This will be just a brief little entry with some photos of the Coronado National Forest near Tucson. I’m tired and I have to get up early to head south tomorrow.
Nogales Magdalena de Kino Santa Ana El Oasis Hermosillo Guayma, Ciudad Obregon
It makes me nervous.
Navajoa Aduana Alamos
Today the temperature in Tucson reached 38 degrees Celcius. It was at this point, after I finished errands that I do not want to mention or think about right now, that I returned to my hotel and did yoga on the concrete outside of my room.
Earlier, however, this morning, I headed out to Sabino Canyon to hike. Driving into the parking lot the first thing I saw were two Gambel’s quail, a male and a female. It may be silly but the sight of them made everything in me feel as though itmomentarily fell into place.
I spent four hours hiking around through Sonoran desert and up riparian washes. Some of what I saw: white winged doves drinking the nectar of Saguaro flowers and families of round tailed grass squirrels. Two white tailed deer and many American Goldfinches. A male cardinal. Greater earless lizards. Tons of pollinating insects. Saguaro in bloom, a flowering yucca, mesquite, jumping cholla, ocotillo.
And Gambel’s quail. In pairs, in a family with tiny chicks, one cow calling.
At one point, I came upon the tail end of a Sonoran lyresnake. It’s head was down a hole and nearby, a small round tailed ground squirrel thumped, as though in warning or threat?
Of course, this is what I impose upon his/her behavior. I also, I will admit it, felt my heart clench. The predator prey relationships have always been problematic for me. I know the snake needs to eat and had I seen her in another situation, moving along the desert or sunning on a rock, I would have been exhilarated. Instead I had that crazy moment of desire—where I might pull her out by the tail and save whatever squirrels I was assuming were down there. It’s just that immediate imposition of my own sense that I knew what the squirrel felt, the squirrels felt, that the snake could move on to something else, something I didn’t have to bear witness to. That I had a right to step in and change what was happening. That I even knew what was happening.
I remember when the Cooper’s hawk dove into the brush and caught a California quail—all was alarm calling and a lone distress call. Until the distress call was silenced and all others were silenced and everything was silence and stillness.
I moved on. Later, in the parking lot, I saw another round tailed squirrel eating a large pod in the shade near where a male Gambel’s was cow-calling.
quote by Bolaño