Adios Arizona!

Arizona arroyo habitat photographed by Jeff Zablow at White Tank Mountains Regional Park, AZ

Where? Well you already know we’re in Arizona. Just an hour and a half west of Phoenix, in that arroyo (dry creek bed) that I visited a couple of times, and almost lost it all to heat exhaustion (didn’t use my cell when I realized I was going down, that male stupidity ( Guilty! ), not wanting to inconvenience 911, when I thought that Brooklyn here had been through deadlier scraps . . . .).

I loved that arroyo, in White Tank Mountains Regional Park. The good sign warned to stay away, do not enter, for among the reasons, flash floods apparently rage through, when it rains. I never ever saw anyone else in that rock-strewn arroyo bed. Hope the Statue of Limitations is now up?

Well, mother-in-law moved back to Brooklyn about 6 months ago, from Sun City West, and that was why I went there in the first place. I for years wanted to also visit Portal, Arizona as Vladimir Nabokov did in his pursuit of blue butterflies, in the southeastern Arizona mountain system that included the Chirichaua mountains,  sp?). Never got that off my list, for not ever finding anyone to join/guide me to good destinations in those huge mountains.

So I reminisce, seeing this sweet, sweet memory from that gorgeous/deadly arroyo, and think, . . . Adios Arizona!


In a Dry Creek Bed Devoid of Moisture We Found this Lovely Arizona Powdered Skipper Butterfly

Arizona Powdered Skipper Butterfly at White Tank Mountains, AZ

It’s September 21st and I’m visiting family in Sun City West, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.

As always, I manage to find time to photograph. White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a 35 minute drive from my host. Driving through ‘the Valley’ was very interesting, because at the time (2009) they were building thousands (yep, thousands) of new houses. Big beautiful houses and you know the rest of that story.

The White Tank Mountains loom over the flat desert and visually provide a very striking contrast. September in southcentral Arizona is very, very hot. I knew enough to arrive there very early, and to complete my hike well before noon. But it was quite hot. I brought lots of spring water. I found the terrain in White Tank Mountain to be parched and dry: very dry.

Even so, I did find some wildflower plants in flower. Those flowers were tiny and few in number, but they bravely offered their meager nectar to butterflies, bees and flies. This photograph suggests how devoid of moisture that habitat was.

This Arizona Powdered Skipper respectfully showed up and stopped to rest, enabling me to shoot this image. We were in a dry creek bed. Three visits there indicate that that’s the best bet for a location in which to find wildlife. How a Codatractus arizonensis manages in that heat and with such meager nectar possibilities is startling.