Cottonwood has proven to be largely useless to man; it doesn’t burn hot, it grows bent and crooked, it’s too soft to be useful and is prone to drop heavy branches without any noticeable cause or warning.
(added later: Cottonwood, fortunately, wasn’t commercially exploitable but was useful for carvings and masks, for example.)
But it does indicate a reliable source of water in otherwise arid climes. Pretty smart of it, I’m thinking. Plus, birds and all sorts of smaller creatures find it ideal.
A hazy afternoon, sidelit.
Yes, that’s a trail around the base of the tree (right bottom), a coyote trail. The green is mostly Yerba del Mansa and marsh grass.
As I stated above, it is known to grow bent and crooked.
One that simply broke off, fell over and is slowly breaking down. This grass is fairly common in the riparian areas of our SW desert.