Ranger Kathryn's Arches

June 16, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 8:06 am

toad tadpoles in a slickrock pothole

toad tadpoles in a slickrock pothole


Light is extremely penetrating in the desert and nothing can escape the forces that it exerts on all living and inanimate objects.  This morning I saw a small squirrel of some kind, running under my clothesline.  Only the underside of his tail is white, and he bends it over his back like a parasol.  The white is excellent at reflecting the sun’s rays.  What ingenuity!  There is no lack of creativity in desert survival mechanisms.  The aquatic tardigrade, or microscopic ‘water bear,’ can roll himself into a ball when drought strikes his little pothole.  He can survive a decade or more rolled into that ball, sitting in the dirt; if it were us, our heart would beat only three times yearly while in that state.  Researchers even took some tardigrades into space and exposed them to the ionizing radiation of the deep vacuum of space.  Upon return to earth, after being plopped into water… they readily came back to life.  Resilience is key if one is to survive in the harsh desert environment.  Resilience is a characteristic that benefits us all, in the harshness of our own lives.


  1. you should be an author.
    both intriguing and amazing.
    so glad to hear you are having the time of your life 🙂

    Comment by erin ann — June 16, 2009 @ 9:16 am | Reply

  2. And – the most interesting part is that resilience is a choice. It is, essentially, the willingness (choice) to part with our assumptions – those unchallenged beliefs that we all have taken, wittingly or unwittingly, as the I-beams and building blocks of our lives. More often than not, these unchallenged assumptions lead to crooked and inconsistent constructions in our lives and, used as we are to them and comfortable as they seem, they must be dismantled (questioned and challenged) if we are to make progress toward finding out who we really are. We spend so much time building our lives around what we think others expect us to be that we forget that inside there is the real us trying to get out, to express who it is and to grow to the fullest extent possible.

    Comment by Dad — June 17, 2009 @ 10:06 am | Reply

    • AMEN!! Yes, yes!!

      Comment by kath56ryn — June 17, 2009 @ 8:24 pm | Reply

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