Appropriately, after the fire, water seems to be the predominant theme of the land in the last few weeks. Even after the snow melted, enough rain has fallen to keep things really moist. The tinajas* and bird-bath sized potholes have been almost continuously full of water. This is good news for the prairie dogs, who are in the midst of storing up fat for the winter (and have grown quite large as a result). Predators have themselves been taking advantage of the bulking up of the food chain. Fox and coyote tracks are everywhere, and the badger(s) left behind a ripped up pile of dirt this week on the west side of the dog town. A Cooper’s Hawk, looking very much like just another branch, has been spotted in the old snag above the town, as well.
A small trickle of a stream, running at least for now at the bottom of one of the canyon draws, is also part of the abundant-water scene.
*I found the word ‘tinaja’ in a book by Craig Childs in reference to sandstone basins that are carved by and then able to hold water long after a storm has passed. The drawings and descriptions of those in the book (mostly in the desert Southwest) match what’s at Cove Canyon almost exactly, so I’ve been using the term. Which is also kind of fun to say