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Agua Caliente pond on the rebound

Agua Caliente pond on the rebound

The pond at Agua Caliente Park, which had nearly dried up this summer, has been bolstered by pumping in groundwater and the arrival of monsoon weather. As of Thursday, it’s estimated that 60 percent of the pond is covered in water, though only inches deep in some areas.

August 21, 2014 2:04 pm
Clouds over Catalinas

Clouds over Catalinas

Monsoon clouds grace the Catalinas, as seen from the Kino Environmental Restoration Project near Ajo Way and Forgeus Avenue.

August 15, 2014 10:36 am
Paintbrush flowers

Paintbrush flowers

Red paintbrush flowers grace the Marshall Gulch Trail in the Catalina Mountains. One naturalist reported finding 46 species flowering near the top of Mount Lemmon.

August 12, 2014 2:24 pm
Catalina Highway washout

Catalina Highway washout

Drivers slow to negotiate rocks and debris washed across the Catalina Highway by heavy rains in the mountains Friday. This spot near mile marker 10 was one of several covered with debris. Photo by Doug Kreutz.

July 25, 2014 6:55 pm
Palo verde blooms in June

Palo verde blooms in June

These dazzling blooms added color to a palo verde tree near the Rillito River at Craycroft Road. These photos were taken Wednesday. 

June 20, 2014 1:43 pm
Hikers in Upper Sabino

Hikers in Upper Sabino

Hikers amble in the sylvan beauty of Upper Sabino Canyon high in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. It’s perched a vertical mile above the heat of the desert.

May 27, 2014 11:52 am
Cyclists on The Loop

Cyclists on The Loop

Pima County is asking cyclists to slow down and share The Loop recreational trail with slower moving pedestrians.

May 23, 2014 3:41 pm
Shooting debris

Shooting debris

Shooters have left behind bullet-riddled targets like these at a site near the Catalina Highway in the Coronado National Forest.

May 15, 2014 2:58 pm
Tucson Village Farm

Tucson Village Farm

The Tucson Village Farm produces lots of beautiful blooms for the eye as well as vegetables for the stomach.

May 09, 2014 2:56 pm
Yellow flowers in bloom

Yellow flowers in bloom

Yellow groundsel wildflowers bloom against a spring-green backdrop along the Box Camp Trail at 8,000 feet in the Catalina Mountains.

May 08, 2014 2:34 pm
Early saguaro blooms

Early saguaro blooms

Saguaros have begun blooming earlier than usual around Tucson. These saguaro flowers are along a road on the edge of Saguaro National Park West. Photo taken April 7, 2014. — Credit: Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star

April 09, 2014 11:17 am
Flowering saguaro

Flowering saguaro

A saguaro cactus blooms weeks earlier than usual along a road on the edge of Saguaro National Park West. Photo taken April 7, 2014. — Credit: Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star

April 08, 2014 10:17 am
Brittlebush blooms

Brittlebush blooms

Grab the camera or put your smartphone into photo mode and get ready to start snapping. The rain earlier this month triggered brittlebush wildflowers to go into a blooming binge across the Tucson area. 

March 11, 2014 1:07 pm
Blooms and a craggy peak

Blooms and a craggy peak

Blooms brighten a view of a craggy peak in Tucson Mountain Park west of the city. The early showing is the result of soaking fall rains and the recent uncommonly warm weather.

February 14, 2014 3:00 pm
Wildflowers in bloom

Wildflowers in bloom

Fairy dusters show bright pink hues in Finger Rock Canyon north of Tucson.

February 08, 2014 12:00 am
Brilliant winter bloom

Brilliant winter bloom

A cyclist on Gates Pass west of Tucson pedals past desert marigolds in brilliant bloom smack in the middle of winter.

January 21, 2014 2:11 pm
Heading down the trail

Heading down the trail

Hikers John Wise (left) and Kara Bove head down the Douglas Spring Trail in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. 

December 04, 2013 12:44 pm
Viewpoint along Douglas Spring Trail

Viewpoint along Douglas Spring Trail

Hikers John Wise of Alaska and Kara Bove of Colorado relax on a rock along the Douglas Spring Trail, a route with many serene settings where one can quietly reflect or just enjoy the views.

December 04, 2013 12:31 pm
The splendors of Southern Arizona

The splendors of Southern Arizona

Greenery, flowers, mushrooms, flowing streams, etc. in the Marshall Gulch area on Aug. 21, 2013, brought on by some 15-inches of summer monsoon rains. Photo by Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star

October 11, 2013 8:43 pm
The splendors of Southern Arizona

The splendors of Southern Arizona

Greenery, flowers, mushrooms, flowing streams, etc. in the Marshall Gulch area on Aug. 21, 2013, brought on by some 15-inches of summer monsoon rains. Photo by Doug Kreutz / Arizona Daily Star

October 11, 2013 8:43 pm
Egrets back at Kino pond

Egrets back at Kino pond

One of Tucson’s best urban bird-watching sites is once again attracting avian visitors — including an egret last week. The Deep Pond at Pima County’s Kino Environmental Restoration Project, on Forgeus Avenue about a block north of Ajo Way, was drained earlier this yearto allow for maintenanc…

September 20, 2013 5:12 pm
New trail surfaces at Sabino Canyon area

New trail surfaces at Sabino Canyon area

A new parking lot is in front of the Southern Arizona Rescue Association at Sabino Canyon recreation area.

July 26, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Classic hike in the Catalinas offers respite from the heat

Classic hike in the Catalinas offers respite from the heat

The 3.7-mile loop created by the Aspen and Marshall Gulch trails in the Catalina Mountains is one of the best, most classic summer hikes near Tucson.

June 27, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Colorful mountain wildflowers in bloom

Colorful mountain wildflowers in bloom

A paintbrush mountain wildflower could be seen on the Green Mountain Trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains on May 26. The high country should remain colorful into September.

June 01, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
It's tad early, but saguaros already are flowering locally

It's tad early, but saguaros already are flowering locally

Saguaros in the Tucson area are producing flowers, which customarily would bloom more heavily in May and June.

April 29, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Well-timed winter rain means good cacti bloom

Well-timed winter rain means good cacti bloom

The prickly pear cactus is known for its bright yellow flowers, and they're just starting to bloom in the deserts around Tucson. Saguaro National Park and the lower Catalina Mountains are good places to see them.

April 19, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Springtime brings out colors of wildflowers

Springtime brings out colors of wildflowers

Poppies are sprouting in several areas, including along the Ringtail Trail, above, in Saguaro National Park West.

March 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Springtime brings out colors of wildflowers

Springtime brings out colors of wildflowers

Globemallow often sprouts along roadways. This one was flowering along the Catalina Highway.

March 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Catalina Park has it all

Catalina Park has it all

Hikers and horseback riders mix it up at the Sutherland Wash near the Romero Canyon Trail. In late winter and early spring, Catalina State Park offers flowing streams and tranquil pools.

February 28, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
Photos: Winter weather around the world

Photos: Winter weather around the world

Photo taken near River and Craycroft on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 . Photo by Doug Kreutz, Arizona Daily Star

January 14, 2013 2:03 pm
These trails easy as pie to access

These trails easy as pie to access

The loop of connected trails in Saguaro National Park East wends through a wide variety of desert growth and offers easy-to-manage hikes without forsaking scenery.

December 27, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
These trails easy as pie to access

These trails easy as pie to access

Horizon views take in the Catalina and the Rincon mountains, beautiful in any season, often snowcapped in winter.

December 27, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
To hike off feast, relish bountiful trails here

To hike off feast, relish bountiful trails here

Linda Vista Trail, on the western edge of the Catalina Mountains, is an easygoing route that's good for a family hike and for inexperienced hikers. The trail lives up to its name - which means "beautiful view" or "lovely vista" in Spanish.

November 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Rains bring on bumper crop, but wise just to admire 'em

Rains bring on bumper crop, but wise just to admire 'em

The monsoon season was wet in the Catalinas this year, ideal conditions for Xeromphalina campanella.

September 19, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Some of state's beautiful places are saddled with yucky names

Some of state's beautiful places are saddled with yucky names

Those with a great fear of the state's common poisonous viper might want to avoid Rattlesnake Trail, near Sabino Canyon.

August 16, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Some of state's beautiful places are saddled with yucky names

Some of state's beautiful places are saddled with yucky names

Those with a great fear of the state's common poisonous viper might want to avoid Rattlesnake Trail, near Sabino Canyon.

August 16, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
A spring revival

A spring revival

Yellow-orange caltrops are also called summer poppies. These were in the Tucson Mountains.

August 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Mint Spring hike has a flavor that's all its own

Mint Spring hike has a flavor that's all its own

Above: On Mint Spring Trail in the Catalina Mountains.

August 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Mint Spring hike has a flavor that's all its own

Mint Spring hike has a flavor that's all its own

Along the Mint Spring Trail in the Catalina Mountains.

August 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Tucson Oddity: It's a road less traveled ... and for good reason, too

Tucson Oddity: It's a road less traveled ... and for good reason, too

You might think this sign is pointing to a shortcut to the top of Mount Lemmon. There's no crime in

June 25, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Way up high, green(ery) is breaking out

Way up high, green(ery) is breaking out

Flush of spring can be seen along the Aspen Draw Trail, one of many trails through forested terrain in the Catalina Mountains.

May 17, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
The Sycamore Trail is just right

The Sycamore Trail is just right

Soothing shade awaits those who hike the Sycamore Trail to an old reservoir, which was mostly dry earlier this month.

April 19, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Seasons collide

Seasons collide

Sprouts poke out of the ferns and pine needles after a dusting of snow at Mount Lemmon Ski Valley.

April 18, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Tucson Oddity: Flowery covering sets stage for performances

Tucson Oddity: Flowery covering sets stage for performances

The band shell at St. Augustine Cathedral downtown consists of flowers, leaves, butterflies and birds - all of it done in metal. The stage opens onto a small plaza where people gather for concerts and other events.

March 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Tortolita trails lead to scenic wonders

Tortolita trails lead to scenic wonders

A stone ruin, apparently of an old ranch building, surrounded by yellow wildflowers is among the sites along the Wild Burro Trail in the Tortolita Mountains, which feature intelligently designed, interconnected trails.

March 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Tortolita trails lead to scenic wonders

Tortolita trails lead to scenic wonders

Take a short, two-hour hike or a six-hour day hike along the interconnected trails.

March 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Where our past lies underfoot

Where our past lies underfoot

Among the wildflowers on a new network of trails in Saguaro National Park East are lime kilns and other artifacts from Tucson's Wild West era.

February 26, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Call 'em the Catalinas' Cactus Canyons

Call 'em the Catalinas' Cactus Canyons

Hiking the Ventana Canyon Trail is a challenging trek to a natural opening in a huge fin of rock that forms a stone "window" about 25 feet wide and 15 feet high. Plan a late-fall or winter hike so you're walking out the last mile around sunset.

December 01, 2011 12:00 amLoading…
A grand, uplifting trek, and plain up

A grand, uplifting trek, and plain up

Giant saguaros frame the rising moon along the Blackett's Ridge Trail in Sabino Canyon. Gargantuan saguaros and sheer-drop views into the canyon are among the stupendous highlights of a rigorous hike along the trail.

November 17, 2011 12:00 amLoading…

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