Message to the Membership
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.