Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just add water!

Amazing what a little water can do for a landscape!  These datura are a near-favorite. I have seen some with a pale purple lip that I like a smidge better, but these aren't bad!

The desert willow (chilopsis linearis) are everywhere and the scent is amazing. The bright yellow senna are starting to leaf, but no blooms yet. Maybe next time.

These not-so little doves were crowding momma dove last week.
Today, they were gone.

I was working with some environmental contractors from 'Back East' a few years ago.  They were on contract from the DoD, looking to find sites in need of clean-up at the nearby military installation.  Usually these sites are old artillery or bombing ranges. I thought I knew the fort pretty well.  They were planning a trip out to look at sites and wanted to see a specific small arms range that had been inactive for more than a decade.  They were insistent that it needed a review due to the impact craters.  I was confused, because our history showed nothing but pistol use since being built during WWII.

They assured me that the aerial images clearly showed the craters. I asked for an electronic copy and it made me smile.  From the air, these large harvester ant clearings actually do look a lot like the impact craters made by artillery shells. (unless you have a stereo pair) The Easterners came and we took a nice walk through the ant hills.  If you are not familiar with harvester ants, they are large but not particularly aggressive or venomous. If you happen to get in their path, they will mosey up your shoes, onto your leg and up your pants. They have large, powerful jaws and do not liked to be trapped up your pant leg against your undies elastic. I can tell you from personal experience, it will make you drop your pants to get the little monsters out of there once they start biting. Several of the visitors were treated to this little ritual I call the 'ant dance.' Welcome to the desert.   

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