Archive for the ‘Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’ Tag

Seven Dry Creek Crossings To Seven Falls   3 comments

One of the most popular hikes in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area is the trail to Seven Falls in Bear Canyon. The trail to the falls crosses the Bear Canyon creek seven times (seven crossing to seven falls). Usually there is water in the creek, adding to the hiking adventure. 

Last Thursday, Ed Rawl, Jan Labiner and I hiked the trail from the Bear Canyon road entrance to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Even after 19 inches of rain during the monsoon season (July, August, September), the creek is dry. There is some water at the falls, but it disappears underground once down in the canyon.

The now over eleven-year drought continues to impact the Sonoran Desert ecology. As pointed out in previous posting, invasive plants are competing for water in these drought conditions, i.e., fountain grass and buffelgrass. You can learn more about these and other invasive species at “Invaders“, a project of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Seven Falls 01-27-12One Of The Bear Canyon Creek Crossings With Water Flowing, April, 2013 — Image by kenne

Hiking the Seven Falls Trail, October, 2013, No Water In The Creek (Click On Any Of The Tiled Photos For Larger Slideshow Image) — Images by kenne

Nature changes —





it’s not sudden

making goodbyes


— kenne

Beauty And The Environment   Leave a comment

Fountaingrass and Buffelgrass In The Dry Creekbed of Sabino Creek — Image by kenne

If you Google “Fountaingrass,” you will find a lot of information on these attractive ornamental plants, such as where to buy, care, etc. However, these beautiful grasses are a threat to our environment. The spread of these invasive species create serious environmental problems. The web-site, INVADERS (Invaders of the Sonoran Desert Region a Product of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum) states: 

“Fountaingrass (and bufflegrass) is a large grass that produces lots of seeds that spreads rapidly from cultivation into nearby disturbed areas, and eventually into natural habitats. It often forms dense stands and aggressively competes with native species, especially perennial grasses and seasonal annuals, for space, water, and nutrients, and is most common in riparian habitats within paloverde-saguaro desertscrub in the Arizona Upland Sonoran Desert.”

Alberto Búrquez MontÍjo has stated, “We know … that the replacement of Sonoran Desert plants by buffelgrass means a large loss of species, so large that 90 of every 100 species disappear in dense buffelgrass stands. …”

These invasive grasses from Africa and the Middle East have created severe fire hazards to the Sonoran Desert, especially for saguaros and other cacti who have a low tolerance for fire. “Once these plants have been killed by fire, it takes many years for new ones to mature. The grasses, on the other hand, are fire-adapted and come back robustly with the next rain.”

In the desert, it is important to grow native — don’t plant a pest! Let nature create its own beautiful environment. Often, man’s good intentions have a way of backfiring. 


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