An amateur photographer, Francie Hills is a retired teacher from New Hampshire who currently lives in Sierra Vista. We first saw Francie’s photographs at the San Pedro House, the visitor center operated by Friends of the San Pedro River. This 57,000 acre preserve protects one of the last remaining year-round free-flowing rivers in Arizona. People have lived in this area for at least 11,000 years. Here you will find pleasant hiking trails, dozens of bird species, a ghost town, and an archeological site. … Continue reading
This video describes the importance of San Pedro River and Riparian area and makes a case and plea for conservation. For more information about this important project visit the Friends of the San Pedro River.
Watch this informative video on Reptiles of the Sonoran Desert including detailed information on many of the snakes and lizards in the desert.
Thanks to the Friends of the San Pedro River at: SanPedroRiver.org. The Friends of the San Pedro River work for the conservation, education, and restoration of the San Pedro River.
This and other videos are available to teachers for educational purposes at: Friends of the San Pedro River Educational Series
Other than to explore the abandoned old downtown and a few scattered artifacts, there isn’t much to do in Clifton except take photographs and say you’ve been there. But there is a reason to go to Clifton. Clifton is the northern entrance to the Black Hills Back Country Byway, a delightful couple-hours drive through the rugged beauty of Greenlee County that takes you from Clifton to Soloman on Hwy 70 near Safford. In fact, before modern highways, this unpaved 21 mile scenic drive was the only road from Safford to the mines at Clifton. The Byway crosses the Gila River several times and offers travelers many campsites and picnic areas. The campsites are barren places with a ramada, BBQ, and firepit. The picnic areas are completely different. Some offer magnificent vistas. Others are in thick riparian areas along the Gila, particularly at Gila Box. You can see for yourself on … Continue reading
Muleshoe Ranch, a preserve of the Nature Conservancy, is one of the five best conservation areas for bird watching in Southern Arizona. Over 200 species of birds either live here year-round or pause here along the streams on their seasonal migration.
There are many reasons to love Tucson Botanical Gardens. First, of course, are the many different types of gardens. Second, every spring they have a “Weird Plant Sale” where you can purchase living conversation pieces. Third, TBG is a peaceful place in the midst of a bustling urban environment. Fourth, they have concerts & art shows. Fifth, you can rent the facilities and have a magnificent party there, be it for a wedding, reunion, or whatever special occasion. Go to our Tucson Botanical Gardens to discover reasons #6, #7, & #8.
Photo Courtesy of Mary Scott - Arivaca, AZ
As every birder probably knows local Audubon Society pages are a great resource and reference for Birding and ecology.
Check out the following page for Birding Trips.
Audubon Field Trips
Other events and Educational courses sponsored by Audubon can be found here.
One of the perks of my job is discovering extraordinary pictures of our Sonoran Desert. Some of the most extraordinary come from John Edwards, a local photographer and illustrator.We both live in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains, only his home is a little higher than mine. His vantage point affords him an excellent view [...]
One of the better sites for identifying and understanding our reptile population is the Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research. … Continue reading
This back road is one of our favorites, partly because it’s practically in our back yard and because it’s so indicative of the Sonoran Desert. Here in Saguaro National Park West you will be driving through a forest of giant Saguaros. And, within an easy quarter mile hike, you can get up close and personal with ancient Hohokam petroglyphs. From Tucson, take Speedway west from the I-10 Freeway (A). After a few miles, Speedway merges with Gates Pass Road which takes you over the Pass, down the other side (steep) and eventually to Kinney Road. At Kinney Road, you’ll see a sign for the Desert Museum. Turn right and head for the Desert Museum. Two miles past the Desert Museum is the Red Hills Visitors Center (B). Park and go in. Watch the brief orientation movie, get a map, and ask the Park Ranger or docent about current road conditions … Continue reading
Tohono Chul Park features several garden habitats and demonstration gardens, galleries and shops, educating people about the southwest desert
A docent at the Desert Museum talks about the Harris’ Hawk
A docent at the desert Museum in Tucson Arizona talks about the King Snake
An interview with a naturalist at the Sabino Canyon Recreation area. Dan Granger talks about the birds, wildlife, hikes and more. … Continue reading
A short video about what you might encounter on the Road up to Mt. Lemmon. Mt. Lemmon is a year round destination. The road is 26 miles long. Along the way there will be hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, skiing and at the top is the Sky Center.
Created in 2000 by the Clinton administration, and administered by the BLM, Bureau of Land Management, Ironwood National Monument supports some of the oldest trees in the world. The wood is VERY hard, hence the name of the tree for which this Monument is named. Carbon dating suggests that they can live up to 800 years. For more information on the Ironwood tree visit this website. Did You Know? The difference between a National Monument and a National Park is the way they are created. National Parks require Congressional approval but National Monuments are established by Executive Order of the President. … Continue reading
The Coronado National Forest is big and diverse. It includes the Santa Catalina Mountains and Mt. Lemmon. The principle activities in the forest are biking, hiking, and camping. All of the picnic areas and campgrounds on Mt. Lemmon have toilets. For camping, our favorite is Spencer Campground, located at 8,000 feet elevation. It’s more spacious and adjacent to some of the best hiking trails. Visit the Website … Continue reading
I have yet to eat at Brooklyn Pizza on 4th Ave. However, until I can get there, I can tell you that the Yelp & TripAdvisor customer reviews are generally 3-4 Stars. And the Weekly’s readers say it’s the best of 2011. AND for all you environmentally conscious people out there, Brooklyn Pizza Company has gone 100% solar. Of the negative reviews I have read, the issue seems to be the wait staff rather than the food. Visit the Website 534 N. 4th Ave. Tucson … Continue reading
About 2 miles down the road from the Desert Museum is the Saguaro National Park Visitors Center. I know this is odd, but there are two Saguaro National Parks – East & West. In between is Metropolitan Tucson. If you only have time to visit one, go West. Pictured here is an unusual rainy day in April. Most Tucsonans wish we had a few more rainy days. Six inches in spring and six inches during the monsoon season is supposed to be normal. We haven’t had normal in years. We have family living in the Northwest. They just laugh when we talk about our drought. They say they will send us all the water we’re willing to pay for. Suggestion: get directions and a map at the visitors center. Then head out to explore the most exquisite desert in the world. Picnic at the Signal Hill picnic area and walk … Continue reading