Posts Tagged ‘Natural History Institute’

  • Plant of the Month: Camphorweed

    Aug 26, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, Plant of the MonthNo CommentsRead More »

    By Lisa Zander Our plant of the month first caught my eye in early spring as it sprouted in profusion along the Prescott-area roads I bike and run. Curious about this plant that I’d never noticed before, I plucked off a small piece of a sticky, egg-shaped leaf that pointed skyward. When I crushed the leaf, a strong aroma was released. I became intrigued with this mystery forb and kept a watchful eye as it grew taller. As the spring and summer months went by, my frequent sightings of these same sticky basal leaves left me slightly concerned about the invasive nature of this common road-side weed. When it finally bloomed in late August, the big reveal were rowdy clusters of bright yellow disc and ray flowers — this plant was a member of the Asteraceae, the Aster Family. More specifically, through the Yavapai County Native and Naturalized Plants website, I identified the plant as Camphorweed (Heterotheca subaxillaris), and was surprised to learn that it is native to our area. And that aroma? As often is the case, the strong smell belayed the plant’s medicinal chemical compounds. The late herbalist, Michael Moore (not to be confused with the documentary filmmaker of the same name) wrote that Camphorweed can be used as an antiseptic and antifungal and that an ointment made from the plant may help to ease pain and inflammation

  • Shoots & spines: Natural History Book Club plants a seed

    Feb 5, 16 • ndemarino • 5enses, FeatureNo CommentsRead More »

    By Robert Blood [Editor’s note: The following interview was culled from conversations between the reporter and Marilyn McCarthy, one of the facilitators of the Natural History Book Club, a program via Prescott College’s Natural History Institute. The club meets 9:30-11 a.m. the third Friday of each month at the Natural History Institute, 312 Grove Ave. Find out more at Prescott.Edu/natural-history-institute.] How did the Natural History Book Club get started? I kept telling Lisa Zander (program coordinator and collections manager at the Natural History Institute) about a natural history book club I was part of at a local park in Indianapolis. I wanted to do something like that here. She ran into someone else, Susie Percy, who wanted to do it, and the Natural History Institute, has been gracious enough to sponsor this and allow us a space to hold it. It made sense to me. I want people to see their facility, the things they do there, the free lectures, and the whole library they have. … I met Lisa at the Natural History Institute when I came to a new program they were doing last year, “Live Nude(Plant)s,” where they would bring out plant and butterfly specimens for people to draw. My husband and I live close to the institute and had researched the area before moving here almost two years ago. I was a master naturalist in Indiana,

  • Natural histories: The art & science of science & art

    Nov 1, 13 • ndemarino • 5enses, Event, Portfolio3,717 CommentsRead More »

    By James Dungeon At first blush, the 250 prints in the Josephine Michell Arader Natural History Print Collection are a dizzying floral and faunal cacophony. In one image, a pair of Great Auks enjoy a dynamic scene with severe cliffs and choppy seas. In another, gruesome eels swim in an illusory ether stacked row upon impossible row. Others depict plants — some in acute, meticulous realism, some in a surreal limbo including multiple stages of development. From a scientific perspective, you could divvy these prints up by taxonomy, geography, or morphology. From an artistic perspective, you could divvy them up by chronology, technique, or stylistic sensibilities. By all means, do that — a large selection from the collection is on display Nov. 8 – Dec. 14 at the Prescott College Art Gallery at Sam Hill Warehouse, while an ongoing rotation of prints debuts at the college’s nascent Natural History Institute this month — but before you delve too deep into delineation, just look at them. Just. Look. “Well, the first thing is that some of them are just jaw-droppingly gorgeous,” says Dr. Tom Fleischner, director of Prescott College’s nascent Natural History Institute. “There are some of them, like the Great Auks, that I just can’t keep my eyes off of.” That simple act of looking was the first step that lead to the creation of these images. It’s the starting

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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