Sunday, January 18, 2009
What passes for winter in the desert is dormant mesquite trees, warm sunny days, chilly evenings, occasional frost, some rain from time to time, a little dusting of snow on the nearby Santa Catalina Mountains, and a sincere sympathy for those who must deal with frigid midwest conditions. Although somewhat above normal, our daytime highs have been running in the upper 70's and even 80. Some blooms enliven the scene, such as the lovely little Crow's Claw cactus (Ferocactus latispinus) which had several blossoms in December. Also blooming now is Indigo Bush (Dalea pulchra), a delicate little flower which attracts butterflies and bees. Birds in my yard today included Yellow-rumped Warbler, Mourning Dove, Gila Woodpecker, Common Raven, Cooper's Hawk, Harris' Hawk, Gambel's Quail, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Costa's Hummingbird, Anna's Hummingbird and Phainopepla. Two large and healthy-looking coyotes crossed my path on my neighborhood walk this morning. The abundance of desert cottontail rabbits and rodents keeps the predator population happy. Bobcats freely roam our neighborhood and are often spotted in our yard.