24. May 2015 · Comments Off on See Creature · Categories: Places · Tags:

Thirsty Gila bellying up.

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.

10. May 2014 · Comments Off on Upwardly Mobile · Categories: Places · Tags: ,

Sometimes a certain path offers an invitation. The one this morning involved a few punctures in the old hide and new rips in my desert-worn clothes. I was calling it the “route of a thousand thorns” in medias res, but that’s probably not enough to cover the experience, especially the part where I limbo-ed my way through the arms of a large fallen cholla cactus resting between rock walls. Not to mention the soles of both shoes shredded open. What a wonderful morning!

 

20. March 2014 · Comments Off on Kismetic Mimetics · Categories: Places · Tags: , , ,

In which I encounter a galaxy of flowers smaller than my fingertip, an elderly gila monster giving me the Edward G. Robinson, and some ocotillos reaching for the sky.