Careless-weed Has Taken Over The Tanque Verde Wash Trails   2 comments

Images by kenne (Click on any of the images to see in a slide-show format.)

October is the time of year the Turkey Vultures are migrating south to Mexico, and for years they would overnight near the Tanque Verde Wash. 
I have many images of them in the trees near the wash. I planned to photograph again this year but was waiting to see the vultures circling up, 
usually around 8:30 AM. By this time in October, we have counted hundreds leaving in the mornings circling above headed south to Mexico. 

For days now, I’ve been looking skyward for the circling vultures with no sign of them. Was it climate change delaying the annual migration? Where were the turkey vultures? Maybe I had not been paying attention. 

So, this morning I grabbed my camera and walked down to the wash. I had not walked the trails along the wash since before the
summer monsoon.
What I discovered was shocking. First, there were no vultures to be seen. Second, almost all the trails had disappeared,
covered by two to three
meters of careless-weed (Palmer amaranth). This year’s heavy rains in July and August had brought on
a massive crop of this native weed.
I walked through thick weeds, sometimes over my head. When I did find parts of a trail, its
path would soon disappear in the weeds. 

Still, I kept walking, trying to find some old markers, especially the Margarita Berg memorial. Margarita had passed away in the spring of 2010, months before we moved to Tanuri Ridge in late June. At the time, I would often spend early mornings
walking the trails near the Tanque Verde wash, 
and in doing so, I discovered the memorial under a mesquite tree near the wash.
In fact, it was too close to the wash that the tree 
and the memorial were washed away in the winter of 2019.
However, pieces of the original monument were found and placed at the foot 
of another mesquite tree much farther north of the wash. 

After spending over an hour walking through the weeds, I found the memorial, hidden by all the careless-weeds — a weed worthy of its name.

As for the turkey vultures nowhere to be seen, could all the careless-weed growth of two to three meters cause them to feel their usual perches 
are now too close to the ground?

— kenne

2 responses to “Careless-weed Has Taken Over The Tanque Verde Wash Trails

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  1. what an evocative name: “careless weeds”

    Liked by 1 person

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