Filed under: Arizona, The Route to Work | Tags: Arizona, Flora, Holidays, Paradise Valley, Religion
I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams… ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
After walking by the “eye of the tree” in my last post and climbing to Lykes Lookout at the Hassayampa River Preserve, we were able to see a more “typical” desert landscape than the gnarled trees below us.
Mountains, blue skies, and saguaros in every direction.
BNSF Railway tracks wind through this area. And this concludes my winter series of the Hassayampa. Maybe we will head back later in the spring or early fall when the gnarled trees aren’t all bare and more wildlife is around. I have a feeling that summer would be very hot and humid there.
To pick up from my last post, this is more of Hassayampa River Preserve (owned by The Nature Conservancy)…full of gnarled cottonwoods, mesquites, and willows…
The marshy Palm Lake is where we hoped to see some herons or ibises…but only saw some mallards and coots.
I don’t know what this is but, if it’s a web, I didn’t want to see what made it.
Like many desert waterways, the Hassayampa River~which runs 100 miles from Prescott to the Gila River southwest of Buckeye~flows underground. This is one place where the river flows year-round.
Past the river, we began our ascent to the lookout…which will be the next post.
Filed under: Arizona | Tags: Arizona, Butterflies, Flora, Hassayampa, Parks, Travels
Isn’t he beautiful? He’s a Vermilion Flycatcher that we saw at the Hassayampa River Preserve near Wickenburg, AZ.
More than 280 types of birds have been documented at this preserve but we barely saw any during our 3 hour walk. We heard them (including a woodpecker) but until we were getting ready to leave, they kept themselves scarce.
I think this one, below, is a female vermilion flycatcher as they seemed to be hanging out together.
Also spotted is what I think was a Mourning Cloak butterfly which is the state butterfly of Montana so maybe Terry can confirm my guess.
There were quite a few of these flitting around but I couldn’t get very close.
And Tony correctly identified this as a praying mantis egg case which I was able to verify on the internet:
This is an American Coot, I believe.
It’s a drab, stark place in the winter so this may not have been the best time to go. Even though we didn’t see much wildlife, I still took quite a few photos so I’ll be blogging more about the preserve in days to come. Here’s a hint:
Filed under: Arizona, Art, The Route to Work | Tags: Arizona, Art, Flora, Home, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Scottsdale
He’d always had a quickening of the heart when he crossed into Arizona and beheld the cactus country. This was as the desert should be, this was the desert of the picture books, with the land unrolled to the farthest distant horizon hills, with saguaro standing sentinel in their strange chessboard pattern, towering supinely above the fans of ocotillo and brushy mesquite. ~ Dorothy B. Hughes, The Expendable Man
Everything that ever happened to me that was important happened in the desert. ~ Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient