Sweetwater County in SW Wyoming is located in a high cold desert. The town of Green River is at an elevation slightly over 6100 feet above sea level. Moisture is quite limiting. Yet, thanks to the Green River that flows through both the county and town, wildlife abounds.
At this time of the year, most of the Green River is frozen over. But as temperatures warm, short narrow ribbons within the river are opening up. Here too, waterfowl are pushing the limits; moving as far north as open water permits.
Outside of the floodplain, the sparsely vegetated hills are covered with a thin layer of soil and rock. Sagebrush eeks out an existence. Contrast this to the Green River floodplain with trees, grasses, and wetland vegetation.
The river is a source of life in the desert. Not only does it sustain vegetation, but it is rich with aquatic life, feeding both birds and mammals.
Within the town of Green River is Stratton Myers Park. To the east is the Green River and to the north is a series of small wetlands. These wetlands are also slowly opening up as the ice melts along the shorelines. Dabbler ducks prefer these shallow wetlands to the deeper fast-flowing river.
Life exists within the desert, even outside the floodplain. But along the Green River, life flourishes.