|Down into the canyon|
Up at the trailhead, Robb notices a cliffrose-like shrub, but this one has broader leaves and a spreading growth form. A different species?
|Broader leaves of Pursha tridentata|
|Pursha mexicana, the cliffrose commonly found around Moab|
The trail tumbles down through the sheer Wingate Sandstone, like so many of my favorite hikes begin. Down below, there are some springs hidden beneath the ribbon of spring-green cottonwood that we are going to check out.
Each species spotted is photographed and recorded in iNaturalist, an online, georeferenced tool for identification and sharing of natural history data. By the time we are done with the hike, other people have provided an identification for P. tridentata (which Robb entered into iNaturalist at the trailhead). What a helpful tool!
Soon, I’m staring to see the movement of tiny flittering creatures filling the canyon. I'm getting the search image down.
|Plus a collared lizard|
|Down in the wash, the clear water girgles along and creates a deep pool lined by brilliant green algae.|
The next week while roving trail at my park, I spot a little brown triangle of my own, a Desert Elfin. And am grateful of for a newfound search image that makes a seemingly inconspicous world come to life.
|So exciting to spot this Desert Elfin on the Devil's Garden Trail at Arches!|