Depressing Trudge Down the Rillito “River”

I’m in Tucson. And you know what the thing about Tucson is? It really must have been beautiful, before they turned it into a giant parking lot and all the rivers dried up.

Case in point: The Rillito River. Once it flowed it flowed year-round, now it’s mostly just a bone-dry trench filled with garbage, unless there’s really heavy rains, in which case all the garbage gets washed into inconvenient places.

I decided to take a walk alongside the Rillito “River”. It bummed me out. It’s weird squaring with all the destruction and mayhem my species causes.

There was a river here for thousands of years and it only took us about 100 to use it all up.

Yeah, so, all my pictures suck, because I was sad… and also I was testing out the camera on my new cellphone and I didn’t realize it was shooting in 16:9 mode, because the UI was covering part of the view up.

That’s my story and I’m sticking it.

dry riverbed of the rillito river
Rillito River Dried-Up

Really, this is a river.

Vandalism Warning Sign


This sign was next to some scary-looking bathrooms that had their sinks outside.

discarded shopping cart in the dry rillito river
Shopping Cart in the Rillito River

There a loads of discarded shopping carts all over Tucson. It’s weird how far away some of them end up from any store. Tuscon has the urban sprawl something awful. Definite food desert situations in many areas. I guess some people without cars just opt to take the cart with them, rather than try to carry their groceries for miles.

brush growing in the dry rillito river
Rillito River Overgrowth

Here, fishy fishy fishy…

makeshift transient house in the dry rillito river
Rillito River Hobo House

Hhhhmmm… That’s weird. It looks like someone has cobbled together a small structure from various refuse.

shanty in the middle of dry rillito river
Rillito River Hobo House Closeup

Yes, that’s right, the Rillito River has been dry so long, that a hobo has taken up residence right in the middle of it.

I sort of wanted to go down to the shanty and have myself a little look-see, but I couldn’t see if anybody was home and I didn’t want to get hobo-shanked.

I hope whoever lives there doesn’t drown during the next monsoon season.

dry concrete runoff trench
Rillito Concrete Runoff Trench

On the rare occasions when there is water in the river, it can end up way too high and overflow, because the ground is so dry and hard that the water doesn’t seep into it. They built these ugly concrete trenches to mitigate the overflow.

two saguaros alongside a path
Two Saguaros

I can never seem to find any nice cacti. They’re always misshapen and weird.

a saguaro full of holes made by birds
Saguaro with Bird Holes

Birds live in those holes. Also, gnomes.

spray-painted graffiti on a saguaro
Saguaro Graffiti

It’s actually a felony to vandalize a saguaro cactus. They take a really long time to grow. It can be a 100 years before they even get their first arm. So they get a mite bit miffed when you mess with one.

fishhook barrel cactus with yellow fruit
Fishhook Barrel Cactus

The fruit of a barrel cactus are edible. You need tongs and oven mitts to harvest them, though.

palo verde tree in bloom
Palo Verde Tree

This a palo verde tree. The little yellow flowers get collect in little piles on the ground and it is very cute.

yellow palo verde flowers
Palo Verde Blooms

This is all blurry because it was very windy. I wonder if my cellphone camera has a burst function?

desert mistletoe growing on a velvet mesquite tree
Desert Mistletoe

This one is a little bit hard to see, but what looks like a clump of twigs on this tree is actually desert mistletoe. It wasn’t very Christmasy, though, because there wasn’t any little poisonous berries on it.

a tree in circular concrete landscaping
Tree Circle

This sure is a boring photo.

ocotillo in bloom

Ocotillos look like they belong on an alien planet. A lot of people have them it their gardens. I could never do that, because I would inevitably stumbled into it and grievously harm myself on the spinedies.

orange ocotillo flowers
Ocotillo Flowers

Cute little orange flowers. Apparently, hummingbirds like them.

ocotillo plant without flowers
Flowerless Ocotillo

Here’s one without flowers, just evil spinedies waiting to murder unsuspecting Laurels.

yellow brittlebush flowers
Brittlebush Flowers

I like taking photos of flowers. Someone buy me a $4000 macro lense, so I can do it more betterer.

yellow brittlebush flowers
Brittlebush Bunch

I need to learn how to stop bright yellow from blowing everything out.

purple aster flowers
Purple Aster

We have asters in Ontario, but they tend to bloom in the Fall there, instead of the Spring like here.

agave plant

This should stop being an agave and start being a tequila.

caution signs that read "watch for ice on bridge" and "change in surface"
Ice Warning Signs

Ice? Ha! You don’t know from ice, you crazy southerners.

rusted bridge with a yellow dividing line
Rusty Bridge

If this bridge wasn’t here, I might have drowned trying to cross the river.

tile art of hands and corn
Corn Hands Tiles

Some of the bridges are decorated with painted tiles.

Are those hands gigantic or is that corn really small?

broken tile art of boars
Broken Boar Tiles

Someone vandalized the pork.

tile art of some boars
Boar Tiles

Intact pork.

If you see a wild pig in Tucson, run. They’re very dangerous… and delicious.

rusted bridge with the santa catalina mountains in the backrgound
Bridge and Santa Catalina Mountains

Look it’s the mountains! Clouds look weird when you’re at a high elevation.

strange metal bench structure
Unidentified Metal Bench Thing

Alright, what the Hell is this thing? It looks like a bus stop, but it’s not anywhere near a road. It’s also the only one along the path to my knowledge.

strange hinged metal cylinder
Unidentified Metal Cylinder

And then there’s this weird cylinder in front of it. The purpose of which was the cause of much perplexitude.

strange hinged metal object in the open position
Unidentified Metal Cylinder Opened

It opens, but why?

concrete snake sculpture
Snake Sculpture

Pretty much all the art along the path has been vandalized.

tucson sun circle on a cloudy day
Sun Circle

Hey, it’s the Tucson Sun Circle, which is completely useless on an overcast day, as you can plainly see here.

instructional plaque for the tucson sun circle
Sun Circle Instructions Plaque

Here are the instructions for the Sun Circle. Apparently, it does something interesting on the Equinox, BUT I COULDN’T SIT AROUND AND WAIT THAT LONG.

bronze memorial monument in the tucson children's memorial park
Memorial Monument

I stopped at the Children’s Memorial Park. That wall back there is filled with the names of dead children. There are too many names.

bronze statue of a little girl praying
Praying Girl Statue

I’m not sure whether those flowers blew there or someone placed them on the girl.

bronze statue of a little boy on a magic carpet
Magic Carpet Statue

Not sure whether I like the idea of dead children flying around on magic carpets. Ghosts are scary enough without whimsical woven goods.

blue trash can alongside a path
Blue Trash Can

Why do they bother with trash cans? Everyone just throws their junk onto the riverbed.

ants crawling out of a hole in the sand
Sand Ants

I always wanted an ant farm as a kid.

dead dove on gravel
Dead Dove

It is a dead dove. It’s a metaphor for my life.

Google Photos created this stupid hipster video of my trip.


If I misidentified anything in these photos, feel free to drop me a line.

And, yes, I realize that it’s still technically a river because there is water flowing underground. (Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was…)

Flickr Dump #5

More flickr dump pictures? Yes! Photos 201 through 250. If you click the small pictures you can look at bigger pictures.

Flickr Dump #2

Here are photographs 51 to 100 of my flickr dump. You can click on them to see a bigger version.

Flickr Dump #1

I have decided that I no longer like flickr, so, I’ve download all my photographs and will be uploading them here.

This is photographs 1 through 50. Click for to see bigger.