Tucson – January 2023 – A Revisit to Agua Caliente Park

In early September 2022 we stopped by the beautiful Agua Caliente Park, to find the grove of majestic palm trees, detailed here https://rdzphotographyblog.com/tag/agua-caliente-park/ and the photo below.

Sadly about 2 weeks after our visit a lightning strike set fire to a large grove of the trees, resulting in significant destruction.

As with any catastrophic event people are looking for blame. While it was nature that set the fire, one view is the palm trees are not native to Arizona and shouldn’t be left to be wild, with the extensive ‘beards’ you see in the first photo. Many believe this exacerbated the fire.

Regardless, the damage is done. The parks department removed some of the most damaged trees so they wouldn’t unexpectedly fall and hurt someone, but amazingly as you can see there is still growth at the tops of the trees.

The other good news is not all the trees caught fire, so the park, while hurt, is still a beautiful place to visit.

It may take time, but hopefully nature eventually restores the damaged trees to their prior glory. And yes the beards are still there.

Tucson – September 2022 – Agua Caliente Park

In the foothills east of Tucson lies Agua Caliente Park, with it’s large palm trees and year round ponds feed by spring water.

Originally there were two springs, a hot spring and a cold spring. Over the years attempts to improve the flow of water failed miserably resulting in a combination of the waters, and a lower overall volume of flow.

The native Hohokam had a village here for nearly 1000 years. In the mid 1800s the Army had taken over the area for an encampment following the Gadsden Purchase of 1853.

In the late 1800s it was claimed by a settler who ranched the land. Later they advertised the ranch as a health spa. This pattern continued for 100 years, until the mid 1980s when the county took over the property to develop as a park.

The majestic palm trees were added in the late 1800s when it became a spa.

Palm Canyon, California – July 2022 – A Natural Oasis in the Desert

Palm Canyon, California is at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains, just beyond the city of Palm Springs. With a constant source of water, the canyon is home to majestic California Fan Palm trees.

Even though it was around 100 degrees F for our 3 mile roundtrip hike, we were in the shade of the palms for most of the hike, making it a fairly pleasant walk.

The canyon is an amazing place!

The canyon walls were steep, with the trees sometimes growing out of the walls themselves.

The small stream ran down the length of the grove of trees.

There was evidence of a previous wildfire, as some of the trees had burn marks.

Andreas Canyon was a short distance away. While not as extensive as Palm Canyon, it was still well worth the hike.

After a morning of hiking it was time to head back down to the unnatural oasis of Palm Springs (next posting).