Archive for the ‘ocotillo’ Tag

Ocotillo and Sparrow   Leave a comment

Ocotillo-3839-72Ocotillo and Sparrow — Image by kenne

Simplicity is the glory of expression.

— Walt Whitman

An Ocotillo Morning In Sabino Canyon   1 comment

Ocotillo IMG_3786 blog

Ocotillo-1595 blogOcotillo Blooming In Sabino Canyon — Images by kenne

Fouquieria splendens (commonly known as ocotillo American Spanish: [okoˈtiʝo], but also referred to as coachwhip, candlewood, slimwood, desert coral, Jacob’s staff, Jacob cactus, and vine cactus) is a plant indigenous to the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Desert in the Southwestern United States (southern Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), and northern Mexico (as far south as Hidalgo and Guerrero).

Ocotillo Sun   Leave a comment

Ocotillo (1 of 1) Art blogOcotillo Sun — Digital Art by kenne

The ocotillos
are in bloom
all over the desert,
their red flame
lost only when
inline with the sun.

— kenne

Sabino Canyon Images, March 14, 2018   5 comments


(Click On Any of the Tiled Images for A Larger View in A Slideshow Format.)


Sabino Canyon Images, March 14, 2018, by kenne

It doesn’t matter
how slowly you go
as long as you
do not stop.

— Confucius

A Summer Morning In Sabino Canyon — A Photo Essay   12 comments

This time of year if you are going to spend time in Sabino Canyon, it needs to be early in the morning. It doesn’t take long before the temperature can be in the triple digits — yes, this is Tucson, Arizona.

For a lot of us who love spending time outdoors and hiking, this time of year most of our time is spent up on Mt. Lemmon. Couple that with my trying to spend more time with Joy, except for checking the mail and an occasional meeting, I haven’t been in the canyon lately.

So, this morning after a little jog in the neighborhood, I headed over to Sabino Canyon where I went on an hour and a half hike in and effort to relieve my guilt. 

Barrel Cactus (1 of 1) blog

We are still early in the desert monsoon season, so signs of the heat and dry air are everywhere. (Barrel cactus)

Sabino Creek (1 of 1) blog

Sabino creek is dry . . .

Sabino Creek (1 of 1)-2 blog

. . . and the area above the dam looks like a beach.

Sabino Creek (1 of 1)-3 blog

Down stream from the dam rocks minis water flowing over and around them have taken on different colors.

Squirrels (1 of 1) blog

Even so, there is still plenty of live in the canyon, here two squirrels are cooling themselves in the shade at the creek dam.

Ground Squirrel (1 of 1) blog

Here a busy ground squirrel checking me out before retreating into his cool den.

Saguaro Blossom (1 of 1) blog

A late-blooming Saguaro can occasionally be found.

Desert Marigold (1 of 1) blog

Desert Marigolds . . .

Desert Marigold - Butterfly (1 of 1) blog

. . . attracting butterflies.

Gall (1 of 1) blog

A gall produced by flies that inhabit creosote bushes.

ocotillo (1 of 1) blog

An ocotillo leafed out from an early July rain.

ocotillo (1 of 1)-2 blog

Another ocotillo surrounded by prickly pear cactus whose fruit is beginning to turn red.

Prickly Pear Fruit (1 of 1)-2

Prickly pear fruit.

White Winged Dove (1 of 1) blog

Still, often under austere conditions, life goes on. (Whitewinged Dove)

Sabino Canyon (1 of 1)-2 blog

The harshness of this land causes many to see the Sonoran desert to be a wasteland.

Sabino Canyon (1 of 1) blog.jpg

Those who have experienced the beauty of this amazing desert know it is not, but if left unprotected, it can become a man-made wasteland.

— kenne

Among all the geographic areas of the United States, the Southwest in general
and Arizona in particular is blessed with a panoramic beauty that almost defies description.
Only a limited number of poets, painters, and photographers
have been able to do justice to her splendor.

— Marshall Trimble, Arizona: A Panoramic History of a Frontier State, 1977

The Flame   Leave a comment

ocotillo cactus (1 of 1)-2 art blog“The Flame” (Ocotillo Cactus Blossom) — Computer Art by kenne

We are experiencing a very dry spring in southern Arizona causing most ocotillo not to leaf out,
but the dry conditions has not stopped this desert plant from blooming from the end of the stems.
The origin of the name is Mexican Spanish meaning torch made of pine.

— kenne

Ocotillos Are Beginning to Leaf In The Sonoran Desert   3 comments

Ocotillo, Desert’s “Gray Sticks” are Beginning to Turn Green — Images by kenne

Just A Little Rain Turns Ocotillo Green   2 comments

Lizard Walk (1 of 1)-30 blogJust a Little Rain Turns Ocotillo Green — image by kenne

Ocotillo green

Colors the summer desert,

Better green than gray.

— kenne

The Desert Torch   4 comments

Occotio-0601 ocotillo blogThe Desert Torch — Image by kenne

rain in the desert

quickly lights the desert torch

phrase ocotillo

— kenne

The Ocotillo Are Blooming   4 comments

Blackett's Ridge-9914-2 blog

Blackett's Ridge-9884 Ocotillo blogSome of the ocotillo are getting an early start on spring. — Images by kenne

Capturing The Moment — A Flycatcher That Prefers Berries   6 comments

Female Phainopepla-1333 blogFemale Phainopepla — Image by kenne

There She Was

There she was,
Gazing at me
Wondering why
I look so funny.

There she was,
On her perch
An ocotillo branch
Sharing the gray.

There she was
A little red
In her eye
Continuing to gaze.

There she was
As I wonder why
The ocotillo
Not mesquite.

There she was
Flycatcher by name
Preferring the berries
Of desert mistletoe.

There she was
Not gazing at me
Turning her eye
To mistletoe berries.

There she was
In the desert winter
No insects
For this flycatcher.

There she was
Where there are
Berries abundant
For a misnamed bird.

There she was
Until the days
Grew hot
In the desert sun.

Now she’s gone
To the mountains
In search of a
New berry source.

— kenne

Capturing The Moment — Christmas Morning In The Desert Southwest   5 comments

Agua Caliente-9214_edit blogDon’t Tell This Leafing Ocotillo That It’s Winter In The Desert, But Then, It Is Christmas. — Image by kenne


by Carol Jarvis

The bells this cowboy’s hearin’,

aren’t off of any sleigh.

They’re ’round the necks of the old milk cows

comin’ in for their mornin’ hay.


There’ve been other times and places,

where there weren’t snowflakes fallin’,

But he can’t remember a Christmas,

when there weren’t cattle bawlin’.


The desert air is chilled,

as daylight tints the sky.

It’s plenty cold enough for frost

but the air is just too dry.

. . . read more

Capturing The Moment — Leafing Ocotillo In December   4 comments

Ventana Canyon-9123 blog

Ventana Canyon-9122 blogGreen Ocotillo In Ventana Canyon — Images by kenne

This time of year ocotillo are gray thorny stick, so it was unusual to see some leafing in Ventana Canyon yesterday. 


Capturing The Moment — Ocotillo Alone The Trail   Leave a comment

Romero PoolsOcotillo Along The Trail — Image by kenne

During the desert dry times, the ocotillo looks like a gray stick, only to leaf-out after rain. Since the higher elevations tend to receive more rain than in the valley, many of the ocotillo on the Romero Pools Trail were becoming green sticks last week (February 15, 2013). Because it was a hazing morning, softening the suns, I choose to take more of a silhouette image of this early sign of spring in the mountains.

This image was taken last Friday — today (February 20th) this area is receiving a few inches of snow with rain here in the Tucson valley. The new leaves will do just fine.



Capturing The Moment — Changing Colors In The Desert   Leave a comment

Late Afternoon On Lower Blackett’s Ridge Trail — Image by kenne

It only a few days ago when Sabino Canyon was still very green from the monsoon rains. Hiking Blackett’s Ridge in Sabino Canyon (SCVN link) yesterday, the changing colors of the ocotillo and the limber bush were so obvious having taking on a bright yellow color from the dark green. Soon, each will lose their leaves. The limber bush will not leaf again till next summer’s rains. The ocotillo will leaf again after 2-3 days of rain.


(Note: I will have more Blackett’s Ridge photos and video to share later.)

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