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Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association
Message To Members

Coffee Pot Mountain


Message to the Membership
January 2021

Greetings my fellow desert rats! While the Covid pandemic surges in Arizona, the Cabeza Prieta Natural History Association is taking a breather, but we're still here! For 2021 your Board will be: At-Large Board Members Hank Jorgenson, Jan Muir and Aaron Mayson; President Paul Johnson; Vice-President Tom Cope; Treasurer Linda Robbins; and Secretary Bill Perry.

Your Board decided to forego most of our usual winter activities for the 2020-2021 season, but we have a couple of activities you may want to participate in.

First, the Association will again sponsor the annual Sonoran Desert Photo Show at the Art Under the Arches Gallery Atrium in March. The deadline for submitting your best Sonoran Desert photographs is March 3, when all submissions must be turned in at the Ajo Chamber of Commerce in the Plaza. Photos can also be submitted by mail not later than March 3 to CPNHA, Box 234, Ajo, AZ 85321. The Photo Show is presented in association with the Ajo Chamber of Commerce and Art Under the Arches Gallery, with additional support by the Ajo Copper News, all of which is very much appreciated.

Photo Show Entry Forms with all the rules are available at: The Copper News, Ajo Chamber of Commerce, and Art Under the Arches Gallery. You can also download the entry form from our website (cabezaprieta.org). It's easy to get prints done online now, and don't forget the ISDA Print Shop at the Plaza, another place to get your prints done. Photographers also have the option to sell their photos at the Photo Show. We look forward as always to seeing your favorite desert photos up on the wall at the show!

Your Board also voted to continue presenting our portable outdoor natural history bookstore on alternating Saturdays this winter. The next bookstore is scheduled for February 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Ajo Plaza. We are controlling Covid risk with an outdoor bookstore, with only two people behind the tables at once, wearing masks. So stock up on your natural history bookshelf, we have many volumes relating to the Sonoran Desert on subjects as diverse as ornithology, geology, botany, entomology, and zoology. We also have a selection of local maps.

We are now stocking two new volumes that may be of particular of interest. The first is The Astonishing, Astounding, Amazing Sonoran Desert, by Harriet and Andrew Smith and published by our amigos at Friends Of The Sonoran Desert (friendsofthesonorandesert.org). This great little book is a primer for those new to the robust natural history of the Sonoran Desert, with enough surprising details to please the most hardened desert rat. And beautifully illustrated too.

The other new offering at the bookstore is called The Earth Speaks, a superbly edited collection of quotes, poems and other writings by an international host of nature writers, from Li Po to Gary Snyder to Aldo Leopold, etc. One tradition I have really taken to on Sonoran Desert campouts is the sharing aloud of favorite short selections by various desert writers. The Earth Speaks is a volume made for that tradition, best read in the light of the campfire under a canopy of stars. The front and coverpiece among other things are the work of Association board member Jan Muir. Highly recommended.

Finally, this is a gentle reminder that the Association's website is up and running (cabezaprieta.org).

Aside from current events, the website has a lot of good information about the Sonoran Desert, including detailed sections on desert plants, animals, and geology and other natural history. The section on desert plants is particularly robust, and features multiple ways to zero in on those interesting plants and flowers you found out there--lots of good plant photos too. There is also a section on Desert Destinations, about local points of interest and hikes. For mid-January, I recommend the North Ajo Peak Hike for the intrepid: a bracing 4-mile loop hike that encircles North Ajo Peak and includes sections of cross-country desert hiking. Give yourself a long half-day for this one, and bring hiking poles, lunch, and plenty of water! The web page write-up includes a topo map.

Thanks for being a part of our natural history enterprise at CPNHA, where our mission is conservation through education. To know the desert is to love and protect it.

Board Members


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