Posts Tagged ‘Edible desert’

Got adventure?

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

That’s what we do!

We are Southwest Trekking the premier professional guiding service in Southern Arizona!

Specializing in customized private guided hiking and guided mountain biking adventures, our tours

always include transportation to and from the specific trail chosen by our knowledgeable professionals.

All equipment is provided for guided mountain biking including: bike, helmet, gloves water and a professional guide

to facilitate the most enjoyable experience possible.

Our guided hiking involves education about the unique plants and abundant animals native to the area.

There is so much to see in beautiful Southern Arizona, the best way to get out and enjoy it

is to hire a professional guide for peace of mind and great information to help you and your group have a great time!

Need a bike for rent, we do that too!

We deliver and pick-up from your hotel or residence and all equipment is included

  • Mountain bikes
  • Road cycles
  • Comfort cruisers

Southwest Trekking

(520) 296-9661

www.swtrekking.com

Arizona Poppy (Kallstroemia grandiflora)

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

The “Arizona poppy” is also known as “summer poppy” and “orange caltrop”. Its orange flowers resemble the orange flowers of the California poppy, and it blooms from mid-summer to October in Arizona!

There five-petaled, three quarter to one and one-half-inch wide flowers rise above the plant.  Petals have numerous nectar guides, are able to reflect ultraviolet light and just like many of our Arizona blooms they only remain open for one day.

Enjoy a guided hike or mountain bike ride thru this beautiful desert landscape with Southwest Trekking.

  • Guided Mountain Biking
  • Guided Hiking

Southwest Trekking

Professional Guides

520.296.9661

www.swtrekking.com

 

Desert Oasis

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

Southern Arizona is alive with waterways flowing in our upland desert! Dry “arroyos” fill with rain water and transform our area into a lush playland.

Guided hiking and guided mountain biking are great ways to get out, get some exercise and see this amazing landscape for yourself.

Southwest Trekking is the premier outdoor guiding service in Southern Arizona and will provide trail knowledge, peace of mind, and valuable information about our upland flora and fauna!

A professional guide, transportation and equipment are always provided for your personal customized tour. We will choose a trail specific to your wants and abilities. Give us a call!

Southwest Trekking 

(520) 296-9661

www.swtrekking.com

Professional Guide Service

Desert Tortoise

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

I spotted this tortoise on the trail while mountain biking at Fantasy Island yesterday.

They are much more active during monsoon season, but people need to take care not to disturb them in any way!

A desert tortoise may spend up to 95 percent of its life in burrows, only emerging to feed, bask, and breed when the weather allows, mostly during the monsoon season. In fact, it will get most of its food for the entire year during this period. It eats the leaves, stems, and flowers of many species of desert plants.

Another adaption that makes the desert tortoise suited for desert-life is the ability to acquire almost all of its water from the plants that it eats. Because desert tortoise live in an arid climate where most of the rainfall occurs during the monsoons, it is able to store water in its bladder for use during drought. It can go over a year without drinking. One of its defense mechanisms when handled or disturbed is to release the contents of its bladder, which can deplete its water supply and can cause harm or death during a drought. For this reason, if you find a desert tortoise, do not pick it up.

If you observe a desert tortoise in the wild, it is best to let it continue on its way. Observing tortoises in the wild is an exciting experience, but human handling can be deadly for wild tortoises. Tortoises store water in their bladder during dry times of the year, and if disturbed, they will release the contents of their bladder and likely die from dehydration. The one exception to this rule is if a tortoise is in harm’s way trying to cross a road. If it is safe to do so, gently lift the tortoise high enough so its feet are just above the ground and transport the tortoise across the road in the direction it was heading.

The Sonoran Desert is an exciting and varied place to explore.  Let our guides take you out for a hike or mountain bike ride to maximize your experience!

Southwest Trekking

Professional Guide Services

520-296-9661

www.swtrekking.com

 

Prickly Pear Cactus (Nopal Cactus)

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Looks like it’s time to harvest the Prickly Pears and make some of those famous Prickly Pear Margaritas!

These yummy sweet treats that grow abundantly here in the Tucson valley are a refreshing snack packed full of goodness and not just to make for a fun happy hour.

They’re packed full of power, medicinal Power!

There has been some interest in the Prickly Pear (Nopalito) plant’s medicinal properties. Both fruits and pads of the prickly pear cactus are rich in slowly absorbed soluble fibers that help keep blood sugar stable, help lower diabetics’ need for insulin. Another study has shown that the pectin (soluble fiber) contained in the Prickly Pear pulp lowers levels of “bad” cholesterol while leaving “good” cholesterol levels unchanged. Amazing!!

Before reaching for one of these purple powerhouses better have some tools. They are covered in tiny, hair-like, barbed spines called glochids. Glochids are yellow or red in color and detach easily from the pads, are often difficult to see and more difficult to remove, once lodged in the skin.

The abundant beauty and diversity of the Sonoran Desert awaits for you to come experience it fully, igniting all your senses and what better way then to have a professional guide from Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding Service along to help you have a safe, well informed adventure.

Southwest Trekking Professional Guiding

520.296.9661

www.swtrekking.com

 

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