Page 89 - Walks In The Black Range, Vol. 4
P. 89

  Secondly, the pass had a deadly reputation in the late 1800’s when stages, riders, and cattle drives had to deal with attacks from the Apaches and robberies from Anglos and Mexicans. A lot of people died along this route. There are many ambush sites along the way, if you are thinking in that vein it becomes painfully clear why this was a dangerous place.
And lastly, this is a short route. Three and a half miles gets you through the pass, from Cooke’s Spring to Starvation Draw and on your way to the Mimbres river. And you have the option of a stop at Frying Pan Spring if you wish (note that on our visit to the Spring two years ago it was dry).
14. Among the possible reptile species you can encounter is the Long- nosed Leopard Lizard. It can grow to 10 inches in length and is capable of jumping up to two feet when catching prey (and I assume at other times). “A seasonal breeding coloration develops in adult females: orange to red pigment emerges on the sides of the head, flanks, thighs, and the ventral surface of the
Long-nosed Leopard Lizard, Gambelia wislizenii, Cooke’s Spring (above)
 and female at Frying Pan Canyon (below). Both in May.
   tail.” (Lizards of the
American Southwest, A Photographic Field Guide, Lawrence L. C. Jones and Robert E. Lovich editors, specific article by Bradford D. Hollingsworth, Rio Nuevo Publishers, p. 124.) The middle photo shows this coloration - and we heartily endorse the reference cited above.
15. Some of the ruins of Ft. Cummings are shown to the right. From the height of the ridge above they were easy to overlook but easy enough to discern when you were able to pick out where they were in the scrub and grasslands below. These walls are of adobe and will dissolve into the earth if it continues to rain in our area, all thirteen inches a year.

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