Monday, April 18, 2011

Springtime in the Desert

There's a family of quail who roam my courtyard every morning and eveing.

There's a very clean bunny who looks like his mom and dad brought him lots of yummy to-grow-on meals.  He hops himself up the berms and takes the lantana leaves in his paws and I can just about hear him sigh.

The ground squirrels are making a mess of my newly rock-mulched front yard as they drop the husks barrel cacti tuna on their way home.

I wonder if I need to apologize to their leader for covering the burrow with 20 tons of cracked stone?  After all, they were here before we were.

The birds hide someplace during the heat of the day, but the morning sun brings dozens of woodpeckers and doves and assorted don't-mind-me-I'm-just-migrating-through species.  They weigh down the branches of the palo verde surrounding the saguaro, all but the lone black bird who perches on the tallest branch of the neighbor's ocotillo.  My sentinel, my gatekeeper, and today, my muse.  I needed to take his picture, so out I went, camera and cane in hand, exploring the great outdoors on two feet and a metal prop. 

The yellow is popping up all over town, trees waking up after this cold dry winter and renewing my faith in the garden.

One drenching downpour and the ocotillo are orange tipped. 

One warm weekend and the hesperaloe parviflora stalks sprout up out of nowhere. 

And the cacti. 

The what-you-imagine-when-you-think-of-the-desert cacti.

And that bird?  The one that drew me outside?  Like my muse on most days, he is just out of reach, flying away as I opened the front door, taking the deeper, more meaningful posts with him and leaving us with another spring afternoon and a garden post.

It's nice to be finding my way back.


  1. I think spring in Arizona is really, really pretty!! I remember the smell of Phoenix. It's different than any place I've been. Not sure what it is ~ but it's distinctive...debbie

  2. I am so unfamiliar with all the vegetation there that the names sound like a foreign language. (I know, some of them

    I can recognize cacti and saguaro, in particular, but that's about all. I'm sure it is wonderful there this time of year, as nearly everywhere around us.

  3. Phoenix is different - it's lower and hotter - but the dry desert air does have it's own odor, debbie. I love the smell of creosote, especially after it rains. It's such new vegetation to most of us, kenju (like the new avatar, too, btw) and that's what keeps it interesting for me in the garden.

  4. So happy to hear you have graduated to a cane! xoxoo

  5. I love the desert and the vegetation found there. We had a hard freeze that may have destroyed my Ocotillo.:(

  6. Sigh... your post makes me homesick for Tucson. There is nothing like the desert, the vegetation, and the smell of a monsoon storm -- like clockwork, making its way over the Catalinas in the afternoon.

    Great post!

  7. This made me happy alway the way down deep. A post full of the ordinary joy you take in your desert garden. And names like hesperaloe parviflora; Latin names usually sound like someone's braces trying to make an escape, but this sounds like...well, like Italian!

  8. You live in a BEAUTIFUL place!! I loved my visit there this month. :)

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