The pond sustains wildlife over a surprising distance. Resident and migratory birds fly to it from all directions for water and bathing. At dusk, bats leave their roosts under tree bark and roof eaves to catch sips of water on the wing and nab hovering insects. In the dim and dark hours, deer and raccoons come up from Sinclair Wash to lap its waters.
The pond is also an ecosystem in itself. Dragonfly nymphs spend months underwater eating mosquito larvae and other water creatures, until they emerge as adults to catch other insects as they fly over the pond.
Different plants rely on different levels of moisture. Monkeyflowers and other aquatic plants flourish in saturated soil. Riparian plants like rushes, cottonwood trees, and canyon grape take root on the moist banks of ponds like this one.
Water is vital to all life and yet there is very little surface water in Arizona. Every source, from springs to rivers to lakes, is fragile and limited. When we see how plants, insects, birds, and mammals (including us) rely on it, our responsibility to conserve water becomes very clear.
Entrance by Geoffrey Gross, Red-winged Blackbird and Great Blue Heron bas relief on stone.