Bad Water

The recent monsoon rains have caused a few streams near Tucson to flow once again, but some of these streams still have truly pitiful amounts of water. The steam below Molino Canyon Vista Overlook near the Catalina Highway is now flowing… Well, sort of flowing. The minimal water in this stream is in narrow, shallow channels in the sand completely filled with slimy, rust-colored algae.

Narrow, brown algae stream near Molino Canyon Vista Overlook

This, of course, did not stop one of my dogs, Solomon the Golden Retriever, from trying to drink it. When he wasn't allowed to drink this algal water, Solomon did the next best thing, he lay down right in the middle of the water channel, getting a slimy, brown streak of algae on his chest. Solomon loves to lay down in any water he finds, even if it's stagnant or bubbling with algae.

Worse than the stream water was some of the water trapped in small pools in the rock.

Silvery scum on a pool in the rock

I don't know what the strange film on the water is, but I would bet that this warm, stagnant water is a toxic microbial zoo.