Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quarter Day Trip



Last weekend, with a few hours to kill before Mother's Day dinner, we took off into the desert for what I call a quarter day trip and found it in bloom with new and different things.





The Saguaros were not yet in full bloom but loaded with buds ready to open. The flowers open toward the evening, stay open the next day, then close, never to open again. In a few weeks the green fruits ripen and burst open with bright red juicy pulp, ready to feed the birds, which then disperse the seeds!





Not sure what all the flowers are, just enjoyed seeing them for the first time--or perhaps I just never took the time to see them before? I'm sure they have always been there. They remind me of popcorn!



The creosote bush flowers are turning to fuzzy fruits. This is the shrub that provides the wonderful "fragrance of the desert" following rain.



Engleman's Prickly Pear, a native, with its beautiful lemon yellow flowers.



Cholla of some sort, maybe Buckhorn, adorned with pretty pink flowers. Chollas are a different form of Opuntia (Prickly Pear), so they have really mean glochids in addition to the spines. It's best to stay back from these things.


Most wildflowers are long gone, but these unidentified yellow ones still look good. These may be Brittlebush.



An interesting thistle-like flower. I'm amazed at how many native plants there are in the Sonoran Desert. I can find new ones every year in every season.


10 comments:

Julie said...

WOW...what gorgeous photography!!! Everything looks so perfect! I love the saguaro blooms! Awesome!

Claude said...

you're incredibly lucky to live in a place where you can just take a short drive to see such wonderful sights.

Pudgeduck said...

Julie-thanks -the suguaro are my favorite!

Claude-I didn't like the desert as a child-I had "green fever" and spent 2 months in East Texas.. 47" rain per year,everything green,beautiful but not much sun ect.. and I couldn't see thought the trees. I came home and fell in love with our wide open desert!! 1LOVE IT here !

Claude said...

A cat could discourage a squirel... but cats tend to be nocturnal, whereas a squirel isn't. What you need is a very territorial small dog... some kind of terrier maybe... that would throw a fit every time the squirel stepped into the yard.

Or maybe get a slingshot. If you're a good shot you could take care of that thing for once and for all...

Claude said...

You know, I just happened to think... Go to one of those cheap dollar stores and buy some hot red pepper. Sprinkle it on the plants... it MIGHT discourage the squirrels, either through the smell or the taste. I think it would be worth a shot...

Pudgeduck said...

I have the hot pepper and will sprinkle before dark! Then the sling shot if that dosen't work. No on the dog -just in case Turr Tull is alive! Thanks!!!

Aiyana said...

Nice photos. I wonder what that last puff ball plant is. I've never seen one before. Or, the popcorn plant either. I need to get out to the desert more.
Aiyana

Pudgeduck said...

Aiyana- I think the yellow is Paperflower or Bladder Pod? Can't find the "popcorn' flower in any of my books-Only find "Thistle" I'll keep searching!

desertflower said...

The unidentified yellow flowers are Paper Flower - Psilostrophe cooperi

Pudgeduck said...

desertflower-Thanks for the info!!!Do you know what the "popcorn" could be?