Friday, January 14, 2011

RATTLESNAKES, RAPTORS & RODNEY'S AT WILLCOX AZ.

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{quote)The 18th annual Wings Over Wilcox combines adventure, entertainment & education to provide a fun filled weekend of birding pleasure for the novice, the expert or the curious. {unquote}

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THE MAN ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE STAGE IS HOLDING A BALD EAGLE

With all that in mind we took ourselves for a drive up to WILLCOX this morning.  Had I known before today this weekend was also offering a day long nature photography outing with 2 professional photographers & an Astronomy class I may very well have signed up for those two but they were sold out.  Tours to the Whitewater Draw,  the MULESHOE RANCH COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT AREA & other events were also fully booked.

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GILA MONSTER

Upon reaching Wilcox we headed for the Community Center where nature related booths were set up.  Binoculars & Spotting Scopes were on display as well as artists paintings, birdhouses, etc for sale.  Chiricahua National Monument had a field representative there complete with a display as well as other nature organizations.  It seemed to be Sandy Anderson’s ‘Gray Hawk Nature Center’ attracting the most attention though for this is where the Rattlesnakes were.  Nearly a dozen display cases contained a Gila Monster, a large Western Diamond Back Rattler, an even deadlier Mojave Rattler, a Speckled Rattlesnake, a Kingsnake plus others I have forgotten.

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THIS MOJAVE RATTLESNAKE IS THE DEADLIEST OF  ALL RATTLESNAKES & HIS TAIL IS BLURRY BECAUSE HE IS REALLY RATTLING AT MY CAMERA LEN’S INTRUSION…..THERE IS A PLATE OF GLASS BETWEEN US:))

On the dimly lit upper stage of the Community Center were the Raptors complete with blackened background curtains to keep the birds calm.  It was here that we saw a Peregrine Falcon, Red Tailed Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Turkey Vulture, American Kestrel,  a Merlin & Bald Eagle which had a wing damaged by a gunshot when it was only a year old.  Other Raptors there as well but just like the snakes display, I forgot to photo the names before photographing the subject.  I will have to enlist JUDY'S help in IDing some of these birds.  And by the way, guess what Judy just received from the President of the United States in the last couple days.  Click her name to find out:))

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THIS BALD EAGLE ABOVE HAD IT’S LEFT WING DAMAGED BY A GUNSHOT  WHEN IT WAS A YEAR OLD.  IT NOW LIVES AT THE LIBERTY REFUGE CENTER IN SCOTTSDALE, AZ.

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From the Community Center we set off to find the place selling 10 pound apple pies.  Didn’t take us long to track down Stouts Cider Mill.  Wow, what a great baking smell greeted us at the door.  It was obvious they specialized in apple pies alright.  Nice store & we were able to actually watch the apple pies being made.  We found the pies a little pricey for our taste so we settled on a smaller unsweetened one.  The 10 pounders were $23.

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A FRESHLY BAKED 10 POUNDER, GREEN APPLE SLICES AND KELLY ASKING, “HOW MUCH ARE THOSE?”

From Stouts Cider Mill we slipped over to old town Wilcox & looked up a little eating place called Rodney's which happened to be a few doors down from the Rex Allen Museum.  Well, it’s kind of hard to describe Rodney's, even after meeting Rodney himself outside on the sidewalk.  I have blogged before how different things are out here in the Southwest from our home back in Bayfield Ontario Canada.  Well, Rodney’s is no exception.  Rodney has a small kitchen in one building & his eating place is next door in another building.  When he finishes cooking an order he simply walks out the door of his little kitchen building, walks a few steps to the next building, comes through the front door & places the order on your table.  Rodney is known for his great cooking but not for the condition of his eating establishment.  Let me just say, this place is certainly not the Ritz!!  I’m not a big food guy so I guess the food was OK.

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RODNEY’S TWO BUILDING EATERY….KELLY CHECKS THE MENU – RODNEY COMES OUT OF THE SMALL BEIGE KITCHEN & TAKES OUR ORDER – WE GO INTO THE BRICK BUILDING ON THE RIGHT & LATER RODNEY BRINGS IN OUR FOOD ORDER….SEE, I TOLD YOU THINGS ARE DONE DIFFERENTLY IN THE WEST

From Rodney’s we walked down the street a few more stores to a the KEELING-SCHAEFER VINEYARD store which is a wine tasting outlet.  No, we weren’t interested in tasting any wine but our good Arizona friend Rosanna works part time there so we thought we’d pop in for a quick hello.  Rosanna was very busy with customers so we didn’t stay too long.

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Popped into a typical little western eatery for coffee to go & headed for Willcox’s old cemetery.  In one of the books I have been reading about western history I came across a section detailing the killing of Warren Earp, Wyatt’s youngest Brother.  He was shot in a Saloon in Willcox & buried in the town’s cemetery.  I was curious to see if we could find him….& we did. 

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SLIPPED INTO THIS COZY WESTERN EATERY FOR A COUPLE COFFEE’S TO GO

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WILLCOX’S OLD CEMETERY

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WARREN EARP, YOUNGEST OF THE EARP BROTHERS LIES BURIED HERE

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Rolled out of Willcox for home about 1 p.m.  Nice drive back down the Sulphur Springs Valley through another place with a history called, THE KANSAS SETTLEMENT.  We were back at the rig by 2 & that pretty well wrapped up our day.

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NO, THAT IS NOT FILLMORE!!

Welcome to new Blog Supporters MARGIE ANN from New Zealand & Richard from ??  Thanks for the support folks:))

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WE PERFORMED A LOBOTOMY ON OUR STOUT’S CIDER MILL APPLE PIE WHEN WE GOT HOME 

GROANER’S CORNER:((  A man has a dog called Mace, which he keeps in the house all the time because all it does is eat grass.
He also has a favorite tool, his wrench, which he uses all the time.
One day He looses the wrench. He looks every where for it but can't find it.
The dog gets out, eats all his grass and there in the middle of the lawn is his wrench.
The man starts singing "A grazing Mace how sweet the hound, that saved a wrench for me".

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12 comments:

  1. You guys find the most neat stuff in the wind swept small towns of Southeast Arizona. Thanks for taking us along!

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  2. not a big fan of rattlesnakes but you got some good photos!..snakes are not my favourite..eww...nice bird shots..now you just need the bird lady of blogland to label them for you!!

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  3. What a great looking pie, that place looks like a great place to spend the day, I would love just walking around and making room for a piece of pie. be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

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  4. TEN POUND APPLE PIE !!!! I think Ken would like to try and do that one justice.
    Those birds are magnificent! How could someone raise a gun to one of them? The snakes..well even though in a nature kind of way they are beautiful, you can just keep them. That one guy sure looked peed off.

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  5. I think you have about the same attention span that I do Al. You guys see more in a short time than anybody I know...I do the same, that's why I usually go alone with just Ms Pat. I do not like to lollygag! great Post...

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  6. I LOVE the Raptors..I love them because they are majestic, mysterious, magnificent...and...they snack on rattlesnakes. That's also why I love Roadrunners!! Fabulous photos of the birds...I really cannot say about the snakes..I was looking through my eyelids!

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  7. Nice head shots of the raptors! Besides those you named, I'm thinking there is also a Harris's hawk in there, and a stuffed black-crowned night heron. Didn''t see any vulture, though. :)

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  8. Stout's Cider Mill -- been there, done that, bought the pie, it wasn't fresh. Rodney's -- been there, done that, during Rex Allen Days. Rodney had another guy delivering the food that day -- good stuff! Willcox Cemetery -- haven't been there, didn't see brother Warren. Gotta do that. Next year -- Wings Over Willcox for sure, 'cause we haven't done that yet either! Need I say -- great pictures as always!

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  9. Great shots of the rattlesnakes and birds but my fav is the Apple Pie - that's the small one???

    Al, I've been thinking about your double-watermark problem and was thinking there is a setting you might want to look at in Picasa.

    In Picasa, click on Tools > Options > Web Albums. Check to see if you have the Watermarks box checked telling Picasa to Add a watermark for all photo uploads.

    If you do, then you don't want to "add a watermark" when you export a photo in Picasa as this will create the double watermark. If you click on a photo in Picasa, then click on Export, you will see you can add a Watermark here too.

    To my knowledge, uploading and exporting are the only 2 ways to add a watermark in Picasa, so I'm just wondering if you might have both boxes checked and are doing it twice?

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  10. THE PIES ARE OVERRATED. GOOD YOU DIDN'T SPEND THE $23. THE APPLE CAKES ARE BETTER.

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  11. Great place for pictures! We saw a huge live Mojave rattler in a display case at the BLM office in Lake Havasu City. Looking at that monster made us a bit nervous while hiking around he desert.

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