Friday, October 31, 2014

He's back!

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/27/2014

The photo was taken on an overcast morning, but the evidence is clear: Our pal Luke is back for 2014! He may be the best documented individual bird in Sabino Canyon!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Owl-o-ween!

Photo by Mark Hengesbaugh 10/7/2014

Mark writes:

Western Screech Owl in our neighborhood across the street from Sabino. Notice the serrated wing feathers [click photo for larger view], a characteristic of owl feathers that allows owls to fly silently. Serrations break up the air turbulence over the wing. Silent flight allows an owl to hear as well as see prey as it hunts and, of course, makes its approach a surprise. No wonder that for centuries humans believed owls had supernatural powers.

Anne says: Happy Owl-o-ween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mystery grasshopper

Photo by Alan Kearney 10/15/2014

I can identify maybe 3 different grasshoppers, but this beauty isn't one of them! (Love the colors. Very desert-y.) Please let me know, and I'll spread the word.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rove with the sailor

Photo by Ned Harris 10/17/2014

A bumper crop of Snapdragon Vine (Maurandya antirrhiniflora) is growing along the Bear Canyon bridge. Since this plant likes water and likes to climb, I prefer the common name Roving Sailor!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Which Datura are u-ra?

Photo by Ned Harris 10/13/2014

There are two species of Datura in Sabino Canyon. The one above is Datura discolor (Desert Thorn Apple). Click on the photo for a larger view and note the purple in the throat of the flower. The purple is always there in this species. I've noticed more of these this year, perhaps because of the 'late' rains. Look in the washes along the road, especially before you walk down the hill.

Photo by Ned Harris 10/2/2014

You're probably more familiar with this species, Datura wrightii (Sacred Datura). This species never has that purple in the throat, but it sometimes has some light purple around the edges of the fused petals. (The flowers of this species are generally a lot larger than those of D. discolor, too.) You can find this species all over in the riparian area above the dam.

Don't touch, smoke, eat, brew, etc. the leaves, flowers, or fruits of either one, though. All parts contains toxins that can cause harm, sickness, even death, depending on misuse.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Send in the paper wasps!

Photo by Ned Harris 10/13/2014

This paper wasp is Polistes comanchus.

Photo by Ned Harris 10/20/2014

And this one is Polistes flavus. Both on Wild Cotton (Gossypium thurberi)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Send in the damsels!

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/20/2014

Sabino Dancer (How cool is that name?!)

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/20/2014

Desert Firetail (Okay, this name is cool, too!)

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/13/2014

Marty saw (and photographed) a male American Rubyspot for the first time. Note the bonus arthropod on the underside of the Willow Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia).

Photo by Ned Harris 10/20/2014

Then Ned did the same a week later. This one on Fendler's Globemallow (Sphaeralcea fendleri).

Friday, October 24, 2014

Send in the dragons!

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/17/2014

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/20/2014

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/20/2014

Common Green Darners, male in front; holding on to female while she deposits eggs (that he fertilized)
Great site for dragon- and damselflies is Arizona Dragonflies.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Even more butterflies

Photos by Ned Harris 10/13/2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More Butterflies on Button Bush

All Photos by Marty Horowitz 10/13/2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

If I were queen....

Damage documented by Ned Harris 10/17/2014

If you see something like this in Sabino Canyon, please note the location and take a photo. Send it to me, if that's easiest.
If I were queen, there would be a lot more beheadings.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reigning Butterflies, too

Photos by Marty Horowitz 10/13/2014

Monarch on Button Bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) flower.

Hackberry Emperor on Button Bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) flower, too.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reigning Butterflies

All Photos by Marty Horowitz 10/13/2014

And all are Queen butterflies (even the males), reigning from the blooming Button Bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

Saturday, October 18, 2014

When a bird is a grasshopper

Photo by Ned Harris 10/2/2014

Who thought of this name? White-lined Bird Grasshopper. Yes, an adult - note the wings!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tree Love

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/10/2014

Talk about a tree hugger! This Desert Spiny lizard shows how it's done.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's a wrap!

Photo by Ned Harris 10/2/2014

Feast your eyes on this elaborate and distinctive web with its domed sheet and topped by a tubular "wrap" or retreat. Each retreat incorporates plant material in a unique way to make for a one-of-a-kind hideaway. It's easy to come out of the retreat to eat, though, and the retreat also makes a safe depository for the egg sack. From the Harris Hideaway collection.
(The Desert Bush Spider model inside this wrap has an elongated, orange-brown cephalothorax covered in short white hairs. The brown abdomen has a dark, leaf-like marking bordered with white; legs are yellow brown.)
Hope you've enjoyed Sabino Canyon Fall Fashion Week 2014!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gopher Accessories

Photo by Matt Ball 10/10/2014

A live gopher snake completes any outfit! From Tohono Chul's Reptile Ramble collection.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Photo by Marty Horowiitz 9/30/2014 

Top model Southern Dogface shows off the poodle pattern that's all the rage in swimwear this season. From the Horowitz collection.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sheer Beauty

Photo by Marty Horowitz 9/30/2014

What wings look like this season. Flame Skimmer female from Hardly Horowitz.

Photo by Ned Harris 10/2/2014

Variegated Meadowhawk male from Ned's Nearly Visible collection.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fit for a queen, too

Photo by Ned Harris 10/2/2014

Carried by Empress Leilia herself, this season's clutch purse from the Harris Handbag collection is eco-friendly and perfect for meeting royalty.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Timeless style

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/6/2014

The boldness of Bordered Patch creates uncommon counterpoint with Common Cockleburr (Xanthium strumarium) in this singular update on the classic 'little black dress' from the Horowitz collection.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Stars are blazing!

Photo by Marty Horowitz 9/30/2014

Very few designers even attempt to make a fashion statement with Forest Service Green, but these Isolated Blazing Stars (Mentzelia isolata) stick patrol pants into rarefied realms. From the Horowitz collection.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Let it bee

Photo by Marty Horowitz 10/6/2014

Like pairs with like in another stunning example from the Horowitz collection. The right bee and the Wright Bee Flower (Hymenothrix wrightii).

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Fashion Week

For the next week (or so), Your Daily Dose of Sabino Canyon will present the 2014 Sabino Canyon Fall Fashion Series. We guarantee you'll love this season's style and colors.

Photo by Marty Horowitz 9/30/2014

This combination of the delicate Ceraunus Blue with the dusty red fruits and the distinctive sunshine-colored flowers of Desert Vine (Cottsia gracilis) is just one of the featured plant pairings in this year's Horowitz collection.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sleepy and the Giant

Photos by Marty Horowitz, 9/27/2014

Sleepy Orange butterfly

Monday, October 6, 2014

By their fruits...

Photo by Ned Harris 9/19/2014

You can tell this plant is in the Pea family (fabulous Fabaceae)! White-Thorn Acacia (actually not in the Acacia genus anymore, but we're going to stick with this common name) (Vachellia constricta) fruits are pods, like 'all' Pea family fruits.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Open Empress-y

Photos by Alan Kearney 9/14/2014

Empress Leilia butterfly wings look very different on top and bottom. These views are from the same individual. And yes, males and females look the same and are both called Empress Leilia!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Ocotillo Runner?

Photo by Wayne Klement 9/20/2014

Wayne saw three - yes, three - Greater Roadrunners on his hike, including this beauty in an Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens). Both male and female Greater Roadrunners look the same, i.e., they are not sexually dimorphic.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Wild Cotton

All these gorgeous photos by Ned Harris 9/19/2014

Inquiring minds want to know why some Wild Cotton (aka Desert Cotton Gossypium thurberi) flowers are pink. The pink ones are 'old' flowers; they bloom white. Look for the fruits in the coming weeks. Wild Cotton is in the Mallow family (Malvaceae) and their very cool fruits have partitions for the seeds.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Where's the stick?

Photo by Alan Kearney 9/25/2014

Alan saw this Indian Walking Stick at his house (which is even nearer to the canyon than my own). Check out these cool facts  about stick insects. Did you know that they are all female? How cool is that?!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Which Witch?

Photo by Ned Harris 9/23/2014

This Black Witch Moth was hanging out in the now snake-less restroom. Has about a 6-inch wingspan.