Posts Tagged ‘Edible desert’

Saguaro scenery

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Southwest Trekking- Professional Outdoor Guiding Service

Get up close to the one and only Saguaro Cactus! This giant of the desert can live hundreds of years and produces our state flower and an edible fruit!

It’s also home to many types of birds that live in cave-like homes that can only be hollowed out by certain species!

So much to learn!

The best way to explore and see this unique area is to hire a professional outdoor guide from Southwest Trekking!

We specialize in guided hiking and guided mountain bike tours, and also  provide shuttles and bicycle rentals of different types.

We have intimate trail knowledge of the area and will provide transportation and equipment for all customized adventures!

Southwest Trekking 

Outdoor Guiding Service

(520) 296-9661

www.swtrekking.com

 

Tasty Treats – Cereus Cactus (Cereus peruvianus)

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

This columnar cactus is the Cereus Cactus. These are native to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina but are found growing here in the Sonoran Desert mostly for ornamental purpose.

These spectacular cacti produce a tasty treat known as the Peruvian Apple and are much like the Dragon Fruit.

The fruit’s texture is crisp, hydrating with a very sweet, floral flavor, very pleasing to the pallet.

Mix it with the popular native Prickly Pear fruit (Nopal Cactus) and you have an exotic explosion of flavors in one bite. You can feel the nutritional benefits of these amazing desert fruits, best thing of all is they grow with ease in our climate and can be harvested right from your own yard.

Come experience this vast, green desert and all the edible treats it provides but it’s best to have an experienced, professional guide to help point out what’s best to eat and what’s best to avoid during your private hike or biking tour with us.

Southwest Trekking

Professional Guiding Service

520.296.9661

www.swtrekking.com

 

 

 

 

 

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