Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lessons of a Desert Landscape

Yesterday was a fairly warm day, and we tended some chores, then took some time for a bit of a run on the mopeds.

When stationary, it was very warm, but when moving at a moped clip, you could definitely feel a chilling bite in the air. We puttered up the mesa, then back the other way to Squaw Lake. The sun hit the water with stunning glitter. There was a flock of local ducks swimming on it, and a few palm trees along its shores.

Some of the palms were still short enough to stand right in the frond umbrella, and I noticed for the first time that these trees too, had rather a dangerous side to them. On the length of the branch leading to the leaves was a bilateral ridge of curated "teeth".

One thing about the desert flora is that nearly all of it has some means of protection, and Midnight is being forced into an acceptance that a dog's natural instinct to "water the plants" is being denied, least he should spike a region more sensitive than most to the barbs of an unfriendly trunk or branch.

On our way back, I noticed a few trunks of former palm trees, and was fascinated by the cross-section. With most trees one is used to seeing the usual rings of growth, but these trees were different. There was a degree of rings to it, but more noticeable was a much more predominant presence of tubes.

It almost reminded me of a sea anemone. It occurred to me that as water is a scarce commodity to the plants of the area, any tree had best find a way to quickly capitalize on any contributions to its intake. With these tubule structures, the capillary action of the trunk would definitely be put into the express lane. It was quite enlightening.

The discoveries and learnings of the day were marred by one further find by the roadside. Apparently fairly recently a battle was fought and lost by one of the resident burros. All that was left to mark its failure was a hind leg below the knee, with only bone and sinew remaining until just below the lower leg joint where the fur and flesh remained in tact down to the atrophied hoof. I believe it was an adult.

It was a very sad reminder that among the beauty and uniqueness of the area we currently make our home, the life struggles continue for the non-civilized side of existence out here.

To blur the image slightly, the mother and small babe that we saw on the day of the large herd visiting was visible on the nearby peaks near the water tower, going about daily routines and processes in the late afternoon. Life marched on without the fallen member.

As I ponder the day past, I bid you


Editor's note: I have been able to put pictures in again, but now I must go back and be sure that all previous pictures still are linked.


  1. Hey Gypsy,

    Am loving these excursion posts of yours! This one is especially cool. Safe journey.


  2. Glad to be the provider of vicarious journeys :-)