Tombstone Sky
Dark-Site Observatory

Tombstone Observatory Astronomy About This Site


Site Tour

This half-block on the edge of Tombstone is my piece of heaven. I've lived all over the US, from California to Florida, Texas to Montana, and a whole lot of places in between. I spent all my life looking for just this house in just this town. This is as far as I go.

The House

The property consists of 47,250 ft². Except for 7,200 ft² for house and landscaping, it's almost totally untouched, probably since Tombstone was founded in 1879. Rumor has it there's at least one body buried down there somewhere, but I'm in no hurry to find it.

Fulton Street viewThis is a view of the house from Fulton Street, which dead-ends just left of this point. On the overhang there's a sparrow house, which is occupied most of the year, and feeding stations for hummingbirds. There're only a few hummingbirds year-around, but during migration there's about 30 of them, and I have to fill the feeders twice a day. You'd think those things would be a little patient while I do this, but it's like the Battle of Britain out there.
Observation deckStill, the house would just be another house without this observation deck (views below). From here, I get spectacular sunsets and I can watch the wildlife at the feeding station. And since it's really dark at night, I get all the stars, shooting stars and Iridium flares I can find. As an extra bonus, during the monsoon season I get the thunderstorms over the Dragoon mountains - free fireworks, day and night.
From the deer trailThis was taken near the end of the property (Fitch Street), looking back toward the house, on the path made by years of use by deer, horses and people. Unfortunately, I had to post this path. I really didn't want to do this. The problem wasn't the kids and their bicycles, and the adults weren't so bad. But the dirt bike was too much (for me and the animals that live here), and I knew ATV's would be next. Yes, it's another example of the few screwing things up for the many. But that's the way it's been for a long time, and changing the laws of nature is beyond my capabilities.

Views from the Observation Deck

This shows the Meade 12" LX90GPS ("River"). With the dark skies available to me (see Observatory), what this telescope can pick up is nothing short of spectacular. It has "Goto" control (computerized object selection, acquisition and tracking) at the scope itself, and can also be controlled remotely from the computer inside the house.
This view from the deck faces north and down the deer trail. The property extends north to Fitch Street, which you can't see. The paved road you can see is First Street. It dead-ends just about where it appears to because of...
Bruce Street wash...the wash. This is also the reason why Fulton Street dead-ends right in front of the house. This west area is also unimproved. It belongs to whatever wildlife wants to use it. During the monsoon season this thing can flood, so you have to be a little careful if you want to go down there. It's a lot easier to get into that wash than it is to get out of it.
Wildlife feeding areaThis is the wildlife feeding area for rabbits (peeled baby carrots), deer (peanut butter on the stumps) and javelina (eat everything but other pigs). Other frequent visitors are quail, many sparrows, and one ground squirrel. Also are hog-nosed skunks (spotted skunks are the rabid kind; these guys are just fun), and there are two families that live in the back. These guys eat scorpions and a lot of other stuff I can do without. Coyotes are occasional visitors for peanut butter and water, but they're very shy creatures, and being close to one, if I'm really quiet, is a true privilege.