To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

The Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher
          [Brian E Small]  
   The Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher is one of the last nesting arrivals in Cave Creek Canyon. They are being seen and heard on South Fork Rd. and in and around Sunny Flat and Stewart Campgrounds.  Their call is like the children's toys - the rubber duckies!  To hear it's vocalizations, go here and click on the links.
                                [Above 4 images by Peg Abbott]  
Spring Garden Party
Saturday, May 27

Thanks to all who made this such a successful day.  Over 130 people enjoyed the festivities. 




The highlight was Tom Boulton and his non-releasable Eagle, who was eyeing Stevie hungrily.

The Visitor Information Center Project
As many of you know, FOCCC is now managing the VIC under the gui dance  of the Forest Service.  We started in  the Fall of 2015 when the Forest  Service                                 [circa 1940]                 
was no longer able to hire seasonal staff for the VIC.

FOCCC has made many changes inside and out.  Plans are for further improvements to make the facility and grounds more educational and fun.  The VIC is used by many people both local, school children and other visitors.

In addition to a computer and printer, we added a 55" monitor.  We are able to show the road and trails using both Google maps, satellite images and our own images and video.  One of our hosts, John Johnson, used his drone and captured video of many of the trails and other areas.

We have been told numerous times by visitors  that we offer more detailed information than any other visitor center that they have ever seen.

Below is the back wall of the VIC that was completely replaced by a crew led by John Johnson and included Rolf Koford, Tony Donaldson and Greg Wayman.  The wall was full of dry rot, termite damage and other issues.

We are very proud of the beautiful native garden designed by Greg McGee and managed by Barb Miller.  She has put hundreds of hours into the garden and has had lots
 of help by many others. 

Since 2015 Friends of Cave Creek Canyon has invested $17,730 in the Visitor Information Center.  Thousands of hours have been donated by volunteers to the VIC.  

A portion of what we have provided:
55" TV/monitor                             printer                               software
DSL line                                       public wifi                          cell phone access
Heater                                          canopies                           tables
Garden equipment                       rebuilt back wall                rebuilt screens
Bathroom repairs                         plants                                18 months of supplies
DVD player                                  monitor                              DVDs
Hard hats                                     hummingbird feeders
RV pad electrical hookup            garden plants and supplies
Hired an intern for 3 months
Hired part-time former Forest Service ranger for 3 months

Hummingbirds at the VIC by Steve Wolfe
                     Magnificent and Broad-billed                                  Blue-throated

Volunteers have come from as far away as Oregon, Minnesota and Florida, as well as dozens of local people to put hard work into the VIC facility and grounds.  Visitors come from all over the world.  The Elegant Trogon image below was taken by a man from Iceland!  They all came to see the beautiful birds, take walks and hikes, and to soak in the awesome views.
Below you can see the visitor totals and volunteer hours at the VIC and gardens. You can see the acceleration in visitors and hours in 2017 versus 2016.
                                        1/1/17-5/31/17                        ALL OF 2016
Visitors                               1878                                        2289
Volunteer Hours                 3705                                        4767

Anyone interested in helping with trail work, gardening or leading bird or nature walks contact Mike Williams at  mike@foccc.org 

In the near future we will be replacing the walkways into the Center and making them more handicapped accessible.  We also really need to provide parking pads for the hosts' RVs.  Numerous times we have been unable to provide the correct place for a prospective host and we lost the host.  To meet our goals for the VIC and to provide additional education programs for adults and school children we need to have hosts at the VIC year round.  Thus we need more parking pads.  Any donations will be greatly appreciated.  Please contact mike@foccc.org if you want to help.
Amazing Night Sky 
by Tim Lawson

A Night in Cave Creek Canyon.

Recently, during sunset, I hiked a little ways to find this spot. I set up, figured out all the technical stuff about my shoot ahead, and commenced the shoot.   Every 30 seconds for the next 8 hours and 45 minutes I took a shot. Some times were more hands on, and at other times, I could drift off and not do much for a couple hours.   When I had finally taken all 1,050 frames, I captured some background noise to add to this short clip   many hours of processing later, here is the final result, that I'm certain I will be tweaking a bit more later.
To see the video  click here

June Features
Lucy's Warbler and Ladderback Woodpecker by Steve Wolfe
Violet Crowned Hummingbird and Mexican Chickadee by Steve Wolfe
                                Common Poorwill and Whiskered Screech Owl by Lori Conrad

Note:  the Common Poorwill is very difficult to find at night, much less take a picture.  Great job, Lori!



In early June there was a fire in downtown Portal.  Neighbors and fire trucks came from all over to put out the fire which started from unknown causes.  There was a communication glitch in getting in touch with the fire districts with cell phones.  Many neighbors were able to keep the fire down until the trucks arrived.  Grass, low shrubs and trees and 2 sheds burned down.  We were all VERY fortunate that there was no wind that day.  If we had strong winds of a few days prior, it is very possible that all of the "downtown" [including post office and library] could have been lost.  Here are a few pictures from Debb Johnson and Maya Decker.



Stories of the Past
 The Deadly Paradise Rodeo

The Chiricahua Bullsheet, an entertaining and highly opinionated newsletter and journal of local history written by Carson Morrow
Courtesy of Dick Zweifel
The Two Wheelers, Old Joe and Little Joe, haled from Magdalena, New Mexico. Old Joe was Little Joes uncle and in later years came to be generally known as Uncle Joe Wheeler. The were both good cowboys and Little Joe rated himself pretty high as a Bronco rider and made a lot of spectacular rides; That is in Bar Rooms and around camp fires. His ability to talk a good ride and his in-ability to actually stay on top of a bucking horse was the direct cause of his untimely death. 

On the Fourth of July 1904, Paradise put on an Independence day celebration which included among other attractions, free barbecue, dancing and bronco busting. The word went out for everybody to bring in their bad bucking horses and for all the gents who thought they could ride them to get set. 

Only two horses were brought in but they both had a reputation earned by unseating a number of the best cowboys in the business. Henry Buckelew and his step sons, the Noland boys, furnished a black mare whose mother had thrown and dragged Mrs. S. B. Reed to death and the daughter kept up the family reputation by bucking Little Joe off in about a jump and a half. She didn't kill him right on the spot but his foot hung in the stirrup and he was dragged and kicked until he died some months later from internal injuries. As we remember he was buried at San Simon. 

The name of the owner of the Bay gelding is not remembered but the horse was plenty salty. A fellow by the name of Jack Townsend was making a pretty good ride on him until he bucked into a black Jack Oak tree and not only knocked him off but tore most of the skin off Townsends face and head. 

Babe Stidham, from over in the Animas Mountains rode the horse to a squealing stop a few hours later and also rode the black mare for a purse of five dollars. 

The Wheelers owned and operated one of the larger Combination Saloons and dance halls "Across the Creek" during the boom days of Paradise. When Oscar Cochran resigned as Wagon Boss of the San Simon Cattle Company, [illegible]. In about 1909, Old Man Joe got the job. He stayed with the Company until they were completely Nestered out of the Cattle business a few years later, then bought the remnant of the cattle and some of the range. he got married in his old age and settled down up near Mal Pais Tank and became a rather wealthy and respected citizen before he cashed in his mortal chips, some years ago. 

FOCCC 2017 Officers and Board

Reed Peters         President                                            Other Board Members  
Sheri Ashley        Vice President                             Bob Ashley        Wynne Brown  
Mike Williams      Vice President 
                           Alan Craig          Rene Donaldson
Rick Beno 
Rolf Koford            Kim Vacariu
Stevie Wayman    Secretary
   Cecil Williams                                                        




Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
PO Box 16126
Portal, Arizona 85632


Visit Our Website 

Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" members 
for their generous support:  
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Mary George, Renata Golden, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Don Hollister, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, CeCe Raak, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Donald and Martha Squire and Bob and Sherry Zoellick.

Please support our Business Members  who  have given generously to Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon.  Without their assistance, we would be hard pressed to accomplish our goals. Click on their names to check out their websites.    
                     Birders B & B
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                           Wynne Brown 
                  Chiricahua Gallery               Everett Jones Realestate (Helen Snyder)
            Pi Irwin & Zsombor Zoltan                            Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                    Sky Island Lodge
                   Rodeo Tavern                                     The George Walker House                                 Painted Pony Resort                             Portal Peak Store and Lodge
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!