in Rim Country, White Mountains of Arizona & Beyond...
Bottle Fed Babies are a Delight ….
and oh so cute!
By – Annemarie Eveland
I had so much fun feeding the baby goats of Fossil Creek Ranch in the Arizona Rim Country!
During May and June, if you visit Fossil Creek Ranch about 11:30 a.m.- noon, you may be able to help feed the baby goats. It is a disarming and endearing adventure that leaves a happy memory …and gets the little baby goats fed their mother’s milk by bottle feeding. You can tell from my smile :>), I loved the experience and you will too.
Where is the Ranch at Fossil Creek? You can find this charming, interactive Arizona adventure tucked away in the famous Mogollon Rim area. Located one mile from the famous Fossil Creek trailhead, with natural travertine springs and dazzling aqua waters, it is an active working ranch where llamas and goats are raised to produce on-site products. Their Fossil Creek Creamery (certified by the State of Arizona) makes fresh, creative artisan goat milk cheeses and fudge for sale. I have tried several myself and find them absolutely healthy and irresistible... READ MORE...
Explosion of Color and Song
By Rob Bettaso
As we spin closer to this year’s Summer Solstice, my days begin very early. It’s not that I choose to depart from the land of Nod; I love sleep. But when those earliest birds commence to singing in their pre-dawn chorus, my mind is compelled to leave dreamland and enter waking life.
So, at this time of year, that means that sometime between 4:00 and 4:30AM, I groggily become aware of the Robin’s rising and falling phrases coming through my open window. As the similar sounding Black-headed Grosbeak and Western Tanager also inhabit
my yard, I have to focus my mind to try and sort out the three species’ rhythmically patterned songs. It does seem that the Robin is generally the first to start singing and also that he does so from a perch that is lower in the vegetation.
While I’m a life-long bird lover, I’ve never seriously attempted to learn their vocalizations (songs and calls). Yes, yes, I know, “there’s an ‘app’ for that” but, given my unapologetically Luddite nature, I have yet to take the plunge into “smart phone” technology. Our species is already too “smart” for its own good.
Time is of the essence when it comes to capturing the full majesty of our local dawn song. As such, shortly after waking, I boil up a small pot of water, pour it into a “Melitta” coffee filter and let it drip through the grounds and into my insulated travel mug. Since the bird diversity just in my yard alone is rewarding, I need go no further than my own small property to revel in avian melodies. Often, I will slowly amble through the yard till the sun has risen and my mug is empty.
Then, fully caffeinated, I will frequently stroll along the White Mountain Apache boundary (quite near my house) and head to Walnut Creek, less than two miles from my neighborhood. As READ MORE...
A Letter to High School Graduates
By Liesl Hall
Photo by Liesl Hall
Congratulations! You've almost made it! Graduation is getting closer and closer and so I want to share a bit of wisdom that I received when I graduated high school. When I graduated, my Grandpa Joe told me, “Everything you think you know will change once you get into college.” At that time, I had no idea what this statement even meant and, if I am going to be completely honest, deep down…it TERRIFIED me. What had I just learned in my exhaustively long 18 years of life if all of it was going to change anyway?! I brushed away this statement as well as the nagging feeling in the back of my mind that maybe I wasn’t as smart as I had thought I was. After all, I learned everything that I was going to need for the rest of my life in high school, right? I thought I knew who I was and what I was capable of. I thought I knew what was in store for me. I thought that, since I had worked so hard in high school, the rest of my life would just...READ MORE...
Adopt, Adopt, Adopt!
by Liesl Hall
Photo credit: Liesl and Landon Hall
If you have been outside lately, you’ll hopefully have noticed a few things. And, if you’re still in hibernation, here’s what you’re missing:
1 The snow has melted (well, for the most part anyway!).
2 Plants and flowers are beginning to pop up.
3 Birds are beginning to chirp and the whole Earth feels alive again.
Yes, folks, spring is finally here! The air is warmer and new life is beginning. Love is in the air but that love doesn’t stop with humans. Spring is typically when animals come into “mating season” as well.
I’ll preface the rest of my article with this: I have very strong opinions on why people should spay and neuter their pets and why people looking to adopt pets should very seriously consider adopting animals from rescue shelters. To those of you who prefer adopting purebreds solely for reasons such as severe allergies…okay, this article does not apply to you. There are always going to be cases where a person with severe allergies would like to adopt a dog and there simply is no other way to absolutely know FOR SURE that they would not have a life-threatening reaction than to find a breeder who breeds hypoallergenic dogs. But the rest of us who are able should really consider the rest of this article. And here’s why:
Fun fact: Did you know that up until about a hundred and fifty years ago, purebred dogs didn’t even exist? Up until then, dogs had gone centuries breeding with other types of dogs purely on survival instinct. Dogs were healthy and their mixed heritages created beautiful and unique combinations of looks and personality that eventually became what we call “purebreds.” Fast forward to today where purebred dogs have a slew of health issues, mostly because years and years and YEARS of inbreeding have caused severe physical defects. Breeders often mate purebred dogs with members of their own families, causing purebred dogs to be so inbred that it’s hard to believe that they actually are able to survive. These are NOT ...READ MORE...
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