The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will re-open at 11 a.m. today. While the source of water loss is still unknown, water is flowing into, and collecting properly, in the Desert Museum’s reservoir. Food service will be limited to pre-packaged items for the remainder of the day. All other activities are back on the normal schedule. Thank you.

Earth Day Poetry Contest First Place Winners 2014

Grade K

By Arynana Clinkingbeard

My Senses in the Desert

In the desert I see...
An orange and black butterfly flying in the flowers
A gray and black lizard running to its home.
A bird flying out of a hole in a tall saguaro.

In the desert I hear...
Soft tweeting from a bird.
The whoooo sound of the wind blowing the flowers.
The tap, tap, tap of my shoes on the path.

In the desert I smell...
Yellow flowers, but they smell like nothing.
After it rains, the desert smells good.

In the desert I don't taste anything, but...
Javelinas taste the flat circles of prickly pear cactus.
Snakes taste the soft, fat mice.

In the desert I touch...
Sand, and it feels hot.
Prickly pear cactus feels pointy.
Rocks were not smooth.

Grade 1

By Allison McDougall

The Desert

Hot, dry, sandy, monsoons
Cactus, rocks, cliffs, tumbleweeds
Bushes, dust devils, snakes, roadrunners
Jack rabbits, desert tortoises, lizards
Prairie dogs, coyotes, hummingbirds.
What am I?
Desert

Grade 2

By Sally Kamper

A Night and Day in the Desert

When sundown comes to the desert,
The silence of early evening is broken by
A series of short barks and ringing cries
Followed by a yipping and yapping.
A long, shrill chorus rolls over the desert,
One coyote singing to another.
Pointing her nose to the sky,
A female coyote calls her mate,
Half a mile away.
He answers with a howl of his own.
Night is coming.
It is time to hunt.

Grade 3 (plus overall winner for grades K-3)

By Xander Clinkingbeard

Minerals of the Sonoran Desert

Would you like a tour of the underground treasures?
Desert minerals are valuable pleasures!
When polished, gold shines like the sun.
When you find it, you will have lots of fun!
See the twinkling brilliance of the quartz cluster.
And silver, when polished, has a sparkling luster.
A glimmering green tree might be graemite,
Purple strawberries could be purple fluorite!
Copper looks like a decaying leaf,
And vanadanite is like an orange coral reef.
A tiny orange glass is wulfenite,
A clump of velvet lumps is azurite!
I hope you liked your tour of our glimmering stones.
Come again to the unknown zones!

Grade 4

By Alexander Rios

Coati's Day

This cool, fall
afternoon,
The
carefully
Crawling
coati
searching,

For the
intent insect

Or the
meaningful,
mouth-watering,

Manzanita
Berry.

It chooses?
Finds? Both.

The
insect
and
the
manzanita berry.
Still hungry.

Thirsting
for
the Washing
water of
a
river.

Seeking
more
food.

It grows
to be night.

Dark as
night, the
coati
searching, very
aware
and scared for
its
dwelling.

Home
sweet home.

Grade 5 (plus overall winner for grades 4-6)

By Lucia Iurino

July Poem

Everything is ephemeral, but the desert seems especially ephemeral.
Ever-changing, like the sea the sky the stars.
Come in and count the saguaros, says cactus wren, perched
on top of the tallest one.
The flood water is coming, she chitters.

Desert becoming a place of drink.

Enter the flood, says the wash to the wind.
Enter the flood, says the fox to the bobcat.
Enter the flood, says the sun to the kangaroo rat.

May ocelot, shy and secretive, come over to the rainwater.
May clever coyote and her pups come over to the rainwater.
May mountain lion, strong and brave, come over to the rainwater.
May bobcat, small and agile, come over to the rainwater.
May fox, cunning and swift, come over to the rainwater.

Then the floodwater exits through a door in the sun.
Not to return until another summer's monsoon.

Grade 6

By Riley Hamner

Desert Rain

When the Sonoran Desert rain falls,
the cool, fresh droplets "plop" on the ground
and the wind bellows lightly around.
The dust around floats up and swirls delicately like silk.
The animals all but disappear.
The feeling of freedom and speed run through my veins, with swift, thundering steps.
The end of the sprinkle ends with a bright sun and the dust clears.
The sun shines blindingly bright and warm.
The animals come forth once more to drink the remaining cool puddles and are fast, but calm.
The mesquite tree gleams with bright, shining spheres of water reflecting the blazing sun.
The birds overhead are gliding over the blue sheet of sky,
while the lizards and geckos quickly slither and crawl in a dash on the fiery and sandy hard ground.
The time of rest begins and is welcomed.