Outdoors

Friday, September 14, 2018

Triple Digit Temps Persist in Tucson

Posted By on Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 12:25 PM

COURTESY
  • Courtesy
Do you feel like summer will never end and it will be hot forever? Well you might be right.

Yesterday marked the sixth day in a row of triple digit temps in Tucson. While 100+ temperatures are nothing new for Southern Arizona, having this many in a row is uncommon.

If temperatures reach 100 today, which it’s likely they will, it will be tied for the fifth-longest streak in Tucson history for temperatures over 100.

WeatherBug predicts triple digits will persist through Saturday, with temperatures in the high 90s predicted for early next week. There is also a small chance of isolated storms on Wednesday and Thursday along with possible temps in 80s. Read more about Tucson’s longest streaks here.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

NextGen Arizona to Host “Wet n Woke” Back to School Voter Registration Pool Party for UA Students

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 3:09 PM

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Young voters can dive into a new semester of political involvement with pool party hosted NextGen Arizona this Saturday at Catalina Terrace (2440 E Hedrick Dr, Tucson, AZ 85719).


NextGen is hosting a pool party to encourage engagement from freshly returning UA students at 1 p.m. There will be free food, drinks, music, water games and the opportunity to get registered to vote.


Over the next few weeks, NextGen will be reaching out to students on over 23 campuses across Arizona and will host several major events, like “Wet n Woke”. They have already registered more than 12,000 voters this year.


If registering to vote is already checked off the to-do list, there is also an opportunity to get signed up to volunteer. Next on NextGen Arizona’s agenda is ensuring young people all over Arizona are informed and empowered to vote for candidates like David Garcia this November.


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Have You Ever Seen Something So Cute?

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 2:35 PM

The new baby tamandua born at the Reid Park Zoo. - REID PARK ZOO
  • Reid Park Zoo
  • The new baby tamandua born at the Reid Park Zoo.
Today the Reid Park Zoo announced there is a new baby at the zoo.

The little one doesn't have a name yet, but is a male tamandua. His parents, 12-year-old Lety and 15-year-old Santiago welcomed their son on Aug. 31. The baby weighed 420 grams (0.9 pounds), a healthy weight for baby tamanduas.

REID PARK ZOO
  • Reid Park Zoo
REID PARK ZOO
  • Reid Park Zoo
The baby is not visible to the public yet and is spending important time bonding with his mom.

“He has been doing great,” said Katie Hutchinson, Lead Keeper at Reid Park Zoo. “He has been staying pretty close to mom by climbing onto her back and has been very curious about his environment.”

Tamanduas are a genus of anteaters and live in a variety of habitats, ranging from gallery forests next to savannas and lowland, to mountainous tropical rainforests. They eat ants and termites and don't have any teeth. Tamanduas have a long, sticky tongue that scoops up to 9,000 ants per day!

Updates about the new baby tamandua will be posted on the Reid Park Zoo Facebook page.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Plan a Staycation Adventure Close to Home

Posted By on Thu, Jul 12, 2018 at 1:37 PM

BIGSSTOCK
  • BigsStock
The thought of spending time in sweltering temperatures has a way of postponing all outdoor excursions, but don't let the triple digits prevent you from satisfying your desert wanderlust this summer.

The kids are out of school, so there's no better time than the present to use some of that vacation leave you saved up. Go ahead, plan a mini road trip close to home and pack your trekking bags. Here are a few great staycations for your family.

Kartchner Caverns State Park: This limestone cave is home to unique ecosystem in Southern Arizona that's known for its seasonal bat colony. But don't worry about getting bombarded with guano, guided tours of the bats' living quarters are suspended until the winged inhabitants migrate in October. Temperatures inside stay around 70 degrees, making it a comfortable environment for a 90-minute tour of underground passages. Your kids will become experts on stalagmites and stalactites by the end of the day. Take advantage of the park's $3 tour discount for adults and active military until October 31. $7 entry fee per vehicle. June 1 through Dec. 18, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 19 through May 31, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Check azstateparks.com/kartchner for trip information.

Copper Queen Mine: Take a trip to Bisbee to see one of the most lucrative mining digs in the industry that produced copper, lead, silver, gold and zinc from the Mule Mountains until it closed in 1975. It was the hub of Bisbee's economic growth for almost a century. Retrace the steps mineworkers trudged with a group tour led by former miners who have first-hand insight of what life was like when the mine was in operation. Visitors gear up in hard hats and go down more than a thousand feet on a rail tram into the depths of the 47-degree mine. Head into the core of Bisbee's history with sensible walking shoes, curiosity and maybe even a light jacket. $13 adults. $5.50 ages 6-12. Daily, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call (520) 432-2071 for reservations.

Patagonia Lake State Park: This is the ultimate getaway, overflowing with wildlife and recreational opportunities. Its pristine waters are perfect for water sports, swimming and licensed fishing. Hike a half-mile trail located at the end of the campgrounds for prime birdwatching at Sonoita Creek Preserve. Overnight guests can book RV, tent or cabin sites just minutes away from the sandy beaches. Stay for a couple hours or a few days for an active family outing. $15-20 entry fee per vehicle. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday. More at azstateparks.com/patagonia-lake.

Colossal Cave Mountain Park: Do you want to enrich your family with an educational experience? Ancient Hohokam dwelled in the area thousands of years ago and left behind historical artifacts. They farmed on the land that's known today as La Posta Quemada Ranch. Choose from different daily tours of Colossal Cave, just under 30 miles southeast of Tucson in the Rincon Mountains. Discover the cavern's legends, humans history and structural geology as you savor its 70-degree atmosphere. You and your family can also hike, horseback and picnic above ground in the park's 2,400-acres. Following the scenic trails is a great way to see desert wildlife. Check out colossalcave.com for events and tours. Free park admission. 8 a..m. to 5 p.m. Every day.

Salt River Tubing: If you feel like basking in mother nature this time of year, inner tubing down the Salt River in the southern Tonto National Forest just makes sense. Park for free and take a shuttle for a two, three or five-hour float. You might even get lucky and see wild horses grazing along the 68-degree water banks. The two hour drive north of Tucson to Mesa is worth the commute when you're looking for a place to relax in an ethereal oasis with spectacular views. $14 for shuttle. Daily, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Visit saltrivertubing.com for safety requirements and info.

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Beetle Invasion: The Rains are Here, So are the Bugs

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 12:13 PM

Palo Verde Beetle - CREATIVECOMMONS
  • CreativeCommons
  • Palo Verde Beetle

The monsoons are here. The cooling rain and impressive lightning shows that so many Tucsonans patiently wait for each summer are here to nourish the plants, animals and people who call this dry landscape home.

But along with the storms, something else is back... the bugs. One in particular that while some find fascinating, many find terrifying. Ask almost any Tucsonan and they will have at least one horror story involving these huge, shiny, bird-like creatures: the Palo Verde Beetle.

If you are lucky enough not to have encountered these beetles, they are shiny black bugs that are about the size of your hand, with long legs and antennae as long as their bodies. Upon first glance, they look quite like humming birds while flying, but much less cute. During flight, the beetles let their legs hang, making them look like they just flew out of "Jurassic Park."

So, what's the deal with these huge, flying terrors?

1. Perhaps the most important thing to realize about the Palo Verde Beetle, that might help to make them a little less scary, is that they are harmless to humans. They do not bite and they do not sting. They do have large pinchers, but these are for chomping on fruit, not you.

2. They are just looking for love. Palo Verde Beetles spend most of their lives as grubs. They can live three to four years in the roots of Palo Verde Trees, and look almost too juicy even for Bear Grylls to attempt. But once they do blossom into their ugly adult selves, the beetles only live about a month. During this short time, they are searching for love, and die shortly after mating.

3. If you are one of many who do not like the huge beetles, there are some other local critters ready to help. Palo Verde Beetles are dinner for roadrunners, owls, coyotes and bobcats.

4. While the season of the Palo Verde Beetle may be constrained to the summer monsoons here in the desert, beetles are going nowhere. Out of all the animals on Earth, beetles are the most successful group and account for almost a third of all living species.

5. Palo Verde Beetles also go by the name Root Borer Beetle. They also seem to respond to the screams of terror they so often cause.

Find more facts about the Palo Verde Beetle from the experts at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum here.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

8 Great Things to do in Tucson Today: Wednesday, July 4

Posted By on Wed, Jul 4, 2018 at 1:00 AM

CREATIVE COMMONS — JOSIAH MACKENZIE
  • Creative Commons — Josiah Mackenzie
10th Annual Fourth of July 5K Freedom Run/Walk. If you have the day off for Independence Day, it might be tempting to sleep in. But think of it this way: The earlier you get up, the longer your holiday will last. This short race takes you through the Golf Links Sports Complex, so you can start your day the scenic way. Event host Tag Run has once again partnered with the That Others May Live Foundation, a nonprofit that provides support, scholarships and immediate tragedy assistance for the families of U.S. Air Force rescue heroes. It’s a run that will have you feeling good in more ways than one. 6:30 a.m. (bib pickup begins at 5:30) Wednesday, July 4. Golf Links Sports Complex, Ramada #3, 2400 S. Craycroft Road. $35. Details here.

Celebrate 4th of July, Old West Style. It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 250 years since our Founding Fathers looked Great Britain in the eye and said, “They’re ain’t enough room in this continent for the two of us.” And so it is in their honor that you might consider spending your holiday in the wild, wild West. Kids 11 and under get into Old Tucson for free from July 4 through 8, and there will also be a pie-eating contest, a special Independence Day show in the Grand Palace and an all-American menu that includes smoked turkey legs and lots of other barbecue selections. Oh, and don’t forget about the daily patriotic flag ceremony, to help your holiday live on into the weekend. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 through Sunday, July 8. Old Tucson, 201 S. Kinney Road. Adult tickets are $19.95, with discounts for seniors, military and Pima County residents available. Details here.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Volunteers Assist County Supervisor to Spread Fire Safety on Mount Lemmon

Posted By on Mon, Jun 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Sheriff's auxiliary volunteers distribute fire safety fliers to motorists heading up Mount Lemmon. - DYLAN REYNOLDS
  • Dylan Reynolds
  • Sheriff's auxiliary volunteers distribute fire safety fliers to motorists heading up Mount Lemmon.
Fifteen years after the Aspen Fire devastated much of Mount Lemmon, volunteers are taking action to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.

A group of county sheriff’s auxiliary volunteers have begun setting up at the base of the mountain every Saturday and Sunday, distributing fire safety fliers to passing motorists. The fliers, created in collaboration with Pima County District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy, include orders like “No campfires! No barbecues!”

This is the first year for the fliers, but the Supervisor’s office hopes to make it an annual program. They printed 10,000 copies to last the remainder of the dry season.

Mount Lemmon and the rest of the Coronado National Forest has been under Stage II Fire restrictions from the U.S. Forest Service since May 1, due to especially dry conditions. Mount Lemmon Fire Captain and EMT Dan Leade urged campers and visitors to obey the restrictions.

“It’s important to follow the regulations because they’re in place to prevent things like what happened 15 years ago, the Aspen Fire,” he said. “That was started by a discarded cigarette, but campfires start fires all the time.”

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Tumamoc's New Tech and Times

Posted By on Mon, Aug 28, 2017 at 2:30 PM

The vista seen while walking up Tumamoc Hill. - MICHELLE A. WEISS
  • Michelle A. Weiss
  • The vista seen while walking up Tumamoc Hill.

The climb up Tumamoc hill has historically been closed to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in order to help preserve resources and, presumably, to prevent the trail from turning into a waterfall of sweat from people attempting the hike in the middle of the day.

Until now! Starting Sept. 5, the UA will be extending public access hours from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. for a solid 18 hours of available hiking time a day. Fencing will be installed at the top to mark the end of the trail and to continue preserving surrounding areas.

In addition, a new app, the Tumamoc Tour, will soon be available in both English and Spanish and for both iOS and Android devices. Narrators David Yetman and Alberto Burquez (English and Spanish, respectively) will tell the story of Tumamoc Hill and its place in the Sonoran Desert. Accompanied by the music of Calexico and Gabriel Naim Amor, the app’s six sections and 16 YouTube video will help listeners understand the significance of the reserve and the research, education and preservation missions it is a part of.





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Staff Pick

Native Gardens

A hilarious new comedy that’s anything but neighborly!… More

@ Temple of Music and Art Sat., Sept. 8, 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 9, 7-8:30 p.m., Tue., Sept. 11, 7:30-9 p.m., Wed., Sept. 12, 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 13, 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 14, 7:30-9 p.m., Sat., Sept. 15, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 16, 2-3:30 & 7-8:30 p.m., Tue., Sept. 18, 7:30-9 p.m., Wed., Sept. 19, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 20, 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 21, 7:30-9 p.m., Sat., Sept. 22, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 23, 2-3:30 p.m., Wed., Sept. 26, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 27, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 28, 7:30-9 p.m. and Sat., Sept. 29, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m. 330 S. Scott Ave.

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