We northern Arizonans are keeping one eye on the skies these days, as we anxiously await the summer rains. The weather pattern known as the "monsoon" can usually be counted on to bring relief from the blistering heat to every living thing http://ag.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/weather/monsoon.htm. With history as a guide the rains are late in coming this year, but forecasters say they are on the way shortly. The flip side of this watery relief is the flash flooding that can occur in low lying areas. Be sure to stay out of narrow drainages and slot canyons during the coming months, especially in the afternoon. Even with blue skies above you might be surprised by a whistling ten foot wall of water...a great way to ruin a day (life?). Oh yes, and don't forget to dodge the frequent lightning (leave the spiked golf shoes at home). Have fun, stay safe, hike smart, and enjoy Mother Nature's watery gift from a safe distance.
Monday, July 11, 2005
While shooting the Canyon yesterday morning near the El Tovar Hotel, I chanced upon a young woman meditating on a precarious cliff. Upon further inspection I could see a Desert Bighorn on the slope beneath her, casually munching on a plant. These endangered, deer-like mammals are usually wary of humans. I joined her to get a better vantage and realized that no less than five of these creatures were converging on our position from every angle (including some boot-wide ledges below). We agreed it was Julie's energy that was luring them in. I got my pictures, but judging from the tears rolling down Julie's cheeks, she got much, much more. Desert Bighorn range from rim-to-river in Grand Canyon, and are usually spotted in rocky terrain. Read more by visiting this cool website:http://www.desertusa.com/big.html