Broad-billed Hummingbird: Ramsey Canyon

Broad-billed Hummingbird in Ramsey Canyon

If you are a nature enthusiast you have no further to go than Sierra Vista in Cochise County. Sierra Vista, sits in the shadow of the Huachuca Mountains and is the closest city to Ramsey Canyon, Carr Canyon, Garden Canyon, and the San Pedro Riparian Area.

Sierra Vista lays claim to the title, "The Hummingbird Capital of the U.S." and it may very well be.

It is also home to one of the oldest Military posts dating back to the Apache Wars, Fort Huachuca. Currently Fort Huachuca's function is Intelligence gathering. There are two worthwhile museums on the base, one dedicated to Military Intelligence gathering and the other to the history of the military in the American Southwest. While you are visiting, be sure to visit the cemetery at Ft. Huachuca. Currently, you will need a pass to get onto the base. This is good for 30 days. A passport or valid drivers license is required as well as a background check. Foreigners must be accompanied by U.S. Citizens.

While in Sierra Vista be sure to stop by the Coronado National Monument where the Coronado Expedition is said to have crossed over to what will be the United States.

If you are there on the weekend, be sure to take in a musical treat at the Arizona Folklore Preserve. A small and worthwhile venue in the heart of Ramsey Canyon.

Our Lady of the Sierras lies on the south side of Sierra Vista and is hidden up a hill from a small residential area to the west. The chapel is usually open, and the hike through the Stations of the Cross will have you thinking.

Sierra Vista itself, is not "quaint". Like the Military Base, it is functional. Lodging and dining choices, which serve the military personnel and their families are functional. There may be a few special places to eat and stay in Sierra Vista, and we long for your suggestions. We can recommend San Pedro Bed and Breakfast in Hereford, just south of Sierra Vista. It is a bird haven as well. Beautiful setting, great breakfast.

The Coronado Expedition: 1540-42

Coronado Expedition. Painting by Frederick Remington in 1898.

The story of the Coronado Expeditions is one of bravery, perseverance, high adventure, faith, and incredible greed. Between hiking trails and scenic back roads, we can retrace their historic route.

Continue reading

A Winter Walk in the Huachucas

Snow in the Huachucas

This video, taken a couple of years ago, is for those of us who live in milder winter climates. Snow in the Huachucas brings out the chill and cheer of the season. Mike Foster spends weekends as a docent at the Carr House in support of the Friends of the … Continue reading

Catrinas and the Day of the Dead

The Catrina became part of Day of the Dead around the time of the Mexican Revolution. Today you always see her in the celebrations. Day of the Dead evolved from ancient Aztec celebrations and was modified when the Catholics missionaries arrived in the New World. The Catrina is a recent … Continue reading

Pointleaf Manzanita of the Sky Islands


The Pointleaf Manzanita is very distinctive due to its red bark. Translated it means “Little Apple”. What the video and you will see why. Manzanita can be found near Windy Point on Mt.Lemmon and in the chaparral of the Huachucas. In this video produced by Mike Foster, Vincent Pinto, biologist, … Continue reading

A Summer Picnic At Carr Canyon

(July 2015) As we often do in the heat of summer, last Sunday we headed for higher elevation. Carr Canyon is just south of Ramsey Canyon and a lot less crowded than Mt. Lemmon. For a second year in a row, we picnicked at Reef Townsite Campground near the top … Continue reading

Fairbank AZ: Ghost Town

Fairbank, AZ Restored Schoolhouse.

Fairbank is a Southern Arizona ghost town, and one of the best preserved, thanks to numerous conservation efforts. It’s located in the San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area about 10 miles west of Tombstone. Here conservation efforts have saved the San Pedro River, a haven for dozens of species of critters and birds.

Continue reading

Dia de los Muertos Explained

All of us in the area we call Southern Arizona celebrate, or are at least passingly familiar with the Mexican Holiday known as Dia de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead. Ever wonder about this special event that has become ubiquitious in Mexico and Southern Arizona. There are … Continue reading