A recent Facebook post from a friend of mine asking to identify a spider in Illinois reminded me of this time I brought in a Desert Sunflower with a stowaway. In Greenehaven, AZ back in 1997, from the desert behind the house down to Lake Powell was a blooming sea of yellow Desert Sunflower and orange Globe Mallow. I had snipped a couple flowers to display inside and later that day noticed a very well camouflaged spider.
The Flower Crab Spider has the ability to change color by secreting a liquid yellow pigment into the outer cell layer of the body. The spider itself is normally white. My friend had also brought in a Flower Crab Spider on some white flowers. This species habitat actually spans the entire Northern Hemisphere! The Desert Sunflower, however, is native to the Southwest.
Perched up high on Antelope Mesa I found this vibrant Yucca. I loved the deep warm colors of the young heart of this plant surrounded by the faded greens and sun-bleached, sharp edges of the fronds circling it.
Just art this time. Here’s a settler ruin near Marble Canyon, juxtaposing the window frame of this stone and timber building to frame out the canyon wall on the opposite side. I love the complimentary colors of the reds and purples of the rock and the bright green of the cottonwoods.
Here’s a couple views from further up towards Page looking towards the beginning of the Grand Canyon. From bottom of the photograph working up, we have the Paria River coming in from the right. Although it looks dry, it is still 30-40′ wide as it is meandering in an even larger river of sand to finally add its chocolate-brown water to the crystal-clear waters of the Colorado. About halfway up from the confluence is the Navajo Bridge. Up the photograph from there, near the horizon, on the left is the location where the previous photo was taken!
Here’s a close up of the actual confluence and a size comparison with the 2-lane road of Lee’s Ferry. On the left side there is a truck perched above the river.
Driving down to Lee’s Ferry is by far the easiest way to get right up close to the Colorado River — obviously that’s why John D. Lee set up a river crossing here over 130 years ago. In future posts I will show you a much more complicated approach to the Colorado that is for the adventurous traveler.