July 2012

 trailNature Trail Reconstruction Begins
Thanks to a grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Community Foundation and participation of the US Forest Service work on the accessible trail between Proctor and the Whitehouse Picnic is scheduled to begin about July 9th. Working under the direction of Forest Service facilities engineer Tom Cassell, Pima Paving will clean the existing asphalt pavement, repair potholes and fill cracks prior to placement of a new seal coat.  The trail directly adjacent to the Whitehouse parking lot will be removed and replaced with a concrete walk, concrete steps and hand railings for
It Soon Will Look Like New
the stairs.  The trail crossing at Proctor Road will be constructed with a reinforced concrete walk.

Construction may extend into August. Closure locations and dates will be posted a minimum of three days in advance at all trail access points.

The project is being funded by the $39,000 Freeport-McMoRan grant to the Friends of Madera Canyon and $11,000 from the Coronado National Forest Recreation Fee Program. This  business, public and private partnership will benefit canyon visitors for years to come.

celebration25 Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, October 6th, 2012 


Have you reserved Saturday, October 6, 2012 for the day celebrating our first 25 years?  Other than the longer hikes that attracted only a very few registrations all the events planned for the April festivities are going forward in October. We will have the nature walks, bird walks. the geology walk led by Richard Conway, activities for children, music by Yvette Gonzales and food from the the Outlaw BBQ.  


Postpone that trip to Europe or elsewhere and join the celebration of the Friends of Madera Canyon.   


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 whatbirdWhat Bird Is This? Youth Movement

For Experienced Birders

This is the season when the birds become quiet and the young birds appear in the canyon. Here are two common birds that you might encounter in the canyon during July. Can you name them?  Click on the picture for a bigger image.


Answers are found here.

For the Rest of Us 
These two juvenile birds can be found in the canyon - one may be found higher up on the mountain but is common on Mt Lemmon and in the White Mountains. The other is common in the canyon and in backyards throughout most of the United States.  Click on the picture for a bigger image.


Answers are found here. 

 orchidProtecting a Rare Orchid

The Center for Biological Diversity has initiated legal action to remedy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inaction in protecting Coleman's Coralroot under the Endangered Species Act. Coleman's Coralroot is an extremely rare purple orchid found on national forest land in the footprint of the proposed Rosemont copper mine outside Tucson. If protected, it would become one of at least 10 endangered species that would be harmed by the proposed mine. The mine would result in the direct loss of at least 6,500 acres of wildlife habitat and would cause indirect harm to more than 145,000 acres of habitat.

Photo Ron Coleman
"Only Endangered Species Act protection can ensure this gorgeous, incredibly rare orchid isn't wiped off the face of the Earth," says Tierra Curry, a biologist with the Center. "The diversity of the Rosemont area is significant on a global scale. The Santa Rita Mountains are called the Sky Islands for a reason. Because they rise so dramatically from the surrounding plateau, they're home to startlingly diverse pockets of extremely rare species."


summerEvery season in Madera Canyon and the Santa Ritas has its charms.  "Wet Summer" with the onset of our monsoon rains later on propels an explosion of life in SE Arizona. Fascinating species of plants initiate growth and incredible insects, reptiles and amphibians are stimulated into activity that cannot be seen at other times of the year.

With fewer people on canyon trails and in the picnic areas, lower temperatures with elevation and abundant shade, the canyon is ripe for summer exploration. But the more extreme climatic conditions present during summer demand that any trip into the mountains be made with common sense, preparation and caution to ensure personal safety and an enjoyable experience!

Before any visit check the weather forecast. The forecast informs you of what conditions to expect and how to prepare- or, if you should go at all.  If the temperature is predicted to be 110 in Green Valley or there is a forecast of 90% for thunderstorms, be safe and plan your visit some other day! Schedule activities early in the morning or in the evening to take advantage of cooler temperatures and avoid possible afternoon storms. Learn about lightning safety procedures. Stay aware of the weather conditions at all times during activities and get to your vehicle if storms start building. Do not attempt to hike or drive across running, flooded washes; be patient and let water levels subside.

Know and respect your physical limits; don't overdo it! Tell someone where you are going and when you will return. Bring your cell phone; call 911 in case of emergency.
Wear/bring proper clothing and shoes for your particular activity, including hat and sunscreen. Bring more water than you need (consider a water pack, if you cannot carry enough in bottles) and learn the symptoms and treatment of dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Don't let the higher humidity of the monsoon season fool you into thinking you do not need to continually hydrate! Carry a long sleeve garment and a rain poncho; monsoon storms often build quickly and drenching rain can drop temperatures 40 to 50 degrees. Hypothermia can be life-threatening if you get soaking wet and cold on the mountain; learn symptoms and treatment.

The monsoon also brings out other dangers to be aware of. Rattlesnakes can be active during monsoon; stay on trails, watch where you walk and where you put your hands. Always use a flashlight after dusk! Chiggers (larval mites) live in grassy areas through the rainy season and give itchy bites; use insect repellent and/or avoid walking through grass. Poison ivy is also common in shady areas, particularly along the creek; learn to identify and the proper treatment for exposure.

Summer in the Sky Islands can be a cooler, naturalist paradise with preparation and caution. Be prepared, stay aware and use common sense/good safety procedures to ensure your summer adventures are enjoyable and safe!   


Doug Moore 


 philPhil English Volunteer Extraordinaire
  Many recent Friends of Madera Canyon members may not have had the pleasure to meet and talk with member Phil English in person. But, every time our members or the public visit Madera Canyon, they all experience direct benefit from Phil's exemplary and fruitful association with the FOMC.



Phil and Lou English moved to Green Valley in 1993. After Phil substituted for a friend at the Visitor Information Station in 1994, the couple joined the Friends of Madera Canyon and Phil's self-described love affair with the canyon went into full swing! Phil eventually went on to become an influential FOMC Board Member, as well as "instigator" and founding member of the Special Projects Committee. Over the past 18 years he has either directed, consulted on or worked as a "paintbrush-in-hand" volunteer on nearly every project involving the FOMC in Madera Canyon. It is no surprise that Phil is one of the select few people having received the FOMC "Volunteer of the Year" award and elected as an Emeritus Board Member for life.


Phil, with wife Lou and fellow member Keith Siebers, worked on the original FOMC renovation and maintenance of the Kent Spring Center cabin. He helped paint and maintain the Geologic Timeline and facilities at Proctor. Phil was project director for the award-winning "Nature of Madera Canyon" video series. He also directed and supervised the installation of the Bug Gode Interpretive Nature Trail exhibits and signage, the new Amphitheater bridge, the Madera Canyon trailhead trail/topography maps and the Nature Trail plant I.D. signage. In recent years, Phil has been the FOMC liaison with the Boy Scouts for Eagle Scout and other Scouting projects in the canyon.


When asked, Phil says that he actually received more from the FOMC and the canyon than he gave and credits a long list of people he has appreciated working with over the years. "I really didn't do all that much," he maintains, "just told people what we needed to do and pointed where to do it- many others did the actual work." Those of us involved in these projects know that is not entirely true. With a natural curiosity and background in the armed services, business, project management and Scouting, Phil has a knack for focusing and directing projects, working with contractors and USFS personnel, arranging material/service donations and cutting through "red tape". He is just really good at getting projects done and done right!


Recently, Phil has asked to step back from his many FOMC duties to focus on his writing projects and family. How can you replace the irreplaceable one may ask? You can't! The FOMC will just have to get enough volunteers together to accomplish what Phil often did by himself and continue on in his "can-do" spirit of volunteerism and service! Thanks for the great ideas, hard work, good example... well, for everything, Phil! And, if we get too stuck in the red tape, we still know who to call for advice!

Louise Gibbeson  


  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.



PoloMembers' Sale Price on Polo Shirts
Revised and Updated History Book
Madera Canyon Wildflowers Book

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.

HummingbirdWith monsoons bringing plants to life 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

August 3, 2012, 9:00 AM
FOMC Board Meeting at Friends In Deed

September 7, 2012, 9:00 AM
FOMC Board Meeting at Friends In Deed

October 5, 2012, 9:00 AM
FOMC Board Meeting at Friends In Deed

October 6, 2012
Celebration of FOMC 25th Anniversary

October 23, 2012  
Nature Series: Keith Sandford
Apache Legends. Blending together spoken word, hand signals and flute playing for a listening and learning experience

November 2, 2012, 9:00 AM
FOMC Board Meeting at Friends In Deed

December 7, 2012, 9:00 AM
FOMC Board Meeting at Friends In Deed

January 2 2012, 9:00 AM
FOMC Board Meeting at Friends In Deed

January 15, 2013
Nature Series: Richard Conway
Geologic History and Make Up of Modern Madera

Spring 2013
Nature Series: Doug Moore
Birds of Madera Canyon
Varieties of birds, where and when they can be found
on the web

Laurens Halsey who contributes extensive birds and birding information on the Friends of Madera Canyon web site is a highly respected Southern Arizona bird guide and photographer. Learn more, see some fine images and contact Laurens at The Desert Harrier Birding and Nature Guide Services.

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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