Sunday, July 14, 2019

Tucson, AZ: Humane Borders Water Run: July

Humane Borders water station. Near Tucson, Arizona. July 2019.

Being part of a water run for Humane Borders offers four-fold benefits:
  1. Take an action that might save lives; 
  2. Give eyewitness testimony to friends and family about the effects of government decisions on the lives of individual women, men, and children;
  3. Hear fresh perspectives on borderland issues from fellow water-truck passengers; and
  4. Revel in the sensory gifts of the Sonoran Desert, which indiscriminately transfixes and kills. 

On this day's run, we stopped at several water stations. In two cases, we swapped out two barrels for fresh ones, as the water pH was just at or a little above the threshold that Humane Borders accepts for safety.

This necessitates draining the barrels into the desert floor, and at one station, this really pissed off an ant town, as the water evidently flooded the community byways, resulting in irked ants storming up and out of a hole several yards away from the barrel.

Angry ants near Humane Borders water station. Near Tucson, Arizona. July 2019.

We saw a magnificent Harris hawk nest cradled in the arms of a stalwart saguaro. The HB driver of the day noted that this nest had been in use for at least two years. He even had photos of youngn's in the nest from a year ago.

Harris hawk nest. Near Tucson, Arizona. July 2019.

Whilst on a wilderpee behind some brush, I saw a really big bug. Eek. A palo verde beetle. Also called the "demon bug."

Palo verde beetle near Tucson, Arizona. July 2019.

It was dead. Are they edible? Quick research gave me nothing on this.

I also saw seedy poop.

Poop with many seeds, near Tucson, Arizona. July 2019.

As we bounced along a gravel-dirt road between stations, suddenly the driver stopped. He thought he might have run over a long snake, to his dismay, and he wanted to check. We all bounded out of the truck to look.

Long snake near Tucson, Arizona. July 2019.

The driver believed it was a rattlesnake. It was long. No apparent injuries, though it looked rather stunned to me. I say that because it didn't move other than to venture its tongue out of its mouth. I would have liked to have my key fob next to the snake so you could get an idea of the snake's length, but none of us volunteered to walk it over there. Look how elegantly camouflaged it is.

We saw two skeletal remains of animals. On one, a dragonfly perched alongside a spur. 

Skeleton and dragonfly near Tucson, Arizona. July 2019.

Generally, four people go on the water runs. One of our companions on this trip was a university student from LA who'd come to Tucson for a week for the express purpose of volunteering. I have met a goodly number of people in Tucson who have done this. They are of diverse ages, genders, professions, and home bases.

A slide show of this and other Humane Border runs below:

HB Water Runs

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