Book review: A Natural History of the Santa Catalinas, Arizona

  • Saguaros stud the front range of the Santa Catalinas along the Mount Lemmon Highway.

  • The spectacular Basaseachi Falls, 807 feet high, in the Copper Canyon region of the Sierra Madre Occidentale, Chihuahua, Mexico.

    © Alfonso Gardea

A Natural History of the Santa Catalinas, Arizona.
Richard C. Brusca and Wendy Moore,
232 pages, softcover:
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press, 2013.

The Santa Catalina Mountains in southeast Arizona "easily become a good friend," writes philosopher Bill Broyles in the introduction to this new book by two Southwest naturalists. A Natural History explores the geology, plants and animals that define this island mountain range, making it a relatively cool and lush respite from the hot and dry country around Tucson. Part field guide and part historical narrative, the book would serve equally well in a backpack or on a desk. "Pack a picnic lunch," the authors advise, "and leave your cares in the valley below."

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