You can tell I’ve been hiking in the Sonoran desert with a camera. But my camera failed me two weeks before I left; so I’m armed only with the iPhone camera. We drove South to Tucson from Phoenix. Passed some surprises–a large orchard. In the desert? Yes. I’m guessing they are almond trees, but I’m not positive.
And then a real surprise. On the desert floor, maybe 25 miles out of Phoenix, a number of descansos, grouped together. Descansos are roadside grave markers. These were about 100 feet off the road, but there were at least a dozen, followed shortly by others. Who were these people who died in the desert, and whose graves are marked and tended? Someone remembers and loves them, someone paints the crosses on their graves and paints them white.
At the Sonoran Desert Museum there were specimens of plant and animal life–all in their natural habitat. Snakes and spiders, millipedes and lizards were in viewable habitats, but much of the desert is outside, in the desert, in a wild habitat.
The views alone were breath-taking, but I was surprised to see animals, including white-tailed deer.
There are hummingbirds in the desert, too. (See him in the center of the picture, below,sitting on a white cup feeder.) Like monarch butterflies, they migrate. Monarchs don’t migrate through Arizona, but they do wander in occasionally, to the higher and damper areas.
–All images and text copyright by Quinn McDonald, 2007 All rights reserved. Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. See her work at QuinnCreative.com