Saturday, February 16, 2008

An eagle pair & a green desert floor

The world is coming alive down in the desert. A neighbor, doing field work in the Ft. McDowell area, sent the pictures posted here. First, a bald eagle at attention and another, perhaps a mate, hunkered down in a humongous nest. No, I didn't get a look at the eagle nest over at Lynx Lake last week -- I had my camera, but not my binoculars.

More important for most of us, who aren't likely to come across any eagles, is his other message: the desert looks like a golf course.

Now is time to start planning wildflower trips. My AzPlants mailing list sent this message Friday: At Boyce Thompson Arboretum we have had just under an inch (0.86) of rain from the current system. Have had some little guys blooming at Picketpost trail head including Draba cuneifolia, Calandrinia, Lotus tomentellus, Jojoba, some little Gilia, and some little borage. Noticed yesterday that the Fairy Duster is blooming on the west side of Gonzales Pass along Hwy. 60, along with some brittlebush at Florence Junction. For the record, my favorite wildflower drive to catch the desert in bloom is the county road on the east side of the Santa Maria River. The Orme Road off SR169 is good for several drives as it drops from 5000+ elevation down to about 2500-3000 ft., with a wonderful mix of desert and higher elevation plants flowering at different times during our early spring.

Water Note: Remember that elephant sitting in on all those meetings about water? Well, the Sunday Courier is reporting that the SRP has written a letter stating that Prescott has NO rights to Big Chino water. Oops.

10 comments:

meggie said...

Lovely photos. Never get tired of seeing other locations, & the wonderful wildlife, & scenery.

Lucy said...

Isn't that eagles' nest astonishing? The work involved...

pb said...

Eagle and nest!

The elusive Holy Grail of all my excursions to our local river...

Great Photos.

Anonymous said...

WOW! The elephant has roared! Does this mean the Verde River headwaters are safe? Or, will Chino Valley's developments soak up that precious resource?

Am so looking forward to your wildflower photos this spring, Granny J. ~Anon in AV

sheoflittlebrain said...

I guess Prescott will have to think up other ways to keep the golf courses green..

Great eagle pix:)

Granny J said...

meggie -- and I love to show off our wonderful area. Enjoy!

lucy -- I'm impressed by the size of the nest compared to the eagle...

pb -- our local eagles started out with a platform in a snag, provided by the Forest Service. It had originally been built for the ospreys, but the eagles nudged them aside and then proceeded to move their nest a couple of years later.

anon av -- good question. The problem isn't Chino Valley taking the water -- it's Prescott & PV (which isn't even in the Verde watershed.

brain -- the city fathers might hire some rain dancers.

Desert Cat said...

Watching the rainfall this winter--well-spaced storms dropping generous quantities...

It's only February, but if this trend continues for another month it will surely be a banner year for desert wildflowers!

Granny J said...

DC -- it should be good up here in the mountains, too. And I tossed out a whole bunch of red Calif. poppy seed -- keeping my fingers crossed.

k said...

Seeing the green here makes me seriously hunger to hit the road with Walter. First I have more Paper Chase to finish. When I'm done - then I'm free.

work work work...

Granny J said...

k -- I thought that your Paper Chase was over& done with! Years and years ago, I suffered through one of those., thanks to my carelessness and the IRS!

 
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