Monthly Archives: February 2009

Art & performing art in Cochise County

Want a little creative boost this weekend? Visit Cochise County to see a a miniature art show or a “regular sized” musical performance.

Feb. 26, Tucson Symphony Orchestra with the Bisbee Community Chorus-Latin Flair

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra comes to Bisbee for a special performance of “Latin Flair,” as part of its Southern Arizona Residency. The Bisbee Community Chorus, presenter of the event, will join the symphony for part of the program. The concert is made possible in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, with funding from the state of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Details: 7 p.m. at the Bisbee High School Auditorium, 325 School Terrace. Admission is $12.50 (free for K-12 students in Cochise County). More info at 520-432-3523 or 520-432-8885

Through February, Willcox Miniature Art Show

Stop by the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture to admire a nationally judged show of artwork no bigger than 35 square inches. The mini show and sale, sponsored by the Art League of Willcox, features artists from all over the country.

Details: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon. – Fri.; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat.; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sun. at the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, 1500 N. Circle Road. Admission is free. Info at 520-384-2272 or 520-384-5317.

Arizona Folklore Preserve, Sierra Vista

Dolan Ellis, Arizona’s Official State Balladeer, performs in the intimate setting of the Folklore Preserve in forested Ramsey Canyon. Reservations are required.

Details: 2 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, at the Arizona Folklore Preserve,

44 E. Ramsey Canyon Road in Hereford.Admission is $15 for adults; $6 for students 17 and under. Call 520-378-6165 or visit the Arizona Folklore Preserve website for more information.

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Blue mockingbird: rare bird spotted in Douglas

Four sightings of the Blue Mockingbird have been documented previously in the U.S.Last week, a fifth sighting was confirmed at the Slaughter Ranch.

Photo (c) Michael Moore

Photo (c) Michael Moore

Slaughter Ranch is a park adjacent to the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Arizona. Richard Webster, a professional guide with Field Guides Birding Tours, identified the bird and notified the Ranch’s caretakers, Linda, Bob and Josh Kruger. The Blue Mockingbird is generally found in Mexico.

Since then, hundreds of birders have gone to the sight to see this rare bird and add it to their life lists. The Arizona Field Ornithologists Web site documented the discovery. Michael Moore, the AZFO’s photo documentation editor, took the picture above. Other photos of the blue mockingbird can be seen there.

This sighting comes after another rare bird, the tufted flycatcher, was spotted in the Chiricahua Mountains in May 2008.

While it’s tempting to rush down for a glimpse of the rare bird, please be aware of the code of ethics for birders that the American Birding Association established. Below is a condensed version. Click for the full list of the birders code of ethics.

American Birding Association’s Code of Birding Ethics (partial list)

1. Promote the welfare of birds and their environment.

1(a) Support the protection of important bird habitat.

1(b) To avoid stressing birds or exposing them to danger, exercise restraint and caution during observation, photography, sound recording, or filming.

Limit the use of recordings and other methods of attracting birds, and never use such methods in heavily birded areas, or for attracting any species that is Threatened, Endangered, or of Special Concern, or is rare in your local area;

Keep well back from nests and nesting colonies, roosts, display areas, and important feeding sites. In such sensitive areas, if there is a need for extended observation, photography, filming, or recording, try to use a blind or hide, and take advantage of natural cover.

Use artificial light sparingly for filming or photography, especially for close-ups.

1(d) Stay on roads, trails, and paths where they exist; otherwise keep habitat disturbance to a minimum.

2. Respect the law and the rights of others.

3. Ensure that feeders, nest structures, and other artificial bird environments are safe.

4. Group birding, whether organized or impromptu, requires special care.

Each individual in the group, in addition to the obligations spelled out in Items #1 and #2, has responsibilities as a Group Member.

Keep groups to a size that limits impact on the environment, and does not interfere with others using the same area.

4(e) Ensure everyone in the group knows of and practices this code.

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Snow in Cochise County

It snowed in Cochise County this morning! Below are a few pictures. Don’t worry… the cold stuff is melting away soon melted away just a few hours later. Because Cochise County is in the southern part of the state, it gets some snow, but it doesn’t pose a threat like it does in the north.

The Douglas Visitor Center and the historic train depot (which now houses the Douglas Police Department) were blanketed in snow:

Photo by Ginny Jordan

Photo by Ginny Jordan

Photo by Ginny Jordan

Photo by Ginny Jordan

By 1 p.m., the snow had melted!

Photo by Ginny Jordan

Photo by Ginny Jordan

Photo by Ginny Jordan

Photo by Ginny Jordan

Snow also blanketed Tombstone, the “town too tough to die.” Here’s a resident’s puppy playing in it! By 9 a.m., it was melting.

Photo (c) Liz Ingalls

Photo (c) Liz Ingalls

Ahhh, how cute! Photo (c) Liz Ingalls

Ahhh, how cute! Photo (c) Liz Ingalls

Here are pictures of snow in Willcox…

Photo by Kathy Smith, Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture

Photo (c) Kathy Smith

…and in Benson!

Photo (c) Kay Daggett

Photo (c) Kay Daggett

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Kartchner Caverns

Formations in Kartchner Caverns. Photo (c) Arizona State Parks

The Strawberry Room, on Kartchner Caverns' Big Room tour. Photo (c) Arizona State Parks

Sunday’s Washington Post had an article on one of Cochise County’s great attractions, Kartchner Caverns in Benson. The writer expected to be bored, but the sights inside the two park’s tours really seemed to pique his imagination.

Caves are one of the unique wonders of this earth. We think of the ground as solid, but vast rooms can be lurking under foot. That’s what Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts found. The two spelunkers discovered the cave in 1974 and kept it a secret so they could help preserve it. Thanks to their efforts and that of the State Parks system, Kartchner Caverns is still a “living” cave. It is still being formed as rainwater seeps into the earth through the nooks and crannies of limestone below. As it trickles through the soil and rocks, minerals collect in the water in one area and are deposited in others, forming stalagmites, stalactites and “soda straws,” which are thin, hollow tubes of minerals. Incidentally, Kartchner Caverns has one of the world’s longest soda straw stalactites, measuring 21 feet 2 inches.

You can choose from two tours at Kartchner. The Big Room tour is open from mid October through mid April. In the summer, more than 1,000 bats use the caves for a nursery roost. Visit Kartchner Caverns’ website to learn more about the science behind the bats and the cave formation.

You can purchase tickets online. Some tickets are also available on a walk-in basis. Reservations are recommended especially during high season (spring and fall).

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February fun in Cochise County

Whether you’ve got a romantic partner or you want to go solo, try some of Cochise County’s events this February.

Feb. 6-8, 17th Annual Cochise Cowboy Poetry Music & Poetry Gathering, Sierra Vista

Once a year, for three days, Sierra Vista becomes a Western wonder of poetry, music, storytelling and song. More than 60 artists from all over the United States and Canada will converge on Sierra Vista for three major stage performances and free mini-concerts on Saturday, Feb. 7. Learn the history of the Arizona Territory through song and poetry.

Details: free events plus headline shows at 7 p.m. on Feb. 6 & 7 and 1 p.m. on Feb. 8 at the Buena Performing Arts Center, 5225 Buena School Dr. in Sierra Vista.Admission is $6 for high school students; $16 for seniors and military and $18 for adults. Info at 520-417-6960; www.cowboypoets.com.

Feb. 6-8, Sierra Vista Municipal Fly-Inn, Sierra Vista

Thinking of flying South? Interested in old west history? Come on down to Sierra Vista for the Cochise Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering and Municipal Airport Fly-In. Hotels, restaurants and rental car companies are offering great discounts. The City of Sierra Vista is providing tie-down services at no charge for the weekend. Info at 520-452-7091 or 520-458-5775

Feb. 14, Chocolate Tasting, Bisbee

Serious chocoholics will melt for this fundraiser to benefit the city of Bisbee’s public library. A ticket buys you entrée to a spread of decadent chocolate desserts at Arizona’s oldest library, the Copper Queen. This is Valentines Day, after all, so pick up a to-go box of exquisite chocolates created in Bisbee kitchens to share later with your darling.

Details: 6 – 8 p.m. at the Copper Queen Library, 6 Main St. in Bisbee. Admission is $12 at the door. Info at 520-432-4232 or www.discoverbisbee.com.

Feb. 14, Friends of Marty Robbins Fundraiser, Willcox

Live entertainment, auction, a dance and chili supper fundraiser for the Marty Robbins exhibit.

Details: 5-10 p.m. at the Willcox Middle School Gym, 360 N. Bisbee Ave., Willcox. Admission is $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and children. More info at 520-766-1404.

Feb. 21, Guided Tour of Buffalo Soldier Historic Sites, Fort Huachuca

Learn about the accomplishments and history of Fort Huachuca’s Buffalo Soldiers from members of the Southwest Association of Buffalo Soldiers.

Details: Tour departs at 11:15 a.m. Info on location, admission charge and other details at 520-417-6960 or 1-800-288-3861.

Note: Fort Huachuca is an active military installation. Visitor passes are available to US citizens at the post’s main gate with a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance (or rental car agreement). All passengers over 13 must have photo identification.

Feb. 21 & 22, “Quilts Galore!” Sierra Vista

Every year, hundreds of Arizonans travel to Sierra Vista view finely handcrafted quilts of all sizes and patterns created by Sierra Vista’s Hummingbird Stitchers.

Details: 9 a.m. – 5 pm. Sat.; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sun. at the Buena High School, 5225 E. Buena School Blvd. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children younger than 12.Info at 520-417-6960 or 520-803-1420; www.geocities.com/hsqg2002/HSQG.html

Feb. 22, Historic Preservation Symposium at Singing Wind Bookshop, Benson

Country-western music, munchies, valet parking and authors expounding on their works about preserving the Old Southwest make for “a real fiesta-everybody has fun,” says Winn Bundy, whose been running the internationally acclaimed bookstore out of her ranch home for more than 30 years.

Detials:  1 p.m. at the Singing Wind Book Shop, 700 W. Singing Wind Road in Benson.Admission is free. Call 520-586-2425 for more info.

Feb. 26, Tucson Symphony Orchestra with the Bisbee Community Chorus-Latin Flair, Bisbee

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra comes to Bisbee for a special performance of “Latin Flair,” as part of its Southern Arizona Residency. The Bisbee Community Chorus, presenter of the event, will join the symphony for part of the program. The concert is made possible in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, with funding from the state of Arizona and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Details: 7 p.m. at the Bisbee High School Auditorium, 325 School Terrace. Admission is $12.50 (free for K-12 students in Cochise County). More info at 520-432-3523 or 520-432-8885

Through Feb. 25, Tombstone Association of the Arts 27th Annual Quilt Show, Tombstone

Every corner of Cochise County is represented in this display of original modern and traditional quilts of all sizes and patterns. Some are for sale, and others are family heirlooms displayed for viewing only. Visitors will be encouraged to vote for three People’s Choice Awards. Leatha Draden, event organizer with the Tombstone Needle Nuts, said 140-plus quilts will be hung in the gallery: “We fill that place up and then some.”

Details: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily at the Tombstone Association of the Arts Gallery, 317 Allen St., Tombstone. Admission is free.Info at 520-459-7960.

Through February, Miniature Art Show, Willcox

Stop by the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture to admire a nationally judged show of artwork no bigger than 35 square inches. The mini show and sale, sponsored by the Art League of Willcox, features artists from all over the country.

Details: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mon. – Fri.; 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sat.; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sun. at the Willcox Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, 1500 N. Circle Road. Admission is free. Info at 520-384-2272 or 520-384-5317.

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