15. September 2014 · Comments Off on Everybody’s Got a Hungry Beetle · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

What’s eating at your heart this fine morning?

The Dark Beetle of the Prickly Heart
19. August 2014 · Comments Off on Current Residents · Categories: Places · Tags: , , , ,

In the morning light I almost stepped on the Gila Monster climbing the rock narrows I was descending. A timely hiss saved us both from a close confrontation, and my sitting quietly nearby while I took some photos calmed us both. Further along, spotted a frog the size of a thumb-end and gawked at a spider having some breakfast, then squished through mud into the remodeled Agua Verde River bed, featuring actual flowing water.

The rains arise in the afternoons under towering clouds, mountain ranges disappear from view behind curtains of rain that seems to dawdle in the air as it falls. Everywhere the water flows is reshaped and sorted. Large heavy objects are moved thousands of feet downstream or into treetops. Mud layers appear in new places as do rocks. Trees find new clumps of debris hugging them in the morning; branches, roots, household items, fencing, signs, metal carts, old metal drums.

A hidden set of life forms emerges (tiny frogs) and the usual suspects are more active.The barrels flower, the prickly pear fruits swell, drop, and get eaten. At night the widespread sonorous frog sound is surreal in the desert air. Where did they come from, and where do they go when it is dry? Magic. Now you see it, now you don’t.

09. May 2014 · Comments Off on Local Flavors · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

They may be considered weeds, but Prickly Pear cacti offer up some lovely choices in season. No wonder that these offerings are often gone overnight.

Prickly Pear Flowers
01. November 2013 · Comments Off on Protective Colorations · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

A tiny cactus bearing fruit guarded with fishhooks, a grasshopper dappled to hide in the sand of a creekbed but obvious on a thistle leaf, and new growth unfolding with claws in place.

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