Archive for the ‘Naturalists’ Category

Naturalist   1 comment

Naturalists & RainbowsNaturalist — Image by kenne

NATURALIST

She cares about the environment
She questions the conditions
She seeks knowledge
She answers the questions
She is a problem solver
She accepts the facts
She shares her world
She sees limitless horizons
She lives in the moment
She is a naturalist.

— kenne

 

 

SCVN Elementary Program — Photo-Essay   Leave a comment

Thursday Elementary-72Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) Photo-Essay
— Images by kenne

In every walk with nature
one receives far more than he seeks.

— John Muir

Hiking To Romera Pools — Revisited   Leave a comment

Sunrise On The trail (1 of 1) Jeff & Phil blogJeff and Phil lead others to the base of the ridge — Images by kenne

The trail begins merciful,
level and wide for
our first steps.

The sun greeting us
rising above the mountains
warming the morning air.

Our path is straight
into the canyon
through winter’s brown.

Soon the trail narrows
turning left, then right
with carved rock stairs.

The pace slows as
fellow hikers snake-line
up the steep slopes.

As we near the first ridge,
the sky seems smaller,
staying alert with each step.

Hiking the lower canyon walls,
soon we reach the first saddle,
we break for the vistas.

Seeing no bighorn sheep,
only white rocks mistook
for their white rumps.

Climbing up and
around the next ridge,
water flowing from its top.

A steep drop in the trail
beckons thoughts of yet
another ridge to climb.

Reaching a thousand feet
above the trailhead before
hiking down to the pools.

Winter rains have provided
plenty of water for breathtaking
views of the pools and falls.

Spring break will bring
students’ cliff jumping into
the deeper Romero Pools.

I share a silent moment
above the pools with
only my shadow companion.

— kenne

Romero Pools (1 of 1)-25 blog shadow companionImages by kenne

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL PHOTOS OF HIKING ROMERO POOLS TRAIL, JANUARY 2015.

 

A Lesson On Correcly Identifying Monarch, Queen and Viceroy Butterflies   Leave a comment

The Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) have been preparing a new kit for Elementary School Program, which will be on pollinators. I was asked to provide some photos of pollinators. One of the photos first appeared on this blog in a grunge art piece I did in September of 2015, which I mistakenly identified as a viceroy.

Viceroy Butterfly on Buttonbush (1 of 1)-3 blog

One of the Pollinators kit developers is SCVN member Fred Heath, whom we consider our butterfly expert. Fred let me know that I had misidentified the butterfly —

“The orange and black butterfly is a Queen and not a Viceroy.
As you probably know, the Viceroy is a mimic of the Monarch and Queen.
In the east where there are more Monarchs than Queens,
the Viceroy is a brighter orange. Out west and in the south where there are more
Queens than Monarchs the Viceroy is more of a burnt orange like the Queen.
The one quick way to distinguish between the Queen and the Viceroy,
that that the Viceroy has a black median band,
which goes across the hindwing and the Queen doesn’t have that band.

This mistake is made a lot. There was a billboard that advertised Mexico and the Monarchs,
but the butterfly in the billboard is a Viceroy.
When I google Viceroy, the first picture they show is a Monarch.” 

Monarch, Viceroy, Queen image001Fred Heath Slide for One of His Butterfly Presentations

 

Biomes Of The Santa Catalina Mountains   5 comments

October 7th, SCVN naturalist David Dean conducted an advanced training tour of the Biomes of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Biomes of the CatalinasWe began the tour by meeting at the McDonald’s at Catalina Highway where David provided an overview of the biomes of the Catalinas. Before starting the car caravan up Catalina Highway, David covered the lower biomes, the Saguaro-Palo Verde (100′ – 4,000′), which includes the dominant cacti and legume trees; the Desert Grassland (3,800″ – 5,000′) with grasses, succulents & shrubs being dominant.  

Biomes of the CatalinasAt about the 5.5-mile marker, we pulled off at Molino Basin where David lead a discussion on the Oak – Grassland biome (4,000′ – 5,600′) and Oak Woodland (5,000′ – 6,000′) biome. Here he used posters and the natural taurine to cover; Trees: Emory Oak, Mexican Blue Oak, Silverleaf Oak, Arizona White Oak, Alligator Juniper, Western Soapberry, Border Pinyon Pine: Shrubs: Mountain Yucca, Soap-Tree Yucca, Shindagger Agave, Sotol, Golden-flowered Agave, Beargrass; Grasses: AZ Panic Grass, Blue Grama, Sideoats Grama, Cane beard grass, Spidergrass, Bush Muhly, Bull Grass, Lehmann Lovegrass; Oak – Grassland: Oaks & Junipers, Chihuahua Pine, Buckbrush, Golden-flowered Agave, Mt. Yucca.

Biomes of the CatalinasOur next stop was along the highway near Bear Creek to discuss the Riparian Corridor (Not a biome) where we found AZ Sycamore, AZ Walnut, Gooding Willow, Fremont Cottonwood, Velvet Ash, AZ Cypress, AZ Alder.

Biomes of the CatalinasAt the approximately the 5,400″ elevation we stopped at the Middle Bear Picnic/Green Mountain Trail Head to learn about Pine-Oak Woodland biome where the dominant plants are AZ Pine, Chihuahua Pine Silverleaf Oak, AZ White Oak, Emory Oak, Black Cherry, Alligator Juniper.

Biomes of the CatalinasNext, we stopped at Windy Point Vesta(6,500′), a popular place for tourists driving up the scenic Catalina Highway. At this location, David talked about the Chaparral biome, which includes Silver Oak, AZ Madrone, Border Pinyon Pine, Alligator Juniper, Manzanita, Golden-flowered Agave, Beargrass, and Buckbrush.

Biomes of the CatalinasAt the 19.3-mile highway marker (7,825′), David leads a discussion on the Pine Forest biome where the dominant plants are  AZ Pine, SW White Pine, Ponderosa Pine and occasional Douglas-Fir.

Biomes of the CatalinasAs you can see, David used live plant specimens on his posters.

Biomes of the CatalinasEver wonder how Mt. Lemmon got its name? The highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains (9,152′) was named after Sara Plummer Lemmon, a respected botanist from New Gloucester, Maine, who arrived in Arizona after living in coastal California. Her Arizona fate was sealed when she attended a botany lecture in 1876 led by her future husband, John Gill Lemmon, and the whirlwind romance was on. After four years of courtship, the two wed and worked together cataloging the flora of the West, which would lead them to the Coronado National Forest in the southern section of what was then the Arizona Territory.

Biomes of the CatalinasA discussion on the last biome in our tour, Mixed Conifer Forest (Above 8,000′) took place at Bear Wallow (8,100). Here David illustrated the common plants in the Mixed Conifer Forest: Ponderosa Pine, AZ Pine, SW White Pine, Douglas-Fir, White Fir, Quaking Aspen; Silverleaf, Netleaf, and Gambel Oaks; Rocky Mountain, Big Tooth, and Box Elder Maples.

In hindsight, I wish I had done both photography and video of the biomes tour. Near the end of the tour, I did think about doing a video clip, which is what follows.

Note: Much of the copy in this posting is from David Dean’s handout, Biomes of the Santa Catalina Mountains

 

 

 

Hiking The Aspen Loop In The Santa Catalina Mountains — Photo Essay   6 comments

Hikers-2840 blog IIHikers in a New Aspen Grove Up from Marshall Gulch On Mt. Lemmon — Image by kenne

In 2003 the Aspen Fire destroyed many homes in Summerheaven and thousands of acres on Mt. Lemmon. Last Friday the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists led hike was on the Aspen Loop that goes through some of the areas destroyed, now recovered by new aspen and pine groves. 

A precursor to the Aspen Fire was the Bollock Fire, 2002 in the eastern part of the Catalinas. Parts of the area burned in 2002 is now experiencing the Burro Fire that started Friday and has now consumed 9,000 acres. The Burro Fire is one of a half-dozen wildfires in the Coronado National Forest. Did I say it is hot and very dry in southeastern Arizona?

— kenne

Slideshow images by kenne

 

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A Mariposa Lily In Sycamore Canyon   Leave a comment

Friday with Friends & Molino Basin to Prison CampMariposa Lily — Image by kenne

THE LAST HIKE IN APRIL

The desert blue sky, replaced
by high rainless clouds.

The brittlebush has no blossoms
nor leaves of green without rain.

Your song little bird sings of love
among the branches of thorns.

Nearing the saddle,
the winds chill the skin.

Pausing at the top, we wait
for aunt visiting from Germany.

Then I took my Nikon to capture
a mariposa lily dancing to the breeze

waiting for the moment the
wind will make a flower of gauze.

One eye, the button pushed as
April goes flying by.

— kenne

Freeing Our Hands To Pick The Mushrooms   2 comments

Mushroom August 21, 2015-8556 Grunge Art blogImage by kenne

If you are a follower of this blog, if not now, please set aside the time to listen to Amanda Palmer’s reading of Neil Gaiman’s ode to humanity’s unheralded originators of the scientific method. It is very, very powerful. Listen to the poets, poetry will save us from ourselves!  https://vimeo.com/214686538

THE MUSHROOM HUNTERS

Science, as you know, my little one, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe.
It’s based on observation, on experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe the facts revealed.

In the old times, they say, the men came already fitted with brains
designed to follow flesh-beasts at a run,
to hurdle blindly into the unknown,
and then to find their way back home when lost
with a slain antelope to carry between them.
Or, on bad hunting days, nothing.

The women, who did not need to run down prey,
had brains that spotted landmarks and made paths between them
left at the thorn bush and across the scree
and look down in the bole of the half-fallen tree,
because sometimes there are mushrooms.

Before the flint club, or flint butcher’s tools,
The first tool of all was a sling for the baby
to keep our hands free
and something to put the berries and the mushrooms in,
the roots and the good leaves, the seeds and the crawlers.
Then a flint pestle to smash, to crush, to grind or break.

And sometimes men chased the beasts
into the deep woods,
and never came back.

Some mushrooms will kill you,
while some will show you gods
and some will feed the hunger in our bellies. Identify.
Others will kill us if we eat them raw,
and kill us again if we cook them once,
but if we boil them up in spring water, and pour the water away,
and then boil them once more, and pour the water away,
only then can we eat them safely. Observe.

Observe childbirth, measure the swell of bellies and the shape of breasts,
and through experience discover how to bring babies safely into the world.

Observe everything.

And the mushroom hunters walk the ways they walk
and watch the world, and see what they observe.
And some of them would thrive and lick their lips,
While others clutched their stomachs and expired.
So laws are made and handed down on what is safe. Formulate.

The tools we make to build our lives:
our clothes, our food, our path home…
all these things we base on observation,
on experiment, on measurement, on truth.

And science, you remember, is the study
of the nature and behaviour of the universe,
based on observation, experiment, and measurement,
and the formulation of laws to describe these facts.

The race continues. An early scientist
drew beasts upon the walls of caves
to show her children, now all fat on mushrooms
and on berries, what would be safe to hunt.

The men go running on after beasts.

The scientists walk more slowly, over to the brow of the hill
and down to the water’s edge and past the place where the red clay runs.
They are carrying their babies in the slings they made,
freeing their hands to pick the mushrooms.

— Neil Gaiman

imagesIllustration by Beatrix Potter

Springtime In The Sonoran Desert   Leave a comment

Palo Verde & Saguaro-1334 blogSpringtime In The Sonoran Desert — Image by kenne

“The morning is still and perfectly clear…
How cool and crystalline the air!
In a few hours the great plain
will be almost like a fiery furnace
under the rays of the summer sun,
but now it is chilly. And in a few hours
there will be rings and bands with scarves
of heat set wavering across the waste upon
the opalescent wings of the mirage;
but now the air is so clear that one can see
the breaks in the rocky face of the mountain range,
though it is fully twenty miles away…”

— from The Desert by John Van Dyke

Predator And Prey   1 comment

On Thursday of this past week, Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists were teaching two first grade classes about predator and prey in a program we call “Now You See It.” My responsibility for the month of April is to coordinate the Thursday schedule with the teachers. Once the children are in the canyon, my job is one of “managing by walking around.”

While in the riparian area near the creek and dam I could hear a nearby cooper’s hawk. Following the sound, I spotted him on a dead limb high above the creek where he had caught a small bird. What a “real time” example of predator and prey for the day’s lesson. What follows are images and a video of the encounter, which I shared with the children.

— kenne

(Click on any of the tiled images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Cooper’s Hawk Images and Video by kenne

Predator And Prey — Cooper’s Hawk

The varying modes of flight exhibited by our diurnal birds of prey
have always been to me a subject of great interest,
especially as by means of them I have found myself enabled
to distinguish one species from another,
to the farthest extent of my power of vision.

— John James Audubon

Round-Tailed Ground Squirrel — Grunge Art   Leave a comment

round-tailed ground squirrel-1131 art blogRound-Tailed Ground Squirrel — Grunge Art by kenne

I never wanted to be a scientist per se. I wanted to be a naturalist.

— Jane Goodall

Hiking Into Dark Clouds   Leave a comment

clouds-ahead-0660-blog-iiSCVN Friday Hike on Esperero Trail (February 17, 2017) — Image by kenne

A mostly cloudy morning with
sunlight breaking through
over the Tucson basin as we
begin our hike into the mountains
heading into rattlesnake canyon,
first hiking up, then down through
three canyons creating a 
breathtaking rollercoaster hike.

Starting as on group, the pace
soon divides us into three groups
as hikers settle in on their own pace
created by elevation changes
and stopping to shed layers of clothing
as the temperatures increase
and the sun begins to break through
deep blue cracks in the desert sky.

— kenne

 

Crossing Creek On West Fork Trail   Leave a comment

The SCVN Friday Hike last week was to Hutch’s Pool. This is a hike that is about eight miles from Tram Stop 9, which saves another eight miles by not hiking from the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center. About twenty hikers were hiking the Sabino Canyon Trail to the intersection of West Fork and East Fork trails. The East Fork goes to Sycamore Canyon, the West Fork to Hutch’s Pool. There are two water crossing to Hutch’s Pool, the first providing the lesser challenges of the two. Still, on this day the water was swift, just below the knee and ice cold.

Because of recent rains and snowmelt on Mt. Lemmon, the water flow was much higher than normal causing most hikers to turn back or take the East Fork to Sycamore Canyon. Five hikers decided to go on to Hutch’s Pool. The images and video or of their return crossing at the creek near where the Fork trail connects to the Sabino Canyon Trail.

Crossing Creek On West Fork Trail — Images by kenne
(Click on any of the images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Video by kenne

Hiking In The Catalina Mountains   Leave a comment

Hutch's PoolWest Fork Trail Leaving Hutch’s Pool — Panorama Image by kenne

“Mountains should be climbed with as little effort as possible and without desire. The reality of your own nature should determine the speed. If you become restless, speed up. If you become winded, slow down. You climb the mountain in an equilibrium between restlessness and exhaustion. Then, when you’re no longer thinking ahead, each footstep isn’t just a means to an end but a unique event in itself. This leaf has jagged edges. This rock looks loose. To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.

But of course, without the top, you can’t have any sides. It’s the top that defines the sides. So on we go—we have a long way—no hurry—just one step after the next—with a little Chautauqua for entertainment. Mental reflection is so much more interesting than TV it’s a shame more people don’t switch over to it. They probably think what they hear is unimportant, but it never is.”

― from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig 

 

Ruby-crowned Kinglet   Leave a comment

ruby-crowned-kinglet-1429-blogRuby-crowned Kinglet — Image by kenne

The trail was quiet
The breeze was calm.

What is that little bird
With all that energy?

Wings constantly flicking
Chattering out his songs

The hiker pulls out
His nature guide.

Was this nervous fliting
Bird just passing through?

Looks like a kinglet,
Possible a ruby-crowned

Spending the winter
In Sabino Canyon.

— kenne

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