Arizona's high desert is truly amazing! There are unimaginable sunsets, as well as unique flora and fauna. Awesome views are unobstructed by forests and skyscrapers and you can see for miles in all directions. Mesas and colorful rock formations pattern the landscape. There are few phone and power lines on the property where we live and most of our views are wire free. The ground is composed fine reddish sand that is littered with bits of petrified wood and brilliant rocks. It is quite the rock hunter's delight.
Desert Plants and Animals
Primary plants in this area include: yuccas, prickly pear cacti, a few astounding cholla cacti, creosote bushes, juniper bushes, globe mallow plants, and many, many small flowering plants that I have yet to identify. Though this area has been under drought condition for years, tolerant plants continue to thrive.
Wild animals that are often seen or heard in the distance are: coyote, antelope, jack rabbits, and wild dogs. I often see prairie dogs and roadrunners on the roads as I travel to work. The bird watching here is also excellent. I've spotted red tail hawks, rough legged hawks, bald eagles, golden eagles, an oriole, a barn swallow, humming birds, many ravens and plethora of buzzards.
There are also an abundance of unique and ancient looking beetle bugs, persistent army ants, house flies, and moths.
Promoting Native Plant Life
Unfortunately beef cattle also roam rampant in this part of the world and do so legally on any land that is unfenced. They are responsible for damaging the wild plant growth and rock formations with their avid grazing and careless hooves. Hopefully, we will be able to fence off of our property in the future to allow the revitalization of native plants and cacti.
We also plan to wildcraft a garden of nearby native plants includeing coneflowers, which have similar properties to echinacea, and also buffalo gourds, a natural source of oil.
Beyond the beauty of the landscape and the variety of plants and animals, I value the quiet of the desert. Though an occasional truck noisily barrels down the highway, we are often thrilled by the sound of bird's wings flapping as it moves across the open sky.
Greatest of all desert wonders, though, is the sun. Most days are bright, sunny and warm and the temperature often climbs to 50˚ F in the dead of winter. The sun's brilliance not only cheers the mood, but provides a majority of the energy that we consume.
Without a doubt, we are fortunate to be living in such a desert paradise.