Southwestern Wildlife – Rosario Valdivia

One of my major interests since arriving here has been the Santa Cruz River. I did not expect there to be a river in the desert. During my tour of the park, my supervisor walked me to the river. Immediately I felt a strong connection to it. Though the river may not be mighty and flowing all the time, it is still harboring life to many animals and plants in the desert. And thus began my new love for the desert.

I try to always have my digital camera with me because I’ll never know when I’m going to come across interesting wildlife. Half of these images were taken after the first monsoon rain. The roadrunners are some of my favorite birds here. They remind of velociraptors! I was also finally able to see some frogs at the park. I saw my first rattlesnake out by the river in Tucson. I caught a coyote mid-yawn at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

The southwest is home to not only cacti, but many other plants. There are bosques along the river. These trees provide habitats for a variety of birds. After the heavy rains, the duckweed on the surface of the pond gathered in specific areas. It was so dense, it was thick enough for someone to lightly step their foot on it without touching the water.

I enjoy the scenery at the desert. It’s full of life and brings me much joy.

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