Desert dwellers are accustomed to the monsoon season and the rain it ushers in, a glass of water raised to cracked, thirsty lips.
We also know that with rain, the normally dry riverbed near our home begins to ebb and flow, its banks rising with churned-chocolate liquid. And while we understand that this sudden arrival of water attracts animals who’ve yearned for the wet stuff – suffered without it – rarely do we have the opportunity to see them dipping their toes (and hooves) into the water, dropping their heads gently to lap the cool sustenance.
But don’t let the wild’s cloak of invisibility fool you. This time of year more than ever, the existence of the wild becomes tangible, immortalized – if only for a short time – in the riverbed floor.
Enjoy the evidence hubby and I discovered during our recent visit to the now-receded riverbed (water actually flows underground throughout the year, making this part of Arizona home to one of the largest mesquite bosques in the world. That band of deep green beyond the river in the above photo is the mesquite bosque).
While we understand that footprints may be invisible throughout the remainder of the year, we will be reminded, these photos as evidence, of what walks among us. We’re happy they share their desert home with us.
Other sightings around the ranch:
And on a sad note, an update about my last post regarding Mama Oriole and babies… One egg fell to the concrete before hatching, and then both babies suffered the same falling fate. We’ve only seen mama twice since then. I hope, next year, she’ll make a deeper nest for her young ones. It was heartbreaking to discover them, so small and featherless.
TO THINK ABOUT…
For Readers, For Writers: Animals in the wild offer a case study on subtlety, on magic, on fortitude. For the most part, they don’t want to draw attention, their movements subtle and often cautious. When we consider their ability to camouflage – we often walk right past them without seeing them – they offer a sort of magic (never mind the soul-awakening, magical effect they can exude on humans). And then there’s their ability to persevere, often against all odds. When you read, what parts of a story engage you the most – subtlety, magic, strong characters? Are you attracted to writing that includes nature as a character? When you write, which of these “wild” areas challenge you the most – subtlety, magic, fortitude?