Tuesday, December 23, 2008

3 sights on the Bagdad Road

I'd swear that when the LH and I first drove the Bagdad Road, there was an observatory on top of that distant small mountain near Hillside. And I'd swear that I read, probably in the Courier, that it had something to do with World War II, like scanning the skies for Japanese troop transport planes launching an invasion or some such. Today, of course, the facility is presumably up-to-date and all about microwaves and cell phones, serving the ranchers scattered throughout the western Yavapai boonies.

Furthermore, I'd say that they need their cell phones, inasmuch as there are absolutely no landlines stretched across these poles that follow the road between the Santa Maria and the Hillside turnoff. Of course, it might be electricity that is missing. However, the cross pieces should serve the hawks well.

And -- great luck. As dotter and I stopped to photograph the naked poles, who should be watching us but a lone phainopepla. Amazing: that bird just sat there (at almost bird distance) while we tried to steady our hand-held zoom shots. It appears to have worked. We won't see phainopeplas up in Prescott til summer.

More Links: Windy Skies, the Mumbai blogger writes of his city's cabbies and the Islamist attacks. Though he doesn't post often, his writing is thoughtful, sensitive and opens doors to a totally unknown world. In a more light-hearted vein, Ballard Avenue displays chilly flamingos covered with that recent Seattle snow. And one more piece analyzing the problems of Detroit's Big Three by a libertarian, Megan McArdle, who writes a damn good economics blog for The Atlantic. Finally, there's a new internet subject matter aggregator, AllTop by name, with beaucoup interesting links to sites that have been vetted by the founders, their friends or users. If you're like me, you need more interesting links like you need a hole in the head, but then Walking Prescott was listed! I'm very flattered, even though it was under the heading "rural".


Ray Smith said...

You're right about Weeke's Mountain. It was originally used as a radar station of some sort many years ago, but has been used as a radio repeater from at least the early 80's (Grandfather was the Yavapai County Cop in Bagdad) and maybe earlier.

Poles are for bare wire telco that runs out to the Muleshoe Ranch. It was used up until just a couple of years ago. Originally I believe the line continued to parallel the road all the way into Bagdad as the long distance lines out of Bagdad.

worldphotos4 said...

I have a dumb question. How did the name Bagdad come about?

Anil P said...

The cross pieces should serve the hawks well. We see a lot of it back in Goa.

It is difficult to explain why but poles against blue skies have a character of their own. Nice picture.

How nicely balanced is the phainopepla, on the slender support. Some species will not skip a breath at seeing a camera.

Thanks for linking the Mumbai post.

Lori Witzel said...

Hhhm. I live just a few minutes from Bagdad Road out in my neck o' the woods. I'll do some digging about the Bagdad name and see what I turn up.

Sending you wishes for joy, health, and peace in the coming year -- I love wandering by and seeing the world through your lens.

Granny J said...

Thank you, ray smith, for the information -- and welcome! I've often wondered about that mountain top.

steve -- I'm not sure; perhaps it's because there's a little mining town (little town, BIG mining operation) out in the desert mountains named Bagdad, in turn named after an 1882 mining claim of that name, possibly after the middle eastern city because of the desert connection.

anil -- I don't know about hawks on the Bagdad road, but they are common on power poles out in Chino Valley and along highways going into Phoenix.

lori -- I note that your Bagdad has also lost the 'haitch.' Good to se you again.

Jan said...

Granny J..just came over to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

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