They told us that they were told this was the set for filming of the TV series Dead Men. I decided to take my camera and go see what I could find out. I couldn’t get too close to the actors but with my camera and telephoto lens I was able to shoot some pictures of the action. The film crew had a trailer where they could dress and the wardrobe was hanging on a rack next to the trailer. I talked to the prop man who gave me information about what was going on. They are shooting for 4 days here west of St. David and then they will be moving on to Gammon’s Gulch to finish up the show.  The second day the cars were moved off the road. I am assuming that there was too much traffic stopping and looking at what was happening. I was able to take a few more pictures.

Movie making picture layout

Movie making in Benson and St. David covers a lot of territory.

horsemen picture

The horsemen were stopped after the scene was shot.

There have been many times that Gammon’s Gulch has been instrumental in movie making in Benson and St. David. When guests stay here at Down By The River B and B, we let them know about Gammon’s Gulch and the tours that Jay gives at the set. We have gone to the tour of Gammon’s Gulch and blogged about it. The time we spent there was thoroughly enjoyable. So take a little time during your stay at our B and B to visit Jay. The road to the movie set is scenic and you will see some lovely views of the Southeastern Arizona desert. Now we have to find out when the show will air so we can see what was done while we were a mile away.

Actors director picture

The director and actors were discussing a part of the scene to be shot.

Picture of camera

The camera was rolling when I took this shot. See the red light on the camera.

Lodging For Birders Near Benson

March 22nd, 2014 by Mike Hug

Lodging For Birders Near Benson Can Be A World Class B and B

B and B - Lodging for birders near Benson, AZ

During the monsoon thunderstorms, Mother Nature puts on a show for free

There are options when looking at lodging for birders near Benson, Arizona. There is only one bed and breakfast that has been labeled as one of the most spectacular b and bs in the US. Looking for a b and b located on the San Pedro River, one of the best migratory birding locations in the US. During the year a birder has a chance to find approximately 400 different species of birds along the San Pedro and in the nearby sky islands. There are about 150 species of birds that are year round residents of the area.  250 other bird species either winter or summers in the area or fly through during the Spring and Autumn migrations.

Vermilliion Flycatcher

Vermillion Flycatcher after a moth.

Down By The River B and B is the one place where you are able to see a wide variety of birds while staying in a single centralized location. Down By The River B and B offers that unique spot allowing lodging for birders near Benson with access to the San Pedro River. If you wish to take short day trips Down By The River is that perfect spot to use as a lodging base.

Feeders attract the House Finch, American Goldfinch and Lesser Goldfinch near the patio area for easy viewing. A Says Phoebe nests at the porch beams and has done so for the last 5 years. Vermillion Flycatchers, Canyon Towhees and Curved Bill Thrashers can be spotted in the nearby trees during the day. Myriads of sparrows, doves, and quail spend time on the ground around the feeders. The friendly Greater Road Runner makes an appearance looking for lizards around the house. Birders have sat on the porch and enjoyed the view as the birds came to visit.

Goldfinch feeder picture

Goldfinches flock to the feeders at Down By The River B and B.

During migration we have encountered Bullocks Orioles, Red Winged Blackbirds, Blue Grossbeaks, Cardinals, Purple Martins and a variety of swallows. Sometimes we are lucky and get some good photos of the birds that frequent the B and B. The opportunity presents itself when least expected so have the camera ready. A little luck can be helped along when you are prepared.

We also have raptors that fly over the property during the day. The Sharp-shinned Hawk, Coopers Hawk, Red Tail Hawks and Northern Harrier all take time to do a flyover looking for a meal. Guests have spotted Grey Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, and Mississippi Kites along the river during their viewing. So take some time to join us and find out just why Down By The River is perfect lodging for birders near Benson.

Roadrunner picture

The Greater Roadrunner is a frequent guest at Down By The River

San Pedro River Birds

March 13th, 2014 by Mike Hug

San Pedro River Birds – My point of view.

Gold finch at feeder

Goldfinch, Warblers and other San Pedro Birds love to visit the feeders.

I have been given the chance to do a guest blog on the San Pedro River Birds. There are days that I sit at the door or the window and watch the San Pedro River birds with their variety of coloring. They poke around on the ground while others are at the feeders. Some fly high overhead while others glide over the fields behind the house.  I would like to have some fun sneaking up on them and surprise them with a quick leap.

White Crown Sparrow Picture

The White-crowned Sparrow

I have three things I like to do every day – look at birds, sleep and eat but not necessarily in that order. Now I am not an avid birder like some people that come here. That is because my wait staff won’t let me out so that I can get face to face with some of the birds I see from the window and door. I guess I can’t complain too much since they do maintain my food and water and I can sleep anywhere and at any time since I own the place. I do find it tantalizing to think about the birds that flit about my residence. But let me introduce myself. Name is Eight Ball but I do go by Ditz. I was given that name because of some of my so called antics. I consider it normal meowing around. Such is life.

San Pedro River Bird Watcher

I am Eightball and you can address me as Your Majesty.

But I digress, so back to my story about San Pedro River birds. The American Goldfinches are here all year round and my staff keeps the thistle feeder filled on a regular basis. The sparrows, dove, quail and house finches spend a lot of time at the seed feeders. But sometimes they feed on the ground when the Gila Woodpecker gets on the feeder and flicks all the seed out.

Gila Woodpecker Getting Into Position

Gila Woodpecker Getting Into Position To Have A Drink Of Nectar.

The hummingbirds are fun to watch as they hover at the feeder. I really like to watch them since they stay for a while and they always bring their family and friends. I don’t think that I could get near enough to them to scare them though since they are so fast. The Gila Woodpecker also hangs around this feeder and drinks the sugar water.

There are also some San Pedro River birds that catch flying insects. One is red with black wings but I don’t really see the red color very well. The other is grey and orange-ish. I have been told that they are Vermillion Flycatchers and Says Phoebes. I have some experience catching flying insects but those birds have an ability that I don’t have. I can only leap so high. From a branch, they take off very fast, grab the insect and go back to their perch and wait to start all over again.

Vermillion Flycatcher and Says Phoebe Picture

Insects are always on the fly and dine menu for these San Pedro River Birds

I have imagined lying in the juniper below the feeders and then jumping out at the woodpeckers and watch them all scatter and fly off to a tree screeching at me. That would be so much fun. Just thinking of springing out of cover at the woodpecker gives me such a thrill. But my servants tell me if I tried to scare him, he would peck my eyes out. Me thinks that they have watched too much of the Christmas Story.

at the door picture

I only get to watch the San Pedro River Birds. Can’t hide in the juniper and leap out with my frightening MEOW.

Northern Harrier in Flight picture

Northern Harrier searching for prey.

I allow my servants to run a b and b here between taking care of my wants and needs. You ought to stay at Down By The River B and B and find out what kind of San Pedro River birds are around here. You could also see just how well I have trained them to keep things running smoothly. You could also enjoy sitting outside and watching all the San Pedro River birds; unlike me. I would love to get out and play with the San Pedro River birds but I have been told that the hawks or the owls might get me. I have seen some of them and they are rather large but I think I could smack them around if they got in my way.

Yawn…this has been exhausting.  So I guess I will just head to my box, lie down and dream about chasing a bird down. It has been a little tiring watching the birds and thinking about how to get out the door. I need a nap. Oh and you servants, the water and food levels are getting low, look after that will you. And do it quietly I don’t want my catnap disturbed.

Eigthball nap

On and leave the blog quietly I hate being disturbed during my nap.

Southeastern Arizona B and B

March 10th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Southeastern Arizona B and B Submits Winning Picture

Front of the Inn during a lightning storm

The winning picture

Our Southeastern Arizona b and b was invited to enter a photo contest by one of our online marketing agencies that we use. The Bed and Breakfast Online photo contest was held in February and about 60 b and bs submitted their photos. We reviewed many different pictures that we have or our Southeastern Arizona b and b. There were a few pictures that we felt might be a candidate for our contribution but in the end we realized that this one picture would be the best to place into the competition. If selected, the winning photo would be included in the slide show on BBOnlines website for the month of March. On the 28th of February, we were informed by BBOnline that we had won the competition and our photo would be placed on the website.

Lightning strike picture at our Southeastern Arizona B and B

During the monsoon storms lightning can be filmed from the cover of the patio.

We believe that our Southeastern Arizona b and b won this photo contest because of the expertise of the photographer.  Our prize winning picture was taken by Robert Neep during one of his visits to Down By The River B and B. Rob graciously allowed us the use of this picture for our marketing and promotions. The picture was taken during a July monsoon thunderstorm that developed just south of our Southeastern Arizona b and b.

Rob has come to Down By The River B and B over the last 5 years to pursue his passion for filming thunderstorm. His website features some of the videos that he has filmed during his stay at our Southeastern Arizona b and b. The videos of the storms that he has filmed in Cochise County, Arizona are really breathtaking. During the July and August monsoons,

Double Rainbow picture

A double rainbow is on display during a monsoon storm just at sunset.

the desert heat and high pressure north and west of Saint David draws the moisture into Arizona from the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. The thunderstorms build during the day. In the afternoon continuing on into the night you can see natures fireworks light up the sky and clouds. The monsoons bring much needed rain into the desert during the summer months and make this part of Arizona lush and green.

Summer monsoons at our Southeastern Arizona B and B are amazing. The thunderstorms build during the day and the rains moderate the temperature of the days heat. The display by Mother Nature cannot be beat. It is one of the best places in the US to see thunderstorms without having the danger of an accompanying tornado. As an added bonus, the sunsets top off the day with brilliant colors. Book a room and find out what happens at our Southeastern Arizona B and B during the monsoons. You may have a chance during your stay to film a fantastic light show put on by Mother Nature.

Sunset picture

The high cirrus clouds allowed for a flaming sunset.

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