Fire and the Ponderosa Pine

THE OLDEST FOSSIL OF a ponderosa pine tree (Pinus ponderosa) is over 600,000 years old. Since then, the species has adapted to thrive in lightning-ignited fires that are common in the intermountain west.   Today, ponderosa pines have numerous physical characteristics...

Butterflies – Nature’s Gems

THE CENTRAL ARIZONA HIGHLANDS has been blessed this past winter and spring with an abundance of precipitation in the form of snow, rain, graupel and hail.  All this moisture means lots of wildflowers blooming which attract lots and lots of butterflies. Butterflies are...

Raven Ramblings

A CLOSE encounter with a low-flying raven is an incredible privilege. Hearing the ‘WHOOSH’ of its powerful wings, the distinct cawing broadcasted from tree tops, and the quiet chirping of the raven on its nest certainly leaves one in awe of these large, black...

Manzanita Musings

THE SNOWS OF WINTER melt away into warmer but windier days and we find that spring is now upon us and plants are re-emerging from their winter dormancy. Trees burst into flower, scattering pollen like crazy in the strong April winds, and shrubs produce new leaves and...

Forgotten Pollinators

DESPITE THE RECENT snows, spring will soon be here.  With the arrival of spring, the plants will be waking from a winter’s sleep ready to bloom and reproduce.  Of course, being plants they will need a bit of help with pollination. With the advent of spring, bees and...

Look Closely! There is much to see.

WE WHO LIVE  in the Arizona Central Highlands are fortunate to experience the varied seasons of the year and the many changes that they bring to the native plants and animals of this unique ecoregion.Winter is the season during which the Highlands receive a large...