Mystery Canyon and the Red Bud Tree
While there are great sights to behold and interesting discoveries to make on the main canyons, the small side canyons always have the most powerful pull on me. A few years ago on the Coyote Gulch hike, I accidentally walked into a side canyon and stumbled upon an idyllic lagoon filled with blue dragonflies. It was a magical place.
Many of the side canyons Richard takes us are beautiful as well. One particular side canyon is no more than a mile in length, snakes back only two or three turns before ending abruptly in a rounded open hall. Standing in the middle of the barren sand is this imposing, arrogant and noble red bud tree. Her branches are ornamented by thousands of infinitesimal red buds. Young green leaves begin to unfold and dot between flowers. Scattered around her base are myriad petals forming chaotic yet interesting patterns. There are no other trees or plants inside the canyon. I am immensely enticed by her gracefulness and solitary beauty.
Subsisted on a seasonal waterhole a few yards away from its stem, the red bud tree epitomizes the strength of desert plant. In some years when rain fails to reach the canyon; this tree may not even have a chance to flower. Fortunately, this year, rain arrives early and fills the pool to the rim.
As lonely and aloof as this tree may seem, she appears to be happy inside this desolate canyon. The gigantic sandstone walls act as a protector; shelter her from storms and gales. I watch her branches dancing in the wind and can almost hear she sings.
Perhaps it is true that wind carries voices, trees speak a language, and canyon does have a heart.