The Constant Apprentice is a place for curious humans to explore craft, visual arts, writing, nature, food, and all things classic, then and now.
{ Curators: Roseann & Jonathan Hanson —> }|{ Craft }|{ Classics }|{ Travel }|{ Food }|{ Nature }|{ Science }|{ Writing }|{Visual Arts}

Sonoran Safari - El Aribabi Conservation Ranch

We just returned from our first ConserVentures Sonoran Safari to El Aribabi Conservation Ranch in northern Sonora, Mexico. Six travelers from Oklahoma, central California, and northern Arizona joined us to explore the backcountry of the Sierra Madrean foothills and learn about jaguar and ocelot conservation on this spectacular ranch owned by the wonderful Robles family.

You can read more about the trip on the ConserVentures website here; and there are more pictures on the ConserVentures Picasa album here. We will be scheduling more adventure safaris to El Aribabi every few months - please join us!

Desert drink

Every morning two groups of quail visit for seed and water - usually the Gambel's come first, right after dawn. After sunrise, the scaled quail fly in from the east, almost always. These are the "scalies" - you can see the lovely pattern on their breasts.

Snack time

One of our Harris ground squirrels has been enjoying the decorative coyote melons I found in a nearby tree and had scattered around the porch perimeter . . . this one cleaned out one of the gourds over the course of an hour, leaving a lovely little mess on the porch!

Snow in the desert

No, not the kind from the sky . . . the desert broom (Baccharis sarothroides) is sending out its fluffy seeds, filling the wash with snowy clouds each time a breeze gives the plants a shake. These are among my favorite native plants - they are colonizers of disturbed areas, and their blooms, in September and October, are incredibly attractive to nectivores - wasps, bees, butterflies - I've counted over 2 dozen species in just a jew minutes' observation at a desert broom in bloom.

Fall cleaning

I finally could stand the dust and cobwebs on my desk / workbench no longer. Had fun going through the many little items I add to the "still life" scenes amidst lapidary and metalsmith tools. An organized but compulsive packrat. Stones from the Skeleton Coast; a nest from Alberta; sprigs of wild African lavender from Kenya; a plaster cast of a mountain lion print from the Baboquivari Mountains; coral from the Caribbean; quartz from Mexico; and topaz from Ethiopia ... All remind me of a trip or experience.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Lion on the move

On our walk this morning found these nice lion tracks on the road to Stevens Mountain. A small female, most likely. We are curious to see if both our incautious little white-tail fawns are still around.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Volunteer weekend in Sonora, MX

We are just now crossing the border at Nogales after a great 3 days working at Rancho Aribabi, as an Overland Society volunteer project. We will post more pictures soon. It was a fun trip - stunning landscape, great people, good cause. What more could we want?

-- Posted from my iPhone