Archive for the ‘Fred Heath’ Tag

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


Mesquite Girdler — A Landscape Architect   4 comments

The Work of a Mesquite Girdler — Image by kenne

This image is almost identical to one on Ann Green’s blog, Sabino Canyon, taken by naturalist Bob Wenwick, which is not surprising since we were on the same nature walk yesterday. Ned Harris probably has an identical image. It was naturalist Fred Heath that spotted the work of the mesquite girdler on the Bluff Trail above Sabino Creek.

This small beetle plays a big role in shaping the landscape, and being new to the desert, this is what I have learned from my naturalist friends — the female beetle chew a deep groove around the diameter of a mesquite stem, and the resulting girdle kills the stem beyond the groove, where she will lay an egg. The larval offspring bore into the dead wood. Thus, this little beetle effectively prunes mesquite trees helping shape the desert landscape — probably more than you ever wanted to know. What else would you expect from a convert!


A Resurrection Is Taking Place In The Desert   Leave a comment

A Cliff Formation Near The Sabino Canyon Riparian Area — Image by kenne

It’s difficult to see in this image, but if you look carefully at some the rocks that appear more green than others, the green is from Arizona Spikemoss (Resurrection Plant) growing after some recent rains in the canyon. For most of us, it’s hard to consider moss growing in environments such as the dry-hot desert. However, it only takes a little moisture to turn this dried-up gray plant to turn green and start growing. It is called Resurrection Plant because of its habit of reviving after seeming to be dead. In the last week, evidence of this plant can be found all over the canyon. This small fern can be found in shaded areas where they clump together or form dense mats, which helps reduce their exposure to hot temperatures. 


(I share this information, which I learned while on a nature walk with naturalists Anne Green, Ned Harris and Fred Heath.)

Pincushing Cactus with Fruit, Surrounded By Arizona Spikemoss (Resurrection Plants) — Image by kenne

Capturing The Moment — The Butterfly Man   3 comments

Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist (SCVN), Fred Heath Eyes an Empress Leilia Up Close — Image by kenne

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