Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Phoenix's Peach-Faced Lovebirds

It was just about ten years ago when I first noticed a couple of peach-faced lovebirds sitting on the telephone line in my east-central Phoenix backyard. I thought at that time (these unknown parrots) must have escaped from a neighbors cage and wouldn't make it through the winter.

Also at that time, I didn't know what these type of "parrots" were until I researched them further on the Internet. Other people were beginning to see them in their yards too and shared their sightings.

But, as time went on, I kept noticing more of these lovebirds over the years. I've even seen a flock of them roosting in the trees along the canal located just north of Camelback Rd, between 32nd Street and 40th Street. It looks like they've adjusted well to living around here.

They're beautiful birds, very colorful and lovely to watch, but can be irritably noisy, especially in a big flock. You know, like some women. They don't sing the beautiful songs like my treasured friends, the Mockingbirds. But still nice to have around. You know, like some women. ;-)

Hopefully, they'll soon spread to my new neighborhood in west-central Phoenix.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Worth of Water

The story of the American West is a story of water, and of our Herculean efforts to capture and spread that water across an arid landscape. As our western cities continue to grow, however, we need to find ways to curb our thirst.

In this mini-documentary, ASU researchers talk about the West's water history, our current situation, and some social and technological options for the future.

Read more at - ASU: Decision Center for a Desert City

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Keep It Sustainable | YAP!

The Youth Ambassador Program of New Bedford challenges you and me to "Keep it Sustainable." Learn how to live a sustainable lifestyle and lower your carbon footprint while bobbing your head to this catchy hip-hop tune.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Surf the High Desert Wave

I'm not what you'd call an "advanced" hiker, preferring to hike the easy-to-moderate trails found closer to where I live. I haven't hiked anywhere "too" challenging just yet either.

But one day I'd really like to "Surf the Wave". However, I know that being able to hike the wave will require some luck, a lot more effort, and a great deal of preparation on my part. I tend to be a little risk-averse, especially in a wilderness area far away from any help. The last thing that I want to do is to "wipeout" and become a victim of the "heat wave".

The Wave has become a popular attraction in the Coyote Buttes area of the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness on the Arizona/Utah border. Coyote Buttes is a Special Management Area of the Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. The Wave is a multi-colored chute that has been cut into a sandstone mountain. It makes a great destination for a short, moderately difficult day hike.

It has become one of the most popular destinations for many people visiting the Colorado Plateau. It is colorful but fragile Navajo Sandstone slickrock. The attraction is the thin ledges that swirl in wild contours of color and stone that are Coyotte Buttes North very brittle and breakable.

The Wave has grown as a national attraction over the years due to the many published photographs and other media coverage of this small area. Nature has fully used its imagination to converge with the appreciation of our individual minds in all their variety of thought and wonder. But, see for yourself -

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Making The Case For Zero Waste

It's amazing just how much trash humans can generate. It's a problem alright, but imagine how much better our environment would be if we simply made the effort to dispose of our trash properly?

Source: Pick Up America

Friday, August 9, 2013

Think Outside The Bottle

I volunteer my time picking up trash along the parks and trails that I frequent here in Phoenix, and I've got to say - I simply can't understand why so many people feel the need to trash the fragile scenery of our hiking trails? You wouldn't believe the amount of trash I find along the trails.

Can you guess what's the most-littered item of trash that I pick up? Cigarette butts!

Yep, I said cigarette butts. I didn't realize that so many smokers hiked. I've picked up thousands of butts. It's seems counterintuitive for hikers to smoke, but I've even picked up butts located at the summit of mountain trails. Who would have figured? Climbing a mountain to have a smoke. Crazy.

But what really ticks me off is finding discarded plastic bottles along the trails, the type of disposable bottled-water bottles sold at grocery stores. I mean, really, who doesn't have the energy to carry out their empty drinking water bottles? It grates on my nerves.

Disposable water bottles come in a close second to cigarette butts in terms of items littered, but they're the most unsightly (and uncalled for) type of litter. They stick out like a sore thumb in the desert scenery, and just like cigarette butts, they're NOT biodegradable.

I know that it's almost impossible to enforce, but I think disposable water bottles and other types of single-use plastic bottles should be banned from ALL parks and trails. They're ruining the landscape. Right now, only some of the National Parks have banned disposable plastic water bottles, but things could change if we would just think outside of the bottle.

Source: 10 reasons why national parks should buck the bottle