Winter Count

February 15 - 21, 2015

Photo by Jeff Damm

Near Phoenix, Arizona

Our southwestern camp is located near the Maricopa Wilderness area. It is in a rural "neighborhood" that has been subdivided, but still maintains much of its original Sonoran flavor. Major roads border two sides of the site and we are surrounded by private property. Even with this human encroachment, coyotes, roadrunners, javelina and deer are regular visitors to the site.

Although the area is flat, arroyos crisscross the site offering telltale signs of regular high water episodes, (in other words, the whole area can flood in an instant in a downpour - that's the nature of the desert). Washes that are 2 - 3 feet deep can fill to overflowing and posses incredible force.

Local flora ranges from palo verde and ironwood to saguaro an barrel cactus. The adage that, "Everything in the desert sticks, pricks, bites and stings" is more fact than fiction. Catclaw, mesquite, jumping cholla and other pricklies are regular residents of the site.

We have used this site for four years and even though it looks desolate, you need to remember that we use this site in the winter. Plants that look dead are merely dormant. Limit driving to existing tracks and avoid compacting the fragile soil.

The land owners, the Abril family, have been active supporters and teachers at both Winter Count and Rabbitstick for many years.

Natural raw materials that are needed for some of the classes, are brought to the site. We make every effort to leave the site as beautiful as we found it. A service staff works hard to mitigate all impacts, but we ask all participants to share our concern for the site and care for them in every way possible. Please limit fires and vehicular traffic, remove all trash and refrain from impacting local flora and fauna.


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