UUCP sits in a lovely desert setting adjacent to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve with stunning views of Camelback Mountain. Did you know that we share this beautiful landscape with a startling variety of desert animals, some large and other tiny?

In May 2023 I began a project to document the “Wildlife of UUCP” by placing a wildlife camera in a wash that crosses our property. The camera is attached to an Ironwood tree. It’s located just east of the statues, down the steps, and just past the adobe bench. The basin has become a predictable source of water for creatures waiting out our fierce summer heat.

That first week in May the wildlife cam snapped nearly 9,000 photos! With the camera settings tweaked, I still collect several thousand pictures of UUCP wildlife every week. I’ve witnessed three flocks of baby quail grow to near adulthood. As many as four coyotes at a time visit UUCP on most nights and some even sneak a drink during the day.

Our 7 th UU principle is “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part”. My hope is that UUCP members of all ages will join me in noticing and caring for the desert animals that share this land. You can help by keeping the basin full, joining me in trying to identify the creatures that visit the basin, and assisting with efforts to care for our beautiful property.

– Vince Waldron