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Friday, April 26, 2019

Early Bloomers

Mesquite Tree flowers
Becca and I got a very early start on a moderately long hike west of Tortugas Mountain this morning.  As you can see from the images here the Prickly Pear Cactus flowers are blooming prodigiously.

I was elated by the many flowers, but one sight really got my hopes up for what might lie ahead in the high elevation cactus garden on the west slope of the mountain:  right as we started down the north side of a deep gully I saw some flowers beginning to open on the side of a Strawberry Hedgehog.  I was not disappointed when we reached the crest of the upper foothills trail because one Strawberry Hedgehog right next to a Parry's Agave had three flowers on it; it was the only hedgehog with blooms.

As we proceeded down the mountain I heard somebody call out my name; it was our pal Jimmy, who was heading up the road.  We circled back to meet him, and he and I talked for fifteen minutes or so before parting ways.  This morning was the first time in a long while that I wore hiking shorts and a short-sleeve shirt for our trek.  We're headed for a high of 89F, and it was already 60F when we got outside for Becca's morning constitutional.
This and the next 6:  Prickly Pear Cactus flowers

Becca leading the way along the foothills trail

This got my hopes up that some Strawberry Hedgehogs might be blooming

My hopes were not dashed

A little early for these beauties to be blooming

Blooming right beside a Parry's Agave

This and the next 3:  closer looks at the Strawberry Hedgehog flowers

White Tackstem flowers

The flank of Tortugas and the distant Organ Mountains

Ocotillo growing on a cliff

This and the next:  Scott's Oriole

Pollen and pollinator

1 comment:

Dr. K said...

I know I've said this before, but I'm going to say it again--I think that cactus blossoms are some of the most vivid and beautiful flowers in all of the natural world.

Desert Life

1st 2:  Willow in yucca shadow It was so windy and the air was so bad this morning that Dr. K, Willow and I did only our regular hike. Not s...