Saturday, November 29, 2014

FEB: Water Stops 2

By Greg

More from our February quest for water in southern Arizona.

Here. A small vibrant stream flowing through a bed of greenish stone. High enough upon the shoulders of mountains to carry a sense of winter dormancy. High enough upon the shoulders of mountains to carry a sense of the promise of water. As if these pools, this stream, could be relied upon. Flowing. Even now, late in a dry winter. Providing for strange creatures. For the quiet trees and grasses and mosses and flowers. Adorned with copper leaves of a recent autumn. Waiting expectantly for spring.

There. Other mountains. Lower. Of pale, yellow stone. Painted with a sense of desolation. As if water would be found here only rarely. Never to be relied upon. The only promise one of hardship. Yet we found water. Secreted away in hidden pools. We found signs of spring's beginning in the blossoms of many flowers. The hollow bodies of insects suggested either a dangerous past or a more vibrant future -- we were unsure of which. Small water for small flowers. For small insects, sure. But also water for the female fox who screamed her yearning from the dark of our corral-side camp.


Wet Water Stop:

Dry Water Stop:

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

FEB: Water Stops

Words by Greg
Photos by Greg and Trina

Arizona is known for its heat. For its dryness. For its prickly plants, sand, dust and generally rugged desert landscape. And for good reason, as much of the state is just that. Back in February, we found heat (compared to our frosty homeland…) and we found dryness. We found prickly plants, sand, dust… But we also found water.

We may even have sought out water, as we poked our way into the secret corners of many of southern Arizona's mountain ranges. Looking, always for the rare moisture that provides for life in the otherwise dry land.

We found small rushing streams. We found bare trickles. We found green tanks. We found stale puddles. And always, nearby, we found vibrant signs of the otherwise secret lives that rely on this desert water. Flowers, insects, birds, furry creatures. Or sometimes merely indications that these lives had been lived or were being lived somewhere close by. Footprints, seeds, exoskeletons, or a feather.

We left our own footprints. Took with us our memories and photographs. And went back to our more civilized lives. Knowing, and happy to know, that those near-secret lives remain out there. Drawn, like us. To water.