Friday, May 30, 2008

Day Trip!

Today we took a day trip to the Hassayampa River Preserve in Wickenburg, AZ. One of the translations of Hassayampa is "the river that flows upside down." Most of the its 100-mile course though the desert is underground, but within the preserve, its crystal clear waters emerge and flow above ground year round.



The above photo looks like Herba Mansa. it is usually grown around ponds and water features. Cottonwood trees line the riverbed floor as well as palm trees and mesquites. The lush stream side is home to a lot of wildlife.

We hiked along the many trails within the preserve. My granddaughter is the one on the right, walking with her friend.


Click to enlarge the cholla spines. This year, after our heavy winter rains, the spines are white and thick. Most years they are a dingy yellow, dry and brittle looking.


Saguaro, cholla, and prickly pear stands.

Going home the back way is the most beautiful desert in Arizona--well, almost. They receive a little more rain than we do--and it's only 50 miles away. Everything there is still blooming and green, and where I live, the desert is already getting dry and dormant, and will remain that way until fall.

Chaparral (grease wood ) is still in bloom. This is the plant that releases the odor we associate with the smell of desert rainfall.

Had to add the windmill photo. A lot of our cattle ranchers graze their cattle in the desert and they find enough food to keep them well-fed, fat and happy. Windmills dot the desert landscape throughout Arizona. The windmills fill the water tanks for the cattle in these remote areas.

We will be taking a lot of day trips this summer--plane trips, hotels and restaurants are out of budget this year! But, I don't mind at all as this is my most favorite place of all! I did love Hawaii though, and Oregon, Ohio, and oh yeah--Switzerland was wonderful!!!!

6 comments:

Julie said...

That Chaparral is really pretty, and unusual looking!

I, too, am wondering if we can afford vacation this year...I calculated 350 dollars a day between gas, hotel and food for 3 adults (my daughter would go with us)...YIKES!!! I am telling them we should stay on a Stay-cation! My daughter learned this terminology on the news the other day...you stay home, and visit places in your local area, which sounds fine with me!!!

ceekay said...

Thanks for coming by my blog and leaving a comment. Where in AZ are you? We are in Buckeye. I love the reluctant cacti gardener. That is definately me...
Hope you come by again....

Pudgeduck said...

Julie- the chaparral becomes dry and brittle looking as the weather heats up. I like the stay-cation word. Makes it sound exciting!

ceekay- I live about 10 miles SW of Buckeye. Been there -done that-born there! Didn't make it far.....

ceekay said...

Cracks me up...what a small world..
I will add you to my favs....so I can visit again. Have a great weekend.

Claude said...

The stay-cation is going to be very popular this year... I drive for a living, and gas prices are hurting me hard. If you look around, there's usually plenty of interesting stuff very close-by... no matter where you are.

Pudgeduck said...

Claude- Gas prices here just went over $4.00. What are they there? I guess everyone should plant a garden-We can't stop driving though....What to do?????