It’s Saturday morning at 7:30 am. Highway 89A west of Sedona Red Rock High School is dotted with people in bright yellow vests, holding big blue bags and wearing orange gloves. The volunteers are scouring the landscape collecting litter tossed from the vehicles of visitors coming to and leaving Sedona.
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Visitors to Sedona, Arizona have a tendency to look up at the Red Rock scenery but usually don’t look down—to find an incredible and unique ecosystem with its scores of unique animals, butterflies and insects, and plants.
The already-lazy traffic comes to a halt one damp afternoon in the town of Sedona, Arizona.
Two people are in the middle of the two-lane highway through town, holding up their hands to stop the cars and poking at something on the ground with their toes, ushering it slowly toward the curb. The drivers' irritation reflex begins to kick in, until they see the cause for the holdup. It's Arizona's version of the Boston children's classic Make Way for Ducklings - it's Make Way for Aphonopelma Chalcodes, better known to most of us as the desert tarantula.
Sedona Arizona's famous bird resident takes no prisoners!
The Greater RoadrunnerThey're goofy, rangy, amusing but seemingly harmless. Oh, but don't be fooled. Forget the dopey purple "Beep Beep!" critter made famous by the Warner Brothers cartoons.
As a girl raised among the dense rainforests of the Pacific Northwest, crowded with ferns, rhododendrons, and dripping with primordial mosses, my first glimpse of a Northern Arizona forest was a little disconcerting. Frankly, there just wasn't that much to it. From the roadside, all you see is a carpet of grass, lanky tree trunks spaced unsociably apart, and not much else. I was sure this was a sign of something amiss, but later learned this is just what a good stand of ponderosa pine should look like.
For many years getting around Sedona generally meant some encounter with what was commonly known in the local vernacular as “the Y” or technically, the intersection of SR 179 and Highway 89A. The 3-way stop light made the “Y” easy to recognize and navigate.
More Articles ...
- Sedona Dark Skies, Part 1: Born in Controversy and Raised in a Politically Divided Community
- Explore Sedona Hiking Trails: Bell Rock Pathway
- Sedona Dark Skies, Part 2: Three Elected Officials Lose Their Jobs
- Sedona Dark Skies, Part 3: Sedona City Council Battles Community for Ownership of Highway 89A
- Sedona Dark Skies, Part 4: Dark Skies Becomes a Victim of Controversy as Sedona Citizens Reverse the City Council Decision
- What is "The New Age"?
- Sedona Dark Skies, Part 5: Sedona Captures Elusive International Dark Skies Designation
- Sedona Birding: Ladder-Backed Woodpecker at Bell Rock Pathway