APRIL 18, 2011

Sportsmen Call for Responsibly Siting New Solar Projects on Arizona’s Public Lands

Public Comment period extended through May 2, 2011

MESA – Sportsmen in Arizona are calling on the U.S. Department of Interior to site new solar projects on public lands in Arizona in pre-determined zones that create new jobs while protecting Arizona’s water and wildlife habitat. Keep reading...

APRIL 18, 2011

Phoenix Children’s Chorus to hold auditions

The Phoenix Children’s Chorus, a program hosted and supported by the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, will be holding auditions for boys and girls currently in 1st through 11th grades for their 2011 season.  No prior choral training is required – applicants need only possess a clear and pleasant singing voice and the desire to learn. This is the choruses 25th Anniversary year.

Auditions will take place from May 13 through June 7 by appointment. Those interested can schedule an audition and find more information online at www.phoenixchildrenschorus.org or by calling 602-534-3788.  There is no fee to audition. Auditions will be held at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 N. 3rd St. in central Phoenix.

The choir has over 300 children in two training choirs and two touring choirs.  The culturally diverse chorus offers young people a comprehensive choral music education with performance opportunities in a positive learning environment. This chorus has performed throughout Europe, Russia, Canada & China and has taken top honors at the World Choral Olympics.

APRIL 14, 2011

The Desert Foothills Astronomy Club presents: Beyond M42 – What to look for next

star nebulaGot your first telescope, looked at all the “easy stuff … so now what? Getting bored with just looking at the Moon? Our next speaker will help you locate many other great astronomical sights!

Rick Tejera, Editor for the Saguaro Astronomy Club, and experienced observer, will talk about what objects you can look for after you’ve found all the “easy stuff.” And there’s plenty up there to be found. Rick will take you “beyond M42” (the Orion Nebula, image at right), and highlight many other beautiful and fascinating celestial denizens that even a beginner can find … with a little experienced guidance and the proper tools.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: North Valley Regional Library, 40410 N. Gavilan Peak Parkway, Anthem, AZ 85086. Maps available on our website at: www.dfacaz.org.
COST: Free
To Learn More about DFAC: please visit www.dfacaz.org or contact one of our club officers: President Dan Heim at 623-465-7307, Vice President Jim Renn at 623-551-8047
or Treasurer Roger Serrato at 602-882-2803.

APRIL 14, 2011

Seeking new members-Newcomers Club

The NEWCOMERS CLUB is a non-profit organization that welcomes new and established residents of our community. We hope to make your transition into the area a bit easier.
NEWCOMERS welcome not only those who move to the area from other areas, but residents who have experienced a change of lifestyle such as divorce, widow, widower or retirement. We invite men and women to join us as we make new friends, share interests, and new activities.

Some of the activities include book clubs, Bridge, Canasta, Bunco, Cocktail parties, hiking, film club, luncheons, potluck, men's golf and more.

Dues are only $25 a year for online newsletter or $35 for a mailed monthly newsletter.
Membership Information: Jeanne Thompson 541-410-9270.

In addition to our social events, we donate to our local charities


Mesquite – Lush refuge

dac logoThere are three species of mesquite (genus: Prosopis), but because of their similarity they are generally identified simply as mesquite.

The mesquite is a fast-growing, thorny tree growing to thirty feet tall and wide. It is deciduous, dropping its leaves in the late fall and growing bright green foliage in the spring and summer. The bloom is a small greenish-yellow catkin appearing in April and May. Bees make a delicious-tasting honey from the nectar.

mesquiteThe mesquite pods can be ground into flour. In taste tests, crackers and tortilla chips containing sweet mesquite flour were preferred to those containing conventional flour alone. Agriculture Department researchers also have developed a simple procedure to convert dried mesquite pods into flour and gum that can be used as a natural thickening additive in foods.

Mesquite furnish excellent cover for all types of birds and small mammals of the desert. The seeds are a valuable food source, especially for quail and doves. Mesquite also provide cover for smaller trees and shrubs. It is a common sight to see a hackberry, salt bush, squawberry, or jojoba growing up through mesquite branches, seemingly a part of the tree.

The mesquite are troubled by a natural enemy, an insect that girdles the bark of smaller limbs, causing the ends to die. Another cause of the die-back is frost. Severe damage can be done by a long, cold spell.

The tap root of mesquite grows very deep to enable it to reach available water. This root is sometimes larger than the trunk of the tree. Sudden drops in water level can cause die-back and even loss of the tree.

Trees that are already damaged by frost, insects or drought can be further weakened by mistletoe, a parasitic plant which infests many desert trees. Much controversy has been waged over the good/bad aspects of the desert mistletoe. Bird watchers tend to favor it for the variety of bird life that feeds on its abundant fruit, which is mostly seed. The elegant phainopepla or black cardinal depends mostly on the mistletoe as a food source.

The seeds of the mistletoe are covered with a sticky substance that enables them to cling to a tree branch. The seed is spread by birds, either through their droppings or by dislodging the seed while feeding upon the mistletoe. Older trees are probably more susceptible to mistletoe growth because the roughness of their bark catches and holds the seed, enabling it to take root.

Complete eradication of mistletoe is impossible without eradicating the host plant. Trees that are heavily infested by old-growth mistletoe are probably best harvested for firewood.
Mistletoe can, however, be controlled in healthy trees with new infestation by pruning the limb on which the mistletoe has taken root. The root of mistletoe grows inside the limb and towards the trunk. The longer the mistletoe has been established the more of the limb must be removed. Pruning should be done in March or before leaf-out. Always cover the cut with tar or paint to discourage insects and disease. At this time, dead branches can be removed and the tree shaped by pruning unwanted limbs. If a taller tree is desired, it is helpful to remove lower branches. Mesquite are remarkably hardy, often coming back from the root.