Spoof science news: Citizen scientists explore adaptability of Dale Creatures world-wide. Chief researcher, Grompus Grilpnip, of Winchett Dale fame, has led the Arizona citizen scientist team conducting the vital viability study of Hortus Complainus in the wilds of the west. See niffsoup.wordpress.com.niffsoup.wordpress.com
1. As the highly anticipated publishing date for the last of the Matlock the Hare trilogy, The Trial of the Majickal Elders approaches, Oct 3, 2016, a state of panic among Grilpnips of the Dale has ensued. They are prized for the delicious tastiness of their most valuable root vegetable feature: the nose. How can this vital nasal feature be preserved going forward? When the world knows of the tastiness, how will Grilnips survive?
2. Previous work has failed to address this critical issue, according to Grompus Grilpnip, thus he has travelled to the research fields of wildest Arizona to secretly find a solution.
3. Grompus theorized that the arid climate of Arizona, combined with the features of the prevailing vegetation, would be key to finding a solution.
4. After exhaustive field research, Grompus and his team of local vegetable citizen scientists retreated to the lab to compile their findings.
5. After experiments were completed, Grompus was satisfied! Existing in the arid, sometimes hostile environment of desert country has toughened the nose! In addition, the spicy flavor of the nasal appendage has mellowed to a milder, in fact, rather “yechus” one, especially in comparison to local vegetables that grow in Arizona.
6. As a result of the research, Grilpnips world-wide will be able to apply this technique to preserve their noses, reputation and sanity.
The Gray fox family that has chosen our property as a home is back this year. This is the most common type of fox in Arizona, living in the deserts and mountains. These foxes are the only member of the dog family that can climb trees, where they will eat birds and eggs, or acorns or fruit.
They stay on the alert from all directions, and have created a den in a rocky hillside. The den has numerous exits, and might extend for dozens of feet underground. They come out during the day to bask in the sun and to hunt. They weigh about 10 pounds.
They seem to trust that we are not a great danger to them.
Pretty and prickly. A very wet monsoon season has brought out thick stands of thistles, loco weed and lupine in northern Arizona.The bees are ecstatic.
One of the many wonders to anticipate in northern Arizona is the day in late summer when the Verbesina enceliodes, Golden Crownbeard, bursts out in this brilliant vista.
A short, easy Summer loop hike from Snow Bowl Road on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff leads to Alfa Fia Tank.
I enjoy finding things about Arizona that are new to me after living here for a lifetime. I grew up hiking with my father and scouring the ground ahead and around me for rocks that he would help me identify. I find myself doing the same thing now with plants. Sometimes the new ones are minuscule, as this morning’s find.
I took a quick hike in the Cave Creek area, and deep in a wash were these amazingly tiny specimens. Can you spot them?
Sometimes to really see what’s out there in nature, you have to get in really close.
Yes, crawling about on hands and knees can be dirty and awkward, and I do have to watch out for spines and biting things, but the interesting things are there to be found. These tiny flowers bloom in the desert in April and are called Miniature Wool Star, Eriastrum diffusum, Phlox Family (Polemoniaceae) I don’t recall seeing them before, but they actually are very common. Often they might be larger than these, up to 8 inches in height. These were barely 2 inches off the ground.
Naturally, once all the desert plants begin producing bright flowers, the first to be aware of them are the various types of pollinators. This is a small sample of the many beautiful butterflies housed in the spacious Butterfly Pavilion within the Desert Botanical Garden.