Wetlands with Purpose

I was looking for a short, flat walk, within or near town, to stretch my legs while also seeing some green and living things, maybe even sit for a bit and sketch out some ideas bouncing around in my head after a really engaging class. I found all of those things at the Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson.

You read that right. A wetlands. In the middle of the Sonoran Desert.

Sweetwater is a built environment, not a natural occurrence, part of the water treatment plan for the city of Tucson, while also providing refuge for a diverse amount of birds and other wildlife that might not have a habitat in the city otherwise.

Critters I saw

This pond had the most to see. Mallards and … a least grebe?

Two kinds of turtles, probably a pond slider and a Sonora mud turtle.

I saw lots of bullfrogs, though I didn’t hear them, midafternoon as it was. How many hundreds of nights of my childhood did I fall asleep to the deep, dulcet tones of randy bullfrogs…?

A medium-sized raptor that winged pretty low over my head took up a perch in that tree on the left. Best guess, it was a Cooper’s Hawk.

There were dragonflies everywhere, some with red on them, some with green, and these great huge blue guys that might be Western Pondhawk.

This guy catching those dragonflies was maybe an immature common gallinule.

Plus there were, of course, flowers and trees and green and growing things.

Plus, more critters I couldn’t photograph fast enough

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