Monsoon and Frogs at Empire Gulch

Gulch is a vivid name, suggesting hot sun on a jumble of rocks, some bleached cattle bones lying in the dust, a crusty prospector leading a mule into the hills, temperatures over 100 degrees, and occasional torrents of water. But Empire Gulch this August morning, just steps away from the surrounding Sonoran Desert, was shady, cool, deserted, covered with a carpet of greenery, and sporting a muddy stream channel winding through its downed timber.

Included is a return visit from Francisco Eduardo Valdés Acuña.


The View from López Pass

López Pass sits at 5305 feet above sea level in the middle section of Santa Rita Ridge, the northern arm of the Santa Rita Mountains in southern Arizona. It offers an expansive view – west to the Santa Cruz Basin, and east to the Cienega Basin.

And, at the time of the full moon, it is the place to have a conversation with Francisco Eduardo Valdés Acuña.