Most Special Events Included With
Admission $9, or $4.50 ages 5 to 12
Geology walking tour Saturday May 25 at 8:00 a.m.
summer tour time 8:00 a.m. May 25, June 22
Local geologist Alan Seymour returns as guide for this once-a-month walk, a chance to see rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff.
May 25, Saturday Guided Butterfly Walk 8:30am
also July 27
Guided butterfly walks at 8:30 a.m. resume May 25, Saturday, with ASU Professor Ron Rutowski and Southwest Monarch Research coordinator Gail Morris here to lead our walk. Marceline Vandewater leads the next one July 27, and then Ron Rutowski and Gail Morris return as leaders August 24. Read about Central Arizona Butterfly Association events around the state with a visit to the website http://www.cazba.org. Marceline reported these early-season sightings April 14: Red Admiral, Texan Crescent, Pipevine Swallowtail, American Snout, Queen, Spring Azure, Sleepy Orange, Two-tailed Swallowtail, California Patch, Dainty Sulphur, Giant Swallowtail, Painted Lady, Elada Checkerspot and Common Buckeye.
Photo Class: 'Switching to Manual' with Michael Madsen May 26, Sunday, 9am-2:30pm
Two spaces left as of May 21; Michael's next class is Fathers' Day June 16
$30 (or $39 non-members). call 520.689.2723
Gilbert professional photographer Michael Madsen was our featured artist in the Visitor Center Gallery at Boyce Thompson Arboretum this winter and, by popular demand, he continues to offer photography workshops at BTA - including his Switching to Manual class for beginners. Madsen has traveled to Europe, Thailand, Mexico, Morocco, Jamaica and the Bahamas in search of the perfect picture; on Sunday or Memoruial Day Weekend he'll coach beginning to intermediate photographers who are ready to harness the horsepower of their digital cameras by getting past the "auto" settings in favor of manually controlling theirown aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. Read more about Arboretum Photography Workshops
"We will switch our cameras to manual mode and learn to take charge of our cameras, and explore the creative side of photography," says Madsen. "You'll be taught how to adjust your camera settings, and the photographic effects that occur based on these settings. Heading outdoors after lunch allows us to apply techniques we have learned in the classroom and experiment with camera settings together and one-on-one." Two hours in the classroom from 9:00 am to noon will be followed by a optional lunch break together at one of the restaurants in the nearby town of Superior, and then two more hours from 12:30-2:30 pm spent outside, shooting and practicing alongside Michael Madsen in Arboretum gardens. See more of the photographer's work at http://heartsrock.org/1/Home.html
Arboretum Book Club June 1, Saturday
1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
The second meeting of the Arboretum Book Club Saturday, June 1 starts at 1 p.m. in the air-conditioned Lecture Room of the historic Smith building. Book club participants will discuss Sarah's Quilt and The Star Garden by Nancy E. Turner; the second and third volumes of the Sarah Agnes Prine trilogy which began with These Is My Words. Join the book club for an informal and relaxed discussion about these books that tell the story of one woman's journey as she faces the challenges of ranching and raising a family in the Territory. As an added bonus, the book club will have a phone interview with the author: Nancy E. Turner, with a chance to ask questions about her characters, and her own family history which inspired the books and her writing. How have others described these books? Publishers Weekly lists The Star Garden as "Part Western, part romance, part imagined history; Tony Hillerman, author of Hunting Badger and arguably the Southwest's most famous author, was quoted as saying "Sarah's Quilt is even better than These Is My Words, and that's saying a lot." Light refreshments will also be served. Please contact Vicki Johnson for more information and to RSVP for the June meeting at BTABookClub@msn.com or 480.688.3342. Book club attendance is included with Arboretum daily admission fo $9; and, of course, free to our annual members.
Guided Bird Walk - June 2 with David Moll
at 6:30 a.m.
Learn to identify resident birds and look for exotic seasonal migrants on a two-hour walk starting from our Visitor Center breezeway at 6:30 am on June 2, Sunday. Prescott resident David Moll is our special guest as guide for this walk; he's a popular bird walk guide at the annual Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival each April - a contributing writer and editor of the Prescott Audubon Society newsletter and website; he's also active with the Highlands Center for Natural History and Arizona Native Plant Society. Outings with David are more than just bird walks - while finding Arizona birds is his specialty, he places them within a context of meteorology, geography, topography, botany, entomology and interactions among each other and with other vertebrates. BTA bird walks are included with daily admission of $9 and, of course, at no charge to our annual members.
Read Arboretum bird checklist reports
June 8, Saturday Learn Your Lizards Guided Walk 8am
tours repeat June 8 at 8:00 a.m., June 29 and July 13
Authors Kurt and Cindy Radamaker are special guest tour guides for the season debut of this guided outing for kids -- and all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. Walks are also scheduled June 29 and July 13 with Phil Rakoci.
See photos and read more about Lizard Walks at the Arboretum
Plants of the Bible Walk June 15, Saturday, at 8:00 Am
** summer walks at 8am June 15 and July 20
Mesa resident and Bible scholar Dave Oberprillerwith is our special guest tourguide on the third Saturday of each month, leading this relaxing and slow-paced walk down smooth, flat and wheelchair-accessible trails to see pomegranates, figs, pines, palms and other plants referenced in scripture. This tour moves to an 8:00 a.m. morning start time in June, July and August when Arboretum hours are 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. daily. Palms, figs and pomegranates are Plants of the Bible
Tree Tour With Jeff Payne at 8:00 a.m. June 16, Sunday
So, just what is an Arboretum? Certified Arborist Jeff Payne leads this Sunday walk at 8 am. where visitors learn the answer to that often-posed question during a relaxed and leisurely guided tour through the forested areas of the Arboretum. Join Jeff for a chance to learn about the Arboretum's collection of oak and olive trees, native hackberry, mesquite and many more. This tour repeats on the Third Sunday monthly at 8am from May-through-august when daily hours are 6am-3pm.
Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk June 23 at 8:00 a.m.
tours at 8:00 a.m. during summer monday from May-through-August
Explore our Curandero Trail on a guided tour with ethno-botanist and Choctaw Tribal Nation member David Morris and Learn about the edible-medicinal uses for Prickly pear cactus fruits and other edible and medicinal Sonoran Desert plants on this slow-paced one-hour walk along a desert path where guides shares their knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. .** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkersRead more about jojoba, creosote and prickly pears
Tom Boggan Camera Basics Photo Class June 29 from 7:00 - 9:00 a.m.
at 1:00 p.m. Enrollment $20 for Arboetum members, $29 nonmembers. Call 520-689-2723
Do you have a fancy new digital SLR, or even a digital point-and-shoot camera that you're eager to learn to use more effectively? Once-a-month photo workshops with Scottsdale artist Tom Boggan offer that chance all four seasons of the year at BTA. See More Boyce Thompson Arboretum photography workshops Tom's once-a-month outdoor shoots help improve your camera skills on a relaxed outing surrounded by beautiful gardens and alongside a pro -- and with plenty of chances to ask questions about the dials, settings and controls on your own camera. Learn basic photography skills including composition, lighting, white balance and aperture-exposure.
Pro photographer Tom Boggan has a talent for portraits and a passion for nature photography, and he generously volunteers by dedicating a day each month to be here helping our visitors hone their camera skills. Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students. Pre-payment of $29 is required ($20 for BTA annual members). Enroll by phone, have your credit card ready and call our staff at 520-689-2723. View other workshop images on the Tom Boggan Arboretum Flickr Gallery
Gourd Art Classes June 29 and 30
10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m, enrollment is $30-$39 for May 18, $40-$49 May 19. have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to enroll and pre-pay
Sign up soon for this informal, fun class -- four-hour workshops each month that bring your chance to burn, paint, etch and emboss decorative gourds with coaching from Mesa artists Gerald and Vicki Johnson. Pre-registration is required, and this class is limited to 15 students from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Enrollment is $39 (or $30 to Arboretum annual members) includes a gourd and full morning of coaching and artistic inspiration. Tools, paints and paintbrushes are provided during the workshop as well.
ADVANCED GOURD ART CLASS June 30
And by the request of many repeat students, Vicki and Gerald will offer a new advanced workshop teaching a specialized technique for students who have attended a previous Gourd Art Class, and are eager for a new challenge. 'Coiling' is done with pine needles and waxed linen thread, and provides a finished touch to the top of your gourd bowl. All materials, including prepared gourd, pine needles, thread and decorative attachments such as pods and beads to decorate your gourd are included in this special class. $40 registration BTA for members, $49 for non-members, includes specialized materials and instruction. This class is limited to 12 students
Photo Class: 'Macros' With Paul Landau - DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
$30 (or $39 non-members). call 520.689.2723
Look closely at the bright red larvae of a Pipevine Swallowtail; before the colorful caterpillar morphs into one of the blue-black butterflies commonly seen in our gardens, they have a beauty all their own - with intricate rows of dorsal spikes making them resemble an undersea creature more than a denizen of our Sonoran desert. The human eye can only look so close; Scottsdale photographer Paul Landau has learned to capture microscopic scenes with his camera, revealing compound eyes, antennae and patterns almost invisible to the human eye. During a unique photography workshop with Paul Landau on Sunday May 19, the artist will share techniques during an afternoon spent in search of tiny creatures and plants here, and photographing them along with 15 participants. "You'll probably be amazed to find out what your camera can do," predicts Landau. "Even the simplest 'point-and-shoot' digital cameras have close-up capabilities that reveal inner worlds of detail, iridescent green beetle wings, and the intensity of nature on a scale that's overlooked until you learn where to look - and how to see. One of the great things about macro photography is that my quarry is tiny - and often fairly easy to photograph once you know where to look for them. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is my favorite place, no question, to photograph vivid insects and flower blossoms, along with other natural phenomenon." Landau's photography was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Arboretum in 2012, where he taught a popular series of workshops specifically devoted to hummingbirds – and macros. See more of the artist's work at
Culinary Presentation with Chef Eric of Tall Order Catering - Date To Be Announced
at 1:00 p.m.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum members Eric Naddy & Terri Farrington own Tall Order Catering; they had so much fun helping out with our September pomegranate classes at BTA that they've enlisted as volunteers. Sunday November 25 they will be set up near the Herb Garden and our weekend festival site, continuing their informal series of culinary classes designed to spotlight seasonal vegetables or fruits: roasted pumpkin and cream cheese soup with rosemary; possibly also roasted tomato bisque with creme fraiche. Got recipe questions? Or suggestions for December-January-February workshops they should offer at the Arboretum? 'Friend-up' at facebook.com/TallOrderCatering, or email queries to the Tall Order Chefs via Eric@tallordercatering.com.
Painting With Light -- Nighttime Photo Shoot
DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. $39; call 520-689-2723 to prepay and enroll
Preview our unique nocturnal Painting With Light Photo Workshopson YouTubeand see links to photo galleries on our ourBTA photo classes page. Few visitors get a chance to see the Drover's Shed, the old Dodge Power Wagon or our gardens lit quite as they will appear after dark on A Date To Be Announced, familiar plants and scenery rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after sunset by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by Phoenix artist and luminary John Aho. His painting-with-light nighttime shoots are limited to one dozen photographers, and the $30 fee for these special access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ( $39 for nonmembers). Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot; please make sure to spell out your email and give your current cell# or home phone to our clerks when you sign up so we can provide specific meeting/parking instructions just ahead of Saturday's shoot. If this class has filled when you call, make sure to leave your name, phone and email (again, please take a minute to spell it out so we have it right) so we can alert you to November-December shoots as dates are added to this calendar. See more of John's surreal nighttime scenes -- such as Superior Architecture, and these scenes from scenes from Besich Park Downtown
Arboretum History Walk DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
You may have walked our trails a dozen times and never crossed paths with the Galapagos Tortoise pens. Take a moment to scan the horizon above Picket Post Mountain, can you imagine cavalry soldiers camped in this region in the late 1800s? Learn about the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum on a walking tour guided by Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee. Walks typically last about 90-minutes, departing at 10am from the Visitor Center breezeway. Correspond with Sylvia, or read more about
Acrylic Painting Class DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED
"The Next Step for Beginning Painters," . enrollment $135. Call 520-689-2723 to enroll and prepay
Learn the fundamentals of painting with acrylics in this three-day March workshop. Gold Canyon artist Sue Ann Dickey"will take the 'pain out of painting' for beginners, and for anyone who was left frustrated by other painting or art classes, or has drifted away from painting and wants to try again with this New Year."
Enrollment of $135 for either of three-day workshops includes three afternoons of instruction and also admission to the Arboretum (park entry for others is $9 per day). This workshop continues where Sue Ann's prior workshop ended; experienced beginner or novice painters are welcome to enroll, though, even if you did not attend Sue Ann Dickey's prior workshop. She welcomes inquiries from those considering enrolling - and wanting more details information about the difference between this session and the prior one; and to be on her contact list for future art workshops during 2013. Email email@example.com, or call her at 480.982.1336
Boyce's Beer - Desert Homebrewing Class - date TO BE ANNOUNCED
12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
$25 for Arboretum members, $34 nonmembers
email [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] to be on our waiting list for alerts to the date scheduled
Chandler father-and-son brewers Pete and Greg Rendek return to the Arboretum by popular demand for a home-brewing class featuring ingredients derived from desert plants. Boyce Thompson Arboretum has earned a reputation for innovative classes teaching visitors to harvest and prepare prickly pear cactus fruits, process promegranates and mill mesquite flour. On a date to be announced, enrollees will learn to make a batch of home-brewed 'Holiday Beer' when the Rendeks lead a 12-3pm workshop showing beginning brewers how to brew a five-gallon batch of holiday vanilla porter using native mesquite flour. Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723. Better known at the Arboretum for his popular series of photography classes, Pete has been home-brewing for several years with his son Greg; together they've crafted a variety of tasty ales, porters, weissbiers -- and, most recently, a great prickly pear IPA using juice from cactus fruit harvested in Superior. Their workshop will run from noon to 3pm. Class will
be held in the ramada in the Children's Garden; proceeds raised are a fundraiser for the Arboretum - a registered nonprofit. For non-members, the $34 fee includes Arboretum admission, so Pete & Greg advise enrollees to arrive earlier that morning and enjoy the gardens, get a late breakfast or lunch in nearby Superior before the afternoon session, and enjoy a fine October day. "This workshop's designed for anyone who has been wanting to take the plunge and begin brewing your own beer, we'll have basic equipment on hand and will give a discussion of ingredients as well as different brewing styles, techniques, and the equipment needed to get started," said Pete.
Dog Socialization Walk -- DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
Dogs are always welcome at the Arboretum, provided they're on good behavior and a short leash -- and also are accompanied by owners who pick up after their furry friends. Arboretum volunteer Sandra and her canine compadre Chaco guide a dog socialization walk April 22 at 10:30 a.m. Pre-registration is not required, just be in the overflow parking lot with your leashed dog at 10:30 am start time.
Plein Air Painters (Date To Be Announced)
painters gathering - included with $9 adult admission, ($4.50 for ages 5-12)
painters are invited to capture garden scenes 'en plein air' during an informal painting event coordinated by Tempe professional artist Cindy Carrillo. Daily admission is $9 for adults and $4.50 for ages 5-12 and there's no additional charge to participate with the plein air painting workshop, said Carrillo, who has painted garden scenes here over the past two decades."A few of my favorite spots are the Demonstration Garden, the trees which tower over Silver King Wash, and the views of volcanic cliffs above Queen Creek and Ayer Lake," said Carrillo. "The Arboretum has a plein air event each Thanksgiving when autumn colors are vivid, now here's a chance to capture summertime scenes, to meet other Arizona plein air painters, and to enjoy a morning together in the gardens." BTA opens at 8:00 am during October, Carillo advises artists to request picnic area parking (allowing you to unload your easel and supplies conveniently close to the Demonstration Garden) and to meet in the picnic area. Amateurs and beginners are encouraged to attend, too!
For more info email Cindy via email@example.com ; painters who don't use the internet may call 520-689-2723 for more information. View a collection of garden scenes captured on canvass by other painters over the years at http://ag.arizona.edu/bta/pleinairpainters.html
Earth Journal Writing Workshop with Kathleen O'Dwyer
Date And Time TO BE ANNOUNCED. $20 BTA annual members, $29 non-members.
email [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] to be on our waiting list for alerts to the date scheduled.
What does it take to be a better writer? Gold Canyon author and Reiki master Kathleen O'Dwyer says one hint is contained within this quote by Walt Whitman: "Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." O'Dwyer will expand on this philosophy and lead a group of eight enrollees through exercises designed to hone, focus and add depth to their writing. A writer who finds inspiration from the Sonoran Desert, O'Dwyer has lived in Aravaipa Canyon and draws on her onnection to the sights and sounds of the Sonoran desert in her work. Her coaching session here at BTA will include two hours outdoors for inspiration - then back indoors in cool, air-conditioned comfort of the lecture room of the historic Smith Building for additional coaching, sharing, reading aloud and discussion. "We'll start early at 8:30 a.m. while our minds are fresh and the gardens are at their most stimulating with birdcalls and the possibility of night-blooming flowers still open during those brief and cooler morning hours. We'll participate with two exercises together as a group, designed to provoke connection to nature and creativity. I'll give the group a few prompts, then set them loose to find a place to connect with the Earth and write undisturbed. Then at 10:30 a.m. we'll gather again indoors, sharing what we've written and recall our experience." Participants need to bring a pen and notebook (or laptop or tablet if you're an E-writer); sun protection and walking shoes. Cost to enroll is $20 for BTA annual members, $29 for nonmembers. O'Dwyer recently published "Breathing Blue: Giving my life to Spirit and Spirit to my life." After spending two decades writing for corporations, O'Dwyer traded Chicago for the Grand Canyon State and moved to Arizona, accepting a new challenge: managing a ranch in Aravaipa Canyon. Now O'Dwyer lives in Gold Canyon and leads a writing group.Inspired by the Superstition Mountains she is also hard at work on her second book. "Breathing Blue" is available online for $17 as a print edition, or $4 as a Kindle e-reader.
2013 Butterfly Walks May-through-October
Adriane Grimaldi, ASU Professor Ron Rutowski, Marceline VandeWater and other volunteers guide our Butterfly Walks each month from May-through-October. See photos of BTA butterflies. Butterflies are a delight to see and photograph, learn to identify them and ways to attract them to your garden on our butterfly walk – and stop by our gift shop afterwards for a chat with Certified Nurseryman Chris Evans for some advice about 'larval host plants' you can bring home to attract more butterflies to your own backyard. How many were seen last month? To name a few: 40 Sleepy Orange, 20 Pipevine Swallowtail, 20 Mexican Yellow and 1 Boisduval's Yellow. Read butterfly checklist reports.
2013 Summer Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks
weekend mornings with Abi King, Phil Rakoci, Larry Jones and other guests
Arizona Game & Fish Department Reptile Researcher Abi King was our special guest tour guide for the September season finale guided outing for kids and adults who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles to Learn Your Lizards. Walks will resume in May, 2013, and continue each month during the summer. Revisit this page in April 2013 for specific dates and times. Preview the outing-- view this brief YouTube Lizard Walk video clip posted by Arboretum volunteer and videographer Mike Rolfe. This short film showcases our special guest tour guide and shows you some of the scenes and gardens explored on this walk. See photos and read more about Lizard Walks at the Arboretum.
Found Objects from Nature: DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m. in the Lecture Room of the Smith Building
Enrollment is $20 for members, $29 nonmembers - call 520.689.2723 to enroll. scheduled
Learn to make unique art from twigs, fragments of bark or skeletal remains of dead cholla cacti; Queen Valley resident Ruth Ipsan-Brown builds intricate shrines, kachina/totems and tiny furniture from detritus and debris that most would discard; in the process she teaches wider lessons about seeing and appreciating the beauty that surrounds us all. she'll lead a four-hour workshop at Boyce Thompson Arboretum (indoors, in the heated lecture room!) where "all you're asked to bring is a crooked little stick," and she'll supply hot glue guns, inspiration, coaching, and a variety of natural materials in various shapes, sizes, textures and colors to create your own work of art. Enrollment is $20 for BTA annual members ($29 for nonmembers includes the day's admission).
Dragonfly Walks in 2013
at 8:30 a.m. (Dates To Be announced)
Our special guest To Be Announced will guide the season's first dragonfly walk in search of Flame Skimmers and Blue Dashers at Ayer Lake and at water features around the gardens. See dragonfly photos
Learn more about the legends, lore and biology of dragonflies: fascinating creatures, with a rich heritage of folklore and fables that vary greatly from culture to culture. European cultures tend to see dragonflies as dangerous or even deadly; Asian and Native American cultures see them as signs of good luck and longevity. The truth about dragonflies is far more interesting than any fable: they have six legs, but can't walk; they have incredible vision, but are deaf; they outlasted the dinosaurs and are still going strong today. Read more and check out Jim's slow-motion videos of dragonflies bathing and 'spin-drying.' at
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