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So, I'm catching up a bit on recording my travels...

Riparian: located on or related to the banks of a natural water course. 

After weeks in the desert, driving through the mountains of northern AZ was a nice change of pace.  There are dense pine forests in the highlands that give way to the often bizarre formations of the redrock.  In between, the road (a curvy mountain road that is really fun to drive :-) wends its way into the valley  where a large creek runs.  The riparian ecosystem is lush in comparison to the surrounding terrain.  Deciduous trees and lots of other green vegetation thrive there.  It is a strange contrast between the creek banks and the rocky hills w/ prickly pears and scrubby cedar trees.  The rock formations are truly impressive.  The improbable stacks of red stone seem to defy the laws of physics.  It's hard to imagine the forces that formed such shapes. 

After hiking among the sycamores in the valley and up among the rocks, I sat very still and watched the hummingbirds for a while.  It was nice.