Friday, April 30, 2010

My Side Yard

Some things must be shared.  

It was calm and sunny when I took these photos.

The sky was the blue I've only seen here, and the previous day's rain had filled the plants with all the water they wanted.  

Walk out to the side yard with me, why don'cha?

 These are ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens).

For most of the year they are tall, spiky brown sticks.  To the casual observer, they are dead.  But after a bit of rain, surprising things begin to happen.  

Green leaves appear out of nowhere and spires of orange appear at the tips of the suddenly vibrant branches.

  Luckily, some of my plants are still short enough that photographing them was easy. 
Some of the plants in our neighborhood are 15' high.

These flowers deserve a closer look.

They just pop right open, unlike some of the desert flowers which unfurl.

Kind of like New Year's Eve paper-poppers... or little rockets..... or what do they conjure for you?

They are glossy and the pollen is sticky and those pointy thorns to the right under the flower and to the left under the first "true leaf".... well they don't bend when you brush against them.  They pierce leather gloves and welders gloves and even the rattlesnakes don't like fences made of ocotillo branches.

  Anyway..... did you notice anything special about the first picture of the ocotillos?   Up there next to the middle branch?    Would you like a closer look?    
I can't believe this came from my little Nikon L20:

This hummingbird was buzzing my ear all afternoon.
It was nice to have the company.