Leo, the Lost Lion near Tonto Creek

Side view of a Lion walking, Panthera Leo, 10 years old, isolated on white

Charles Lindbergh once inadvertently caused a lion roundup in Arizona's Mazatzal Mountains. In the summer of 1927, MGM Studios hired a stunt pilot to fly Leo, the studio's trademark lion, on a non-stop flight from Los Angeles to New York in an effort to capitalize on the publicity surrounding Lindbergh's successful solo Atlantic crossing. The movie-makers duplicated his plane, … [Read more...]

Orme Dam Days Missing the Dam


FORT McDOWELL RESERVATION -- As a rule, annual celebrations are held to observe some historic remembrance, great feat or outstanding deed that occurred on a particular date years ago. But the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation puts on Orme Dam Victory Days every November because Orme Dam never happened. The dam, proposed as part of the Central Arizona Project, was intended to act … [Read more...]

Caring for Creepy Crawlers in Apache Junction


APACHE JUNCTION -- Creepy crawly things don't bother Zach Ziesing. He just lets them creep and crawl down his arms and across his hands and he doesn't even flinch or worry about warts. Ziesing is the proprietor of the Superstition Serpentarium at Goldfield Ghost Town, a tourist attraction east of Apache Junction. He is therefore the caretaker of 90 different species of … [Read more...]

How Often Does a Century Plant Bloom?

Century Plant

In the case of the century plant, it’s name is actually misnomer. Contrary to popular belief, a century plant does not bloom every 100 years. Part of the agave family, a century plant typically lives 10 to 30 years, flowering only once at the end of its life. Other interesting facts include: Native Americans used the century plant for food, soap, medicine and … [Read more...]

Pick Mining for Peridot on the San Carlos Apache Reservation


PERIDOT -- Several roads lead to the world's largest deposit of peridot but less than half of them actually lead to the mine itself. They do, however, lead to roads that might lead to the mine. But once there, there's no actual mine because mining peridot is not a high-tech extraction process. Instead, the site is a gorge in the flatlands of the San Carlos Apache Reservation, … [Read more...]