We are not the first 'Gronseths' to make it to Arizona, but we are the first from our immediate family.
Dan - I do most of the blogging, photos, artwork you'll see. Came from Wisconsin to Arizona in 1986 after a bicycle trip to the lower 48 states. I've been a park ranger since the end of 1988.
Karen (Bleeker) - Karen came from South Dakota to Arizona in 1989. She has been a teacher and a teacher trainer. We met here in Arizona and were married in 1990.
Erik - Erik came along in 1996. He is pretty smart and likes math, reading, playing the Wii and watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Jakob - Jakob was born in 1999, the last of the 'old millenium' Gronseths - at least amongst our immediate family. Jakob loves people and can seldom stand to be alone for any length of time.
Papago Park was once a State Park, and that was when they dug the ponds and used them as holding ponds for bass. The hatchery was between a couple ponds but is now only a concrete base. The ponds are still holding bass even though they had originally shipped bass from Papago Park to waterways throughout the state.
Eventually, it became cheaper to purchase from commercial fisheries to stock Arizona waters (including Papago, but Papago doesn't get stocked with bass).
Bunch of fingerlings here - attempting to survive long enough to become 'blue-ribbon bass.'
Here are some bigger ones.
Nothing huge in these pictures, but there are some decent ones out there. And if you do the catch & release, it doesn't really matter how big they are but rather how well they are biting.
Caught this one flying in out of the corner of my eye and could only wish I had seen it circling in for a landing. By the time I got my camera out it was standing way across a parking lot.
I caught it taking off, but the camera took so long to process this picture the vulture was gone before I could take another shot. Too bad I didn't get the full wingspan in - they can be a good seven feet!
The Ironwood tree is a slow grower and the heart wood is quite dense. This piece is is both root and stems. On its own, it has value as an interesting sort of drfitwood piece to the landscape. Note how it was placed beside the spigot.
I think the wood grain really makes this piece. Shame I can't take it home and use it for something here! This is part of the landscape at Tovrea Castle.
This mantid appeared to be guarding the lock the other night. I took some pictures and then picked up the lock with it still on. It crawled up my arm but must not have liked the movements, so it jumped to the ground.
I thought the coloration was very interesting. Brown being a better camouflage than green in a desert setting for one, but the markings on it aren't plain as some are. Must be useful on a specfic type of bark or leaf litter.