Sunday, August 23, 2015

San Pedro House - a Local Attractiion

A few days ago we drove to Sierra Vista (about 30 miles from here) to meet with my cardiologist, have some lunch and do a little shopping. After the shopping, we drove east to find the new hospital in the area,where I will soon have a nuclear stress test. Finding the hospital, we decided to keep going east as a different way home.

Along the highway we saw a sign for the San Pedro House, which we had heard of as a local historical attraction, and the base of several hiking and birding opportunities.

This is the San Pedro House:

It is a fully renovated four-room ranch house dating to the 1930's. It is currently used as a Visitor Center and bookstore for the San Pedro Riparian Area. "San Pedro"refers to the nearby river that was the center of the original ranch. You can see the line of cottonwood trees along the river in these photos: 

But what first caught our attention as we drove in was this tiny building sheltered by the massive cottonwood tree.

To show how big the tree is, I posed for my picture beside the trunk:

One big tree! We had originally wondered whether the little shack was the San Pedro House, but one of the volunteers quickly assured us that it was an early outbuilding; the ranch house was the historic San Pedro House. We were somewhat disappointed that the entire house had been converted primarily to sale of books, clothing and trinkets, so asked if there was some information available that would tell us more about the place. We were quickly referred to a book for $29.95, and just as quickly demurred.

As we roamed the grounds, we noticed this hummingbird feeder with a curious addition.

You probably can't see much of the curious addition, and neither did we for a while. Hiding behind the feeder was a bird much larger than a hummingbird. And it was sipping the nectar! As I walked toward the feeder, the bird shuffled around to keep the feeder's reservoir between itself and me. If I walked the other direction, it would shift again to hide from me. Finally, I called Suzy over to be on the other side of the feeder from me, and the bird was so confused that it -- a Gila Woodpecker -- flew away.

Pictures of Gila Woodpeckers from the Internet
The volunteer at the Visitor Center told us the Gila Woodpeckers are "always on the hummingbird feeders," and sure enough, the bird kept returning.

Heading on home again, we passed through "The Town Too Tough to Die," Tombstone! This is the old Tombstone Courthouse, which itself is an Arizona State Park!

And Suzy noticed this sign on a rather new building:

Tombstone Hearse and Trike Company. That's all we need as we travel along ... Our Life on Wheels!