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April 2014


April 20, 2014 @ 8:00 am - 11:30 am
Douglas Spring Trailhead, East Speedway
Tucson AZ,

Experience full-on Spring at its peak, a season of great abundance, especially if winter monsoons were kind, and heat remains gentle vs harsh.  Plenty means: wild greens in abundance, for a nutritious and delicious addition to salads, stir-fries, soup, pesto, juice, salsas, etc.  April plenty also means cactus foods nopalitos and cholla buds, and flowers and green seeds of palo verde trees, which make incredible snacks and sprouts.  It means medicinals like creosote and desert lavender leaves and flowers, chickweed…

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May 2014


May 3, 2014 @ 8:00 am - 11:00 am
Himmel Park, Treat St/1st St
Tucson AZ,
+ Google Map

Mayday, mayday, the heat is ON.  Any remnants of Spring moisture have deeply evaporated, and the long wait starts for summer's relieving monsoon, a couple searing months away.  The first day of May marks the mid-Spring/beginning of Summer point, roughly halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.  Beltane is the Gaelic/Celtic mid-point holy day that celebrates this festive time of planting, fertility, and creative power. Light and warmth reign, and wild joy pours through the land, urgent to live.  The…

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June 2014


June 21, 2014 @ 6:00 am - 8:30 am
Sabino Canyon

Summer Solstice, day of longest light hours, of fire and sun festivals, and of appreciation and respect for our guiding fire-star, the Sun.  How can we fail to notice the sun's power here in the Southwest, at the very height of summer, when need for protection and water is crucial to survival?  Notice and learn about desert plant strategies for surviving this intense time of little rain, low humidity, and sizzling heat.  The mighty saguaro cactus is flowering and forming…

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July 2014


July 12, 2014 @ 6:45 pm - 8:00 pm
UA Campus, Old Main

Join this cool evening walk with moonrise as backdrop.  The University of Arizona Campus grounds are an Arboretum, full of native Sonoran Desert plants, and many other plants imported from similar climates.  Take note of native food and medicinal plants, and what growth stage they are in.  Collect a small sample of mesquite pods, if available, to taste-test.  Watch the sun set in the west and the moon rise in the east as we cross campus toward it. WHERE:  UA…

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August 2014


August 2, 2014 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Mt Lemmon, Molino Basin pull-out

Get a fresh summer perspective by climbing to 4500 feet above the broiling valley floor of Tucson.  Temperatures may be slightly cooler at this higher elevation, and the landscape shifts to a scrub-oak/grassland ecosystem.  Molino Basin is a gorgeous and rough, boulder-strewn waterway in the Catalina Mountain range.  Observe mountain and riparian plants and the way natives like mesquite change form at higher elevations.  This mid-summer date is the day of Lammas, a mid-season celebration of harvest time and abundance,…

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September 2014


September 21, 2014 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm
Ft Lowell Park/Rillito River Walk

Finally!  Relief is in sight, seasons do change, and we made it through the toughest time in our Sonoran Desert year: summer.  Light and dark have once again reached a balance, as on Spring Equinox: day hours = night hours, and from here forward, dark hours increase incrementally up to Winter Solstice.  Note changes in plant life as light and temperatures decrease.  If summer rains were plentiful, this time of year can also be like a second Spring, wherein plants…

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October 2014


October 25, 2014 @ 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Gates Pass, lower parking lot

In a week, on the 31st, Samhain or Hallowmass/Halloween/All Soul's Day marks the mid-point in time between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice.  Lunar Samhain fell on October 23rd, as the sun exited Libra and entered Scorpio.  This is a time of the year when we honor ancestor spirits and the underworld, and remembrances associated with those departed.  This plant walk takes place in the Tucson Mountains, where we will walk and observe plants in this habitat, and note their growth patterns…

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November 2014


November 22, 2014 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
Catalina State Park Tucson AZ, + Google Map

Take in the breathtaking beauty of the back side of the Catalina Mountain range, spectacular in early-winter light.  There may be water flowing in various washes in the park too, if early winter rains have blessed us.   Observe plant life less common on the valley floor (~2000') at this higher elevation (~3000'+) in the foothills and washes of the mountains, including elderberry, ash, sycamore and cottonwood trees, and huge, ancient mesquites.   Enjoy the colors, smells, and textures of this lovely…

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December 2014

Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market Desert Harvest Series: Barrel Cactus

December 4, 2014 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Santa Cruz Farmer’s Market, Congress St just east of Grande + Google Map

Become familiar with barrel cactus and its uses at this Desert Harvest Series demonstration.  Learn to identify, harvest, process, and use barrel cactus flower buds, fruits, and seeds, available for harvest from November through January.  Bright yellow fruit pulp is tart and lemony, flower buds may be pickled like cholla buds, and seeds contain significant amounts of protein and oil, and are crunchy and delicious.  Seeds may also be ground into a beautiful, tasty flour. Roll out the barrel, we'll…

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December 21, 2014 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Tucson Mt Park, #

Welcome to the shortest day of the year, in terms of light hours: just ten today, followed by 14 hours of dark.  Celebrate the light and the day-night cycle that guides our hearts and actions throughout the seasons.  Take note of plants that thrive and others that appear dormant in the colder, shorter days when rains come and go, frost definitively ends certain seasons, and the sun is low in the sky, its heat less intense than when high overhead.…

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