I hope you are enjoying all the desert posts! The weather here in Arizona is lovely and I am out enjoying it.
Yesterday I had an early morning appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale. It was a fasting test and I had eaten breakfast (opps). They were able to get me in a couple of hours later and so I went on the nature trail that I had seen signs for each time I came to this hospital. This post is all with my cell phone as I didn't realize I was going to be hiking around the desert.
There were signs along the trail giving good information. I am one that always goes on a tour of a museum. It is nice to see beautiful things. It means so much more when you know about the things (in this case, plants) you are looking at!
"The name "desert" is applied to the most arid regions of the world. Deserts generally have less than 10 inches of rain annually and cover 1/7 of the Earth's surface. These areas are rich with ecological diversity and contain a wide range of plants and animals that have adapted to these arid conditions."
"The Sonoran desert is known as the greenest desert in the world. It has a distinct rainy season in July and August (the summer monsoons) and another rainy season in the winter. These rain-drought cycles result in a variety of unique drought-tolerant plants and animals. Because the Sonoran desert is a warm subtropical sea, winter temperatures are moderate."
The desert is often greener than you might imagine.
I live in the Sonoran Desert!
In addition to general signs there were signs telling what the plant is called and more about it. Let's look at some.
"The Senita is a large cactus that is very rare in Arizona, but is more common in the Sonoran desert in northern Mexico. The bristly spines resemble grey hair, prompting the Spanish name Senita, meaning "old one". The tree-like cactus can grow to 20 feet hi height and rises from the ground without a central trunk. The branches vary from a dozen or fewer to as many as 50 or 60. The pale pink flowers are 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter and open at night in May and June." Taken directly from plaque.
"This cactus is very similar to the Senita, however, its stems are longer and hold more but smaller edges than do the stems of the Senita. It is a night-blooming species whose flowers close soon after the sunrise the following morning. The flowers bloom pink lavender from May to June. When the species was threatened with extinction in the United States the Organ Pipe National Monument was established."
You can see the plaque in the picture below.
Not all plants in the desert are cacti. There are many trees too.
"The Desert Ironwood has the second heaviest wood in the United States- second only to leadwood found in Florida. The wood is heavy and sinks in water. IT has been used by Indians for arrow points and tool handles. When completely dried, the can be used as hig-quality firewood. Desert Ironwood can be found in sandy washes, rocky foothills and deserts. Its pattern of flowering is unique in that the color changes at different angles of the sun."
Velvet Mesquite Tree
"Mesquite is well known for fine furniture, firewood, and for honey produced by bees that favor its flowers. The Velvet Mesquite produces yellow, two inch long cylindrical flowers. The roots run dep, often reaching under ground water. The seed pods from the various Mesquite were the single most important food of the Sonoran Desert Indians."
A couple selfies!
If you have been following me for a awhile you know how much I adore agave.
Teddy Bear Cholla
Fishhook Barrel Cactus
"This cactus is given the name fishhok barrel because the hooked spines were used as fishhoks to hold bait while fishinhg. Inside the hide is a spongy pulp that provided large amounts of liquid but is not used as human water source. The barrel cactus does not havea woody skeleton, this its softer interior is a favorite food for Javelina."
Now I am headed back to the hospital for my CT scan.
Share Our World Series
All the posts for April Trip to Utah
All the posts for Favorites of May Southern Utah Trip
All the posts for A Week in Montana
Share Our World: Sara and Sara in Nashville, Tennessee
Share Our World: Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
Share Our World: Radnor Lake State Park
All the posts of the December Road Trip