Life is Wild in Pine-Strawberry, AZ!

Spring greetings to our readers! We have written often in the past about the abundance of wildlife in the Pine-Strawberry area, but this spring we have noticed an amazingly large and diverse array of forest creatures in our neighborhoods and also in downtown Pine. In fact, we seem to be having an Elk Convention in Pine every Wednesday at dusk! At times, we have counted more than 50 head of elk at one time in the fields and meadows of the properties on the east side of SR87. Many of us have walked up to within a few yards of these majestic creatures to snap photos while they are munching on grass, and they have paid us little mind, just as long as we stayed on our side of the fence, of course. In addition to elk, we have spotted lots of white tailed deer; the typical squirrels, jays, woodpeckers, finches, hummingbirds, hawks, javelina, skunks, coyotes, lizards and garter snakes; and the more exotic turkeys, quail and even a beautiful silver fox one evening. It’s wonderful to be able to live in harmony with all these beautiful creatures, which we can do as long as we remember to view them from a distance because they are still wild and thus somewhat unpredictable. And, we never let our small dogs roam out on their own. If you are an animal lover or bird watcher, the Pine-Strawberry area is a great place to visit or live!

The first few photos below were taken at the entrance to the Portal II neighborhood in Pine and the rest were taken in downtown Pine:

Elk at Portal II-1

Elk at Portal II-4

Elk at Portal II-5

Elk in downtown Pine-1

Elk in downtown Pine-2

Elk in downtown Pine-3

Elk in downtown Pine-4

Posted in Bird watching, Day Trips, Deer, Elk, General Interest, National Forest, Outdoor activities, Photography, Photos, Real estate, Visting Rim Country | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Visit Pine-Strawberry Soon for Beautiful Fall Foliage & Fun

Fall 2013 in Pine-Strawberry

Fall 2013 in Pine-Strawberry

Rim View from Cedar Meadow

Rim View from Cedar Meadow

It’s a beautiful autumn in Pine-Strawberry this year! The combination of abundant rain this summer and the lovely cool temperatures we’ve enjoyed this fall, particularly in the nighttime, has resulted in a glorious display of fall colors for the cottonwood, aspen, maple and oak trees in our area.

Some of the best spots for viewing fall foliage include the drive between Payson and Pine, particularly near the East Verde River, downtown Pine, Cedar Meadow (between Mistletoe and Pine Creek Canyon Road), and the west end of Ralls Road (off SR 87, at the north end of town.) You’re welcome to stop by Sunny Mountain Realty in the little yellow cottage next-door to the Ponderosa Market for directions, an area map, and/or additional suggestions.

If you’re interested, the remaining weekends in October as well as the first couple of weeks in November should be great for enjoying the sights and scents of fall. Don’t wait too long, though, because the leaves in the Happy Jack area, approximately 40 minutes to the north of us, have already turned brown and lost their splendor.

Why not take a drive to the Pine-Strawberry area this weekend? If you come up early in the morning, you can enjoy a nice breakfast at either The Early Bird, Randall House or HB’s restaurants.

In addition to driving around to see fall colors, you might want to visit Myra’s Art Gallery (next-door to Sunny Mountain Realty) to view and perhaps purchase fine art, jewelry, wood carvings, and/or pottery; or shop for gifts and/or antiques in Pine at Moose Mountain, Tymeless Antiques & Treasures, Tymeless Annex Estate Sales, Coach House Antiques & Boutique, Auntie Gail’s Collectibles, Pine Country Antiques, or Fancy Finds. You can also find wonderful local honey and preserves at The Honey Stand at the south end of Pine.

In Strawberry, you may want to visit Hock’s Crockery Pottery Studio for some hand-crafted pottery, or Fossil Creek Llama Ranch and Creamery, to see and perhaps feed the llamas and goats, and to sample and perhaps purchase some delicious goat milk cheese and fudge, as well as other gourmet items.

Hikers, bikers, Equestrians and ATV riders have lots of recreational opportunities in the Pine-Strawberry area, particularly the forest access at the north end of Hardscrabble, to which you can ride with your car, ATV, bike or horse to access the designated hiking trail or the forest road towards Twin Buttes, where you can always enjoy spectacular panoramic mountain views, and the beautiful fall colors over the next few weeks. At Gentle Hands Equine Center (next to Fossil Creek Creamery) in Strawberry, you can also arrange for a guided trail ride down to the creek.

If you’re looking to cool off during the day with an ice cream cone or shake, you can find those at Pine Creek Fudge & Ice Cream at the south end of town in the plaza next-door to Taylor Pine Service Station or at the Gingerbread House in Pine, just north of the Pine-Strawberry Community Center.

Good lunches are available at any of the restaurants mentioned above for breakfast. You can enjoy good lunches and dinners at That Brewery and Pub (Pine-Strawberry’s only microbrewery), Sidewinder’s Saloon, Pine Deli, all in Pine, and Mama Jo’s Italian Restaurant in Strawberry. That Brewery and Sidewinder’s often feature music and/or special events on Friday and Saturday nights.

For overnight accommodations in the Pine-Strawberry area, you can contact Pine Creek Cabins in Pine at 928-970-9511, or the Cabins on Strawberry Mountain (928-476-4252) or Up the Creek Bed and Breakfast (928-476-6571), which are both in Strawberry.

You’re always welcome to stop by Sunny Mountain Realty at any time for information about the Pine-Strawberry area, find out about properties for sale in the area, or just grab a bag of hot popcorn. It’s even more fun at this time of year for kids of all ages because we have some fun seasonal decorations on display in our front yard! You can also contact us by phone at 928-476-2766 or 877-867-2344, or visit us on the Web at

Halloween at Sunny Mountain

Halloween at Sunny Mountain

Ghoulish Greetings from Sunny Mountain!

Ghoulish Greetings from Sunny Mountain!

Posted in Antique shopping, Art galleries, Autumn, Day Trips, Dining out, Events, Fall colors, Four Seasons, General Interest, Halloween, National Forest, Outdoor activities, Photos, Real estate, Visting Rim Country, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

A summer of abundance in Pine-Strawberry!

Summer 2013 has proved to be one of abundance in the Pine-Strawberry area. We’ve enjoyed lots of sunshine as well as plenty of rain, which has resulted in lots of beautiful flowers, a bumper crop of tree fruit, plump berries, and lots of big, tasty vegetables from our gardens!

Juicy Plums

Juicy plums

Crisp, tasty apples

Crisp, tasty apples

A variety of delicious veggies!

A variety of delicious veggies!

The Pine-Strawberry area has also enjoyed an abundance of wildlife this year, with lots of elk and deer roaming the forest and many neighborhoods, and a wide array of wild birds to watch at our feeders and in flight. We’ve also noticed what appears to be a healthy ‘crop’ of newborn baby elk and dear! In fact, a mother deer has bedded down with twin fawns in the tall grass next to this writer’s house, as shown in the photo below:
Mama Deer with Twins

In addition to the abundance of plants and wildlife, we’ve had several really great festivals that have brought lots of visitors and business to our community and its stores and restaurants, and also lots of individual house parties and barbeques this summer. Who’d have thought we’d be so busy in such a small community!

We’ve also been blessed with a very robust real estate season in Pine-Strawberry this summer, with sales much more brisk than over the past few years, particularly in the 100k to 200k price range. We appear to be shifting away from being a ‘Buyer’s Market,’ but there are still lots of nice properties for sale at some pretty good prices. For more information, give us a call at Sunny Mountain Realty at 928-476-2766 or visit our Website at

Posted in Bird watching, Day Trips, Deer, Elk, Events, Gardening, General Interest, National Forest, Outdoor activities, Photography, Photos, Real estate, Visting Rim Country, Weather, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off