Ranchito Aurora de la Manaña..


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Our New Desert Home
Sherryl Stalinski, June 2000

Ok, so it's hot.

No matter what is said about Arizona's "dry heat," during June, when its 106 in the shade, the only adjective that really works is "Easy-Bake Oven." Even the breezes are hot, dry and dusty.

One might question our choice to locate Aurora Now in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, but despite the daytime heat this time of year, mornings and evenings are refreshing and cool. And except for these few short summer months, the weather is as beautiful as the wild western landscapes. The desert truly is a unique and magical place.

In early June 2000, Aurora Now relocated to its new, permanent home. Although only a modest five acres, the property adjoins county and federal land to the west, offering nearly 20 mile views into the wilderness of Avra Valley to the Baboquivari mountains and the shadow of the National Observatory at Kitt Peak. The morning sun reflecting off this technological marvel makes it look deceivingly close, and reminds us each morning of humanity's reach for the stars and the wonders of our universe. To the immediate south lies the Tohono O'odham reservation which hosts the nationalobservatory. A glance south reminds us of the long and rich cultural history of this land, which the O'odham call "a bright and shining place." The morning sun is shielded in the east by the rugged and rocky peaks of Tucson Mountain Park, which stand as sentinals shielding us from the bustle of the city. Nestled in the western foothills of the Tucson Mountains, only a few short miles away to our east is the world renowned Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, one of the finest demonstrations of the amazing biodiversity of our desert, with over 1100 plant species and 300 animal species displayed in their natural habitats. Less than a mile to the north is Saguaro National Park, which offers visitors a beautiful drive through the desert wilderness, hiking, picknicking and camping. No matter which road one takes to Aurora Now, it will be picturesque, through the national or mountain parks. A look around from our land is a lesson in all things that make life on spaceship earth so wondrous: our place in the universe, the wisdom of our native cultures, the land that sustains us and the biodiversity that makes our wilderness such a precious resource.

The beauty of the desert is in its visual contrast and contradictions, not in usually expected aesthetics. Uninviting barbs of cacti and thorns of creosote and mesquite are backdropped by soaring eagles and pastel orange and pink sunsets behind purple mountains. Rabbits play next to lizards and javelina while roadrunners dash past the diamondbacks. The delicate waxy white blooms of the majestic saguaro seem paradox to the cactus that produces them. Dust devils swirl up across the landscape, as if to punctuate the words 'arid lands' with animated exclamation. It is a wonderful environment in which to play, and a fitting environment in which to learn. We hope that Aurora Now's little ranch will become a place of gathering and conversation for years to come.

What the Ranchito Needs.

Learn a little about the beautiful Sonoran Desert


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1981 N San Joaquin Rd, Tucson AZ 85743 USA
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