Sabbatical Photo Diary Week 3

Alison Outside with ComputerAlison Gallensky is taking an 8-week sabbatical this summer, from June 15 to August 9. Back at work on Friday, August 10. While she is away she will be thinking about how to update the Southern Rockies Wildlands Conservation Vision based on the new science that has been developed in the last 15 years or so including wildlife connectivity and climate change. She will also be attending and presenting at two GIS conferences in California as part of a road trip exploring the western United States.

She is documenting her time away through a series of photos and observations for each business day. Here is her third week:

Day 11 Friday June 29

Visited with Jean Smith and learned about the history of the Southern Rockies Wildlands Network Design Vision (published 2003). She played an instrumental role in its creation and it sill guides conservation in our region today.
Jean Smith tells Alison about the history of the Southern Rockies Wildlands Network Vision

Day 12 Monday July 2

Aldo Leopold worked to protect a remote mountainous area in Southern New Mexico as Wilderness. In 1924 it became the world’s first area protected as Wilderness.

Alison next to Gila Wilderness Sign
Wilderness Selfie
Gila Wilderness View
Gila Wilderness


Day 13 Tuesday July 3

Travelling day so I decided to share some pictures of interesting plants found in and around the Gila National Forest. Lots of the plants have their flowers way up in the air. What’s up with that?

New Mexico century plant
New Mexico century plant (Agave neomexicana) only blooms after many years of maturing.
Sacahuista (Nolina microcarpa) also called palmila or bear grass.
Silverleaf nightshade
Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) has pretty flowers but is also an aggressive and poisonous invasive weed.
Soaptree yucca
Soaptree yucca (Yucca elata) gets it name from the soapy material in its roots and trunks which make this plant a popular substitute for soap.
Sotol (Dasylirion texanum) also called desert spoon can be used to make the alcoholic drink sotal, the northern cousin to tequila and mezcal.
Southwestern prickly poppy
Southwestern prickly poppy (Argemone pleiacantha) protects itself with sharp spines and poisonous sap.

*Some thoughts from Facebook: “Flowers move higher to get away from the hungry critters on the ground.” “Most of these are pollinated by moths.”

Wednesday July 4

Happy Independence Day from Saguaro National Park. Enjoying the beauty of our country!
Big Cactus

Day 14 Thursday July 5

Crossed the desert and arrived in San Diego where I will be attending a big GIS conference next week. Also saw a lizard earlier this week find a smaller dead lizard and carry it off. Presumably to carry out the death rituals of the lizard people.

Sand dunes
Sand dunes in far southeastern California.
Ornate tree lizard
Ornate tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) near Glenwood Catwalk in the Gila National Forest.


Day 15 Friday July 6

Working hard on my conference presentation in old town San Diego.
Alison Outside with Computer

Week: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8