Archive for the ‘Green Mountain Trail’ Tag

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




Green Mountain Trail Vista   4 comments

San Padro River Valley 3274 blogGreen Mountain Trail Vista — Image by kenne

Echoing off mountain rocks —
Big boulders by name.

Where ancient drums beat
To the rhythm of the hiker’s heart —
Magic in each step.

Singin’ to yourself
On the pathway to glory —
Downhill all the way.

— kenne

Green Mountain Vista   2 comments

Green Mountain Trail-3270 blogGreen Mountain Vista, Santa Catalina Mountains — Image by kenne

Fir trees frame vistas
We reach to touch the sky
Feeling heavenly.

— kenne


Apache Plume Blossom On The Green Mountain Trail   1 comment

Green Mountain Trail-3286 blogApache Plume Blossom On The Green Mountain Trail — Image by kenne

It’s been a very dry autumn in the Santa Catalina Mountains, and there are not a lot of wildflowers still in bloom, so I was pleased to see some Apache plume blooming near the Green Mountain trailhead October 20th. 

— kenne

Green Mountain Blues   5 comments

Green Mountain TrailSan Pedro River Valley from Green Mountain (April 19, 2013) — Image by kenne

Green Mountain Blues

Today I heard the Burro Fire
is burning near the
Green Mountain Trail,
one of many beautiful trails
in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The trail begins in a
lush and green forest
ponderosa pines, 
Douglas firs and sloping 
rock formations leading
to the top of Green Mountain.

Soon the forest changes
to oaks and manzanitas
allowing for spectacular
panoramic views of the
San Pedro River Valley
to the northeast.
(The direction of the Burro Fire.)

Unless your feet carry you
it’s not likely most people
will every see these
Sky Island vistas hidden
from the mainstream of people
driving Catalina Highway.

Today I sit at my computer
going through blog posting
of hiking the Green Mountain trail
hoping firefighters will contain
the Burro Fire before it
destroys Green Mountain.

In each of the many photos
I have taken I feel the mountain
and listen to myself
trying to put feeling into words,
which I say without listening
then I hear it without saying.

The images I possess
have recorded what was
in time will recapture
new vistas open for view
through nature’s door
hinged in the air.

— kenne

Green Mountain Trail

Other Posting:


I Freely Go Lost In The Unknown   Leave a comment

kenne-1-of-1-4-thumble-peak-backdrop-b-w-blog-iiView from the Green Mountain Trail with Thimble Peak & the Tucson Basin in the Background.

With Thimble Peak over my shoulder,

Here where fond climates and sweet singers suddenly

Come in the morning where I wandered and listened . . .

In the thistledown fall, I sing towards anguish

And freely go lost in the unknown, 

Famous light of great and fabulous, dear God.

— Adapted from “Poem of October” by Dylan Thomas 

New Mexico Groundsel   Leave a comment

New Mexico groundsel (1 of 1)-21 blogNew Mexico Groundsel (Green Mountain Trail, Santa Catalina Mountains, April 22, 2016) — Image by kenne

Just living is not enough…

one must have sunshine, freedom,

and a little flower.

— Hans Christian Andersen

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