Driving back from the field the other day I smiled as I merged onto I-19 heading back towards Tucson. I had traveled just a mere hour from my home and had enjoyed another rewarding day in the field, learning, connecting, and appreciating the natural beauty of our Sky Islands.
The day was spent getting to some harder-to-reach springs in the Mt. Wrightson Wilderness area of the Santa Rita mountains, in Florida Canyon, just a few miles from the popular Madera Canyon recreation spot. I was joined by two excellent Sky Island Volunteers, Chris and Paula, both with their own expertise in birding and environmental science, and new to our Spring Seeker program. We were in search of some wilderness springs to survey as part of our Wilderness Springs program using our new Spring Seeker app that was launched last month.
We found some springs, and didn’t find some others, but we all left with a deep appreciation for the area and some great wildlife sightings too. On my way in, a spotted fawn jumped through a barbed wire fence on my right as I neared the Florida Canyon trailhead, and as we returned to the trailhead early afternoon, we heard quite a commotion, which turned out to be an adult female white-nosed coati with her pack of rambunctious young racing through the forested canyon. Despite the oppressive heat, we enjoyed some beautiful views, flora and fauna, and great conversation too.