Heber Wildflowers

Heber received a great deal of rain this summer which gave the wildflowers a chance to really take off. We were out in the woods doing a little hike and I couldn’t help but take some pictures of many of the flowers we saw.

2015 08-22 Plants, Flowers and Beetles (2) 2015 08-22 Plants, Flowers and Beetles (5)2015 08-22 Plants, Flowers and Beetles (4) 2015 08-22 Plants, Flowers and Beetles (6)

Horny Toad

This is the largest one we’ve found on the property. The kids were thrilled! Typically they are about the size of the bottom right picture so to find one that is so large was really fun..

2015 07-06 Huge Horny Toad (2)2015 07-07 Releasing the Horny Toad (3)Normal size of a horney toad


Yes, typical chain mexican food but their guacamole salsa is so yummy. Plus, their breakfast burritos are the perfect hangover cure. Located at 1835 State Route 260, Heber, AZ 85928. Just down the hill from the cabin!

Mama Santina’s

Finally, the official hours for the donut shop as of 2015. It’s a tiny shop located at 2805 Hwy 260, Overgaard, AZ 85933. They have the BEST cherry and blueberry fritters EVER. Rob adds a pat of butter and heats them until it melts to make them even better.

They have good breads too (though we haven’t loved their breakfast sandwiches and burritos with exception of the ham and cheese croissant). If you have a crowd or want something special like sub rolls then call ahead and place an order!

Mama Santinas Hours

Miner Bees

We seem to get a good number of miner bees from late July through August. While they have no stinger, if they are mistreated the can bite (we’ve never experienced it though and have let them crawl on us). They seem especially fond of eggs, chicken and pork. They will come cut off a piece and carry it away so we always put out a special plate just for the bees while we are eating on the deck. They live in the sandy soil by the fire pit.

2015 06-28 Bee stealing eggs2014 07-26 Bees eating pork (16) 2014 07-26 Bees eating pork (36) 2013 08-31 Why do bees love eggs (4)

Gopher or Bull Snake

We think there is a chance this is the same snake we’d seen several years ago, only much larger! Gopher snakes look similar to rattlers but their head is narrow and they don’t have a rattle on their tails. While they might coil and act like a rattler, they strike with their mouths closed. They are not venomous, they move very slowly and are not at all aggressive. They eat rodents and keep unwanted pests away. If you are ever fortunate enough to see this one please don’t harm it. It’s our friend!

2015 07-04 Gopher snake (9) 2015 07-04 Gopher snake (8)

About a week before we saw the big one, I’d lifted a rock beside the house and found a tiny baby gopher snake (probably 6-8 inches long). Hopefully we’ll see this one get bigger too!

2015 06-13 Itty bitty snake was under a rock

Watermelon Beetle

Also know as the Ten Lined June Beetle. When I was a kid and went to camp, these guys were always buzzing around the lights at night during the summer. They make a hissing noise when disturbed (which provides entertainment for our dog who never harms them but certainly is curious). I don’t think they bite but they fly and are annoying.

2014 07-26 Tree Removal, Bees and Bugs (8)

A Grub

We were raking some brush under a tree and found a small grub. I’d never seen one before. Zach (who was 7 at the time) thought it was pretty cool and was quick to play with it. I’d done a 2 minute search and told him they can’t bite. Within 5 minutes, Zach said it bit him and had a tiny red spot on his hand. Needless to say, we likely won’t play with grubs anymore.

2014 07-15 Rain, Grub and Horses (18)