MAY 2012

presidentFrom the President


HummingbirdWe have so much news to share with you all in this issue, so I shall be brief. It was great to see our winter friends both birds and people over the past six months. Many have departed on their migration to the north. We hope you will stay in touch, at least check on things via these newsletters and our website. As you probably know, we had to cancel our 25th Anniversary event in the Canyon on April 14th because of inclement weather. We have decided to re-group and will put on the event on October 6, 2012. Mark your calendar and see the article in this edition. Finally, we still have some need for volunteers for some of our fun chores, committee work, Visitor's Information Station, etc. Please give any of our board members a call if you would like to participate. Have a good summer. It looks, as you can see by news in this issue, like another good one for the Friends of Madera Canyon.


Tom Purdon 


celebration25 Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, October 6th, 2012 


We were there on April 14th but it was wet, cold and windy in the canyon.  By 9:00am we had decided that the weather would not only make celebration difficult but even create some safety risks. We didn't want to cancel but we did.  Larry Pratt, Developed Recreation Project Manager for our Coronado National Forest, says we did the right thing.   


October 6, 2012 is the new date for celebrating our first 25 years.  Other than the longer hikes that attracted only a few registrations all April events are moving to October. We will have the nature walks, bird walks and the geology walk led by Richard Conway.  

The programs for the children will still be available.  Georgia Doubler has put away her supplies and will have them there in October.  Ellen West may not make it back from Pinetop for the event, but we have all her supplies and the Treasure Hunt and paint by number will be available for the children. 


Music by Yvette Gonzales and food from the the Outlaw BBQ will be at the Whitehouse Picnic area.


Mark your calendars.  2012 is still our 25th Anniversary year.  Come and celebrate with us.


springnatureSpring 2012 Nature Walks


Once again FOMC docents helped 4th grade classes from Mountain View and San Cayetano Elementary schools in Rio Rico to explore the wonders of the canyon this spring. Despite school budget cuts and more scheduling constraints for standardized testing prep, 180 more local students participated in a total of four walks. Fine spring weather and winter rains stimulated a variety of colorful wildflowers for the kids to study. Warm temps helped green up vegetation early and brought forth lots of insects, lizards, birds and deer to observe. What a great opportunity for kids to get outdoors, discover nature and become aware of our public National Forest land, their natural heritage!

HummingbirdThe nature walks are not possible without the enthusiastic participation and leadership of the FOMC natural history docents. Special thanks to Judy Thoreson and Merle Buesing for their White House history presentations, also DiAnn Bresina and Pam Irvin for baking mesquite cookies and conducting the Matate Station activities. Thanks and a big pat on the back to the patient group leaders and sweeps that facilitate canyon discovery and keep our students safe on the trail: Nancy Bowen, Mike Carlson, Loretta Carmickle, Kathy Curran, Judy DePascuale, Darren Diehr, Laura Ellerbrake, Joan Heinz, Ruth Maloblocki, Judy Maury, Pat McDonnell, Craig McFall, Kirk McFall, Rozanne Roman, Deb and John Strandquist, Pat Thoresen, Judy Wilson and Loma Woodburn. Great job, everyone!  


Thank you notes received from the students and teachers make it obvious that once again you knocked their socks off! You can see a few of them here on the Friends web site.

The Board of Directors and Education Director, Doug Moore, express our sincere thanks and appreciation to all the Friends of Madera Canyon members, donors and contributors. Your continuing generosity makes it possible to touch the lives of many young people with "Conservation through Education." 


summerSummer in the Canyon


Alhough snowbirds flee en masse and some residents "hole-up" indoors for the duration, summer is a great time to visit Madera Canyon and Arizona Sky Islands. The ample shade and elevation make Madera's picnic areas and trails cooler than the Santa Cruz Valley in the desert below. Summer rains can bring out a bounty of wildflowers, butterflies and other wildlife.

HummingbirdWith care, adequate preparations, water and attire, the canyon is an excellent summer recreation destination! With lower visitor numbers helping to bring out the wildlife, cool morning or evening walks or picnics can make for productive birding and wildlife viewing. Even a midday picnic under the shady trees at Madera, Amphitheater or Mt. Wrightson rec areas can be an excellent alternative to being house bound.

The FOMC Education Program will sponsor a variety nature walks and activities to encourage you to get out, enjoy and explore the summer canyon.  Many planned activities depend on summer rain for success and thus cannot be scheduled more than a week or two in advance. Watch your inbox and visit the website for news of activities. There will definitely be a variety of birding, nature, wildflower and butterfly/caterpillar walks. As monsoons kick in, there will also be Bug Nights, including the annual Bud Gode Potluck Picnic & Bug Night  (UV blacklight is used to attract canyon night life). We're also exploring the possibility of having a Bat Night at the Chuparosa B&B.

Are you interested in a summer activity not yet available? Please contact the Education Committee through Education Director, Doug Moore at Your idea will be appreciated and seriously considered.


farmerWednesday Farmers' Market


Thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who helped staff our table at the Wednesday Farmers' Market. We are taking a summer break for now but will start up again in October. If you haven't been receiving requests from Judy Maury via email and are willing to volunteer occasionally on a Wednesday from 9:30 to 12:30, please let her know so she can add you to her address book. It's a fun way to interact with the public and let them know about Madera Canyon. Judy's email address is


WhatbirdWhat Bird Is This?
Again we have a tough test for experienced birders and another for the rest of us.

Here are three tough ones:

George West writes, "These three mostly black birds were all photographed in March in the Santa Cruz River Valley."



The newsletter publisher could use about a dozen more hints. How about you? Can you name these high fliers? Click here for their ID's and more pictures.

For the rest of us: 

eorge says, "This very common bird that lives here all year around is building its nest in a cholla cactus in Green Valley. The nest will be a large hollow ball or globe made of twigs, lined with feathers, with an entrance hole in one side."


In better light identification would be easy, but the shade adds a bit of challenge.  Can you name the bird? Check yourself here.

Pictures and descriptions compliments of George West.

  teaTea Among Flowers

HummingbirdWhat would you say to an opportunity to own or give one of the unique watercolors produced by Joan W. G. Lewis' for her book A Field Guide to Madera Canyon Wildflowers? On both November 9, 2012 and January 25, 2013 from Noon until 2:00 PM you can say "Yes" to matted original watercolors of canyon wildflowers and also support the Friends in a silent auction at Tea Among Flowers.

Images of the original watercolors will be available online by early fall so you can choose your favorites. If you don't already have A Field Guide to Madera Canyon Wildflowers on your shelf one can be purchased here.



 PoloPolo Shirts on Sale
History Book Revised and Updated
Madera Canyon Wildflowers

While supplies last, Friends of Madera Canyon polo shirts are available at a member price of $20.00 each, a four dollar saving.

Do you have your copy of the newly revised History of Madera Canyon?  At their modest cost of $4.00 each you might want to buy copies for friends and family.

With monsoons on the way and Tea Among Flowers to follow,  now is a particularly good time to buy A Field Guide to Madera Canyon Wildflowers by Joan W. G. Lewis. The beautiful illustrations make it a small art book. Its simple organization by color makes it a useful field guide.

All items can be ordered at the Friends Nature Shop.

Board Members
Tom Purdon (President), Willem Van Kempen, (Vice-President), Eileen Buckel (Secretary), Louise Gibbeson (Treasurer, Special Events), George Cottay (VP Marketing, Newsletter Publisher, Web Master), Dita-Erika Hagen (Archives, Preservation, Nominating, Marketing), Tamara Kahrimanis (Adult Education Programs), Wally Lamb (Visitor Information Station, Storage and Inventory), Jerry Popham (Bat House Research, Special Projects, Mailing), Judy Thoreson (Miles and Hours, Annual Meeting), Judy Maury (Marketing Group), Larry Johnson (VP Operations).

Doug Moore (Director of Education), Carol Lambert (Fund Raising, Special Projects, Finance/Audit), Phil English (Boy Scouts), Ruth Maloblocki (Retail Sales), Sondra Dexter (Scholarships), Mike Staples (Canyon Clean-up), Ellen and George West (Membership and Dues Administration), George West (Newsletter Editor), Rozanne Roman (Accessible Trails).

Thank You for Your Support

Upcoming Events

Madera Canyon Community Bird/Nature Walk on Saturday, May 12, 8:30 AM leaving from the Proctor Parking Area. Doug Moore will lead this popular easy to moderate stroll on the paved trail through several plant communities. Wear comfortable shoes and clothes for warm weather; bring water, sunscreen, hat, and a trail snack. Binoculars and camera are optional. Plan to be on the trail for 2- 2 1/2 hrs. The walk is free with the usual USFS parking fee or pass required.


Carrie Nation Trail Trogon/Birding Walk on Saturday May 19th from 9:00 AM to about Noon led by Doug Moore. We will walk up the Carrie Nation trail to the second stream crossing, enjoying canyon nature and looking for Elegant Trogons and other summer birds. It will be a moderatly difficult uphill hike with uneven terrain.  Bring binoculars, water, trail snack, sunhat, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes and clothing.  A walking stick is recommended. Cameras are optional. The walk is limited to ten participants and advance sign-up is required. Contact Doug at  

Trail repaving

Thanks to our friends at the US Forest Service and the support of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation plans for repaving the Nature Trail are proceeding.  Sometime this summer you will see the accessible trail with a new and smooth surface. 

on the web

The Green Valley Hiking Club is active in maintaining walking and hiking trails in the Canyon. Club membership is limited to members of Green Valley Recreation but their efforts benefit the entire area.

Friends of Madera CanyonWebsite
Have you explored the various links and available resources?

Save the Scenic Santa Ritas
Working to protect the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains

Click here for the Tucson Audubon Society rare bird alert list. Madera Canyon sightings are often included.

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