Sweetwater Wetlands

by Dan Weisz

Sweetwater Wetlands is one of Tucson’s hidden treats. Situated between the Santa Cruz River and I-10, and north of Prince Road, it provides a very different natural environment than the surrounding desert.  For more information, go to Tucson Audubon http://tucsonaudubon.org/go-birding/get-started-with-birding/great-places-to-bird/sweetwater-wetlands/  or the city’s webpage https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/sweetwater-wetlands  

Dragonflies rely on water for each stage of their lifecycle.  Besides Sweetwater Wetlands, you can find them anywhere in the city where there is ‘permanent’ water such as Sabino Canyon, city parks with ponds, golf courses, etc.  

The head of a Blue Dasher Dragonfly.

Behind the Veil:  a female blue dasher resting on the end of a bulrush.  Her abdomen is not blue as the male’s is, but is dark with rectangular yellow marks along the top.

The face of a female blue dasher:  Dragonfly eyes are "the largest and possibly the keenest in the insect world, a pair of giant spheres each built of some 30,000 pixel-like facets that together take up pretty much the entire head.”  http://tinyurl.com/ybu2tz6v 

A bullfrog in duckweed

A Gila Woodpecker’s nest.  Gila’s create the holes we see in saguaros but they also will make homes in other trees like this soft cottonwood.  There was a little one inside the nest but it wouldn’t come out for me.

A Ladybug on a bulrush flower.