The Flying Trees in the Chiricahua Mountains

Aviation in the Boot Heel of New Mexico and southeastern Arizona goes back to 1911 with the first transcontinental flight by the Vin Fiz which crossed through the San Simon Valley on the way to Tucson and the west coast.  Followed by the construction of the Rodeo Intermediate Field in the late 1920's as the first airport in the valley.  But in addition to aircraft, aviation related activities of other kinds are also popular here.  One of the more popular activities is birding.  The Chiricahua mountains are internationally known the diversity of bird species and attracts many visitors.  The popularity of birding is just one indicator of how deeply ingrained in humans is the urge to fly.  But what else can be found flying down here in the open expanse of the basin and range region?  Well, there are flying trailers as well as a flying roller  and more recently, certain species of trees were also noted to be flying. On a number of trips into the high country of the Chiricahua Mountains evidence of flying trees was noted.  Over the past 6-8 months images of several additional examples of flying trees were captured while hiking.  As shown below, images of 5 flying trees have been collected, all confined to the high country above 7000' in elevation, see map.  This lends credence to the notion that here in the Boot Heel, everything flys. An important reminder when cattle mysteriously appear within fenced land.

Transect map showing locations of flying trees.   

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