Creepy Creatures of the Night

By Dan Groebner


Darkness is descending sooner now that fall is here, so some of us end up walking dogs or taking hikes in the thick fog of darkness.  It's also getting to be the haunting season as Halloween approaches.  It might be the right season for observing glowing eyes of mysterious creatures in the dark but these “monsters” can be seen almost any time of the year.   There's nothing like a dark night with unidentified sounds, moving pairs of eye shine and the unknown of the dark to get your adrenaline flowing.  Who knows what could be out there?   We are well aware that the White Mountains are home to lions and wolves and bears (oh my), as well as bobcats, badgers and bats.  But what about Bigfoot or a chupacabra or any other image our imagination can conjure?  At least we don't have to worry about seeing pairs of alligator eyes gleaming from the shores of Big, Becker or Show Low Lakes.  Dealing


Wild Vet

“Wild Ops”

By Anne Groebner


It all started in the year 2010 down in Mexico. Some jaguars that had been illegally caught and held in captivity weren’t doing so well. They had broken all their teeth. The Mexican Government, some Mexican veterinarians and biologists wanted to give these cats a new lease on life. So, Ole Alcumbrac organized a dental party and traveled down to Mexico to join his friends, had the dentists do restorative work on the cats’ mouths, collared them and then sent them back into the wild — then they told their story and won an Emmy. “It was fun to tell the story,” says Ole Alcumbrac, local White Mountain veterinarian. Since then, he has been approached by several producers trying to pitch a potential television show to a network. They never made it to the networks — until now. This fall, every Monday night at 6:30 p.m., switch your TV to the Outdoor Channel to see Alcumbrac and his team demonstrate the excitement, exhilaration and challenges that this team of veterinarians, biologists, outdoor guides and other team members face when capturing a variety of wildlife —and the show is called “Wild Ops.”



Mystical Microbats

By Sherry E Engler


“They scare me to death!”

“The give me the hibby gibbies everytime I see one.”

“Yikes! I think they will suck my blood out of my neck.”

Although the last statement was from a six-year-old Rim Country resident, it doesn’t take long to realize most citizens are not fond of the bats which inhabit our beautiful and scenic countryside.  As Halloween approaches, the scariness of this tiny creature seems to increase into magnitudes beyond comprehension, mostly due to the association of vampire bats to fictional vampires; fictional vampires turning into vampire bats; vampire bats sucking the blood out of Rim Country folks’ tiny necks.  And sorry to spoil the intrigue and apprehension of someday turning into Count Rim Dracula because you got the blood sucked out of you by a vampire bat but, in reality, it just isn’t going to happen for you.

“What?” you inquire disappointingly.  “Not going to happen?”

The Bighorn Sheep of AZ Route 260

By Diane Tilton, AZGFD Information and Education Programs Manager


Have you noticed the sheep crossing highway signs on Highway 260 heading east toward Springerville and Eagar? Many people have asked me what those signs are for. Over the last few years, Arizona Game & Fish (AZGFD) has translocated Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep from the Morenci Mine to the South Fork of the Little Colorado River area near Greer. This translocation had two objectives. The primary objective was to reestablish the bighorn sheep in an area where we knew they had historically been. Until recently, this area was not considered suitable habitat for a release because of a domestic sheep allotment on U. S. Forest Service land. Domestic sheep can very easily transfer diseases to our native sheep. When a sheep allotment was turned into a cattle allotment, we thought it would be a good time to move some sheep back into the area.

In Arizona, we have two different subspecies of sheep. Both sheep are the same species, Ovis READ MORE...

A Style of their Own

The Thunderhorse Band

By Anne Groebner


About nine years ago, David Gaspar and Karen Montiero Gaspar packed up their belongings and moved from Rhode Island on the East coast cross-country to Show Low, Arizona. They left behind a world of music, bands and late-night gigs as long-time band members. They came here to build a home on some land they had purchased years ago and to live a quiet life out in the country.…So they thought. It seems once a musician, always a musician. When David went to register their cars, the computers were down at ADOT and, to kill time, he wandered across the street to Lewis Music, sat down and started playing guitar. Who would have known that this was the beginning of the making of The Thunderhorse Band.

At the music store, they heard him playing the guitar and told him that they knew a guy that would love to play with him and that he was starting a band. David took his card and went home and told Karen about a potential gig with a band and she said, “No way!” But, the band was called Short Bus. “We had a bus that we drove to shows in New England and it was a short bus,” David told me. “I thought, what a coincidence!” He finally convinced Karen to let him go see the guy in Pinedale and that is when he met Jim Hansen and Denny Odet. “They had this thing about music history; about playing songs from all the different eras.” READ MORE...

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"Not all who Wander are lost."

 — J.R.R. Tolkien

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