Why are Desert Habitats a Good Excuse To Put Your Feet Up?

Posted by Nancy Payne 11/19/2015 0 Comment(s)

Why are Desert Habitats a Good Excuse for Putting Your Feet Up? 


The short answer is because there is a whole lot going on down there!  My first trip to a desert habitat, Big Bend Natonal Park, was an adventure full of the wonders of Nature.  A surprise at every turn!  I had no idea how many beautiful plants and magestic wildlife survived in such a rocky and dry habitatat.


The first thing I noticed were all the birds.  Loads of them.  Because Big Bend is located in the middle of the continent and along a key migration route, it is one of our country's best birding locations.  Northern species migrate here for the warm winter climate and tropical birds come to breed in the spring.



At sunrise, the first birds to greet us were the Quail.  He is the cute one on the picture at right with the feather cluster on his head. When the sun rises and catches these feathers, they glow....very cute. We attracted them with seed and enjoyed watching and listening to them. The Black Throated Sparrows would wait their turn and come to the ground feeder after the Quail had left.  And, it seemed many liked to take turns standing on the corner of our desert house to patrol their territory and sing.



Then, there were the beautiful native plants in all shapes, colors and textures, further stoking my dream of having a desert habitat garden and a collection of cactuses. 









With hardly any water these plants were blooming in the bright and very hot sunshine and making berries that feed wildlife.  Even ferns were happily tucked in shadier corners growing right alongside prickly pear cactus.


Amongst all this splendor, we had some very exciting desert habitat experiences.  Remember that movie, City Slickers?  The first night we got there, under a beautifull and very dark sky covered in bright stars, we were adviced to keep a flashlight and an open eye out for Rattle Snakes!  OK, we can do that!  A minute later, as we are unloading our dog from the car, I noticed she was standing right next to a scorpion.  Now THAT was not on our to do list!  We decided the best thing was to jump in bed and stay as high off the ground as we could until morning arrived.


As we were drinking our morning coffee outside, watching a georgeous sunrise light up the desert mountain, we noticed a movement.  A coyote near our porch.  So glad our dogs did not see him first!  What our dog DID see first was a beautiful, huge, dark brown, furry, and thankfully pretty friendly, tarantula.  And that is why I think the desert is a great excuse for putting your feet up!




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