Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Along the Creek in June

Chris and I followed Sabino Creek* from Upper Sabino Canyon, past the dam, to Lower Sabino Canyon. The creek bed was dry except for an occasional shallow pool of water. There is more water at higher elevations. Kevin saw a large bird wading by the 9th bridge yesterday. It was probably a Great Blue Heron.

Instead of the usual babbling brook sounds, we heard birds chirping and cicadas buzzing.
Desert Cicada

Greater Earless Lizards were scampering left and right.
This small pool of water provided relief from the glaring white sand.
This Hooker's Evening Primrose along the creek caught my eye. As the petals age, they change color from yellow to peach.
We found no surface water left in Sabino Lake.
And, no water was spilling over the top of the dam.
But, water was seeping through the dam from the underground stream.
I wondered what kind of plant this was growing in the shade. Some kind of loco melon or a gourd perhaps?
This little guy looked curious. Harris' Antelope Ground Squirrels are similar to chipmunks except that they have no stripes on their faces. They hold their tails curved over their backs for shade like a little parasol.
The skeletal remains of a saguaro cactus stood beside the dry creek. It almost looked like a Wild West scene. Perhaps if a buzzard had perched on it...
Although we could hear lots of birds, we didn't see many. Chris did manage to get this close-up of a roadrunner. If you click to enlarge the photo, you can see the bird's eyelashes.
*Sabino Creek is a perennial canyon stream that can be observed flowing above ground most of the year. But during foresummer, water levels drop to below the surface in some areas. Monsoon rains in July and August will replenish the stream briefly. Then, the creek recedes again during September and October until refilled with fall and winter rainwater.

20 comments:

deedee said...

For anyone who has not been to Arizona - this post is exactly what Arizona is like. Diane, your pictures are perfect!

yoon see said...

The 3rd, 4th, 5th and last images really caught my attention:)
LOvely reflection, lovely shadow casted, lovely close up of a cool bird......tahnks for the enlarged view, I see the beautiful details of bird's eyelashes here:)

KaysWay said...

Great shots. I have not been to Arizona in years and I have forgotten how pretty it can be.

Kay

Icy BC said...

Wonderful post with a bit of every thing: dryness, water, plants, and creatures..

The roadrunner is so beautiful..

Jen said...

I just love coming here and learning about my new home away from home. :)
I will be there the 4th- I hope not to see a monsoon tho. :)

Annette said...

Beep-Beep! I love the roadrunner photo!
Interesting about Sabino Creek being a perennial stream, and I never thought of monsoons happening in Arizona!

Prospero said...

Diane, it's so odd to see a dam without water. That roadrunner makes a nicer bird than a cartoon character. Despite the apparent lack of water, life persists. I love the desert.

Glynis said...

Another wonderful journey, thanks.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful pictures of the canyon, Diane. It is unusually dry--or is this normal??? Love the Evening Primroses. We had them in Texas --but I think I only remember a whitish/pinkish color.

Love your cactus Monday post also.

Have a great day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Lovely shots !!Beautiful !!Unseen Rajasthan

Martha Z said...

Great post, I can see the beauty even with the dry season settling in. I bet you look forward to the monsoon, though.

Gaelyn said...

This is a great tour of the pre-monsoon canyon. I always feel a blessing when I see water in the desert.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

What a lovely walk this was Carol. It is amazing how one thinks that there is no life in these areas because it is so hot and dry, but just look at the amount of interesting creaturs and flowers here is. Wonderfull!!

Phoenix C. said...

Amazing to see how there is now no water in the lake, or over the dam! It's so interesting to see and read about life in the Canyon! Love the little ground squirrel.

Ana Cristina Bachiega de Castro said...

Hi, I've lived in Tempe for 4 years (1990-1994) and I've been to Sabino Canyon and the Sonoran Desert. It was very magic to me. I don't like very much to live in the desert. I love the rain, the sea, water, but that place is really special. I have a very pretty picture near the creek. I think Tucson is the best place to live in Arizona if you can stand the dry weather.
Congratulations for the wonderful blog.
Ana from Brasil.

Lance said...

More wonderful shots...I feel like I'm living the desert experience through you (and...it also makes me want to visit!!).

lisaschaos said...

Did you dip your feet in the cool water? I would love to see a road runner that close! They scurry away so fast!

betchai said...

another set of great pictures in your wonderful trek, the desert is just so surprising, and i love that roadrunner, i have been wanting to get a picture of one but never was lucky, i always am too late to take picture before they disappear from my sight.

Judy Butler said...

Amazing photos. I love visiting your blog, always surprising and expertly done photos. I enjoyed the tour through the domes for Cactus Monday.

Lindy MacDuff said...

What a great hike! This makes me miss Arizona all the more. It was too hot (for me) to hike on our most recent visit. I can't wait to be there in the winter months again so we can resume our treks. Great captures - I feel I could step right into your shots and be at home. Oh, and I love the closeup of the roadrunner!