By accident, I found a place where man and beast alike roam in the city of Tucson. It was shocking. Behind a lake, I found an area between Columbus Park and Sweetwater Wetlands that was teaming with wildlife. I went to find buntings and more buntings(reported by a birder), but I found much more than that......
Male Lesser Goldfinch in the shadows of this mighty Mesquite tree
I walked alone again on this cloudy afternoon during our monsoon storms. It was cool and quiet. The bugs were out in full force. Even if a homeless person wanted to live in this area, they couldn't or if they did, they'd face being eaten alive.
It was oddly exciting for me. And I began to connect the dots. A river ran through this forested area of Mesquite, Arizona Cottenwood, and other dense shrubs. It was like a secret forest left untouched. If humans decided to build here, they'd face the threat of losing their home in this wash or worse....their lives. Because of floods, etc., this area is a no man's land that cannot be touched by people at all. So the wash had evidence that people were present, but it was clear that it was a safehaven for wildlife like coyotes and mountain lions to hide.
Mexican Amberwing Dragonfly
I walked among the ruins overrun by mequite trees growing from the tops of concrete waste. For a year now, I have tried to understand how Mountain Lions were entering the Sweetwater wetlands without being noticed. That is until I went from the other side of the wash and discovered this lost haven. There were things that lived here that I had never seen before in the city. I mean....strange new butterflies, birds and animals. You'll see them all. It was a real treat. Again, I heard the Lazuli Buntings in the dense forest and surrounding grasslands but because the bugs were so intense, I stayed out of the area. Plus there were other desert things lurking in the dark. So I played it safe.
Now there were all kinds of critters. I didn't realize how many of you loved lizards until several weeks ago so I'll take more pictures of them for you all. Right now butterflies and lizards OWN the desert:) They are everywhere.
Zebra tailed lizard
So I forgot about the muggy weather and had a blast taking pictures and capturing everything on camera. Over the next several days you'll see some extremely exciting desert wildlife come alive:)
But like all good things, my walk had to come to an end and I had to return home, but I didn't want to....this summer heat carries a price. I respect the desert and listen to my body. Heat exhaustion is common here in the desert and can come on suddenly without warning. So I look forward to the winter weather more than ever! I'm craving long day hikes again. More tomorrow....