Featured Stories

21

Jun 24

June 21, 2024

Bloom Watch #2 | Beneath the Surface

Tohono Chul Gardeners Chris Kibler and Shauna Smith, along with dedicated volunteer Tammy, have been diligently watching over the queens, hauling some supplemental water to them every so often to support their growth and measuring their progress. I aim to interpret their expertise and transmit our excitement for the approaching...

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05

Jun 24

June 5, 2024

Bloom Watch #1 | All Hail the Queen

All Hail the Queen The season is turning on the Desert View Trail. Early spring wildflowers have dried and are dropping their seeds, feeding the quail, and becoming part of the seed bank. As they bloom, cacti, shrubs and trees utilize water reserves, and stretch to deep underground rivers to...

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02

Aug 23

August 2, 2023

A Note from Executive Director Jamie Maslyn Larson

Dear Tohono Chul Family,  The heat is on! Seems like eons ago when we had Tohono Chul’s annual Member's Reception in a much cooler April. Hundreds of members came to enjoy music, stroll the gardens, and learn about our recent initiatives and programs. It was a pleasure to spend time with you!...

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31

Jul 23

July 31, 2023

Bloom Night Recap | The Queen’s Monsoon Magic

Last Sunday was an eventful one. Chris says that early that morning, the buds were still closed tight, but by afternoon some were already showing the white of their petals!  Around 6 pm we could see an opaque storm cloaking the northwest from Tucson's East side. Filled with excitement and...

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22

Jul 23

July 22, 2023

Bloom Watch #9

Bloom Night is Coming... Movement! As Chris suspected, the Queen’s buds are growing after the rain we had on July 17.  The Queen’s are growing 20 mm a day now, which puts us a few days away from Bloom Night! The largest of the floral branches has reached 120mm, with...

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18

Jul 23

July 18, 2023

Bloom Watch #8

An Extrafloral Moment As of Tuesday morning, the buds are stalled between 40 and 55 mm. Thanks to the rainstorm that came through last night we expect movement in the next few days. They are taking their time, waiting for the perfect time to bloom. Let’s remember to take things...

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12

Jul 23

July 12, 2023

Bloom Watch #7

Another rogue player ... “It looks like we have another rogue cactus on our hands!” said Chris on Monday morning.  Queen of the Night #379 is at the head of the pack with two buds measuring 110mm and on track to bloom this week. The rest of the regal monarchs...

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08

Jul 23

July 8, 2023

Bloom Watch #6

Blooming Secrets Our persistent Garden Manager, Chris Kibler, says the Queen’s buds have grown very little over the past week, with the biggest just a tad over 50 mm. However, he’s noticed changes that hint at something to come. The sepals are starting to turn reddish in color and the white hair on the buds is more prominent. According to our...

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01

Jul 23

July 1, 2023

Bloom Watch #5

Cruel Summer This is when we remember why it’s called the desert. The insects in the trees seem to imitate the sizzling Sonoran heat. Critters take refuge in the shade and their cool burrows. They drink from the fountains and hoses as we water the flowers. Days are long and...

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21

Jun 23

June 21, 2023

Bloom Watch #4

Rebel Flower Are you serious?! Oh, it’s cereus all right! Gardens Manager, Chris Kibler, was taken aback with astonishment this morning when he discovered that one of the Peniocereus greggii had rapidly grown overnight, reaching its full bloom stage. Not to worry, the rest of the buds are on track...

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09

Jun 23

June 9, 2023

Bloom Watch #3

The Queen's Court On the Desert View Trail, the Peniocereus greggii flower buds are stalling growth as the dry heat of June arrives. On the other side of the garden, the Queen's Court is growing flower buds! Gardens Manager, Chris Kibler, says a few weeks ago they had no signs...

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02

Jun 23

June 2, 2023

Bloom Watch #2

Slow & Steady Garden member Beverly’s, Queen (pictured below) surprised her when it bloomed last Friday night; a few weeks earlier than last year. She says she’s going to watch closely as the fruits develop over the following months. Every year there are early birds like this that bloom and...

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24

May 23

May 24, 2023

Bloom Watch #1

The Queen is Coming Chris Kibler, Gardens Manager at Tohono Chul, is watching the Queen of the Night cacti and measuring the flower buds at least twice a week now. Most of them are showing new growth thanks to the plentiful winter rains we received. As of today, Chris has...

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09

Aug 22

August 9, 2022

Seeking Royal Seeds

We take our Peniocereus greggii quite cereusly, but rest assured we are not dressing up The Queen for her coronation! The white organza bags you see covering The Queen’s ripening fruit allow sunlight and air in while keeping pests out. This simple protective measure will ensure we harvest the fruit before hungry packrats beat...

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14

Jul 22

July 14, 2022

Meet Ethan Cox, Our New Director of Strategic Growth

Starting as a dream by founders Dick and Jean Wilson, Tohono Chul was envisioned as a place to connect with nature, art, and culture. That ardor has once again been reignited with new leadership and a new vision. We are excited to announce our first-ever Director of Strategic Growth, Ethan...

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30

Jun 22

June 30, 2022

Bloom Watch #5

There's A First Time For Everything As is her sovereign nature, 20 of the Queen’s blossoms bloomed this past Saturday night with the last two following suit Sunday night. Unfortunately, after months of watching and measuring, we were not able to tell the mass blooming was imminent until it was...

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21

Jun 22

June 21, 2022

Bloom Watch #4

Could It Be This Weekend? Late Monday morning Gardens Supervisor, Chris Kibler along with Gardeners, Shauna, Aaron, and myself went for a drive in the carts to take a look at what’s happening out on the Desert View Trail. The rain from the previous Friday had left a visible path...

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14

Jun 22

June 14, 2022

Bloom Watch #3

Quiet Repose Bach’s Cactus Nursery’s resident Queen bloomed early last week. Tohono Chul volunteer and Bach’s Cactus employee, Astrid Randall, snapped a photo. Chris Kibler, Tohono Chul Gardens Supervisor, says The Queen may bloom one week from now if the flower buds continue to grow at their current rate. He...

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02

Jun 22

June 2, 2022

Bloom Watch #2

Sounds of the Sonoran Desert It’s 4 o’clock in the garden, and the hustle and bustle of early afternoon is over. I relinquish my post at the greenhouse and head for the Desert View Trail. Startled by my sudden presence, a quail family scampers single file across the path. The...

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31

May 22

May 31, 2022

Executive Update For You from Jamie Maslyn Larson

Dear Tohono Chul Family, How time flies! It has been almost four months since you welcomed me as Tohono Chul’s Executive Director. The last time I wrote, I was just two weeks into my role. You have taught me so much. While our gardens were bursting with beauty this spring,...

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18

May 22

May 18, 2022

Bloom Watch #1

New Growth Midafternoon on the Desert View Trail there is an enveloping quiet. Only the wind against the ears and the shuffle of sand underfoot at first. Then the birds’ peaceful calls drift by and the hum of winged insects hovers in the whitethorn trees. Notice the shards of white...

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03

Mar 22

March 3, 2022

Butterflies, an interview with Andy Hogan

Stephen Spikes, our Interpretive Programs Manager, sat down with Tohono Chul docent and butterfly enthusiast, Andy Hogan to talk about our butterfly census. Butterfly counts in the summer and fall of 2020 yielded the lowest numbers of butterflies since Andy started logging data in 2014. This also coincided with one...

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23

Feb 22

February 23, 2022

A Note from Jamie Maslyn Larson, Tohono Chul’s New Executive Director

Dear Tohono Chul Family, It has been just three short weeks since I started my position as Executive Director of Tohono Chul, and I am buzzing with excitement! There is much to learn, colleagues and members to visit with, and places to explore. Thank you for welcoming me with open...

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08

Feb 22

February 8, 2022

Weaving a Tale of Culture

On a crisp morning, a tapestry of color appears as the rugs are lovingly placed one by one on display. Visitors to Tohono Chul stop to admire the beautiful hand-made designs, while some greet Alex and his sister, Nancy, as old friends, welcoming them back for another season. The ritual...

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15

Jan 22

January 15, 2022

Welcome Jamie Maslyn Larson, Our New Executive Director!

Dear Tohono Chul Family, We are excited to announce that Jamie Maslyn Larson will take the lead as our new executive director starting February 1! Selected after a 5-month national search, she is the fourth person to lead Tohono Chul since its founding in 1985 and follows current Executive Director...

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14

Dec 21

December 14, 2021

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, As we celebrate this holiday season and look forward to welcoming in the New Year, it is a special joy to write to you about so many good things to come at Tohono Chul. You have probably heard that I will be retiring my post as...

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30

Sep 21

September 30, 2021

Monsoon Aftermath

What a phenomenal monsoon season it has been! As of September 1, 2021 Tucson has received 12.08 inches of rain – that’s more than six inches above our average monsoon rainfall! After last year’s “non-soon” and devastating Bighorn fire in the Santa Catalina Mountains, this wetter than average summer has...

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25

Aug 21

August 25, 2021

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Hasn’t this monsoon season been WONDERFUL?! I cannot think of a more welcome gift, after a refreshing family vacation, than to return to billowing thunderclouds and cooling rains that quench the dusky landscape and transform it into the lush and verdant greens of a tropical forest....

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02

Aug 21

August 2, 2021

How To Process Prickly Pear Fruit

It's almost that time of year when the prickly pear fruit ripens and it's time to harvest! Learn how to process the fruit in the video below featuring our Interpretive Programs Manager Stephen Spikes.

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12

Jul 21

July 12, 2021

Bloom Watch #5 – That’s A Wrap

The preceding rain had cooled the air, turning a hot June day into a welcoming summer’s evening. In the twilight we waited with the anticipation of a child as the flowers unfurled. The precious dozen bloomed with the beauty of a lotus and the resilience of a Sonoran desert. It...

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01

Jul 21

July 1, 2021

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, So much about this past year has been unsettling. Last year at this time I was writing to you during the height of the pandemic. Tohono Chul was closed and its future uncertain. The sky was filled with lung-searing smoke from the Bighorn Fire on the...

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01

Jul 21

July 1, 2021

The Bees Are On the Move

Honey bees would usually be a boon for any garden. Bees provide an essential environmental service – pollination. They visit flower after flower collecting pollen grains and slurping up nectar. When a bee carries pollen from one flower to another and visits two flowers of the same species, there’s always...

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25

Jun 21

June 25, 2021

Bloom Watch #4 – On The Move

Please note Bloom Night this year is a MEMBERS ONLY event and has new hours from 6 to 10 p.m. The morning after Bloom Night (TBD) is also available only to members and opens at 6:30 a.m. for the chance to see the blooms before they fade. Become a member...

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16

Jun 21

June 16, 2021

Bloom Watch #3 – The Queen’s Subjects

It’s feeling halfway through dry summer. The triangle-leaf bursage covering the ground is crispy and dormant. The light greens and tans of the foliage and earth contrast with the terracotta of the meditation stones. On the North Loop Trail, the doves perch atop saguaros covered in large clusters of green...

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02

Jun 21

June 2, 2021

Bloom Watch #2 – No Hints of Blooming Yet

Time to Wait This morning we strolled through the North Loop and reflected as we counted the furry white buds sprouting from the dark, slender stems of The Queens. The larger buds seemed to have halted growing, and with luck, the smaller buds may yet catch up. They will be...

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27

May 21

May 27, 2021

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, New joy in the gardens today! Your smiling faces! Now as the public health safety allows, and for those fully vaccinated and who are comfortable shedding masks outdoors, I am delighted to see the big smiles. And that brings an even bigger smile for me. A...

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13

May 21

May 13, 2021

Bloom Watch #1 – It’s That Time Again

Resilience, Of All Kinds It’s been nearly a year since my last report. As many of you know, I took over this post just weeks before Bloom Night 2020. If you’ll bear with me a moment, I’d like to reflect on that experience. It’s been quite a year that has...

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20

Apr 21

April 20, 2021

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, What a pleasure to be writing to you from my favorite, sunny bench here at Tohono Chul on this glorious spring morning as the pandemic is finally easing its grip, the gardens are bursting with bloom and the trees are filled with birdsong. Gathering together in...

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23

Feb 21

February 23, 2021

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Some Valentine’s gifts are meant to be shared. This glorious one is shared with you—our family of donors, board members, members, volunteers, and friends—because it truly is your gift. My last letter brought thanks, and the celebratory news that you met the matching gift challenge made by a...

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27

Jan 21

January 27, 2021

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Writing to you on this misty January morning, I’m thinking of the sunny spring days to come when the pandemic may finally ease, wildflowers will burst into bloom and we will be able to gather together in the gardens. Until then, this letter comes with sincere...

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17

Dec 20

December 17, 2020

Jo Falls, Tohono Chul Director of Education, Retires After Thirty-Four Years of Dedication and Service

You can’t know Tohono Chul without knowing Jo Falls. She has been at Tohono Chul since its very beginning thirty-four years ago, and she is as much an institution as the institution itself. Even though Tohono Chul is considered a quaint hidden oasis at the busy intersection of Ina and...

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16

Dec 20

December 16, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, As the Winter Solstice and the year’s longest night draws near, I hope you are finding comfort in the promise of a brighter New Year. At Tohono Chul, staff and volunteers are tending the winter gardens, filling the shops with holiday goodies, and the galleries with...

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19

Nov 20

November 19, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, In case you haven’t guessed, Tohono Chul family, my Mission is to bring you Good News. Not good news dressed in unrealistic optimism. Or good news graded on a curve. Real, honest-to-goodness Good News. And it’s here. But first, the context. Because real good news shines against...

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14

Oct 20

October 14, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Maybe you know the old maxim, “There is no good news that comes without a challenge attached.” If you don’t know it, that’s probably because I just made it up. As you know, I always try to open these letters with some good news. And I...

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16

Sep 20

September 16, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Something to look forward to. Something to be thankful for. Both may seem scarce these days. But in these letters to you, written under less-than-ideal circumstances, it hasn’t been a struggle to find something to look forward to, as well as something to be thankful for....

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05

Aug 20

August 5, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, In the few weeks since my last letter, our local and our statewide situation has once again shifted dramatically. Not only have the monsoon rains unfurled a new season of natural beauty and renewal, but we are also seeing tentative progress in containing the COVID-19 virus...

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15

Jul 20

July 15, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, In the short two weeks since my last letter, our local (and statewide) situation has shifted dramatically… The life-threatening wildfire fire on the mountain has now been 92% contained with relief from monsoon rains. The smoke has largely cleared and blue skies are once again the...

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24

Jun 20

June 24, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, I hope that in these turbulent times you are well and finding comfort with those you love. Since I last wrote, a short two weeks ago, we have experienced another frightening rise of the microscopic menace here in Arizona, plus massive wildfires on the mountain. I...

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15

Jun 20

June 15, 2020

Bloom Watch #3 – A Night of Firsts

At our last check-in you heard from Lee Mason in his final Bloom Watch about some strange goings-on within our collection. I should have read the writing on the wall. To quote Lee: “The Queen has done something to get my attention”. A warning, perhaps? A test for the new...

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10

Jun 20

June 10, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, I truly hope this finds you well and caring gently for yourself and your family. It has been 12 weeks since Tohono Chul closed to ensure the health and safety of staff, volunteers and visitors. And although it has often seemed overwhelming, writing these letters to...

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01

Jun 20

June 1, 2020

Bloom Watch #2 – Passing The Torch

Lee Mason's Last Bloom Watch The Queen and I hope this finds all of you well. She is making her usual confusing moves. I have been checking a couple times a week since I wrote the first bloom watch. The number of buds has remained relatively consistent until recently. There...

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29

May 20

May 29, 2020

Thank You Lee Mason, For 20 Years of Dedication and Service

Lee Mason has retired after more than 20 years leading gardens, plant propagation and facilities maintenance.  In his time at Tohono Chul, Lee has been the moving force behind our millennial master plan that moved parking lots to the front, upgraded the Garden Bistro, built a Retail Greenhouse and added office and prep...

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27

May 20

May 27, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Every challenge presents an opportunity to learn and grow. And nothing in Tohono Chul’s 35-year history has put that maxim to the test like this current pandemic. Fear and anxiety brought on by uncertainty can be paralyzing. But with immense gratitude for your outpouring of support...

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18

May 20

May 18, 2020

Bloom Watch #1 – The Queen Is In Charge

It is that time of the year again and although we may not be able to spend it together this year, I am hoping we can still enjoy the trip together. I spent a couple of hours checking in with the Queen and she seems to ready to mess with...

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13

May 20

May 13, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Are you ready for some good news? A glimmer of hope that we will not only endure this tragic pandemic together, but emerge even stronger? Here are some reasons to be hopeful for Tohono Chul, for the community, and for you and your family: 1. Members. Over the last 5 years,...

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29

Apr 20

April 29, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, In this distressing time, I wish I could bring you news about when the COVID-19 crisis will end and when you will all be welcomed back to enjoy the gardens. While there is little news to share about what the future holds, I can offer an...

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15

Apr 20

April 15, 2020

Executive Update For You from Christine Conte

Dear Tohono Chul Family, Thank you for your understanding, kindness and devotion in these unimaginable times. Your outpouring of love and support has been absolutely overwhelming. You will be hearing from me periodically to update you about Tohono Chul as we seek to minimize the effects and mitigate the losses...

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25

Mar 20

March 25, 2020

A Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Family, It is heartbreaking to be writing to you about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our beloved Tohono Chul. But because you are family, we must be open, honest and supportive of one another throughout this challenging time. We are bound together by a shared love of the Sonoran Desert and we...

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16

Mar 20

March 16, 2020

Important, Please Read – updated March 17

Dear Tohono Chul Family and Friends, For your health and safety and for that of staff, volunteers and the general public all of Tohono Chul is closed starting Tuesday, March 17. This is a necessary precaution given the best available science about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to contain its...

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12

Jul 19

July 12, 2019

Bloom Watch #4 – She Is On The Move

The Queen has decided to push to bloom! This morning the majority of the buds were between 60 and 80 mm. What does this mean? Well, what it means to me is my agony is drawing to an end and it is time to put out the luminarias, charge the...

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27

Jun 19

June 27, 2019

Bloom Watch #3 – Waiting Patiently

This week has been interesting, if not unusual. Although most of the buds are still in stall status, the Queen has pulled a few surprises. First of all, as of the morning of June 19 she has allowed five flowers to move to 120mm and nine to move 80mm. Which...

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06

Jun 19

June 6, 2019

Bloom Watch #2 – Slow, but Steady

This week has been overall pretty slow. There have been a few new buds and a few that gave up and went away. This is normal for her and she will continue with this for the next week or two. On Saturday, June 1 we had one flower. She hit...

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21

May 19

May 21, 2019

Bloom Watch #1 – An Ambitious Queen’s Court

Here we go again. I have been watching the Queen for the past three weeks and two weeks ago I saw the first buds. Since then she has increased the number to a point where it looks like a good year. I have been asked several times if this was...

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10

Apr 19

April 10, 2019

Jo Falls Receives Roger Lidman Distinguished Service Award

James Schaub, Curator of Exhibitions, nominated Jo Falls for the Roger Lidman Distinguished Service Award at the Museum Association of Arizona’s Annual Conference on March 18, 2019. The esteemed award designates an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to an individual museum, the museum profession, the local community, to Arizona,...

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12

Feb 19

February 12, 2019

Lucy’s Warbler Nestbox Project

We are very lucky to be living in the center of Lucy’s Warblers’ breeding range. These tiny, shy, gray birds are the only cavity-nesting warblers in Arizona and the only ones nesting in low elevation Sonoran Desert, likely because of their fondness for native mesquite trees. With the decline of...

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28

Jan 19

January 28, 2019

Tohono Chul Wins an Environmental Excellence Award from Arizona Forward

The Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards program recognizes outstanding contributions to the built and natural environment of communities throughout Arizona and just recently Tohono Chul was added to its list of organizations that honor that key endeavor. Tohono Chul’s Master Plan’s recognition is due to the contributions of Arizona architect...

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20

Jun 18

June 20, 2018

Bloom Watch #4 – Will It Be This Weekend?

It appears that the Queen accepted the rain with exuberance. She broke stall on Sunday and Monday and is on the move toward bloom. Today most of the buds are in the in the 60 to 80 mm range putting them only 5 to 6 days out. There are a...

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20

Jun 18

June 20, 2018

Bloom Watch #3 – Will Rain Make Her Bloom?

On June 3, Plant #64 let two of her flowers go. This is the same plant that went first last year with two flowers on May 19. The rest of her flowers remain in stall status. It will be interesting to see if they will push off stall, if and...

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07

Jun 18

June 7, 2018

Bloom Watch #2 – A Blooming Queen’s Court

Hello Everyone, The Queen is doing her thing, her way, as she always does. This week she has decided to drop some buds that she determined are not supportable. The majority of what is left are in a medium growth range, while some are in stall. I did notice a...

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23

May 18

May 23, 2018

Bloom Watch #1 – Her Majesty’s Resilience

Hello Everyone, Hope you all had a good year. It’s that time again for the Queen and she is showing her resilience. Although it has been dry and warmer than normal, she is producing buds. There are some at stall size, but most are small or just beginning. Right now...

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13

Nov 17

November 13, 2017

Desert Lavender – A Native Plant Knockout

Some people are always looking for low-water-use native plants that attract hummingbirds or butterflies; others search for plants to help with the declining bee populations. So when a water-thrifty native plant covered in bees, butterflies AND hummingbirds, all at the same time, it’s definitely worth talking about. The fantastic plant...

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03

Oct 17

October 3, 2017

Create Butterfly Magic in Your Yard

Traveling east of Tucson on I-10 there are a lot of expansive views of mountains and valleys that make up part of the basin and range district of Southern Arizona, Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico. Although this trip is not necessarily ugly, it’s also not very memorable. There is...

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20

Sep 17

September 20, 2017

Coyote Gourd – A Handsome Groundcover

Three weeks after the onset of the summer rains, in a wash southeast of the Huachuca mountains, the coyote gourds grow. Mexico is less than two miles away. The air is filled with the sounds of birds. Since the first rains, numerous tuberous perennials (plants of diverse origins that have...

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21

Aug 17

August 21, 2017

Creosote – The Aroma of Rain

Creosote Bush aka Greasewood Larrea tridentata The wonderful experience of a storm in the desert includes the stark beauty of valleys and mountains, diamond raindrops, intense rainbows, wind and an unforgettable aroma that fills the air after the storm passes causing us to reflect that “the desert smells like rain.”...

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14

Jul 17

July 14, 2017

Bloom Watch #7 – Closer Than Ever!

Finally, most of the flowers are on the move. It appears that something in the storm event on the July 11 woke her up. As I said before, I don’t believe it is the rain itself that is the trigger. I had four stalls in my greenhouse that didn’t get...

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12

Jul 17

July 12, 2017

August Means Arizona Poppies

One does not normally think of the desert blooming in the summertime, since most of the showy annuals we are familiar with appear in the spring. However, the Arizona Poppy (which is not actually a poppy) is a striking exception, usually blooming after the start of the summer rains, July...

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10

Jul 17

July 10, 2017

Bloom Watch #6 – Will Bloom Night Ever Happen?

Well here we go again. The Queen is doing everything she can to aggravate me and doing an excellent job at it. During this last week five plants decided they didn’t have the reserves to support flowers and we lost seven more buds. On the upside, she made one new...

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28

Jun 17

June 28, 2017

Bloom Watch #5 – Keeping Us Captivated

I just got back from talking with the Queen and she is displaying her usual attitude. She has let me know that Bloom Night will happen when she is darn, good and ready. One flower will bloom tonight and another tomorrow, with the rest of the holding buds still in...

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15

Jun 17

June 15, 2017

Bloom Watch #4 – Almost, But Not Quite

It’s been a good week! The two I mentioned in last week’s Bloom Watch went, one bud on June 8 and other on June 10. The majority are still in stall and the small ones are trying to catch up. This is the time when she begins to do it...

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06

Jun 17

June 6, 2017

Bloom Watch #3 – A Few Bloomed Too Soon

Sorry for the delay in this update I’ve been busier than a one armed paper hanger. I have however been making daily checks on the Queen and she is up to her old tricks. Since my last update there have been 7 flowers and will likely be 2 more within...

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01

Jun 17

June 1, 2017

Devil’s Claw or the Unicorn Plant

During the summer rainy period rather large, succulent, sticky plants are found along the floodplains and channels of arroyos throughout the Sonoran Desert. These plants have a long history of use as food and fiber by native peoples. The fruit, known as devil’s claw or in the Tohono O’odham language...

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15

May 17

May 15, 2017

Bloom Watch #2 – Peniocereus Progress

The Queen has been busy over the last couple of weeks and there are now three buds at stall size. It will be interesting to see if they hang on for the others or if they just take off on their own. Many of the plants are still recovering from...

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03

May 17

May 3, 2017

The Velvet Mesquite

Consider the mesquite tree. Mesquites are not merely trees; they create a whole ecosystem.  Grubs nibble at their roots. Borers live inside the trunk, and if visible, their pathways would be seen as a beautiful network of engraved tunnels with insect woodcarvers at the ends. The long (3”-5”) catkins of...

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26

Apr 17

April 26, 2017

Bloom Watch #1 – Hope Awakens

Hello everyone. Hope you all had a good fall and winter. Now that spring is giving way to summer the Queen is waking up and preparing for another season of ups and downs. Overall the collection looks pretty good, although a few have provided snacks for pack-rats. I believe they...

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20

Jul 16

July 20, 2016

Another Bloom Watch Comes To A Close

Thank all of you who attended Bloom Night and sent me pictures of your bloomers. Hopefully all of you had a good time. This has been delayed due to the late forming flowers and the final bloom. The last flower bloomed last week, which gave us a total of 72...

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15

Jun 16

June 15, 2016

This Weekend: Bloom Night?

I checked and measured all the buds on Friday and found the majority to be in the 40mm to 45mm range. I figured the weekend would be safe because they seemed to be stuck in stall and they just couldn't get there in two days. I actually figured they wouldn't...

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09

Jun 16

June 9, 2016

Bloom Watch #6 – To Bud, or Not to Bud

I just got back from communing with The Queen and boy is it hot. Last week it looked like there was one flower breaking stall. It was at 45mm and started to move and made it all the way to 50mm before she stopped again. Monday I checked and measured...

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02

Jun 16

June 2, 2016

Bloom Watch #5 – Six Degrees of Maturation

After the long Memorial Day weekend, the major change I'm seeing is more buds moving into the stall stage of development. It appears that last week's stalls are going to wait for more buds to catch up. There are 7 new starts and one that looks like it is about...

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26

May 16

May 26, 2016

Bloom Watch #4 – New Buds Take Shape

It's been another week and there are some nice changes. I was out of town part of last week and was surprised to see that the Queen has been busy. There are several new buds, but the most interesting thing is there are now as many new buds as there...

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20

May 16

May 20, 2016

Bloom Watch #3 – Hope For The New Growth

Last week I told you that Jessie Byrd, the Pima County Native Plant Manager, contacted me. I just wanted everyone to know that I made another one of my major blunders. I spelled her name incorrectly and misidentified her as a he. My deepest apologies to Jessie and everyone who...

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12

May 16

May 12, 2016

Bloom Watch #2 – To Bloom Too Soon

As I had mentioned last week, one of the Queens had a bud in stall status and that I would be watching her closely to see if it would hold and go with the rest. Regretfully, no. She must have heard that Elena Acoba is writing an article on the...

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04

May 16

May 4, 2016

Bloom Watch #1 – She Shall Overcome: Beating The Odds

Hi everyone. I hope you've had a good year. The time has come, and the Queen is beginning to wake. I have been watching our Peniocereus greggii plants all winter and our collection isn't as vigorous as I'd hoped. It seems the winter rains were not enough to spur them...

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