Saturday, May 05, 2012

Tucson features 2

3.0 mph —> 30+ mph
Gordon Hirabayashi
"Bug Spring" trailhead
"Thimble Peak" vista
"Seven Cataracts" vista
Coronado National Forest, "pullouts"
Summer Haven
Ski Valley
Margarita Vista
Windy Point vista

Tucson features

Mount Lemon / Lemmon
Catalina Mountains
bears crossing sign
"Rose Canyon" Lake
"Lepper Creek Mountain" trailhead
"San Pedro" vista point / park
"ice may be present" sign
Bigelow trailhead
White Tail // Whitetail // Campground / White Tail
Spencer Canyon
Box Camp Trailhead
Snow @ 4500' heavier @ 5000'
Bear Canyon
Green Mountain Trailhead
Chihuahua Pine

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


biosphere2 entranceWednesday's special feature was biosphere2 and it was truly a trip! "Biosphere1" is the earth we live on, but you already guessed that. You can visit the website for more information, but how ever anyone could have or would have imagined the original experiment was remotely scientific had something else coming to them. biosphere entranceRumor has it the eight people who lived and worked at biosphere2 during the original experiment in the early 1990s became physically and mentally very unwell, lost tons of weight and threatened to kill each other. Well, considering that no natural sunlight entered the building and anyone imagining they could reproduce five environments (ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, savannah grassland and fog desert) even in ultra-mini habitable form or especially in an ultra-mini configuration hardly could have been more unreal.

biosphere2 ocean
This was the ocean? Looked more like a bay or backyard pool with 1/4" ripples, but then again, I'm used to routine double overheads.
coastal fog desert
During the course of the 11/2 hour-long uphill, downhill, up the stairs and down the stairs tour the guide defensively explained of course this was not a failed experiment, no way whatsoever! However, I believe that by the early 1990s scientific methods were well established with concepts of controls and common sense solidly in place.

biosphere buildingsThe people who lived on site (all scientists, carefully selected for their specialties) originally contracted for 5-year terms but due to failing mental and physical health along with many of the originally imported plants and all the animals dying they quit at the 21/2-year point. Rumor has it although they were supposed to find and prepare all their own meals, that wasn't possible with the scant resources available in the limited arrangement and for the final 6 months they got tasty, nutritious meals delivered from a high-end establishment. Basic biosphere2 specs include:piƱon pines
  • 3.14 acre Biosphere facility
  • 7,200,000 cubic feet of sealed glass, 6,500 windows
  • 91 feet at highest point
  • sealed from the earth below by a 500-ton welded stainless steel liner
  • 40-acre campus
  • 300,000 sq. ft. of administrative offices, classrooms, labs, conference center, housing
  • 3620' elevation
(info from the website)

biosphere2 long view
Here's a View From The Road— I ♥ Arizona and adore the desert! It amazes me *they* imagined life could prevail in an environment that was close-to hermetically sealed off from the rest of life. Not long before that all of those theys had discerned that a residence needed a certain number of daily exchanges of air in order to be healthy, though previously they'd tried to create situations with fewer air exchanges that still allowed room to breathe and for living things to be.

biosphere2 rain forest
Who administers this facility? Since June 2007 Biosphere 2 has functioned as a department of the University of Arizona College of Science; they're trying to use it to help quantify some aspects of climate change.

My last pic features the tropical rainforest.

all photos from the biosphere2 website

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oracle State Park

Oracle State Park

Oracle State Park

This afternoon we took a short drive away from the city of Tucson and visited Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education. Information on the website describes:

"A 4,000 acre environmental education park and approximately 15 miles of hiking trails; Historic Kannally Ranch House Tours; Oracle State Park is located approximately 45 minutes from Tucson, in the northern foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains near the community of Oracle in southern Pinal County. Ranging from 3,500 to 4,500 feet in elevation, the nearly 4,000-acre park consists of oak grassland, riparian woodland, and mesquite scrub habitats which contain a diversity of wildlife and plant species."
Oracle State Park
"In 1902 Neil Kannally arrived in Oracle from Illinois. Moving to the area for relief from tuberculosis, he homesteaded the land that would later become the park. Later, other members of the Kannally family joined him."
Oracle State Park
"The ranch grew substantially over the next several years and eventually 1100 cattle grazed the land. In 1976, Lucille Kannally, the last surviving family member, donated the land to the Defenders of Wildlife who later transferred the property to the State Parks Board."
Oracle State Park
Oracle State Park
The adobe Kannally Ranch House, constructed between approximately 1929 and 1932 after "Italian Renaissance and Mediterranean Revival Style architecture with Moorish influences" turned out to be amazingly spacious inside,
Oracle State Park
Oracle State Park
although it looked like a mini-cottage from where we parked the vehicle. I especially loved the clean, spare style of Lee Kannally's southwestern paintings displayed in the living room.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a zoo, natural history museum, aquarium, and botanical garden all in one place.
Desert Museum ticket
Desert Museum Welcome
Big Cat Sonoran Desert Museum 01 Sunflowers Desert Museum 04