During a visit to Yuma back in January, we spotted smoke northeast of town but didn’t think much of it. With thousands of acres of agriculture, we’d seen lemon trees hacked down, piled up until their branches and leaves went crisp from the sun, then burned to huge white circles of ash. And the view toward Mexico always seemed to give us towering smokestacks, sometimes white and sometimes gray. Who knew what was going on down there?
Then on the news we heard of a wildfire at Mittry Lake. I checked my map and sure enough — the trajectory fit. So on a rare day when we opted out of running the fitness trail in town, we struck out to find Mittry Lake.
Sometimes we forget we’re in the desert. Then we get to Mittry Lake to find it’s what those of us from the Great Lakes region of the country would call “a wide spot in the river.” But for Arizona, it’s a lake, and a pretty one at that.
We parked to stand near the shore where we watched the American Coots scoot around the water, bobbing up and down as the breeze kicked up waves:
The edge of the lake was dotted with pull-outs, often with campfire rings. This one had a shotgun shell casing in it…. Others were occupied with boondockers — small campers, tents, or truck campers.
On up the road, we spotted this group of Ring-Necked Ducks…
…passed a very dry spillway, and started glimpsing evidence of the wildfire that had ripped through a week or so before:
It’s always a shame to see what a careless campfire, tossed cigarette, or other thoughtless act can cause.