Robin Patten Photos by Robin Patten. The alcove was shallow, though its back wall was shaded, seeping with enough moisture to support a modest hanging garden. With autumn taking hold, most of the plants had decayed into crumpled leaves and drooping stems, yet within the brown was a bit of green and a flame of … Continue reading Desert Notes: Eastwood’s Monkeyflower
Morning coolness lingered in the side canyon, the heat of summer yet to reach into the depths. I walked the dry wash along the canyon bottom, watching the cliffs for the wrens chittering somewhere above, looking down only to secure my way – and so the mule deer head startled me, lying in my path, upside down below a cottonwood tree.
It was hot. There’s no other way to say it. Just plain hot. Summer hot. Desert hot.
Somewhere north of Bluff, a small side canyon cuts into the cliffs, seeps and springs feeding a small stream that flows down from the canyon’s head. When I first arrived in this region, that shady narrow ravine...
Photo by Robin Patten. Robin Patten I never thought much about lizard intelligence until the year I camped for several nights in a secluded spot in the Grand Canyon. A small lizard lived near my cooking area. She would appear at both breakfast and dinner, splaying across her rock the way lizards do, as if … Continue reading Desert Notes: Lizard Intelligence
Morning comes, and the vultures are rising, lifting off their cottonwood roost, slowly spiraling upward until they reach their desired height and head north in linear flight.
Cave primrose (Primula specuicola) in Southeast Utah. Photo by Robin Patten. Robin Patten, April 2022 Sheltered in their alcove habitat, maidenhair ferns began unfurling new fronds around the same time the Say’s phoebes started calling and sandhill cranes sang their way across Cottonwood Wash. At least that was the first green that I saw. On … Continue reading Desert Notes: Hanging Gardens