Archive for the ‘SCVN’ Category

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

 

 

 

Learning About Nature Is Fun!   2 comments

Park Ranger and Kid-0108 blogPark Ranger and Kid at Mesa Verde National Park — Image by kenne

During our recent visit to Mesa Verde National Park, I watched a Park Ranger at a demo table doing something we as naturalists do at Sabino Canyon to education visitors to the canyon — couldn’t pass up taking a photo and watching the child’s reaction.

Wild for the Wilderness (1 of 1)-67-2 blogSabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist at Sabino Canyon — Image by kenne

Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) programs and nature demonstrations start in October.

— kenne

“Children the world over have a right to a childhood filled with beauty, joy, adventure, and companionship.
They will grow toward ecological literacy if the soil they are nurtured in is rich with experience, love, and good examples.”

— Alan Dyer

 

 

hiking friends — black and white in shades of gray   Leave a comment

Box Springs TrailImage by kenne

friends hiking Box Camp
naturalists lead the way
for fellow hikers 
      always stay on the marked trail
            black and white in shades of gray

-- kenne

Top Of The Mountain   Leave a comment

Mt. Lemmon Panorama- blog Meadow Trail on Mt. Lemmon — Panorama by kenne

Profound commitment to a dream does not
confine or constrain: it liberates.
Even a difficult, winding path can lead
to your goal if you follow it to the end.

— Paulo Coelho

 

 

 

Extruded Art & Snyder Poem, “Water”   1 comment

Checkerspot-2856 extruded art blog IIImage by kenne

Water

Pressure of sun on the rockslide
whirled me in a dizzy hop-and-step descent,
Pool of pebbles buzzed in a Juniper shadow,
Tiny tongue of a this-year rattlesnake flicked,
I leaped, laughing for little boulder-color coil —
Pounded by heat raced down the slabs to the creek
Deep tumbling under arching walls and stuck
Whole head and shoulders in the water:
Stretched full on cobble—ears roaring
Eyes open aching from the cold and face a trout.

— Gary Snyder
“I am a poet who has preferred not to distinguish in poetry between nature and humanity.”

Hiking The Aspen Loop In The Santa Catalina Mountains — Photo Essay   2 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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Hiking Near Old Ski Run On Mt. Lemmon   1 comment

Old Ski Run Trail-1693 blog

Hiking the trail near the old ski run on Mt. Lemmon is a short hike with a good elevation change for the first hike of the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists summer schedule on Mt. Lemmon. With temperatures now going over 100  degrees down in the valley, temperatures in the 60’s make for great summer hiking conditions.

Open Fire Campers-1694 blog

The nice mountain weather conditions not only attract hikers but campers. The trail led us across campers with an open fire. Currently, the dry conditions in the Catalinas have caused the Forest Service to place Stage 1 restrictions on having wood burning campfires. We made sure the campers understood the restrictions, helped them cover the fire and called in the sighting.

Ricki Leading-1697 blogImages by kenne

We continued on back down the trail to the trailhead led by naturalist Ricki Mensching.  

Next week’s hike will be on the Box Camp Trail. We will be hiking to a rocky overlook providing a view into the upper Sabino Canyon and will be led by naturalist Tim Ralph.

— kenne

 

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