TUESDAY JANUARY 29/08
We just kept walking & walking & walking. It was such a beautiful morning & the desert just seemed to become greener with every step. The recent rains have really made a difference to the plant life. Little plants are springing up out of the desert floor, ocotillos are sprouting emerald green leaves, the creosote shrubs are filling in & the mesquite trees are taking on a fresh hue of green. Woodpeckers flitted between the Saguaros & I even saw a jack-a-lope springing along under a copse of green trunked Palo Verde trees. We hiked over to a rocky ridge & clambered up along a stony burrow path to a place on the other side we call, Saguaro Valley. It's my favorite place here at Hickiwan Trails.http://picasaweb.google.com/stargeezerguy You can sit atop the rocks & see for miles around. The majestic & mighty Ajo mountain range lies on the distant horizon to the south as the desert floor spreads out to the west. A very special place & I hope to return here many times before we leave.
The rest of the day was spent in much the same way as yesterday. I helped Ray with the computer setting up a third email account, adding the Picasa Photo program, continuing with Microsoft updates, removing unnecessary data, etc. etc. Kelly did a bunch of cleaning plus doing some research on the computer. We were also able to help a lady with a connection problem on her laptop. Always feels good to be able to help with things like that.
Took a bicycle ride out into the desert in the late afternoon. What a perfect place for a bicycle. Easy to ride on the desert floor & it's fun weaving around the Saguaros, dodging the creosote bushes, scrambling over the creek beds, & just racing around like a crazy kid again. To-morrow I will take my camera with me:))
Someone mentioned awhile back about the a desert being all sand. I always thought of a desert as being endless miles of big sand dunes as well. I think we've all seen, Lawrence of Arabia & to many of us, that is what a desert is. However, that is only one kind of a desert & here in Southern Arizona & southeast California is another kind of desert. Also in California is the Mojave desert as well. I once heard a park ranger describe the Sonoran desert as the tropical desert. I've included a link plus a brief description of the Sonoran......................................
The Sonoran Desert is an arid region covering 120,000 square miles in southwestern Arizon and southeastern California, as well as most of Baja California and the western half of the state of Sonora, Mexico. Subdivisions of this hot, dry region include the Colorado and Yuma deserts. Irrigation has produced many fertile agricultural areas, including the Coachella and Imperial valleys of California. Warm winters attract tourists to Sonora Desert resorts in Palm Springs, California, and Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona.
This is the hottest of our North American deserts, but a distinctly bimodal rainfall pattern produces a high biological diversity. Winter storms from the Pacific nourish many West Coast annuals such as poppies and lupines, while well-developed summer monsoons host both annuals and woody plants originating from the south. Freezing conditions can be expected for a few nights in winter.
Sonora Desert is rich in animal life as well, with many species in all groups derived from tropical and subtropical regions.
The western part of the Sonora Desert (sometimes called the "Colorado Desert") is closer to the source of Pacific storms and is noted for spectacular spring flowering of ephemerals when there is winter-spring rainfall. (This phenomenon is not limited to here.) However, the western portion is relatively depauperate, lacking many of the species such as the Saguaro that depend on good summer rainfall.
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