Who knew? I certainly did not. For six long, hot years we have been living in the desert. If I wanted to see water I headed to the coasts. When water comprises only 0.35% of the area within our state's boundaries, it never occurred to me to look closer at hand. The pool in our backyard sufficed.
But Margo checked out Silverbell Lake at Christopher Columbus Park here in Tucson last week and invited me to join her on a circumnavigation. She promised a smooth track and lots of water. She was right on both counts.
Do you see the fish on the welcome sign?
This lake is stocked every other week with channel catfish ....delivered all the way from fish farms in Arkansas, rainbow trout ...grown and delivered from sources in Colorado, and sunfish ....from farms in Arkansas, according to the Urban Fishing Fact Sheet.
Who knew? Apparently these folks did.
I know. I know. This photograph does not look like Arizona to me, either.
I spent an hour circling the lake and saying "Where are we???"
Our trek began with these Mexican Fan Palms.... somewhat like the ones in my yard, but 10 times taller. There's no need for irrigation; the roots steal nourishment from their watery neighbor.
The fisherman under the palms glanced over his shoulder at us and then returned to contemplating the water's surface. I'm not sure what he hoped to find.
This fellow was more enthusiastic. He actually stood up to cast his line.
The trees all clustered around the shoreline.
They know where their bread is buttered, so to speak.
The water was blue and green and clear enough for us to see the fish carcasses which had been returned from whence they came. I'm not sure what the thinking was behind tossing dead fish into the lake, but it was certainly a better solution than this one
I spent some time wondering why the javelinas and the coyotes and the bobcats were uninterested in this already harvested source of nutrition, before I was distracted by the ducks.
Ducks in the desert?
This picture could have been taken on Long Island.
There were honking swans in the middle of the lake, but they refused to cooperate.
Every time I focused, they turned and swam the other way.
Plus, the noise was annoying.
So much for Arizona swans.
Along with the empty soda cans and snack food bags, there were more permanent markers of human habitation.
But mostly there was peacefulness....
and all that water.
How nice to know (now) that this exists just down the road.