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Photo: ASDM/Catherine Bartlett
Insect Insanity

The Sonoran Desert is a major hot spot for insect diversity. If you've ever wanted to touch moths and beetles, Insect Insanity (Cool Summer Nights) is your chance! Join us on Saturday, July 22, from 5-10 p.m. to celebrate interesting insects and amazing anthropods. Kids can try a cricket-infused treat and craft their own antennae to wear around grounds. Our favorite nighttime activity? Marveling at scorpions as they glow green under black light!  Interested in Insects? 

Photo: ASDM/Kat Rumbley
Only 2 Days Old!

Who said conservation efforts can't be cute? Our newest Desert Museum babies are the first Sonoyta Mud turtles ever bred in captivity in the United States! Our Herpetology Department took on refugia populations in 2007 to ensure species survival if the Quitobaquito pond completely dried up. Seven years later, with funding from Arizona Game and Fish, we built an outdoor enclosure for breeding efforts. This week, we watched those efforts come to fruition with three new hatchlings!  Watch the First Walk!
Photo: Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star
Buffelgrass and Blazes

The fire on A Mountain not only sparked flames, but also much needed conversation about buffelgrass.  Buffelgrass, an invasive species, is a highly flammable grass that creates a continuous layer of fuel across the desert floor. While saguaros and other native species will not readily recover after a fire, buffelgrass will come back stronger than ever. To save our spectacular saguaros, we must tackle the buffelgrass infestation in Tucson.  Beat Back Buffelgrass!
 

Photo: Lauren Grace Bailey
The Sounds of Summer

Monsoon season. The time of year when the skies turn dark, thousands of rain droplets descend from ominous clouds, and lightning speckles the sky. Summer rains bring cooler temperatures, which trigger vibrant animal and plant activity. During this time, the diversity of the Sonoran Desert is on full audible exhibition. Do you know what summer sounds like? We hear a choir of cicadas, chattering coveys, and the calls of coyotes.  Mad About Monsoons!
Photo: Nika Kaiser
Flower Friday

You know that amazing smell that saturates the desert after it rains? The plant that helps create the scrumptious scent is the creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). The bush can survive two years without rain, making it the most drought-tolerant perennial plant in North America. Did you also know that it can be used to heal minor cuts and scrapes? This pungent plant's uses doesn't stop there! Its foliage provides refuge for crickets, grasshoppers, and other insects.  Dig Deeper!

Photo: Dan Austin
Volunteer Viernes

We are looking for citizen scientists!  Soon we will begin seeing the bright, sunset-colored flowers of the fishhook barrel cactus pop up all over town. For the last two years, citizen scientists from across the Sonoran Desert have collected seeds from the fruits of this cactus. Now we need to take our research one step further and discover which bees are responsible for pollinating this cactus in different parts of the Tucson Basin. Think you can help?  Volunteer Today!

What's Going Down in the Desert? 
  • Creatures of the Night  (July 15)
  • Insect Insanity (July 22)
  • Creatures of the Night (July 29) 
Want more info on these awesome events? Check it Out!  
 
July 14, 2017