Thoughts About A Recent Refreshing Hike in the Arizona Desert
September 18, 2023
For many years, I would go out for a walk in the desert. The desert I like to walk around is near my relative’s home. The desert terrain ranges from easy to hike to moderately easy to hike. (It could be harder than I describe it.)
Recently, I went for a hike in the desert. While out there, I noticed things are changing in the desert. There are more homes built in the area, but that wasn’t what made me take notice of the changes in the desert. Instead, the desert itself is in a season of change.
First, I noticed there are multiple saguaro cacti had growth spurts. One in particular grew from around six feet tall to twelve feet tall! I was surprised by the growth spurt. I knew it would have a growth spurt (It was too short to be a full grown saguaro) but I didn’t think it would grow so soon. Earlier this year, in the spring, I went for a walk in the desert during the 2023 flower boom. The saguaro wasn’t as tall as it is now.
Other changes I noticed is some of the other cacti are starting to bloom and some of the plants fell over and died. They normally bloom twice a year, once in the spring and the other in the fall. Seeing the cacti bloom made me happy.
As for the plants that feel over and died, it made me sad to see them in their state. I went to one of the plants, a Palo Verde tree, fell into a wash. It fell after the rain storms earlier this year ebed away the sides of the wash, causing the tree to fall completely over. When I visited the tree, I was sure it would still be where it fell. It was still there, but I found a family of quail now use the tree as a nest.
Walking around the desert normally makes me happy. This time, I didn’t know how to describe how I felt. On the one hand, I was happy to walk around the desert again. It was disappointing to see the desert change so much since I was gone. I like to walk around the desert more often than I have been. Yet, I felt like my most recent walk wasn’t like the rest.
The desert is changing no matter if there are new people living in the area or not. It is still growing. Plants die. Plants live. And plants that live 500 years, such as the saguaros, are still growing. No matter what happens, if the desert left alone and is given a chance to be a desert, it will continue to live and thrive.
I needed to see this with my own eyes. Not through a TV or online. Just me, in the desert, without anyone but me making observations and remarks about it. It felt good to be left to my own thoughts and observing everything I felt needed to be observed.