Wild in the Wash

One thing I miss from my last two homes was creating attractive surroundings: appealing habitats for the fauna that think the desert is just fine.

A closer look at the Clark County Wetlands Park in 6/2015; even a music video pairing with scenes from Las Vegas – here

great building approach through a desert riparian zone
getting ready
my first welcome greeting…a jackrabbit bunny, not even afraid

Before that, a covey of Gambel’s Quail darted out of the saltbushes and mesquites right across from my path, but my camera wasn’t ready. I still enjoyed their calls.

desert peoples always drawn to water…certain plants like it, too

There’s little habitat where I now live, in the paved grit of an old, inner city neighborhood. In the minutes I once sipped a cup of French Roast in the waning, cool relief of dawn, it now takes weeks to witness the same amount of wildlife. Former neighbors with rock-hell yards never believing why.

There’s little habitat in 20+ miles of Las Vegas’ boom-to-bust-to-? built area, like many southwestern towns. That could be greatly cured all over their city, with a knack of making things happen fast.

Especially since Las Vegas, with 4″ annual rainfall, has so many residents and visitors.

butterfly ID?…enjoying the cool of the morning day in the Atriplex thicket, like me

Even I think this is cute. Never have I seen jackrabbits dig and what even looks like play, or a dirt bath before it gets hot.

Back to a favorite resident of many desert residents.

Gambel’s Quail / Callipepla gambelii
and of course, Quailbush / Atriplex lentiformis
Giant Sacaton / Sporobulus wrightii…the sun about to torment the city…enjoying the moment

Let me be by myself in the evening breeze
Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in

Just turn me loose, let me straddle on my saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise

I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
Gaze at the moon till I lose my senses…..

You might be a westerner if you’ve done all that.

Get out there and get inspired this weekend, even if you don’t get to live in the wild west!

5 Replies to “Wild in the Wash”

  1. Love this! The bathing bunny is a great catch. I’m trying to bring some habitat back to my place (nearly bare when I moved in). I’d give a toe to see a quail here. They used to be around, the neighbors say, but the feral cats drove them off :~( Lizards, birds, and even tree frogs have returned, though. You’re absolutely right — with a little effort, it happens fast!

    Thanks for stopping by. I’ve heard of some animals taking dust baths, and I bet the ground was cooler than the afternoon highs on that trip! Thanks for stopping by, I started reading your last post including on Salvia pachyphylla…


  2. Our suburban, a few houses from the urban edge, wildlife is mostly birds lizards insects. But 2 neighbours have told us they have seen porcupines foraging at night.

    Porcupines…very cool! At my last house, coyotes used to walk down the street on trash pickup day, and bobcats would walk through the courtyard. And the occasional black bear, puma tracks, owls.

    Now, just college students and parties!


  3. On our morning walk this morning my wife and I saw a rattlesnake (dead in the street) Our dog had her stiches removed today from her run-in with javelinas. There are wild burros near our house, coyotes have taken neighbor’s pets, a great horned owl has run off with pets. A friend posted a picture of a bobcat running off with a cat yesterday on Facebook…….and I love it here! Being so close to nature is the appeal of the wide open west. Thanks for posting.

    Living on the edge of the desert and foothills really puts meaning into the food chain. Some refer to the “mountain lion-colored foothills” over here to let you know they are watching but blend in, but all I’ve seen are the paw prints…but some people have seen them.


  4. The fawns around here this time of year are adorable as well. Gamboling about, just filled with energy and playful all day long. Only time they are still is when they stop to mow down every blooming thing they can reach in our gardens. Worse, they don’t seem to “know” what to eat yet and pull plants up by the roots just to spit them out. The fun never ends.

    All that said, would I prefer a situation where they weren’t around and/or I never saw them? Nope. I’m even learning to tolerate (“like” would be way too strong a word) the local tarantulas, the ones I grew up scared to bits about. If the plants I’m growing are native and I set it up for them to do well, these critters will necessarily be part of all that. No way around it and not even wishing it was any other way.

    At least rabbits just chew and gnaw, not uproot! I agree on seeing deer over none…you just need some mountain lions for predator control. (though all the deer in your area would require too many mountain lions, you’d have other issues – maybe not) I’m the same way on most bugs, except roaches…then again, if my area had some vinegaroons like others in town or my old hood in Abq, they would be less…and vinegaroons are so large, they rarely can get inside.


  5. Amazed at insect life in the country vs. suburbs. AMAZED.

    Wider diversity, shocking quantity, and they all want to attack, get in the car, eat the house, menace anything related to human life/living/comfort.

    City insects are quaint in comparison. Snakes too.


    Rural flies are slower to swat, too! Maybe it’s pollution, no habitat on toxic turf (the opposite of Tara Turf), or in the SW case rock yards.


Comments are closed.