Posts Tagged ‘Edible desert’

Genus Moneilema – Cactus Longhorned Beetle

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

The Longhorn Cactus Beetle is a large, flightless beetle that lives here in the Sonoran Desert, emerging mostly during the monsoon season.

They love to dine on Cholla and Prickly Pear Cactus, the one in the photo above is enjoying the flesh of fresh new Cholla bud. I was getting a little close for my comfort while taking this picture but it was not worried about me and just kept enjoying it’s breakfast.

Longhorn Cactus Beetles lay there eggs at the base of cacti and the larvae will burro inside the cactus roots and stems, sometimes killing the more susceptible cacti.

There is always fun, new and interesting things to see and learn in the Sonoran Desert, Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding Service has the professional guiding staff to show and teach you about the flora and fauna during your adventure tour.

Call 520.296.9661 for your hiking and/or biking adventure.

Located in Tucson, AZ,  the heart of the Sonoran Desert

www.swtrekking.com

Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus)

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

The Barrel Cactus, Ferocactus is the Latin genus name meaning “fierce cactus”.

This close up image of the Barrel’s spines reveal fierce yet beautifuly colored spines. The larger spines keep away thirsty desert creatures, and the smaller spines help prevent water loss and scorching by reflecting away some of the intense desert sunlight.

Barrel cacti grow into a squat tubular shape, commonly growing 2-4 feet but may grow to be 6-10 feet tall. It can reach a diameter of 18 to 30 inches or more. Their lifespan ranges from 50 to 100 years old!

The yellow/red flowers and yellow fruit of the Barrel cactus always grow at the top of the plant. They bear no spines and only a few scales. Fruits become fleshy and often juicy when mature, but are not usually considered edible. In emergencies only, the barrels water supply can be harvested but is likely to cause diarrhea if ingested when the stomach is empty.

The Barrel Cactus is often called the “Compass Barrel ” because some of the larger plants lean toward the southwest. So if you need a little direction these round, happy cacti can help point the way.

Better yet hiring a Southwest Trekking Professional guide knowledgeable with the Sonoran Desert trails in the Tucson valley is a winning choice

Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding Service

520.296.9661

www.swtrekking.com

Summer seasons

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Southern Arizona is known for its two distinctive summer seasons, dry summer and wet summer.

The dry summer consists hot temperatures in the triple digits with no moisture beginning in May through June.

Wet summer begins in July when large violent storms roll in and display their impressive power with wind, lightning and rain (a bunch of rain)!!!

Truly a wonder of nature, these storms bring an explosion of life that is visible to the eye.

Ground cover and a second blooming of wildflowers blanket the desert and mountains!

Southwest Trekking…the premier outdoor guiding service in Southern Arizona.

We provide guided hiking and guided mountain biking tours with transportation and equipment for visitors to the Tucson area.

Get out and learn more about this unique area with professional guides trained to give you the best experience possible.

Southwest Trekking

(520) 296-9661

www.swtrekking.com

Arizona Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi)

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

Not much introduction is needed for the very popular Lavender Plant but who would have thought that it would grow wild here in this rugged Sonoran Desert.

Arizona offers an amazing assortment of Native Medicinal Herbs, Lavender being one of the most fragrant and widely used. The leaves and dried flowers produce a power house of calming fragrance and medicinal components when enjoyed as a tea

Most desert herbs are hard to identify so hiring a knowledgeable hiking and biking guide from Southwest Trekking can help teach you about the diverse flora and healing nature of this beautiful desert.

Come visit Tucson and give us a call to book your desert adventure!

Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding Service

520.296.9661

Www.swtrekking.com

 

 

Living Desert

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Most people think that a desert is nothing but a dry, uninhabited area full of sand but here in the Sonoran Desert you’ll find out that it’s teaming with life.

Tucson Arizona sits in the heart of this vibrant living desert, surrounded by mountain ranges topping around 9100 feet elevation. These towering mountain ranges help bring a cooling breeze down into our valley floor thru the arroyos (dry washes) providing a haven for our desert friends from the intense heat of our summer months.

The Mule Deer (pictured above) is a common sight that is found most active in the early mornings. The one in the picture had nothing to fear as it stood to great us visitors into her home. She stood peacefully staring at us while we admired her small graceful beauty only a few feet from each other.

Come check out all the beautiful wonders the Sonoran Desert has to offer with one of the professional guides from Southwest Trekking. We love teaching visitors all about the vast diversity this living desert has to offer.

Call Southwest Trekking 520.296.9661 to book your hiking or biking tour. Whatever your pleasure, we’ll taylor your private or group tour to ensure a memorable and safe experience

Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding Service

Www.swtrekking.com

Escape the heat!

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

During our hot summers it is still possible to get out and enjoy our diverse, beautiful public lands. This time of the year calls for heading up to the mountains, elevated isolated pine forested mountain ranges with an average of 20 to 25° cooler every single day! This picture was taken just the other day on Mount Lemmon. This haven of cooler weather is just a short drive from Tucson and rises 9,100 feet above sea level!

Call Southwest Trekking the professional hiking and mountain biking guide service. We will ensure your safety and make certain you get the most out of your outdoor activity during the hotter months.

We offer customized guided outdoor adventures with transportation and equipment always included.

Treat yourself to some outdoor education and beauty, with the peace of mind of knowing you will get the best experience possible!

Southwest Trekking 

 Professional Guide Service

(520) 296-9661

www.swtrekking.com  

Cicada (Cacama dissimilis Distant)

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Meet the Sonoran Desert Cicada commonly referred to as the Cactus Dodger.

There are many species of Cicada throughout the United States but none are like the Cactus Dodger. These common creatures are certainly not common. They have evolved to survive the intense heat of our summer months by incorporating a cooling mechanism similar to our own, they sweat!!!!

Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, individually or large groups our Professional Guides would love to add to your experience

Book your adventure with us any time of the year, the Green Desert offers a wealth of diversity in every season.

Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding Service

520.296.9661

Www.SWTrekking.com

 

 

 

Early morning beauty

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

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Stunning scenery to behold in the early mornings in the Tucson area. A guided morning hike is always a great way to start the day!

Southwest Trekking provides professional customized hiking and biking tours for all levels.

Guests enjoy education about all of the unique flora and fauna here in the Sonoran Desert. Transportation and equipment is always included!!

So make sure take advantage of our unique service and get out to learn and explore this beautiful area!

Southwest Trekking 

Professional Outdoor Guide Service 

(520) 296-9661

www.swtrekking.com

Saguaro Season

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

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This time of year is the season for the Saguaros, Arizona’s state flower, to shine their brightest.

The iconic cacti displays their amazing white blooms that open at night for only 24hours. After the bloom closes they reveal the beginning of their fruit that starts off green but within a couple weeks will ripen and open into another beautiful, red flower-like fruit that is abundant in nourishment and an important food source for many desert dwellers.

The summer months are a magical time here in the Sonoran Desert, despite the heat of the summer life is abundant and offers many amazing wonders.

Don’t miss out on this magical moment, put it on that bucket list. Book your guided tour with Southwest Trekking Professional Guide Service, whether it’s a nature walk, biking or shuttle, we’re here to help make your desert experience memorable.

Southwest Trekking

520.296.9661

Www.swtrekking.com

 

 

Cane Cholla Bloom

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

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The Cane Cholla is also known as the Walkingstick Cactus and this one is in full bloom with beautiful bright magenta flowers. These spectacular looking cacti also produce red, yellow, orange, brown and yellow-green colored blooms.

Following their blooms are a bright yellow, nearly spineless edible fruit but don’t think you’ll be able to harvest that without some risk. These native cacti are a protected species of the Sonoran Desert, for viewing pleasure only please.

Come visit Tucson, AZ to see for yourself just how interestingly beautiful these really are and let us help create the best experience for you with a guided nature hike or biking tour

Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding Service

520.296.9661

Www.swtrekking.com