Dogs are man’s best friend ... not rattlesnakes. Snakes are an intricate component to our Arizona desert ecosystem but can pose a threat to our dogs if confronted. As prey driven animals, dogs are naturally curious and driven to new scents, sounds, and motion. If confronted with a snake, it is our goal to have control of our dog to ensure a snake bite does not follow.
I have a very low tolerance for temperatures above 85 degrees, so living in Arizona in summertime is a challenge. I have friends who love heat, the hotter the better, and it’s hard to understand that I’m not just complaining. Some days I really do feel like I am struggling to survive.
Now that school is out for the summer it is time to consider ways to encourage kids to be active. We know that school activities such as recess, physical education, classroom exercise breaks, and before- and after-school physical activities all contribute significantly to meeting national guidelines for physical activity (60 minutes per day recommended). Research also indicates that many kids are sedentary during the summer months, getting less moderate to vigorous activity than during the school year. So when school is out it is important for kids to find other opportunities for exercise.
PICACHO PEAK STATE PARK — "Excuse me, coming through, sorry, thank you!" I kept repeating loudly and urgently as I hiked up Picacho Peak, which rises like a Western saddle from the endless desert just off I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson.
This March 2014 photo shows visitors on a ranger-led hike in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. A yucca plant and footprints punctuate the endless white sand desert. (AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)
This March 2014 photo shows spring wildflowers blooming amid the red rocks of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Ariz. The 2,704-foot-high mountain offers 360-degree views of distant mountain ranges and closer views of golf courses and pools. (AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)
This March 2014 photo shows visitors descending a steep portion of the Camelback Mountain trail in Phoenix, Ariz. The 2,704-foot-high mountain offers 360-degree views of distant mountain ranges and closer views of golf courses and pools, all framed by tall saguaros and blooming wildflowers. (AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)
This March 2014 photo shows a visitor kneeling in Rock Hound State Park in New Mexico. The park allows visitors to collect up to 15 pounds of rocks, including salmon-pink jasper and translucent quartz. (AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)
This 2014 picture shows cactuses and spring flowers on the Norris Trail of Saguaro National Park in Arizona. The park, divided into two districts with the city of Tucson in between them, offers hikers sunny, peaceful trails. (AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)
This March 2014 photo shows contoured patterns in the endless white sand dunes at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. The park offers other-worldly scenery, bringing to mind a blizzard or a beach when in fact it is a desert. (AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)
This March 2014 photo shows hikers in Sabino Canyon Recreation Area just north of Tucson, Ariz. It's one of a number of parks in the region that offer sunshine, scenery and peaceful hiking trails. (AP Photo/Giovanna Dell'Orto)