Archive for the ‘Plants’ Category

Be A Flower   Leave a comment

Flatspine Stickseed — Image by kenne

Be a flower. 
Be a seed. 
Let your growth
Arouse curiosity.
Let it fascinate
And amaze.
Let it inspire the artist
And the scientist. 
Let it shock the doubters.
Let it grant hope
To the hopeless.
Let it begin in silence, 
And end with a loud bang.
Don’t be an open book –
Be mysterious. 
Be extraordinary,
B
e undefinable, 
Be a ball of fiery fire, 
And above all, 
Grow in silence, 
And let your success
Do the talking.

― from Song of a Nature Lover by Michael Bassey Johnson, 

Careless-weed Has Taken Over The Tanque Verde Wash Trails   2 comments

Images by kenne (Click on any of the images to see in a slide-show format.)

October is the time of year the Turkey Vultures are migrating south to Mexico, and for years they would overnight near the Tanque Verde Wash. 
I have many images of them in the trees near the wash. I planned to photograph again this year but was waiting to see the vultures circling up, 
usually around 8:30 AM. By this time in October, we have counted hundreds leaving in the mornings circling above headed south to Mexico. 

For days now, I’ve been looking skyward for the circling vultures with no sign of them. Was it climate change delaying the annual migration? Where were the turkey vultures? Maybe I had not been paying attention. 

So, this morning I grabbed my camera and walked down to the wash. I had not walked the trails along the wash since before the
summer monsoon.
What I discovered was shocking. First, there were no vultures to be seen. Second, almost all the trails had disappeared,
covered by two to three
meters of careless-weed (Palmer amaranth). This year’s heavy rains in July and August had brought on
a massive crop of this native weed.
I walked through thick weeds, sometimes over my head. When I did find parts of a trail, its
path would soon disappear in the weeds. 

Still, I kept walking, trying to find some old markers, especially the Margarita Berg memorial. Margarita had passed away in the spring of 2010, months before we moved to Tanuri Ridge in late June. At the time, I would often spend early mornings
walking the trails near the Tanque Verde wash, 
and in doing so, I discovered the memorial under a mesquite tree near the wash.
In fact, it was too close to the wash that the tree 
and the memorial were washed away in the winter of 2019.
However, pieces of the original monument were found and placed at the foot 
of another mesquite tree much farther north of the wash. 

After spending over an hour walking through the weeds, I found the memorial, hidden by all the careless-weeds — a weed worthy of its name.

As for the turkey vultures nowhere to be seen, could all the careless-weed growth of two to three meters cause them to feel their usual perches 
are now too close to the ground?

— kenne

Mexican Bird Of Paradise   1 comment

Mexican Bird of Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) — Image by kenne

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a species of flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae, native to the tropics and subtropics of the Americas.
It could be native to the West Indies, but its exact origin is unknown due to widespread cultivation. Common names for this species include poinciana, peacock flower, red bird of paradise, Mexican bird of paradise, dwarf poinciana, pride of Barbados, flos pavonis,
and flamboyant-de-jardin
. — Source: Wikipedia

Ocotillos Show Signs Of Spring   Leave a comment

Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) Blossom in Sabino Canyon — Image by kenne

Very little rain in Sabino Canyon hasn’t stopped the cycles of life from taking place.
Most of the year, Ocotillos look like a bunch of gray sticks. But in the spring, are during the
summer monsoon season, the sticks leaf out. However, the red flame blossoms
only happen in the spring.

Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) Leaves — Image by kenne

Fouquieria splendens is a plant indigenous to the Sonoran Desert in the Southwestern United States
and northern Mexico. While semi-succulent and a desert plant, Ocotillo is more closely related to tea
and blueberries than cactuses. Source: Wikipedia

Stages   Leave a comment

Wildflower Stages of Life — Photo-Artistry by kenne

I trust in nature for the stable laws of beauty and utility.

Spring shall plant and autumn garner to the end of time.

— Robert Browning

Potted Lemon Tree   1 comment

Patio Lemon Tree — Image by kenne

We have had a potted Meyer lemon plant on our patio for several years.
We fertilize and water it regularly. The record-setting desert heat this year 
has been rough on our small plant. Some of the lemons formed splits in the surface.
This is the first year we have experienced the splitting. In addition to the hotter
than normal temperatures, we have had a little over two inches of rain,
which is about four inches less than normal for this time of year.

This year we still have 15 lemons on the plant, which is not a lot for this plant.
A couple years back we harvested 55 lemons.

— kenne

My Bird of Paradise   1 comment

Bird of Paradise — Photo-Artistry by kenne

My Bird of Paradise

Pleasing to behold
Is alive and has a soul
Paralyzed by love.

— kenne

 

Amaranthus palmeri – Carelessweed   Leave a comment

Amaranthus palmeri – Carelessweed (Near the Tanque Verde Wash in Tucson) — Image by kenne

These plants are often found growing in fields, along roadsides, in drainage areas, and along desert washes.
The spine-tipped flower bracts are prickly (especially when dry) and can scratch bare skin.
Do not walk through a dense patch of dried Carelessweed while wearing shorts.

— kenne

Arizona Dock   Leave a comment

Bitter dock (1 of 2)-72Arizona Dock (rumex hymenosepalus) — Image by kenne

The reddish-pink inflorescence of rumex, Arizona Dock, also called Wild Rhubarb, consists of elongated clusters of many dozen small flowers, each formed of small sepals about half an inch long. 

Wild rhubarb was once cultivated in the southwestern United States for the roots, a good source of tannin, used for tanning leather. The roots also yield a warm, medium brown dye for natural fibers like wool and cotton. But when it comes to savoring – the leaves and leaf stalks are considered edible when young. Use leaves and tender young stems in salads or cook like spinach. Older shoots can be cooked and eaten like rhubarb, e.g., rhubarb pie. 

— kenne

Desert Orangetip Butterfly   Leave a comment

7 Falls April 2013Desert Orangetip Butterfly — Photo-Artistry by kenne

“Curiously, light-loving GREEN plants reject the Sun’s GREEN light,
reflecting it back at you, which is why they look GREEN.”

— Neil deGrasse Tyson

Fiddlenecks Wildflower — Photo-Artistry   1 comment

Fiddlenecks-Edit-art-72.jpgFiddlenecks Wildflower — Photo-Artistry by kenne

A weedy plant like the fiddlenecks
are abundant this year
after unusually wet winter,
and dense patches can cover the ground.

If I were a plant purist
I would have not created this art piece.

— kenne

First Camellia Bonsai Blossom   1 comment

camellia flower-0743 framed blogFirst Camellia Bonsai Blossom — Image by kenne

 

One year ago October, our friends Kathy and Bob from Winchester, Virginia visited us. They gave us our first camellia bonsai tree. Since then I have been careful to make sure it was watered regularly here in the desert southwest. Although it is typically a late fall blooming plant, the little tree didn’t have any blossoms when we receive it. So, we have been anxiously waiting for it to bloom this fall, wondering if the buds were ever going to open. This image is the first blossom. 

Thanks again, Kathy and Bob for the lovely bonsai.

— kenne

Plant Gall Art   Leave a comment

scvn-nature-walk-01-12-12_20120111_1302-art-iv-blogPlant Gall — Grunge Art by kenne

“In nature nothing exists alone.”

— Rachel Carson

Christmas Cholla   1 comment

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christmas-cholla-0285-blogChristmas Cholla (Sabino Canyon, December 26, 2016) — Images by kenne

The Christmas cactus common to the Sonoran Desert is the Cylindropuntia leptocaulis. It’s a Christmas cholla. It got its name because the red fruit on the pencil-thin joints appears from November into March.

— kenne

Rain Drops On A Echeveria Plant   7 comments

gray-succulant-1-of-1-2-blogRain Drops On a Echeveria Plant (September 9, 2016) — Image by kenne

On April 7, 2016, I posted some images of Echeveria Blossoms. The blossoms are small, but exceptionally beautiful. Now long gone, still nature has a way of creating beauty through collaboration — rain water beading on this gray succulent.

 

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