|Deeply cut bank of the wash, our trail for the day|
This morning we two humans (Therese and I) and three dogs (Buddy, Mollie, and Sarah) explored a different section of the Philadelphia Wash, an arroyo that runs down through our neighborhood from the Dos Cabezas Mountains. The section we visited today is favored by shade on one side if you get out early enough, but the sunny side pictured above glowed red in the morning light, sun already well above the horizon when we set out.
I have never been in Arizona during monsoon season to seen a dry wash become a dangerous, roaring, life-threatening torrent, but the vertical cut of the bank above gives some idea of what rushing water can do during a summer storm. Here is an explanation of an Arizona wash from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, and I'll quote from it briefly for those who can't be bothered following links:
Desert washes are also called xeroriparian habitats to indicate their relationship with rivers. Like typical rivers, washes are linear, chronically disturbed habitats that concentrate water and nutrients from a large area, and serve as dispersal corridors for plants and animals.
|Netleaf hackberry in wash|
Xeroriparian -- dry river habitat -- dry, yes, but a kind of natural highway providing more in the way of nutrition and moisture than surrounding high desert and mountains. Note the advanced spring green of the hackberry tree with its feet deep in the wash. Mesquite too reach deep to find moisture beneath the dusty surface.
|Therese, my hiking guide and guru|
|Love the exposed rock!|
|These are determined roots!|
|Something I need to identify...|
|Buddy likes the shade. We all do.|
|Another of those DYCs|
|Tiny but bright|
|A look back to orient myself to the way we have come|
|We are making the return trip now|
|Remember this exposed rock?|
|It happened right around here --|
So, no photos of javelinas! Too busy with dogs to bother with camera! And no photos, either, of the mule deer Therese spotted, so high on the mountain that I couldn't see them at all until they moved. No telephoto lens.
Anyway, as the sun reached even into our shady places, we needed to get back home soon. Midday is no time to hike in southern Arizona.
|Sun is reaching for us...|
|Can you even see Sarah here?|