Saturday we took another exploratory drive to Tucson, this time to the Sweetwater Wetlands, a 60-acre water treatment facility, urban wildlife habitat, and outdoor classroom. It’s similar to the Riparian Preserve, although smaller and with different flora. One feature that I quickly learned to appreciate in the desert is that it has trees.

There must have been thousands of dragonflies of all colors and sizes.

One of the most prominent features was the overwhelming number of cattails, most of which were 10′ or more in height. Much of the water area was home to these giants which, as you can imagine, provide perfect privacy for ducks and other creatures.

This pair was relaxing in the shade, something else you learn to cherish in a place where it’s all about the sun. Believe me, it’s worth parking at a distance from your destination and walking if you can park in the shade.

Further along, we encountered the first of the camouflage turtles.

We’ve been informed by an avid birder that the Tuscon area is one of the best birding areas in the US. Early morning and dusk would probably be better times, but we did manage to spot a few gems. This one’s for my friend, Madison, who paints birds and animals with paints she makes herself from rocks and other items near her Ozark home. It’s a male northern harrier, called a grey ghost. I had to work to get this shot as he was so rude as to alight where I couldn’t get the sun behind me. But in the end, editing came to the rescue, allowing me to lighten the shot so you could appreciate this handsome fellow.

Although there’s more to explore at another time, let’s find a shady bench, relax for a bit, and have a drink of nice, cool water, another desert necessity. This is a place we’ll definitely revisit!

for Jo’s Monday Walk 9.7.20

  1. Michelle says:

    What a beautiful nature preserve!

  2. peggyjoan42 says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. Your pictures are so wonderful. Give the desert just a little water and it always produces an oasis.

    • The reclaimed water spots are a plus not just for the birds and animals. At the Riparian Preserve, they mention that there used to be many riparian places throughout the Southwest but with all the building and growth, many of them have disappeared along with their water and places for migrating birds and other animals. The two places are oases in more than one way.

  3. Looks like a perfect day in nature to me. 🙂

    • It’s not a very big spot, but an important one for the birds and animals that either live there or stop in when migrating. It was a very enjoyable morning and will be even more fun when the heat abates a bit. 🙂

  4. Dan Antion says:

    What a beautiful place. I can certainly see why you’ll go back there again.

    • At some point we’ll stay overnight so I can get there right at dawn and my husband will ride a nearby bike path. I’d love to see more types of birds and possibly some animals.

  5. Leya says:

    Oh, gorgeous – the greens are so very green!

  6. de Wets Wild says:

    Can I go along next time, please Janet!?

  7. You found a jewel in the desert! I loved the dragonfly and Harrier images.

  8. Thank you so much for taking us on that beautiful walk!

  9. What a beautiful place! Your photos are just stunning!

  10. lolaWi says:

    beautiful space! great photos and looks like green everywhere! 🙂

  11. restlessjo says:

    The ducks make such a beautiful shot, Janet 🙂 🙂 I’m shot watching the US Open at the moment. It’s intense! Thanks a lot for sharing.

  12. Great wildlife, excellent photos. Thanks!