Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Creek Meringue?


Neither meringue nor soap suds! This post from January 2013 explains 'that soapy stuff' in the creek.

Photo by Marty Horowitz 1/16/2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mammals seen


And, because I'm a big fan of books for children, a bonus list of recommended children's books.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sky and Island


Photo by Marty Horowitz 1/12/2017

Photo by Marty Horowitz 1/19/2017

And another reminder to beware of celebrities and doctors from Oz selling quackery.


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Fog webs


Some beautiful patterns from January 2015


Friday, January 27, 2017

Insects are amazing

Fred sent this post a while ago. Still amazing!
Photos and text from Fred Heath.

Most dragonflies seem to be more picky about not liking cold weather than even butterflies. Of course, they also need water to lay their eggs,because the nymphs breathe through gills. So it was no surprise that with very little water in Sabino Creek and generally wintery conditions, there were no signs of dragonflies until mid-December. Then after some rain that got the creek moving again, the tracks of dragonfly nymphs starting showing up. I imagine that like the Gila Chub, there are always some nymph survivors in the pools that remain. Certainly there wasn't much evidence of adults flying around….until December 24 when the Variegated Meadowhawk in the photo was found sitting on a prickly pear far from the water. Although dragonflies are usually quite wary, this one allowed close approach (maybe it enjoyed basking in the sun). In the close-up photo, the legs spines can be clearly seen. These spines are used to help scoop up aerial prey and bring it to the mouth.


Photos by Fred Heath 12/24/2016

Click photo for larger view

Thanks, Fred!


Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Science of Blue

Photos and Text from Marty Horowitz 

We have previously discussed the fact that hummingbirds take advantage of unique nano-structures in their feathers to generate their bright, iridescent reds, greens, and purples. On our walk this past Wednesday (1/18/2017), Fred pointed out that Western [and Eastern] Bluebirds also use nano-structures, rather than pigments, in their feathers to generate their signature hue. A nice article on the general subject of structural coloration in nature. (Bluebirds at the end of the article)


Photos (c) Marty Horowitz 1/19/2017



Western Bluebirds show their true colors.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

More Patterns

Photo (c) Gene Spesard 12/28/2016


Photo (c) Marty Horowitz 1/4/2017


Photo (c) Marty Horowitz 1/4/2017



Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Patterns


The mathematics here is well understood (and no magic is needed); the photos of these plants are no less awesome.

Photo by Marty Horowitz 12/21/2016

Remains of Coulter Hibiscus (Hibiscus coulteri) fruit (minus the seeds)


Monday, January 23, 2017

More Dam Water

All photos by Marty Horowitz 


1/12/2017

1/12/2017
The two photos above were taken from the overlook (where the helicopter landing area is).


1/16/2017

1/16/2017

Beautiful!


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Water never gets old!


Updated: I posted without reading this first. Sorry.
Fred sent photos and text in December. I'm a bit slow these days : -) You can use the links, though, to find water info from more recent rains.
All photos and text by Fred Heath.

Although we had roughly a half inch of rain on the night of December 21st through the middle of the 22nd and another half inch on the night of December 24th, the effects of the two rain events on Sabino Creek flow were very different, as can be seen by the photographs comparing Bridge one and Bear Bridge on December 22nd and 25th. This can also been seen graphically at the following website which shows the water flow and precipitation at Sabino Dam https://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=09484000.

Heather Murphy supplied the following link (Pima) which answered the question as to why the discrepancy. The rain gauge on Mt Lemmon showed almost 2.6 inches of rain over Dec 21-22 and none over Dec 24-25. I don’t know exactly how the rain gauges work, but as it was well below freezing on Dec 24-25, the precipitation was all in the form of snow which didn’t get measured. The rain gauge on Mt Lemmon registered 0.48 inches in the middle of the day on the Dec 26, when there was no rain, but the snow was melting.

It all goes to show the obvious, that one has to look at the bigger picture of the whole mountain and not just Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Also, like Las Vegas, what happens on Mt Lemmon stays on Mt. Lemmon (at least until the snow melts).


12/22/2016
Bear Canyon Bridge 12/22/2016


12/25/2016
Bear Canyon Bridge 12/25/2016


12/22/2016
Bridge one 12/22/2016


12/25/2016
Bridge one 12/25/2016

Thanks, Fred (and Heather)!


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Part 5: Which one?


Part 5 of 5 and now you know!


Friday, January 20, 2017

Part 4: Results


Part 4: Ronnie's Results


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Part 3: Size Matters


Now for Part 3


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Part 2 (of 5)


Part 2, the investigation continues


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

CSI 2013


Now for some rerun fun from January 2013. Part 1


Monday, January 16, 2017

More Birds

All photos by Marty Horowitz

12/30/2016



12/28/2016
Northern Mockingbird, puffed up to stay warm



12/28/2016


1/4/2017
Black Phoebe, on Common Cocklebur

And two reruns of Cedar Waxwings from 2015. Snowbirds in sync and Details


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Moon shot

Photo by Marty Horowitz 1/11/2017

You'll want to click on this photo to see the wonderful details. Bonus article with the latest science on the age of our moon.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tails up!


The White-nosed Coatis have been seen regularly in Sabino, eating remaining hackberries in the trees and digging for goodies.

Photo by Marty Horowitz 1/4/2017


Photo by Marty Horowitz 1/4/2017

Despite my best efforts, I could find neither the author of the meme nor the actual photographer behind this photo below. If you are that person or persons, just let me know and I'll credit you. This meme went the rounds on social media a few years ago. I think it works here as well.




Take a second look!


Friday, January 13, 2017

Greater Pewee


A Greater Pewee was seen by Marty and company on the Nature Walk of 12/28/2016. There was much rejoicing.


Photo by Marty Horowitz 12/28/2016

Jean Hengesbaugh writes:

Mark and I have seen Greater Pewee several times on Mt. Lemmon and the Huachuhua mountains. They are normally summer resident in southern AZ. They like pine forests and shaded canyons.

Fred Heath writes:

Although the Greater Pewee breeds in the higher elevations (5500 to 8400 feet per the AZ Breeding Bird Atlas) of our local mountains, arriving in late March or early April and leaving by the end of September when they head to Mexico, they are very rare in the lower elevations both as a transient or winter visitor. In fact, they are considered rarer than rare at this time of year per the Tucson Audubon’s “Finding Birds in SE AZ”. The category is called “Casual” (When I hear that term I always think of the bird lounging around in a T-shirt and jeans) which is defined as “Does not occur annually and cannot expected to be seen.” Rare is defined as “Present in very small numbers, occurs annually but easily missed.”
Whatever we call it, when ace birder, Will Russel, tells me he has never seen one before in Sabino I know I don’t take that casually…

Thanks, Marty, Jean, and Fred, for this casual pewee story!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hope we don't see these!


Frost flowers, post from January 2013

Gordon Hirabayashi's life and work are important to remember.

How a Tucson campground got its name 

More from Hirabayashi's obituary, January 2012

“When my case was before the Supreme Court in 1943, I fully expected that as a citizen the Constitution would protect me,” Dr. Hirabayashi wrote in “The Courage of Their Convictions.” “Surprisingly, even though I lost, I did not abandon my beliefs and values. And I never look at my case as just my own, or just as a Japanese American case. It is an American case, with principles that affect the fundamental human rights of all Americans.”

Thanks to Ellen for sending these articles.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

You'll be lichen this!


Photo by Marty Horowitz 12/28/2016

Yes, it's some kind of lichen. More info in this post from January 2011, including a similar pun.

And this bonus article: 7 bad science and health ideas that should die with 2016


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Giving a dicot its dew!


Text by Fred Heath
Photo by Gene Spesard

Fred writes:

It was driving me crazy, so I had to look it up. I believe Debbie used the word cotyledon [on the plant walk of 12/27/2016] which is the fancy way of saying seed leaf (which she also said). Of course, dicot [di = two] and monocot are shortened forms of double and single cotyledon leaves. What started all of this today was the first cotyledon leaves of the Elegant Lupine (Lupinus concinnus) poking out of the sand below the dam. Spring is just around the corner!

Photo © Gene Spesard 12/28/2016

And a bonus article about gene editing that has a nifty animated gif. Come for the gif, stay for the article : - )


Monday, January 9, 2017

Ned's Notes on Harris's Hawks


Photos from Ned, too. Post from January 2012


Sunday, January 8, 2017

More about Cooper's Hawks


Great photo from Ned Harris from January 2012 post!


Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rerun Fun!


Read all the dirt here! from January 2011


Friday, January 6, 2017

Coatis in the canyon!


On the nature walk on 1/4/2017, Marty, Bill, and company spotted two coatis hanging out in trees. It's been quite a while (for this blog, anyway) since coatis have been seen in Sabino.

Some notes on White-nosed Coatis from the ASDM website:

Even though the coati is diurnal and lives in social bands of up to 30 or more animals, most people never see them, unless they make frequent visits to the oak-sycamore canyons and riparian areas coatis favor. Like the raccoon and the ringtail, coatis forage both on the ground and in trees, and are omnivores.
The coati eats a lot of grubs, beetles, and other invertebrates, and also fruits and nuts, rodents, eggs, snakes, lizards, and carrion.
Coatis dig in the soil and leaf litter using their long claws or their noses to turn up grubs, worms, or other invertebrates. They also turn over large rocks with their front paws to search for invertebrates, lizards, and snakes.


Photo by Marty Horowitz 1/4/2017


In February or March, the most dominant male in a female band's range will be allowed to enter it ranks, first through grooming and other submissive behaviors. Once accepted into the group, the male will breed with each member of the band in a tree, and is soon afterwards driven away from the group. This is because they are known to kill juveniles. The gestation period of the white-nosed coati is 77 days. About 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth, the female will depart the band to build a nest, most often in a palm tree. Between 2 and 7 young are born, and remain in the nest for several weeks. They weigh only 100-180 grams at birth and are dependent on their mother, who only leaves the nest to find food. The newborns will open their eyes at 11 days and be weaned after 4 months. After 5 months the mother and young descend from the nest and rejoin their group. A short time afterwards the male that mated with the band will appear for a short time, several days in a row in order to recognize their young. Adult body sized is reached by 15 months. Sexual maturity is reached by three years if age in males and two years of age in females. (Macdonald 1985, Nowak 1999)

In February or March, the most dominant male in a female band's range will be allowed to enter it ranks, first through grooming and other submissive behaviors. Once accepted into the group, the male will breed with each member of the band in a tree, and is soon afterwards driven away from the group. This is because they are known to kill juveniles. The gestation period of the white-nosed coati is 77 days. About 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth, the female will depart the band to build a nest, most often in a palm tree. Between 2 and 7 young are born, and remain in the nest for several weeks. They weigh only 100-180 grams at birth and are dependent on their mother, who only leaves the nest to find food. The newborns will open their eyes at 11 days and be weaned after 4 months. After 5 months the mother and young descend from the nest and rejoin their group. A short time afterwards the male that mated with the band will appear for a short time, several days in a row in order to recognize their young. Adult body sized is reached by 15 months. Sexual maturity is reached by three years if age in males and two years of age in females. (Macdonald 1985, Nowak 1999)
In February or March, the most dominant male in a female band's range will be allowed to enter it ranks, first through grooming and other submissive behaviors. Once accepted into the group, the male will breed with each member of the band in a tree, and is soon afterwards driven away from the group. This is because they are known to kill juveniles. The gestation period of the white-nosed coati is 77 days. About 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth, the female will depart the band to build a nest, most often in a palm tree. Between 2 and 7 young are born, and remain in the nest for several weeks. They weigh only 100-180 grams at birth and are dependent on their mother, who only leaves the nest to find food. The newborns will open their eyes at 11 days and be weaned after 4 months. After 5 months the mother and young descend from the nest and rejoin their group. A short time afterwards the male that mated with the band will appear for a short time, several days in a row in order to recognize their young. Adult body sized is reached by 15 months. Sexual maturity is reached by three years if age in males and two years of age in females. (Macdonald 1985, Nowak 1999)
In February or March, the most dominant male in a female band's range will be allowed to enter it ranks, first through grooming and other submissive behaviors. Once accepted into the group, the male will breed with each member of the band in a tree, and is soon afterwards driven away from the group. This is because they are known to kill juveniles. The gestation period of the white-nosed coati is 77 days. About 3 to 4 weeks before giving birth, the female will depart the band to build a nest, most often in a palm tree. Between 2 and 7 young are born, and remain in the nest for several weeks. They weigh only 100-180 grams at birth and are dependent on their mother, who only leaves the nest to find food. The newborns will open their eyes at 11 days and be weaned after 4 months. After 5 months the mother and young descend from the nest and rejoin their group. A short time afterwards the male that mated with the band will appear for a short time, several days in a row in order to recognize their young. Adult body sized is reached by 15 months. Sexual maturity is reached by three years if age in males and two years of age in females. (Macdonald 1985, Nowak 1999)
Photo by Bill Kaufman 1/4/2017

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Cooper's Hawk on alert

Photo by Marty Horowitz 12/28/2016

Yellow eyes are one of the signs of an immature Cooper's Hawk. More info at the link. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Terry's cat


Text and photo from Terry Garlow, 12/30/2016



Taken through my door in the volunteer campground in Sabino. Looks like a yearling. Sat there for about 15 minutes before giving up on finding a meal.

I guess there's no pizza delivery in the canyon!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas Tale

Story and Photos by Fred Heath, 12/25/2016

Fred writes:

While out on Christmas morning, I noticed this appropriately named Christmas Cholla showing off its bright and cheery red (not cherry-red) Christmas fruits.

Christmas Cholla


Can you see me now?

Along Sabino Creek I found still another reminder of Christmas in the form of a rain deer (not to be confused with a Reindeer, also called a Caribou in North America). It was actually a White-tailed Deer which had been indirectly soaked from the rain the night before. I say indirectly because it was clear the deer, looking bedraggled and shivering while trying to hide behind a large grass tuff, was stranded in the middle of the rain swollen creek after attempting to cross. It finally decided the grass tuff wasn’t much of a hiding place and I was more of threat than the water and managed to splash across and was able to “…dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

Thanks, Fred, for this tale.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Ewe!

Photos and story from Julie Miller 12/31/2016

Julie writes:

This Bighorn sheep was seen at shuttle stop 2 today (12/31/2016). Steve Elsasser was the first one to spot her around 11 am. By the time we got there, it was 12:30. We left at 2:30 and she was starting to move back up the canyon wall. She was half way up the west wall of the canyon. I got close ups with my super zoom. Happy New Year!!!












Thanks, Julie, for these great photos!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Water art, to start

Thanks to everyone who contributed to Your Daily Dose of Sabino Canyon in 2016! And big thanks to Gene, Marty, Terry, and Fred for sending ready-to-go posts for January. I won't need to post so many reruns after all! Huzzah!

To start the year, some artful water in Sabino Creek.
All photos copyright Gene Spesard, 12/282016.

© Gene Spesard

© Gene Spesard

© Gene Spesard

© Gene Spesard

© Gene Spesard

Thanks, Gene, for being on the scene!