About a week ago, my little boy and I took a trip out to the South Hills and ended at North Cottonwood Creek. The South Hills are a kind of sanctuary for me. I was born in Twin Falls and lived in a house “a mile North of Nat Soo
Pah” (the way it was explained to others), right down the road from my grandpa’s house. We moved away from Idaho when I was just one, but my mom and the two youngest girls – my sister Dana and myself – moved back and lived at my grandpa’s house, where my mother grew up, when I was 11 years old. This area is know as the Salmon Tract and it is my ancestors (the Grays and Jones) who settled the area in the late 1800’s. I feel connected to the land and know that a part of my history runs in its waters and lies deep in the soil. When I wonder amongst the sagebrush, I feel at peace and am full of reverence
for the land.
Southern Idaho is made up of the sagebrush steppe – a wonderful ecosystem full of life and beauty. (Though I didn’t think so when I first moved here in 1994.) The area is sometimes referred to as a cold or high desert. Many people see it as a wasteland, but if one looks, one can find vast amounts of beauty and life. Unfortunately, the sagebrush steppe is dwindling in size due to special interest groups. Much of what does remain is badly altered. Luckily, there are people working to preserve this amazing habitat.
A Sagebrush Community
A Lone Sagebrush
Here is the riparian zone of North Cottonwood Creek – the creek’s dry of course. Sadly, the cottonwoods are now far and few between.
This is opposite of the creek – quite a starling difference in flora and color schemes.
Glowing willows with the blue hills and sky as the canvas.
Looking to the right…
and looking to the left – quite the contrast!
Willows with their seeds surrounded in cottony down, ready to float in the wind and begin new life.
A closer view.
This road leads to self-discovery, bliss, peace, happiness, or whatever it is you need. Care to travel along?
Which way, which way?
and looking downstream.
I was very disappointed to find LOTS of trash – beer bottles, shotgun shells, plastic bags, pop bottles and cans, and the usual-out-in-the-boonies junk that seems to plague most isolated places. I can never understand how people can go out and enjoy these beautiful places and then leave their litter spread about. So careless and disrespectful they are!
Willows in a Sea of Sagebrush
Sun Shining Through the Cottonwood Tree
More from the South Hills
© 2008 Idaho Explorer