Why Are There Webs In The Trees?

CHRISTOPHER CREEK

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Mr. and Mrs. Malmdorg and their family from Peoria stayed in our cabins this weekend. During their stay, they traveled throughout the Rim Country. One day, they went down to Tonto Creek and did some fishing, but were concerned with the trees along the road. They ask me what all the webs were, hanging in the trees. I wasn't sure what they were talking about.

They thought maybe some kind of bugs were living in them or maybe bats. Bats?! I thought, "What in the world are they talking about?"

I ruled out bats right away. I think they dwell in caves. But, being the explorer that I am, I got in my car and drove down there just to make sure. It seems that many of the trees had these web like cocoons in them not quite big enough for bats. I did notice a lot of small caterpillars in the cocoons. So, to solve the mystery, I called the Tonto Fish Hatchery and talked to them and it seems that they are silk caterpillars that eventually turn into moths. They can destroy the tree by eating all the leaves off of it.

Mystery solved. At least we are not going to be invaded by bats anytime soon.

It's May and we are getting ready for a big celebration for the Memorial Day weekend. The homeowners associations are combining to have a party and raise money to fund the fuel break. Beginning at 10 a.m. at the fire station, they will have a public meeting led by the U.S. Forest Service to receive input on forest clearing.

From 2 to 6 p.m., the Firebelles will be holding their annual burgers and brats extravaganza. There will also be a bake sale of the absolute best in town with ice cream served afterward. They need lots of goodies, so, ladies, get your ovens ready and call Karen Thornton at (928) 478-4133 and let her know what you can bake.

Throughout the weekend, raffle tickets will be on sale for the benefit of the fuel break fund. A partial list of items include: A beautiful handmade quilt, a new 12-gauge shotgun, two rifles, rounds of golf at The Rim Club, two beautiful watercolor paintings by a famed local artist, a guitar and a pontoon-paddle boat.

If you have any items you would like to donate to the raffle, contact Vicki Grootegoed at (928) 478-4654. They can use really nice items that will generate money for the fuel break. Mark your calendar for this fun weekend, not to mention that you will be raising money for a very good cause -- the fuel break.

Two weeks ago, they started the fuel break fund and things are moving along, but they need to raise $50,000 to get the matching $50,000 grant. If they raise $50,000, the entire $100,000 will be enough to clear the forest fuel, in a swath 330-feet wide, running from the Christopher Creek Loop road north to See Canyon, and south from the new highway around the Hunter Creek area.

About 142 acres will be cleared of dangerous ground fuel. Someone said to me that the highway is a sufficient fuel break. This is not true. The Rodeo-Chediski Fire jumped the four-lane highway six times. Let's not forget that horrible fire.

It is inevitable that a fire will come through this area in the future. Let's get ahead of the game. The grant will match every dollar we raise. The deadline is June 30. That is in less than two months. So far, they have raised $15,425 and they sincerely thank those who have contributed, but they have a long way to go.

Please make a check out to C-K Firebelles Fuel Break Fund and send it to Christopher Creek Homeowners Association, HC2 Box 121-P, Payson, AZ 85541.

Every amount they receive is greatly appreciated. You don't have to live in the area to donate.

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