Posts Tagged ‘giants’

  • News from the Wilds: August 2017

    Jul 25, 17 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the WildsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris August susurrates with storm and shower interwoven with the cacophony of resonant thunder and the assonance of cicada song. In the high heat of summer, the monsoon rains turn the land to emerald, and it seems as though living things are everywhere. Many mammals are teaching their young to forage in this time of plenty, while young birds are on longer and longer forays away from their parents. Ectothermic animals, such as lizards and snakes, whose body temperatures are tied closely to ambient temperatures, are at their most active now, chasing insect and rodent prey, while insects, from the minute leafhoppers to the massive saturn moths, enter their time of greatest abundance. The majority of woody plants bear their seeds during this season, including Coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica), Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), Apache Plume (Fallugia paradoxa), and all seven of our oak species. Many herbaceous (non-woody) plants are growing and flowering now, most of which are specialist monsoon plants and did not appear in the spring. This is the time of plenty for many birds and mammals, as insects of all types proliferate, from giant moths to enormous strange and beautiful beetles, to dragonflies, who reach their peak now, while alien-like cicadas measure the day’s heat with their shrill cries. This second flowering brings with it a glut of insect prey, which sends a wave of life through our

  • News From the Wilds: August 2014

    Aug 1, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the Wilds1,526 CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris August, our wettest month, arrives with cataclysmic storm and rolling heat. The rains, at long last, have come, and in the high temperatures and ubiquitous sunlight of late summer the Central Highlands enters its most fertile, vibrant season. Many of our woody plant species bear their seeds now, from the delicious Chokecherries to our various oaks, with their small, nutrition-packed acorns, while herbaceous (non-woody) plants grow and bloom — most of which didn’t appear in the spring. This is the time of plenty for many birds and mammals, as insects of all types proliferate, from giant moths to enormous strange and beautiful beetles, to dragonflies, who reach their peak now, while alien-like cicadas measure the day’s heat with shrill cries. This second flowering brings with it a glut of insect prey, which precipitates a wave of activity amongst our many lizards. The most conspicuous of our daytime lizards are the Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) and several species of whiptails (genus Apidoscelis), the young of which hatch during this time of plenty. Many of the whiptail species are unisexual, meaning that all of the individuals are female, and young are genetically identical to their parents. Our more furtive lizard species include the zebra-tails (genus Callisaurus), spiny lizards (genus Sceloporus), and the remarkable Greater Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi). The horned lizards are endemic to the North American deserts

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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