Archive for June, 2014

Southeast Arizona B and B Recipe

June 25th, 2014 by Mike Hug

The Southeast Arizona B and B Recipe is always desired by our guests at Down By The River B and B

quiche picture for our southeast Arizona b and b recipe

This Southeast Arizona B and B recipe is the one we use for our Sweet Italian Sausage, Tomato and Basel Quiche.

Our Southeast Arizona B and B recipe is an integral part of the gourmet meal plans that we prepare for our guests. After our guests have enjoyed  their breakfast at Down By The River B and B, we get asked by many if they can have the recipe. They also ask “How hard it is to make?” We do give our recipes out to our guest when they ask and we put them up on the blog so that they are able to read them. Amazingly, none of our recipes are difficult but a few take some longer prep times.

We also serve another side with the quiche. Sometimes we do one of our French toast creations, or specialty pancakes or waffles.

 If you would like to access other recipes that we have on the blog just go to the search mode and click the category to “Recipes”. That will bring up all the recipes that we have put out on the blog.


  • Purchased Pie dough Pillsbury or other or if you prefer make your own.
  • 9” pie  pan
  • Pinch              nutmeg
  • Pinch              cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp            salt
  • 1/4 tsp            pepper
  • 2                    small ripe tomatoes cut up into ½ inch pieces and deseed
  • 8                    eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp      basil – finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup           Italian sweet sausage precooked and crumbled
  • 3  Tbsp           milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp        Heavy Cream
  • 5/8 cup           Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


  • Grease pie pan
  • Set pie dough in pan trim excess crust and bake at 400o F for 10 to 15 minutes or until firm allow it to cool.
  • Put half of the mozzarella cheese on the base of the crust
  • Spread the tomatoes, sausage and basil over mozzarella leaving a small amount to put on later.
  • Place the rest of the mozzarella on the filling.
  • Place the small amount of tomato, sausage and basil on top of the mozzarella.
  • Mix the eggs, heavy cream, milk, salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg until thoroughly combined.
  • Pour the mixture over the filling.

You can prep this the day before and then place  in the refrigerator overnight to use in the morning.

Bake at 350o F semi covered on the sides but with an opening over the center of the pie. The last 30 minutes uncover the pie and let it brown.  Let the quiche rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Cook time 1 hour 40 minutes will serve 8 to 10.

Chiricahua National Monument BnB

June 19th, 2014 by Mike Hug

Chiricahua National Monument – A Short Drive From A World Class BnB

Chiricahua National Monument PictureChiricahua National Monument is a sky island that is located in the southeastern part of Arizona. It is a short day trip from Down By The River B and B. This park was burned in a wildfire during June of 2011 and it will take a while for all the trees to be big and shade the trails again. But there are areas that weren’t affected by the flames and one of them is the picnic area at Massai Point at over 6800 feet elevation. Massai Point is also the trail head for the nature trail, the Ed Riggs and the Echo Canyon trails that lead into the canyon. The rock formations along these trails into the canyon are impressive.

Mexican Jay Picture

Mexican Jay was watching us eat lunch at the Picnic Area at the Chiricahua National Monument

This entire area was created by a volcanic blast 27 million years ago that was 1000 times larger than the Mt. St. Helens eruption. The 100 cubic miles of material that was ejected during the eruption covered more than 1200 square miles of the surrounding countryside.  Over time the Chiricahua National Monument terrain has eroded forming hoodoos, balanced rocks, and formations similar to what you find in Bryce Canyon in Utah. There is a difference in the color of the rocks found in the Chiricahuas, The rocks are brownish instead of the pink you will find in Bryce.

Turkey Creek Caldera from Chiricahua National Monument

The Turkey Creek Caldera that formed the Chiricahua National Monument is visible from the observation building.

From the picnic area it is a short walk to the observation building at Massai Point. From this location you can look south and see the rim of the caldera of the Turkey Creek Volcano.  The view to the west is of the Sulphur Springs Valley, Cochise Stronghold and the Rincon Mountains near Tucson about 70 miles away. There is one feature that can be seen from this observation area and it is named Cochise Head. The rocky edifice looks like a head lying down. Since the fire went through you have a better view of the feature. Looking off to the east you can look into New Mexico. The Chiricahua National Monument is a short distance from the border with New Mexico.

Cochise Head picture

Cochise Head formation can bee seen from the Massai Point Observation building at the Chiricahua National Monument.

Besides the natural features in the park, you can spot a variety of animals and birds. The Mexican Jays are always around looking for ways to steal your lunch. Ground squirrels are also nearby to clean up crumbs that may be left by picnickers. On our way out of the park we have seen bears crossing the road and deer feeding near the entrance station. If you keep an eye out there is no telling what you might see. As we were going up the canyon to Massai Point I spotted some wild flowers. On the way back down I was able to stop and get some photographs. One with the redflowers was easy to identify (the Beardlip Penstemon) but the other purplish one I had never seen before. After consultation with a friend we were told that this was most likely a type of Monarda. After searching I did find it and it is also called a Wild Bergamot or Bee Balm.

beardlip penstemon found in Chiricahua National Monument

Red Beardlip Penstemon are on the side of the road in Chiricahua National Monument.

Bee Balm Picture

Bee Balm can be found along the road to Massai Pt in Chiricahua National Monument.

After leaving the Chiricahua National Monument you have a couple of choices for returning home. One is to head south and end up on Arizona 191 and stop at Sandy’s Café for ice cream. Along that route is the Lawrence Dunham Vineyard but check to see if they will be open when you are in the area or make a reservation with them. From there take 191 north to Dragoon Road and then west to the I-10. The other way back is to go back to Willcox and the restaurants and wineries in that area. Either way it is a nice day trip for you to enjoy the majesty of nature. So check out Down By The River B and B and see why we are perfect for day trips in Cochise County. Book Today!

View of Chiricahua National Monument

View down Canyon To Sulphur Springs Valley from Massai Point in the Chiricahua National Monument.

San Pedro River Wildlife

June 13th, 2014 by Mike Hug

San Pedro River Wildlife Viewing is great at Down By The River B and B

black chinned hummingbirds at San Pedro House birding area feeders picture

Two male Black-chinned Hummingbirds were at the feeder together.

San Pedro River wildlife near our b and b is more than just the birds. Being located on the San Pedro River in St. David, Down By The River B and B presents many opportunities for our guests to view wildlife from their rooms or while they are on the patio. We are frequently asked “Do you have any wildlife around on the property?” One guest asked this when we had a small deer herd not 50 yards away from where we were standing. The mule deer blend in so well that the guests never saw them until I pointed them out.

I have photographed mule deer and Javelina next to the house in the early morning. I don’t like to have the javelina around since they can be vicious when they have young around. Usually when they hear noise, you will see them quickly leave the area. We also have skunks and squirrels; you can read about an adventure we had with them one Thanksgiving. Rabbits and hares also are frequent visitors inside the patio area. Some cottontails are almost tame. I walk by them when I am doing something and can get within 5 feet while they keep eating the grass and flowers.

San Pedro river Wildlife Picture

Mule deer are frequent visitors to Down By The River.

We do have predators around also. While our b and b was being built, a neighbor spotted a mountain lion in the river that his dogs treed. We also had a young bear treed a couple of years ago by dogs at another neighbors. I haven’t ever seen track of the mountain lion but did see the bear’s tracks in the river a couple of years ago. We have also spotted a large bobcat on the property and he ignores us and keeps on walking. One time Angie and I were taking down wash from the clothes line when a grey fox came around the corner. He quickly did a 180 when he saw us. Even if I had my camera I don’t think I would have been able to get a photo of him.

San Pedro river Wildlife Picture

Javelina visit Down By the River B and B looking for mesquite pods.

At night coyotes will be howling and yipping. Sort of a reminds me of the old west movies when you didn’t know if it was a coyote or an Indian. Every once in a while you can see the coyotes on the property but they are pretty skittish around humans. We have also spotted raccoons at night on the road that leads to the river. But probably the most interesting San Pedro River wildlife we have seen is the coatimundi. Once you have seen this animal you won’t ever forget it. Click here to see a picture of a coatimundi.

San Pedro River wildlife

Cottontail rabbits are inside the patio walls feeding on flowers and grasses that grow there.

This is just a short list of the mammals that make up the San Pedro River wildlife. There are also snakes, lizards, tortoises, toads, frogs, fish, a myriad of spiders, insects, moths and butterflies.  Over the year there are 400 species of birds that can be found in the area. Down By The River is the perfect spot to view many different fauna. All you need to do is keep an eye out and have a little patience. You will get your chance to hear, see and appreciate nature. Go online and book a room so that you can partake in the viewing of the San Pedro River wildlife.

Southeastern Arizona Gray Hawk

June 7th, 2014 by Mike Hug

The Southeastern Arizona Gray Hawk is found along the San Pedro River

San Pedro River

The San Pedro River is home to the Southeastern Arizona Gray Hawk.

The Southeastern Arizona Gray Hawk can be found along the San Pedro River during the spring and summer months. In the US, the Gray Hawk is a migratory raptor found in Southeastern Arizona, the Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico (scarce in that location) and is a year around resident in extreme southern part of coastal Texas. The Gray Hawk can be found in Coastal Mexico down into Yucatan and into Central and South America as far south as Northern Argentina. Click here to see the map.

However, if you don’t want to travel out of the country, you can come to Southeastern Arizona to view Gray Hawks and stay at a world class b and b within walking distance to the San Pedro River. After we started the b and b, we discovered the Gray Hawks could be seen along this part of the San Pedro River. My first encounter occurred when we drove to the San Pedro and rounded the corner. We saw a hawk which quickly took off to parts unknown. We weren’t really sure what we saw and had no time to take a picture. We knew that it was a smaller hawk and thought we could identify it.

Southeastern Arizona Gray Hawk Picture

The Gray Hawk didn’t notice us at first.

After reviewing our Sibley’s, we narrowed it down to the Gray Hawk. After we read up on the habits of the bird in this area we found out that it was a migratory bird that nests and raises young along the San Pedro. Over the years we wandered along the San Pedro and saw Gray Hawks many times. I either didn’t have the camera or I could never get my camera up and focused before the bird was gone. I wanted to have something that I could show our guests when they asked if the Gray Hawk was in the area. It was frustrating for me not to have a photo of this hawk while I had many other photos of other hawks. Lady Luck was not with me many times.

Cochise County Bird Photography example

Lady Luck allowed me to spot this Gray Hawk and take a photograph of him before he took flight.

Recently, we were headed into town and I decided to grab my camera as we left. I really didn’t expect to see anything but you never know. When we came around the corner onto Escalante I saw a bigger bird on a pole. I knew it was a hawk. We stopped and I shot a quick picture through the windshield. The windshield was rather dirty but at least I would have the picture so I could figure out which bird we were seeing.  We moved up a little closer.  I opened the car door and slowly got out. The hawk stayed on the pole and I got my zoom lens focused on the bird. I had 4 shots before the hawk took off.

After we got home, I downloaded the pictures onto the computer. When I enlarged the photos I was glad to see a Southern Arizona Gray Hawk.  Lady Luck finally allowed me to get my photo after almost 10 years of trying. And to think I almost didn’t bring the camera on that short trip. Now my quest is for a picture of the Mississippi Kite that is in the area.

Southeastern Arizona Gray Hawk Picture

After my fourth shot the Gray Hawk took wing and left us behind.

Cochise County Bird Photography

June 1st, 2014 by Mike Hug

Cochise County bird photography can be a challenge but also rewarding

Cochise County Bird Photography example

Northern Shoveler taking flight at Twin Lakes Birding Area

Cochise County bird photography requires good equipment, the right location, some patience but a little luck on your side is key. Knowing when the birds are active and where they can be found will give you a leg up on your quest. The San Pedro River is the Cochise County gem that lures birders from all over the world. Most of the river that flows through Cochise County is located in the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Access locations to the river in the conservation area are limited. This makes the birding photography a project that you need to plan so that you can get the full benefit of your day.

Down by the River B and B- Autumn on the San Pedro River

Autumn on the San Pedro River

The San Pedro River is the last undammed river in Arizona. The river flows above ground all the way into St. David. Down By The River B and B is unique because we are the only B and B at the northern end of the Riparian Area and we have access to the San Pedro River. Because of our location, one of the four requirements is met when you stay here. Having a good digital camera and a medium range zoom lens will satisfy most situations for Cochise County bird photography. Most birders are patient and will find a location close to activity where they can wait for that shot.

The most elusive thing is luck. I have seen birds posing for their photo when I didn’t have my camera. When I did have my camera, they would fly off before I could get it focused. When I was looking north the bird would be south of me. I have focused on a bird only to have it move to a spot where leaves or branches covered it up or it would turn its head so that you couldn’t see it. Ah but then you need patience right! Well at least persistence.

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