Update: if you’re looking at info on what areas are open for birding/touring in Southeastern Arizona as a result of the fires and floods, here’s a link to a useful and interesting July 19 2011 article in the Arizona Daily Star online: http://azstarnet.com/news/science/environment/article_ad90f282-df75-5c6e-b35b-2f80335577bc.html
Last April at “Birdy Verde” (more properly known as the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival), Three Star Owl floated a trial strigid. That is to say, I put out a couple of Retro Owl Whistle Necklaces, to see how they would go over. Since the two I had along were gone early in the show (admittedly a small sample), I thought I’d make more, and here some of them are, en masse.
The somewhat artsy, purposely grainy photo to the right shows main necklace components — the owly whistle parts — piled together in a herd. The finished necklaces are on a faux-leather lace, some with additional hand-made beads, knots, and the like. They are “retro”-styled, colorful, and shrill, which makes them perfect for everyone except the boring and humorless. Please note, they do not summon owls. But you can try. (No refunds for those attracting less desirable organisms.)
For those who are wondering, the organizers, guides, and local birding hosts of SWWings are carrying on with the festival despite the Monument Fire which affected so many of the rich and unique sky-island Huachuca mountain/canyon habitats that are home to wildlife, plant, and human communities. They will be running fieldtrips into unaffected areas, such as the riparian zone along the leafy San Pedro River (left, shot in early spring — it would be much leafier now), the arid grasslands of the valley, and forested parts of the Huachucas that didn’t burn. The Southeastern Arizona birding community, many of whom make their living guiding, hosting, conveying, feeding, and otherwise welcoming birders and other nature-enthusiasts, could use your support. Visitors, where access is allowed, can see the results of astounding heroic efforts made by fire and public safety teams in the Huachucas and the Coronado National Monument during the fires and the subsequent monsoon storms to keep people, habitats and wildlife safe to the extent possible. It’s an ongoing process: the fires burned hot in many places, leaving steep slopes bare of vegetation, and subsequent seasonal downpours have washed feet of black ash and rubble into homes, property, and waterways in the canyon foothills, changing the natural and human-modified landscape for the long-term.
(All images A.Shock)