Cortez & Morgan Howlin’ at the Highlands Sunday, Aug 12 2012 

Hope Morgan & Delphine Cortez

Hope Morgan & Delphine Cortez

Singers Delphine Cortez and Hope Morgan headlined the “Howlin’ at the Highlands” Center for Natural History jazz concert Saturday evening.  The one outdoor concert we attended last summer happened to be the one where Delphine Cortez performed.  Her erotic cat-like scat with guitarist Stan Sorenson was a highlight this year.  Hope Morgan, the other featured vocalist, had not previously performed with the jazz musicians on stage, Joel Robin Goldenthal on keyboard, Cleve Huff on drums, and Mike Vax on trumpet.  Morgan sang her signature song, “Sugar” and offered a special piece in remembrance of her father’s August 11th birthday.  During both of our previous concerts at this venue, it has rained.  Although there was no precipitation, about half the crowd left during the intermission.  Another pleasant evening learning about jazz in the Prescott National Forest.

Watson Lake Trails Sunday, Aug 12 2012 

Watson Lake

Watson Lake

Yesterday we started on the Watson Lake Trail intending to hike the newly completed Watson Lake Loop Trail.  In the exploratory trail complex near the boat launch, however, I got confused by a trail marker when we crossed the road.  The trail we followed led to an RV park which we walked through and found a gate that led to a dirt road.  We followed it for a time enjoying views of granite boulders until we discovered “Private land – No trespassing” signs.  So, we retraced our steps.  When we returned to the road, we headed toward the boat landing.  There the  signs for the Northshore Trail were clearly marked.  We hiked about half of this trail through boulders with great views of Watson Lake.  The lake itself was very low.  We also had seen signs posted at the boat launch that there is no swimming (because of the poor quality of the water).  On our return to our car we walked a different exploratory trail where we encountered a three foot snake, the first I’ve seen on a hike in Arizona.  In addition to the great scenic views, we spotted the following wildflowers: the pale violet colored sacred thorn-apple, the white daisy-like spreading fleabane, the purple oblong false pennyroyal, the yellow common sunflower, the yellow slender goldenweed, the reddish-orange wholeleaf Indian paintbrush, toadflax penstemon, field bindweed, wingpod purslane, littleleaf globe mallow, and beard tongue.  Now that we are better informed, we can try the Watson Lake Loop Trail on another day.