Archive for the ‘Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists’ Tag

Friday Hike Rained Out, A Photo Essay   10 comments

Friday morning, July 1st, a little before 8:00am we stood in the McDonald’s parking lot
looking up at the dark clouds over the Santa Catalina mountains.
This is our regular meeting place before driving the 25 miles up to
Mt. Lemmon for the SCVN (Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists) summer guided hikes.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1) blog

Only, this Friday morning there were just the three guides, Maribeth, Maureen and myself.
Others who may have been planning to hike on Mt. Lemmon, probably
took one look out the window deciding it was not a good day for hiking.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-2 blog

This Friday’s scheduled hike was to be a six mile hike starting at the Ski Valley parking lot,
hiking a loop of Aspen Drew, Lemmon and Meadow trails starting at 9:00am.

After a brief discussion, we decided to cancel the hike. However,
since all the SCVN summer hikes are posted in the Arizona Daily Star,
as the lead guide, I would need to drive to Ski Valley letting those who may
still be planning on hiking know that the hike had been cancelled.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-3 blog

As somewhat expected, the weather conditions got worse as I drove up Catalina Highway.
The conditions kept changing rapidly from mist, thick fog, to rain.

When I arrived at the Ski Valley parking lot, there were five vehicles
with about twelve people preparing to hike. At closer look,
I didn’t recognize anyone,
so I ask if they were there to do the SCVN led hike —
no, they were members of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club.
The conversation ended quickly as we were beginning to experience a heavy downpour.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-4 blog

The rain lasted long enough for the hiking club members to call off their hike.
It didn’t help that the temperature was 55 wet degrees.

Ironically, the Southern Arizona Hiking Club had been planning on doing
the same combination of trails as SCVN had scheduled.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-5 blog

Now that my task was completed, I started my drive back, stopping at the Summerhaven public restrooms.

I was hoping to get a cup of coffee in Summerhaven, but that would have to wait till getting back down the mountain.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-7 blog

In the summertime, the monsoon weather can change quickly, bringing plenty of lightening, wind, hail and rain.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-9 blog

For the return drive, the fog had lifted and the thick clouds had begun to breakup.
Since I had plenty of time, what better used of it than to stop now and then takeing photos.

Rain In The Mountains (1 of 1)-10 blog

In the distance beyond the last ridge is the Tucson basin. Arriving home after 10:30am, I could see very dark clouds moving into the Tucson area. By mid-day we had received 1.8 inches of rain. What a great way to begin July and the monsoon season in the desert.

— kenne


Standing With Giants   4 comments

Standing with Gaints-2 blogKenne Turner, David W. Lazaroff, Steve Plevel, and Bob Barnacastle

Yesterday I was honored to be MC at the graduation event for sixteen new naturalists, which included recognizing the founders of the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN), David W. Lazaroff, Steve Plevel and Bob Barnacastle. In 1977 these guys began formulating what became SCVN. It was a pleasure to stand along side of such giants in our organization.Their continuing support is a reflection of the quality of SCVN.

Big THANKS to all who made yesterday’s event a great success.



Last Day Of Class   Leave a comment

SCVN Wrap-Up (1 of 1)-9 blogNew SCVN Naturalists and Their Mentors Wrap-up Training(January 11, 2016)  — Image by kenne

The temperature was near thirty-two degrees at the Cactus Picnic Area in Sabino Canyon where the final day of training was scheduled. After spending time demonstrating some of their new skills, the new naturalists were treated to a surprise party at Rattlesnake Canyon Picnic Area near Sabino creek.

Graduation will take place this coming Saturday (January 16, 2016).



Hiking Green Mountain Trail To Guthrie Peak   2 comments

A fun hike with beautiful views north and south of the Santa Catalina Mountains can be experienced by hiking the Green Mountain trail out of the General Hitchcock campgrounds to the Guthrie Peak trail. The hike was the last scheduled hike for the SCVN Friday hikes at the cooler temperatures in the mountains before beginning our winter hikes in Sabino Canyon next week.

The morning forecast was for rain in the mountains, spreading to the lower elevations by late afternoon. This might explain why Tim and I had only one hiker (Deborah) with us, the least number in our experience guiding the SCVN hikes. Reasons for such a low number are sheer speculation at this date, however we will continue to evaluate the service SCVN is providing through our scheduled Friday public hikes.

Regardless, the weather was great and as you can see from the photos in this posting, we had another excellent hiking experience. This was Deborah’s first Guthrie Peak hike and what better way than with Tim and I giving her all our guide attention.


Guthrie Peak Panorama (1 of 1) blogPanorama View from Guthrie Peak of Storm Clouds Moving Into The Tucson Area — Image by kenne
(Click on any of the images below for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Images by kenneGuthrie Peak Panorama (1 of 1)-7 art blogGuthrie Peak Computer Art by kenne

Fall Classes Begin In Sabino Canyon   Leave a comment

October through April of each year for over thirty years, Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) have offered K-6 classes science and social history programs in the canyon. Each program involves an hour of interactive content at a picnic table and an hour nature walk, each fitting into the teacher’s curriculum at the time of the field trip.

— kenne

Thursday SCVN Elementary (1 of 1)-7 blogNaturalist Phil teaching second grade students using the “Web of Life” elementary school instruction kit.

Thursday SCVN Elementary (1 of 1)-6 blog Naturalists Jeff and Alexa guiding students across one of the low-water crossing bridges in Sabino Canyon.

Thursday SCVN Elementary (1 of 1)-4 blog Naturalist Fran teaching a group of boys on a nature walk.

Thursday SCVN Elementary (1 of 1)-3 blog Naturalist Becky showing where a twig girdler beetle has cut into a Mesquite limb.

Thursday SCVN Elementary (1 of 1)-2 blogBecky explains why the twig girdler has cut the Mesquite limb. — Images by kenne

SCVN Training — Day 1   3 comments

SCVN Day 1

Sabino Canyon Tour Led By David Wentworth Lazaroff (September, 2011) — Image by kenne

Yesterday was day one of training for the 20115/16 Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) class. It was just four years ago that I was part of the 2011 class. This year, as then the first day included a tram tour of the canyon by David Lazaroff, naturalist, author and founder of SCVN.

Like a kid, the first day of class was very exciting, getting to know fellow classmates, our naturalists leaders and meeting David Lazaroff. His book, Sabino Canyon — The Life of a Southwestern Oasis, is a must read for all naturalists in southern Arizona. 

Yesterday’s first day for the new class brought back many memories as I was there to greet the new class members. This morning, before writing this post, I viewed again a video I made in 2011 of Lazaroff’s tour of Sabino Canyon. As per his request, the video is available only for SCVN members.

I love going to Sabino Canyon!

I love going to Sabino Canyon,
a place to come together with nature.

I love the people there,
sharing feelings with nature.

I love being able to see
the beauty of nature.

I love going to Sabino Canyon!

I love being able to reflect
on the art of nature.

I love close-up encounters
with all things in nature.

I love capturing the moment,
drawing inspiration from nature.

I love going to Sabino Canyon!

I love learning new ways
to connect with nature.

I love getting to know me
by connecting with nature.

I love finding surprising things
by getting to know nature.

I love going to Sabino Canyon!

I love the feelings of being alive
by walking with nature.

I love knowing that
forever is the life of nature.

I love knowing that
all that is, is nature.

I love going to Sabino Canyon!

— kenne

This video was first posted on this blog March of 2010, a few months before we moved from The Woodlands, Texas
to Tucson, and a year and a half before beginning training to become a naturalist.
Viewing this video now reminds me how little I knew about the Sonoran Desert,
still it’s a reflection of my love for this southwestern oasis.

To the new SCVN class: If you like Sabino Canyon now, you will learn to love it!


Hiking and Partying Equal One With SCVN   1 comment

Having begun back in June, the Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) summer hikes in the higher elevations of the Santa Catalina Mountains now has two hikes remaining on Mt. Lemmon before starting our trek down the mountain in October, offering our Friday hikes in the desert. This year our summer Friday hikes have experienced a good turnout, no storms and no injuries, and as usual fun has been had by all.

As an organization, SCVN is always ready to party, so in the middle of last Friday’s hike a spontaneous (plan by some) surprise birthday party for Rick and Maribeth took place in the Marshall Gulch picnic area. It was also an opportunity for some who have not been able to hike regularly this summer, to make it out and spend time together.


SCVN (and invited public) party in Marshall Gulch (August 14, 2015) — Images and video by kenne
(Click on any of the images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

“SCVN has the best people in the whole world,
and anyone who hangs around with SCVN
are the best people in the whole world.”

— Rick Mensching 

Panning for Garnets In Sabino Creek   1 comment

Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) have five Nature Education programs for elementary school teachers from which to select, taught by SCVN members. Up too 60 elementary school children are in one of the five programs each day of the week. On March 26th a 4th grade class participated in a geology-based program, “Strike It Rich.” One of the exercises is panning for garnets in Sabino Creek.



Panning for Garnets In Sabino Creek (March 26, 2015) — Images by kenne 

Trailing Four O’clock Wildflower   1 comment

Trailing Four O'clock (1 of 1) blogTrailing Four O’clock Wildflower — Image by kenne

Signs Of Spring On Douglas Spring Trail   1 comment

Bee on Brittlebush blossom (1 of 1)-3 blog“With A Little Help from My Friends” (Brittlebush Blossoms) — Image by kenne

Each helps the other

Bringing a balance to life

It is nature’s way.

— kenne

Capturing The Moment — Stansbury Cliffrose   1 comment

Stansbury Cliffrose (1 of 1) blogStansbury Cliffrose — Image by kenne

“I’m very fortunate to be working with young people.
That’s a big reason I haven’t burned out.
I keep getting recharged by these people. T
they’re somebody to pass the torch on to.
You don’t hold onto it, that’s no good.
You have to pass it on.”

— David Brower

It’s Time For A Standing Ovation   2 comments

Jeff Hahn 20150129_101231 blogSCVN Naturalist, Jeff Hahn Teaching 1st Grade Students In Sabino Canyon — Image by Phil Bentley

It’s Time For A Standing Ovation

After losing several Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists to surgery, death, life-style change and relocation, the Thursday SCVN Elementary Program team has been fortunate to get three new team members from the 2014 Naturalists class (Jeff Hahn, Nancy Murphy and Bob Veranes). We are so please with our new team acquisitions – they are already doing a super job teaching children about nature.

So far I have team-taught with Bob and Jeff and each brings new energy and ideas to the Thursday team, which brings me to the purpose of this entry.

Based on the assumption that we (the Thursday elementary team) didn’t just luck out and get the best of the 2014 class, the commitment and effort of all involved in preparing this year’s class is deserving of our applause. From the time spent requiting, creating rosters and agendas, scheduling presenters, updating the curriculum, evaluating, mentoring and motivating, the training team deserves our recognition and continued support. SCVN cannot continue to be a great volunteer organization without continued membership growth.

I know I can speak for the Thursday Elementary team, so I will assume I can speak for all SCVN members in saying:

“THANK YOU, thank you for all your superb work in preparing the SCVN class of 2014.”

Your work will continue to be reflected in the happy faces of the children of Sabino Canyon.

— kenne

Hiking Pontatoc Ridge, January 16, 2015   Leave a comment

Hiking Group 01-16-15 (1 of 1) blog II

Pontatoc Ridge Hike (1 of 1) blog

Pontatoc Ridge Hike (1 of 1)-2 blog

Pontatoc Ridge Hike (1 of 1)-3 blogHiking Pontatoc Ridge in the Santa Catalina Mountains (January 16, 2015) — Images by kenne

Hiking the La Milagrosa Loop In The Santa Catalina Mountains   2 comments


Hiking the La Milagrosa Loop in the Santa Catalina Mountains (December 5, 2014) lead by Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN). The 6.6 mile loop combines trails through the La Milagrosa and Agua Caliente Canyons. Parts of theses canyons are also popular to more adventurous hikers and rock climbers than our Friday SCVN hikers. (Click here.)

May your trails be crooked,
winding, lonesome, dangerous,
leading to the most amazing view.
May your mountains rise
into and above the clouds.

— Edward Abbey


Tanque Verde 2nd Grade Field Trip   4 comments

As a Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist,  I enjoy teaching children about nature — thanks for sharing, Cathy. It was a pleasure to be with polite, inquisitive  children interested in learning about nature.

Life is good and I love it!


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