Is the Desert Ever Green?
But lo and behold, like a line drawn across the valley floor, a narrow ribbon lies.
Could that green line possibly be trees? Real, actual trees? As one hikes closer to that tantalizing line, yes, indeed, one finds the tall, massive cottonwood trees. And since the cottonwoods will only grow where there is water, we only need to look, and we find the waters of the San Pedro river, the only river left in Arizona that has been allowed to run freely on its original course, without any alteration by man.
The river and its quietly flowing water are the lifeblood of the desert. As we walk beneath the shade-giving cottonwoods, frogs leap into the depths at our approach. Many varieties of birds, not found elsewhere in the desert, chirp and sing as they flit from branch to branch or else stand at the river's edge searching for seeds or perhaps insects. They hardly move at our approach, so fearless they are.
In the course of our hike we cross the river several times. Sometimes there are logs to cross over on; sometimes our feet get wet in the cool stream. Minnows and water grasses wave in the current. There are few insects to bother us this early in the season, but lizards skittle through last fall's dry leaves. It is still, it is quiet. Few noises other than the birds and the wind in the branches can be heard. Above all, it is GREEN.
Welcome to Project Spectrum for May. Green...even in the desert.