Wilderness Punk Camp II, Pictures of Lillies
After my blast into town to take care of the human and cyber side of my current existence, a little luck finds me and I have a lovely mother and her two children take me out to one of my three favorite spots in Arizona, the Lilly Ponds. They are a secret place that even people living in the region for decades have never heard of and I’m going to stop talking about it because I want it to stay that way.
Due the turmoil I suffered this spring and the fallout from my tribulations, I have not met many of my usual warm weather goals, such as making it out to the Lilies once a month from May to September. Being here is as close to paradise as most people get.
Experiencing this heaven on earth with kids and an adult who has never been here, increases the pleasure. I even went swimming with the frogs.
I take a great level is satisfaction when I see so many frogs floating and swimming around me, for their emergence from near extinction is owed to me spearheaded the effort, with the aid of my friends, to attempt to hunt out the crawdads which is an invasive species this side of The Rockies.
I remember standing at the cliff that overlooks the ponds with Geff in 2007 and we could barely hold a conversation due to the frogs being so loud. A year later they had nearly perished due to the three ponds becoming overrun with crawdads. We worried over whether even a breeding population remained.
So my allies and I took it upon ourselves to save this one place. We researched both written word and tried our own technics to remove every crawdad we could from the three ponds. Between 12-20 days a year with focused on fishing them out. We used traps, nets, and my personal favorite, meat on a string, to eradicate this invasive species.
Crawdads first eat all the animals and their eggs. Then they devour all the plants so nothing can recycle the CO2. Eventually a once clear pond full of life becomes a murky mess where only crawdads remain eating each other in the cannibalistic darkness.
For the first four years, we would come and see dozens sunning themselves on the rocks. If we were lucky we might see one frog all summer. It really did seem close to hopeless. Instead of giving up, we tried harder. I would even pull the old Tom Sawyer trick and convince wandering families how fun it was and sometimes we’d get up to fifteen people working a pond at once.
Around 2013 is seems like we were making more headway. There were frogs, not all of them had been killed. In 2015 we broke them and the frogs returned. Today they fill the ponds and you can see ten in one area.
It really is a beautiful thing.
After helping the kids learn how to catch a few crawdads while we were down there, we headed back to base with our haul. Right after reaching the fire pit, a bald eagle flew through our camp. Later one of the kids found a rare tree frog. Seems like we might be doing something right and perhaps nature provides us with its own rewards.
Thanks for listening and turn back in to see how things go with campsite 2.