Outdoors

Thursday, September 5, 2019

One Seed Pima County: Blooming Black Russian Sunflowers

Posted By on Thu, Sep 5, 2019 at 3:53 PM

one-seed-2019.jpg
At Pima County Public Library, it starts with a seed...

Were you one of the thousands of Pima County residents that checked out Black Russian Sunflower seeds as part of the Library's 2019 One Seed program? For many of you, now could be the time to start harvesting and saving your seeds! If you planted Black Russian Sunflowers back in April or May, your sunflowers are probably ready for harvest.

Our wonderful Seed Librarians have put together a helpful guide on how to tell if your seeds are ready for harvest or what to do if they're not quite ready.

We'll be wrapping up this year's program at our Weigh-Off Party on Saturday, September 21 at Martha Cooper Library from 8 to 11 am. Bring your saved Black Russian Sunflower seeds and your donation will join the donations of other gardeners to ensure we have seeds to plant for seasons to come.

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Friday, July 26, 2019

Insect Insanity at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 9:31 AM

click image COURTESY OF THE ARIZONA-SONORA DESERT MUSEUM
  • Courtesy of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is celebrating the plethora of amazing insects that live in the Sonoran Desert July 27 from 5 - 9 p.m. during their Insect Insanity night.

Children of all ages can learn about local bugs, make their own wearable antennae, see moths, butterflies and beetles, and even...try eating cricket-infused treats.

Meet American wildlife artist Guy Coheleach and draw your own rendition of a Sonoran wild cat, pet a stingray and explore in the packrat playhouse.

Bring a black light to look for fluorescing insects along the walkways! Museum docents would be happy to tell you all about the insects you find.

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See the colony of bats under Campbell bridge

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 9:29 AM

If you've ever ridden you bike along the Rillito bike path and gone under the bridge at Campbell and River, you might notice an acrid smell - that's guano. There's a colony of bats that live under the bridge and take flight right at dusk during the summertime. It's a beautiful natural phenomenon, and fun to bring kids to see.
click image COURTESY OF SOUTHERN ARIZONA GUIDE
  • Courtesy of Southern Arizona Guide
It might seem like you're waiting a long time, or maybe they won't leave, or maybe you've missed it - you haven't, be patient.

A few bats will fly out first as the colony gets ready to leave the bridge. All of a sudden they will take off, streaming out from underneath and form a cloud. Their chirping is audible as they take off to go feed on insects.

Most likely, these are Mexican free-tail bats that have migrated here in April from Mexico, and will return to Mexico in October. They are protected by Arizona law and best viewed from a distance.

Catch their flight at dusk any evening during the summer, likely through September.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pima County Needs Trail Builders

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 2:41 PM

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The Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation department is asking volunteers to help build 2.5 miles of trails.

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The extension will extend the Painted Hills Trails Park, as well as restoring the neighboring Enchanted Hills trail system, according to a release.

Both trails abut the Tucson Mountain Park on the western fringe of Tucson, with the newly-revitalized Painted Hills system featuring four miles of trails, while Enchanted Hills will have seven miles.

The restoration work at Painted Hills (3950 W. Anklam Road), will occur between 6-10 a.m. on Saturday, July 13.

Work at Enchanted Hills (Western end of 36th street, west of South Mission Road), will happen throughout the summer.

Anyone interested in helping at either site can reach Neil Stitzer, at 520-724-5239, or by email at neil.stitzer@pima.gov. 

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Help Build New Trails at Painted Hills

Posted By on Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 3:42 PM

COURTESY PIMA COUNTY
  • Courtesy Pima County
On the West side of town there are many places to pull off the road and enjoy the scenery. One such pull off is the Painted Hills trailhead. Currently connecting to a small system of trails, Pima County is looking for volunteers to expand the hiking options.

Located on the edge of Tucson Mountain Park, plans are to create four miles of new trails in the Painted Hills trail system and seven miles of new trails throughout the Enchanted Hills area.

Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation trails staff need help to make the new hiking haven a possibility. No previous trail work is needed and volunteers will help in new trail construction and revegetation efforts.

There will be multiple opportunities at the two locations to help build the new trails:

Painted Hills Trailhead, 3590 W. Anklam Road
  • Saturday, April 6: 8 a.m - noon
  • Sunday, April 14: 8 a.m. - noon
  • Saturday, April 27: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 4: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 11: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
To register for an event at Painted Hills, contact Neil Stitzer – Neil.Stitzer@pima.gov or 520.724.5239.

Enchanted Hills Volunteer Events

Location: 36th Street Trailhead (western end of 36th Street, west of S. Mission Road)
  • Sunday, April 7: 8 a.m. - noon
  • Saturday, April 13: 8 a.m. - noon
  • Saturday, April 20: 8 a.m. - noon
  • Sunday, April 28: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 4: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
  • Saturday, May 11: 7 a.m. - 11 a.m.
To register for an event at Enchanted Hills, do so through Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists.

For more information about the volunteer opportunities or new trails, click here.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Share Your "Tales From Tumamoc" at the Cuéntame Más Camper

Posted By on Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 4:06 PM

The Cuéntame Más: Tales From Tumamoc mobile recording studio is open to the public on select days through April 7. - PHOTO BY BILL HATCHER, COURTESY UA NEWS
  • Photo by Bill Hatcher, Courtesy UA News
  • The Cuéntame Más: Tales From Tumamoc mobile recording studio is open to the public on select days through April 7.
Have you hiked Tumamoc Hill recently and noticed a little camper parked by the gate at the middle? "Cuéntame Más" the trailer says.

As part of an interdisciplinary oral history project run by scholars from the University of Arizona, a mobile recording studio has been set up to collect stories of hikers walking by.

"It is essentially Story Corps for Tumamoc," said Ben Wilder, director of Tumamoc Hill, in a release. "We want to hear what Tumamoc Hill means to you to better understand the unique connection between people and this place."

The UA Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry and the Desert Laboratory Tumamoc Hill have collaborated on this project and the camper, which opened for storytelling on March 12.

On select days between now and April 7, the camper will be open for hikers to stop by and share their stories. The tales will be taken down on audio, and each speaker has the option of having their photo taken by National Geographic photographer Bill Hatcher.

The images and stories will be shared via Desert Lab and Confluencenter on Instagram at @confluencenteruofa and @desert.laboratory.

"Just as Humans of New York is able to give you a sense of the vibrant culture of a city and intimate stories we all have, Tales From Tumamoc will capture the remarkable stories right here in the heart of our city," said Javier Duran, director of the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry in a release.

To find out when the camper will be open and collecting stories, and to learn more about the project, click here.

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Friday, March 1, 2019

After Snowfall, Wildflowers Bloom: Round Two!

Posted By on Fri, Mar 1, 2019 at 4:30 PM

Poppies and lupines at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019. - IAN GREEN
  • Ian Green
  • Poppies and lupines at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019.
Headlines of early wildflower blooms across Arizona inspired professional photographers and the average Tucsonan alike to head outside and enjoy nature's paint canvas. Parks Catalina and Picacho Peak showed off colors of violet and gold with swaths of poppies and lupines.
Lupines at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019. - IAN GREEN
  • Ian Green
  • Lupines at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019.
The equally magical Friday snow, however, caused the flowers to close their petals for a few days after a brief winter storm caused around half an inch of snow to fall around the University of Arizona campus and a whopping 38 inches on Mt. Lemmon, according to the National Weather Service.
Snow covered peaks in the Catalina Mountains on Friday, Feb 22, 2019. - IAN GREEN
  • Ian Green
  • Snow covered peaks in the Catalina Mountains on Friday, Feb 22, 2019.
Snow covered peaks in the Catalina Mountains on Friday, Feb 22, 2019. - IAN GREEN
  • Ian Green
  • Snow covered peaks in the Catalina Mountains on Friday, Feb 22, 2019.
Wildflowers like to hide when it gets chilly, but as temperatures have increased throughout the week reaching into the 70's, they're out again and blooming as bright as ever! This bloom marks the beginning of Southern Arizona's spring wildflower season.
White desert chicory at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019. - IAN GREEN
  • Ian Green
  • White desert chicory at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019.
Need to know when and where you'll find these carpets of color? Reach out to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's "Wildflower Hotline" at 520-833-2702 ext. 7320 during business hours, or check online for additional resources.
Poppies and lupines at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019. - IAN GREEN
  • Ian Green
  • Poppies and lupines at Picacho Peak State Park on Sunday, Feb 24, 2019.

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Flandrau Science Center Provides “Moon Music Serenade” for Upcoming Eclipse

Posted By on Fri, Jan 18, 2019 at 2:58 PM

BIGSTOCK
  • BigStock
Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium at the University of Arizona is off to the moon, hosting its first ever Moon Music Serenade event pairing music, telescopes, and a special moon presentation.

A lunar eclipse will begin on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 8:30 p.m. when the Earth’s shadow starts to cross over the Moon, leading to a full lunar eclipse around 9:40 p.m. when the shadow moves to cover the entire Moon.

“When people see things happening in the skies with their own eyes or through telescopes, it inspires their curiosity about planetary science,” said Shipherd Reed, Associate Director of Communications at the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium.

Flandrau has partnered with the UA Lunar & Planetary Lab, and Tucson Amateur Astronomers Association for this event. Volunteers from TAAA will provide telescopes for the public to enjoy and participate in the lunar eclipse.

Attendees also have the chance to capture some pictures of the eclipse. TAAA will provide smartphone photography adaptors right on their telescopes, so people can capture pictures of this lunar event.

“It’s a great opportunity to tap into what the UA has to offer the Tucson community,” Reed said.

The event will beheld outside on the UA mall. UA Chamber Winds will accompany the eclipse and the telescope gazing with wind, brass, and percussion instruments. The Chamber Winds, comprised of students from the Fred Fox School of Music, will play music themed by the stars and moon, according to Martin Gaines, a UA doctoral conducting student. Gaines will lead the Chamber Winds group for this event.

The Chamber Winds will play three songs while the lunar eclipse is happening, including Mozart Serenade in C Minor and an André Chaplet piece. The songs are paired just right for the event, according to Gaines.

“We’re doing a piece by Mozart that was written in 1782 and this is a wind serenade that was meant to be played at essentially an outdoors social event,” Gaines said. “I think it’s going to be fun to hear that in kind of the way that it was originally conceived to be performed.”

Steve Kortenkamp, a UA planetary scientist, will present about the Moon prior to the Chamber Winds performance at 7 p.m. His presentation will include talks about the Moon, what we already know and what we want to discover from the NASA research spacecraft that is orbiting the Moon.

The concert, the telescope viewings, and Flandrau exhibits will be free and open to the public. The Moon presentation by Kortenkamp and “Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon” Laser light show are $5 each. The event will start at the same time of the eclipse, at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 20, 2019 on the UA mall just outside of the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium.

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Staff Pick

2019 Chasing Rainbows Gala featuring LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes is an internationally multi-platinum selling acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter.… More

@ Fox Tucson Theatre Sun., Oct. 20, 7 p.m. 17 W. Congress St.

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