The Agua Fria river runs through the Cosanti Foundation property, during the summer a green ribbon of cottonwood trees that soothes the eye from the harsh greys and browns of the surrounding stone desert.

[photos by Steven Bochinski, text by Sue Kirsch]

In the Arizona heat, from late spring to fall, part of the river goes underground and the dry riverbed becomes a favored shaded hiking path where you can find all manner of twisted roots and stones of brilliant colors.

Lots of birds have their homes along the riverbed and in the cliffs surrounding it. Among many different kinds of birds there is a family of hawks and one of four raucous ravens, a beautiful woodpecker has been sighted and sometimes at night one can hear owls calling to each other.

Arizonas ‘Monsoon’ season usually starts the middle of July and we are warned to hike within the river bed with a weary eye. The run-off from rain around us collects in ever widening washes flowing into the Agua Fria, and before you know it a tremendous flash flood might be coming up behind you.

We have had several such within the last few weeks. Here are photos by Arcosanti resident Steven Bochinski, taken last Wednesday August 13. 2014, a day after the main storm.

You can see how high the water rose. Many of the steep banks along the river are silt and after each major storm the landscape of the rivers bed is changed.

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