Program Schedule for 2023
Carr House Visitor Information Center
1011 East Carr Canyon Road
All are invited to attend our summer program of presentations on the natural and cultural history of the Huachuca Mountains and environs. These presentations are offered free of charge at the Carr House. The topics are wide-ranging as illustrated below
Maximum occupancy of Carr House is 49 persons
Biological Riches of Bahía de Kino, Sonora, Mexico, Sunday, May 7, 1:30 p.m.
Cochise College Friends of the Huachuca Mountains scholarship recipients Tobin Vangorder, Aliya Leon, and Liam Holton will discuss their experiences and research findings on the native plants, water birds, and marine mammals of Bahía de Kino and Gulf of California during the Cochise College sponsored trip in March, 2023.
Birding in the Huachuca Mountains, Saturday, May 13, 9 a.m.
Join us for a bird walk led by Steve Merkley, instructor of Biology at Cochise College. First, we will observe the diverse hummingbird species, such as broad-billed and Rivoli’s hummingbirds, at feeders near the house. Next, we will take a short hike near the Carr House looking for other birds, such as bridled titmouse, Mexican jay, tanagers, and many more. Bring your binoculars!
Mountain Lion Language, Sunday, May 21, 1:30 p.m.
Learn about mountain lion “language” during this presentation by Mark Hart, Arizona Game and Fish Public Information Officer. Secretive and stealthy, mountain lions are rarely seen. However, they are abundant in Southeast Arizona, as documented monthly in residential areas of the Tucson foothills. Although mountain lions are feared by some, bears in Arizona are twice as dangerous as mountain lions. This presentation examines mountain lion behavior and movement in a way that makes their “language” more understandable.
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about Sandhill Cranes from presenter Steve Marlatt, wildlife biologist and environmental educator. Up to 20,000 of these winter visitors can be found at Whitewater Draw in southwestern Cochise County. Avid birders will want to make an early morning visit to Whitewater Draw this winter to see and hear the cranes as they take off in their thousands to search for breakfast.
Learn about the critters that creep, crawl, or slither throughout Cochise County, including reptiles like lizards, snakes, and Gila monsters. Tom Miscione, herpetologist, will help us learn not to fear these important members of the local ecosystem. His many live specimens will let you get up close and personal with a diverse number of snakes and lizards. Always popular, be sure to come early!
Be Firewise! Saturday, June 24, 9 a.m.
Learn how to protect your property from wildfire in this presentation by Fire Prevention Specialist Rebecca Hodgeson Balderas, Coronado National Forest. The Firewise Program is about helping homeowners take responsibility for reducing flammable material around homes and communities before a fire occurs, which can help keep the public, firefighters, and property safe. Creating a buffer between homes and trees, shrubs, or other wildland areas is essential to improving a home’s chance of surviving a wildfire. Not only does this space help slow or stop wildfire spread, but it also provides a safe place for firefighters to defend homes when conditions allow.
Arizona Hummingbirds, Sunday, July 2, 1:30 p.m.
Arizona has a dazzling array of hummingbirds. This program will reveal just how beautiful and fascinating they are. For each species of hummingbird that occurs in Arizona, widely published hummingbird photographer Charles Melton will discuss identification tips, when and where nature’s winged jewels occur, and some of their amazing behaviors such as nesting, feeding, bathing, and courtship.
Geology of the Huachuca Mountains, Saturday, July 8, 9:00 a.m.
Dr. Dwight Hoxie, who spent 30 years with the U.S. Geological Survey and is the Vice President of the Friends of the Huachuca Mountains (FOHM), will lead us an exploration of the origin of our nearby Huachuca Mountains. The focus will be on the Nicksville fault, a fracture in the Earth that extends from north to south along the east face of the Huachuca Mountains. At first appearances, it looks as if some kind of geologic process between 17 and 6 million years ago pushed the Huachuca Mountains up along the Nicksville fault all the while during this time shaking and rattling what one day would become Cochise County. Appearances, however, can be deceiving, and it is now apparent that the Huachuca Mountains were part of a much larger geologic event.
Endangered Species of the Upper San Pedro Valley, Sunday, July 16, 1:30 p.m.
Retired Wildlife Conservation Biologist and Natural Resource Specialist Joanne Roberts will take us on an informative journey by introducing a few of the endangered and threatened species found in the Upper San Pedro Valley. She will discuss factors that affect them, and the conservation efforts used to keep them from becoming extinct. All species have important roles to play in the environment, and learning how to protect them is vital for all of us.
Rattlesnake Family Life, Sunday, July 30, 1:30 p.m.
Sure elephants, whales, and birds have families and take care of their kids, BUT SNAKES? In fact, they do, and presenter Melissa Amerarello will show you videos of wild rattlesnakes caring for their kids, their neighbor’s kids, and exhibiting other behaviors you probably didn’t know snakes do. No actual rattlesnakes will be present, so the snake averse among you won’t have to worry.
Be WaterWise! Saturday, August 5, 9 a.m.
You learned how to be FireWise at our program on June 24. Now learn how to be WaterWise! As the planet gets hotter, with more areas around the world suffering life-threatening droughts and more and more water being pumped from underground aquifers, including that underlying the San Pedro River Valley, learning to conserve our precious water resources is vital. In this presentation you will learn water saving tips and tricks, including harvesting rainwater, efficient irrigation systems, and planting low water use landscapes. Every drop counts!!
Saving Camp Naco, Sunday, August 13, 1:30 p.m.
Built in 1919, Camp Naco is located just a short distance from the border with Mexico in Naco, Arizona. It replaced a tent camp for soldiers stationed there to protect the crossing during the Mexican Revolution beginning in 1910. It was recently named as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites in the US which has led to funding for restoration of the camp. Life-long Cochise County resident and archaeologist Dr. Rebecca Orozco will discuss the past, present, and future of Camp Naco, now owned by the City of Bisbee and currently undergoing restoration.
An Overview of the Archaeology of the Huachuca Mountains, Sunday, August 27, 1:30 p.m.
Our little corner of Southeastern Arizona is a treasure trove of archaeological sites, many of them dating back thousands of years. Some have been excavated and then protected, such as the Native American site in Garden Canyon on Fort Huachuca, while others remain to be discovered. Susan Bier, U. S. Forest Service Archaeologist, will provide a summary of the timeline and site types of pre-contact and historic-era sites in the Huachuca Mountains. For safety reasons occupancy in the program room at Carr House is limited to 49 people. Please arrive early to be sure you get a seat, as additional visitors over the limit will not be admitted while the program is going on. Overflow guests will be invited to watch a live stream of the program at our outside picnic area.
Hike with Mike, Saturday, September 9, 9 a.m.
Join Mike Foster, our Carr House host, to learn more about the plants of the Huachuca Mountains. Mike’s presentation will start with a short video about many of the plant species in the Madrean Evergreen Woodlands surrounding Carr House. You’ll learn about the “sky islands” of the Huachuca Mountains and how plants here more closely resemble those of the Sierra Madre Mountains to the south rather than those of the Rocky Mountains to the north. Following the video, Mike will lead a hike around Carr House, so we’ll have the chance to identify the plants introduced in the video. There may be opportunities to see other inhabitants of Carr Canyon as well, such as insects, lizards, birds, and mammals. Bring your camera! You’ll want to snap a few photos to help you remember the flora and fauna you’ve seen. For safety reasons occupancy in the program room at Carr House is limited to 49 people. Please arrive early to be sure you get a seat, as additional visitors over the limit will not be admitted while the program is going on. Overflow guests will be invited to watch a live stream of the program at our outside picnic area.
Nature Sketching and Journaling, Sunday, September 10, 1:30 p.m.
Award-winning artist and educator Linda Feltner will present her approach to creatively documenting nature. Sketching and journaling enables us to bring our curiosity and wonder with a chance to pause, engage all the senses, and let the restorative power of nature fill our imagination. Bring a sketch pad and pencil and discover your hidden artistic talents.
Following the Footsteps of The Forgotten Botanist: A Visual Journey: Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life and Work, Sunday, September 24, 1:30 p.m.
Author Wynne Brown will describe the life and work of Sara Lemmon, the first white woman to climb to the top of the peak near Tucson that is named after her. Sara and her husband, J.G., traveled throughout the Southwest, California, Oregon, and Mexico, discovering hundreds of new plant species. This program will focus in particular on the 1882 watercolors that survive from Sara’s time in the Huachucas. For safety reasons occupancy in the program room at Carr House is limited to 49 people. Please arrive early to be sure you get a seat, as additional visitors over the limit will not be admitted while the program is going on. Overflow guests will be invited to watch a live stream of the program at our outside picnic area.
The History of Brown Canyon Ranch, Sunday, October 15, 1:30 p.m.
Brown Canyon Ranch was built a century ago by a local pioneer family and today includes their ranch house, storeroom, corrals, water system, and a pond that is the habitat of an endangered frog species. A visit to Brown Canyon Ranch offers a glimpse back in time and opportunities to hike and enjoy the surrounding area of the Huachuca Mountains. Mary Kay Ponder, President of the Friends of Brown Canyon Ranch, will discuss the history of the area and all the interesting plans the group has for the future. For safety reasons occupancy in the program room at Carr House is limited to 49 people. Please arrive early to be sure you get a seat, as additional visitors over the limit will not be admitted while the program is going on. Overflow guests will be invited to watch a live stream of the program at our outside picnic area.
John and Ila Healy, Carr Canyon Pioneers, Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m.
He was the longest serving officer at Fort Huachuca. She led mountain lion hunts and collected snakes. John and Ila Healy were naturalists, historians, and hosts. And they did so much more from their home in Carr Canyon. The Healys had a ranch in the canyon from 1937 to 1972. John’s career at Fort Huachuca started with the 10th U.S. Cavalry, patrolling the Mexican Border at Lochiel in 1918. John was also the last commander of the Apache Scouts. His service at Fort Huachuca spanned both World War I and World War II. In Ila’s spare time, she managed a dude ranch in Carr Canyon for hunters, birders, and children with asthma. Friends of the Huachuca Mountains unofficial historian and one of the founders of FOHM, Rosemary Snapp, has been researching the early settlers in Carr Canyon since 1994 and will be the presenter for this program. After Rosemary’s presentation, Carr House Host Mike Foster will lead an optional walk to the ruins of the Healys’ home in the meadow below Carr House. For safety reasons occupancy in the program room at Carr House is limited to 49 people. Please arrive early to be sure you get a seat, as additional visitors over the limit will not be admitted while the program is going on. Overflow guests will be invited to watch a live stream of the program at our outside picnic area.
Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos), Sunday, October 29, 1:30 p.m.
Mike Foster, Videographer and Carr House Host, will show his new videos filmed this year on the Day of the Dead theme. He will also illustrate how the Aztec/Catholic holiday is celebrated in cemeteries just across the international border and further south into Mexico. He will explain the history of this holiday and how it has evolved from ancient Aztec ceremonies. Altars will be arranged around the Carr House for people to participate in. Feel free to add to altars or construct your own with photos of loved ones who have passed. People are encouraged to enjoy the food offerings after the informal ceremony. The program room has a maximum capacity of 49 people for safety reasons. If there is an overflow crowd Mike will do a second presentation starting at about 2:45 p.m.