Monday, August 30, 2010

Two posts in one day!

Sonora Mud Turtle
Photos (and glasses) from Mark Hengesbaugh
Yes, it's a Sonora Mud Turtle (kinosternon sonoriense)! Confirmed by Bill and David. Seen by Jean and Mark today at the dam. Unlike the desert tortoise, the mud turtle is a carnivore. Keep your toes in your shoes.

Bloomin' Barrels, Batman!

Better than a barrel of monkeys!

Red, orange, and yellow flowers. Head out to the canyon soon for great views.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not marshmallow!

Globemallow (genus Sphaeralcea
Rosemallow hibiscus coulteri
There is a third 'mallow' in the canyon. Indian Mallow or (genus) Abutilon. Lots of it along the road into Sabino Canyon. Not blooming yet for the post-monsoon, but look for the heart-shaped leaves and the remaining dried out seed pods - round, with (what reminds me of) a star in the middle.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Saguaro Forest

Along the Rattlesnake Trail, August 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Third time's the charm

Bush Spiderling
This photo was also taken by Matt Ball on 12 August, but it took me until today to identify. Looking through the firefly forest site a third time was the charm. More info. The flowers are VERY tiny. Smaller than the tip of your pinkie finger. Look for this among other plants along the big path/dirt road by the picnic tables in the area where SCVN does the elementary programs.

Puncture vine
Ditto on the date, photographer, and charm of three for i.d. More info and photos. Look for this in the turn-around circle in the same area. As always, let me know if I've made a mistake. It wouldn't be the first time - or even the third. amgreenvo at gmail

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Water over the dam

Perhaps after posting this video, the rain gods will see fit to send more! (And then I'll post an update :-)
Video from Monday, 16 August 2010. Click here for water!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Three to see!

Arizona Blue Eyes

Trailing Four O'clock
Honeymat aka Woolly Honeysweet
All photos by Matt Ball

Monday, August 16, 2010

Why does the tarantula cross the road?

Made a video this morning on the road to Bear Canyon. Carol spotted this burly tarantula. The heavy breathing is from me, not the tarantula. Click!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

But it's a pretty weed!

Correction: Pringle's Clustervine, not Bindweed. 8/12/10
by Matt Ball
Find this along the road in the morning. But don't eat.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Squirrel's out for the summer

Rock Squirrel, 12 August 2010
Photo by Matt Ball
I almost missed this healthy-looking critter, happily munching on mesquite pods on the wide path by the hummingbird area. Squirrels may be out, but school is back 'in'. Watch out for squirrels, children, and squirrel-y children.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not very aptly named

Cockroach Plant Haplophyton crooksii
Photo by Matt Ball
Neither name is pretty enough for this plant! Look for it on the Bluff trail, the Rattlesnake trail, and around the dam area. If you are looking for great photos and information about Southeastern Arizona wildflowers, check out Fireflyforest  I've never met a flower in Sabino Canyon that I couldn't identify using this site.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Don't try this at home!

Who is this strange monster?
Why is it eating pipevine? (aka Southwestern Pipevine)
Could it be the Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar? In fact, it is. I was in the canyon today with my own personal photographer and spouse, Matt Ball; instead of getting a photo of the pipevine 'flower' (which Carol and I saw on Tuesday), he 'shot' this great critter - not quite an inch long, red and moist looking, with some amazing protuberances.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let's call him Mort the Tort(oise)

Photo by Ned Harris
The fine looking fellow was seen in the Bear Canyon area. Phoneline Phil - who has a silver-dollar-sized dent in the back half of his shell, on the left or right, depending on how you are looking - has also been seen this season. Anyone have a photo to share? We can start an informal record of Phil over the years. amgreenvo at comcast.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Unicorn in the canyon!

Desert Unicorn Plant aka Yellow Devil's Claw
And, for those fans of Carl Linnaeus, Proboscidea althaeifolia, according to Spellenberg, Sonoran Desert Wildflowers. Look for this in the turn-around circle in the SCVN elementary program area near the dam bridge. Photo by Matt Ball.

Friday, August 6, 2010

CSI: Sabino Canyon

What happens when a black widow meets a  coral snake? Who wins out?  Josh shared this with me. The Black Widow wins out and wraps up the snake as a holiday present for the New Year!  This is quite the picture. Josh had NEVER seen this before either! ( does he know it was a black widow? Its eggs were by it)
Photo by Josh Taiz. Text by Richard Safran. All via Walt Tornow.

And, speaking of coral snakes and black widows, take a look at this article on anti-venom. Or rather, the lack thereof. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Herbicide gets to the root of the problem!

November 9, 2008 - Bear Canyon Bridge

August 3, 2010 - Bear Canyon Bridge

When do you apply herbicide to Sabino’s Giant Reed (Arundo donax)? All the local experts told us: “Look at the plant, not the calendar. Whenever the plant is green, the herbicide will work.” Following that sage local advice paid off during the 2009 growing season. We made spring and summer applications with a wetlands-approved herbicide that killed the re-growing Arundo canes and rhizomes (roots).

First photo taken Nov. 9, 2008 shows part of a colossal Giant Reed thicket that was destroying a locally famous native buttonbush stand. Second photo, taken Aug. 3, 2010, same stand after spring and summer herbicide treatments. Third photo is same spot Aug. 3, 2010 from a reverse angle showing buttonbush expanding and a reduced set of re-sprouted Arundo that needs to be treated again.

Arundo is an extremely fast-growing destroyer of native plants. Re-sprouts in Sabino will need to be treated aggressively and continuously during the entire growing season for the next several years to bring the infestation under control.

--Photos and text from Mark Hengesbaugh

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Deer, eating pods vs. Deer-eating pods

Photos by Mark Hengesbaugh

If you haven't already enjoyed the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss, get yourself a copy.

Remember, punctuation is key!