Lynx Creek Ruin Monday, Aug 31 2009 

Lynx Creek Ruin

Lynx Creek Ruin

The Lynx Creek Ruin consists of the remains of a four room pueblo situated atop a rise that affords unobstructed views for many miles in all directions.  Archaeologists consider that it was populated by 25-30 people around 1150-1300.  From my perspective, water from Lynx Creek was some distance away.  Corn and squash were likely grown in nearby washes.  The Prescott National Forest provides a helpful flyer that identifies the following plants found along the ¾ mile trail to the ruins that may have been used by Native peoples: manzanita, scrub live oak, alligator juniper, ponderosa pine, piňon pine, prickly pear cactus, skunkbush, mountain mahogany, hedgehog cactus, cliffrose, agave, and beargrass.  Their diet is likely to have depended upon deer, jackrabbits, cottontails, and possibly other animal and bird species.  Speculation upon past area inhabitants’ daily life gives one a greater appreciation for the basic conveniences of today.

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Prescott Jazz Summit Sunday, Aug 30 2009 

The 9th Annual Prescott Jazz Summit brought together musicians who are not only great performers but also wonderful teachers.  The three day event featured perfomances, teaching, discussion, and demonstrations of jazz music and techniques.  Seating for the Saturday evening Gala Concert in the Prescott High School Ruth Street Theater was first come, first seated.  The doors opened at 6:45 and the small auditorium was filled shortly after 7 p.m.  I can’t remember ever attending a concert that started fifteen minutes early.  This one did with the Prescott High School Jazz Band Ensemble kicking off the festivities.  They are raising money for a London trip.  Area youth bands with some 150 student partcipants were a festival focal point.  The student performers were followed by an All Star Band that featured freestyle solos from Carl Sanders, trumpet, Scott Whitfield, trombone, Tony Vacca, saxophone, Jack Petersen, guitar, Reggie Thomas, piano, Ted Sistrunk, bass, and Gary Hobbs, drums.  The headliner, local resident Toni Tennille, made a high energy entrance after a short intermission.  Her charismatic smile, youthful appearance (OMG, she’s 69!!) , masterful stage presence, and silky smooth voice wowed the crowd.  She entertained us with a series of big band classic vocals written by Harold Arlen, Rodgers & Hart, Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, and Jimmy Van Heusen.  A few additional musicians joined the All Star Band conducted by Rusty Higgins, who also performed saxophone solos on a couple of pieces.  Although Toni’s husband, the Captain, didn’t play, he did make an appearance at the end of the performance.  Prescott continues to impress with a variety of outstanding events.

Willow Lake Sunday, Aug 23 2009 

Willow Lake

Willow Lake

According to a Prescott Chamber of Commerce flyer, the Prescott area offers great mountain biking and hiking for all levels with more than 800 miles of trails.  This morning we did some walking in the neighborhood around our home.  This afternoon we drove a short distance to Willow Lake.  We hiked about a mile of the 3.5 mile trail and took the Cottonwood Peninusla Spur Trail.  We walked through fields of common sunflowers and spotted an ajo lily in bloom.  A stand of very old cottonwoods provided some shade.  Before returning home, we picked up another hummingbird feeder.  We hung it on the lower level porch, almost directly below the second floor feeder.  It should be interesting to see how the black-chinned hummingbirds respond in their territorial battles for sipping rights.

Balancing Rock Monday, Aug 17 2009 

Granite Mountain

Granite Mountain

Our exploration of the trails around Prescott, Arizona continued this past weekend when we parked at the Cayuse Trailhead in the Granite Basin Recreational Area.  We did a loop starting with the 3.2 mile Balancing Rock Trail 349.  This relatively flat trail through ponderosa pines featured  views of Granite Mountain.  Early in the hike we saw the distant outline of the San Francisco Peaks.  We shared the trail mainly with bicyclers.  There were plenty of boulders, including several candidates for “Balancing Rock.”  About a half mile shy of Granite Basin Lake we returned to our car via the 1.5 mile West Lake Trail 351.  In addition to seeing a new yellow wildflower yet to be identified, we spotted two deer, well camouflaged in the woods after crossing the trail in front of us.  One of the special aspects about the Prescott area is the bird life.  We have observed many hummingbirds, for example, during our hikes and around our home.  Beardtongue, a red flower, is in full bloom and the hummingbirds visit outside our windows on the lower level.  Yesterday we added a hummingbird feeder on our second story deck and the hummingbirds quickly discovered it.  Today I’m enjoying hummingbirds chasing one another in an effort to maintain territorial rights to this new source of food.  I’ve seen six at one time buzzing around after one another.  Hummingbirds are now also regularly sitting on the upper branches of the ponderosa pines near the feeder.  C’mon on guys, there is plenty of nectar for all.