~Grand Canyon, October, 2017
Water – I guess it seems like a strange subject to post about the Grand Canyon, but it is one I am still reflecting on.
After arriving and setting up camp, in The Trailer Village RV Park at the Grand Canyon, Howard and I noticed the birds, elk and deer hunting for water.
Not knowing anything about water resources within this national park, other than the fact the Colorado River flows through the canyon, after awhile I was complaining to Howard, “Why can’t the park service at least have a small pond for the birds to drink out of?”. Yeah, I beautiful pond with a water fall. Perfect!
During our 4 night visit, I watched several species of birds trying to get a drip of water from the water faucets at the RV sites. Their size didn’t matter, from the smallest — Pygmy, White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches, to the largest — Jays and Ravens, with every size in between. They expended a tremendous amount of energy for a few drops of water.
Notice a drip at the faucet and a drip at the end of the bill.
One day Howard and I were sitting in the coach and noticed a small crowd gathering near us. “What are all these people looking at”, I asked Howard. I went outside and saw an Elk at an RV that had just pulled in. I man and his wife were in the process of setting up camp; connecting their electric and water.
Water was dripping from a compartment on the RV. They were quite upset with this young Elk when it began drinking from the open hatch. I heard the wife say, “How are we going to get rid of him?”. It was funny and sad at the same time.
This Elk wouldn’t leave the RV. The site between us and this RV was empty, so I ran over there and turned on the water faucet. The Elk heard the water running and eventually went to drink from it.
It must have liked the water from the RV better, because after awhile it went back to the RV. By this time the situation wasn’t amusing anymore to the owners of the RV, because the man retrieved a broom and tried to chase it away. The Elk was very persistent, but non-aggressive.
One evening after dark we came back to the RV Village from walking along the rim and watched a small herd of deer doing the something.
One day as we were walking along the rim of the canyon we noticed this sign. I guess I’am not the only one feeling sympathy for these animals.
Another day we came upon these Elk drinking water from this “ditch”. I don’t know if this is what they call a water “seepage” or not.
Where do wildlife get water?
Here is a web-site I found, one of hundreds probably, on water sources in the Grand Canyon.
Seeps and springs – the true local water of Grand Canyon – offer significant resources to visitors and wildlife alike. The water from Roaring Springs, for example, provides the park with its entire domestic water supply. And at even the smallest seeps, abundant plant and animal life grows and flourishes. In fact, the ecosystems of seeps and springs represent some of the most complicated, diverse, productive, provocative, and threatened ecosystems on earth.
The Colorado River is one of the principal rivers of the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico (the other being the Rio Grande). The 1,450-mile-long (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. Starting in the central Rocky Mountains in the U.S., the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the mostly dry Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.
Known for its dramatic canyons, whitewater rapids, and eleven U.S. National Parks, the Colorado River system is a vital source of water for 40 million people in southwestern North America. The river and its tributaries are controlled by an extensive system of dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts, which in most years divert its entire flow for agricultural irrigation and domestic water supply. Its large flow and steep gradient are used for generating hydroelectric power, and its major dams regulate peaking power demands in much of the Intermountain West. Intensive water consumption has dried up the lower 100 miles (160 km) of the river, which has rarely reached the sea since the 1960s. (taken from wikipedia
Water in the Grand Canyon, not easily found, not easily explained.