Archive for the ‘Plant’ Tag

Time To Cover Plants In The Desert   4 comments

Lemon Tree img_978307200.000000 blog

Lemon Tree-9030 blogPotted Lemon Tree — Images by kenne

This past spring our potted lemon tree had three lemons from the few blossoms on the small tree. They are now near being harvested. Mean while the three is blossoming, with some new lemons already on the tree. 

Now much of the west had a weather low that is bring freezing weather. Last night we had rain, with snow on Mount Lemon. Tomorrow morning’s low will be below freezing here in Tucson — time to cover some of the more tender plants.


The Mountain Is Still Alive With Wildflowers, But Not For Long   6 comments

Wildflowers Along Carter Canyon Trail, Mt. Lemmon — Images by kenne


Wildflowers Color The Mountain Meadows From Blossom To Blossom   6 comments

Aspen Draw August 2013Wildflowers Color The Mountain Meadows From Blossom To Blossom — Image by kenne

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

— from the Li-Young Lee poem “From Blossoms”

Capturing The Moment — Scouler’s Catchfly   4 comments

SCVN Nature Walk July 2013Scouler’s Catchfly on Mount Lemmon — Image by kenne

A Flower Seen Along The Trail Today   6 comments

Lower Butterfly Trail to Leopold Point July 2013

Lower Butterfly Trail to Leopold Point July 2013I tried to identify this flower in, but no luck. — Images by kenne

Capturing The Moment — It’s All About Timing!   16 comments

Aspen Loop July 2013

Aspen Loop July 2013

Aspen Loop July 2013

Aspen Loop July 2013

Aspen Loop July 2013Nais Metalmark Butterflies on Ceanithus Fenderli Bushes — Images by kenne

It’s all about timing, and this was the moment!

Yesterday, while hiking the Aspen Loop on Mount Lemmon, we came upon plants steaming with butterflies and quickly concluded that the bush was the caterpillar host for these butterflies. We discussed possible names. 

The butterflies are the nais metalmark and the host plant is the ceanithus fenderli. “Males perch and patrol near the host plant for females. Eggs are laid singly on leaves or flowers. Caterpillars rest in shelters of leaves tied together with silk and emerge to feed on leaves and fruits. Mature caterpillars hibernate in leaf litter.”

These scenes were very impressive!

Since I’m not a butterfly expert, I hope I have done my homework well.


A Century Plant In A Century Of Record Heat   Leave a comment

Century Plant Collage blogThe Agave Century Plant Blossoms Near The Prison Fire In The Santa Catalina Mountains As Record Heat Continues In The American Southwest
— Images by kenne

Silverpuff — A Secondhand Blossom   1 comment

Friday with Friends & Molino Basin to Prison CampSilverpuff Blossom and Seeds — Image by kenne

When picturing a wildflower
I see the blossom
not the seeds.

Picture a dandelion
a pretty yellow wildflower
not named after its
annoying seeds.

Picture a silverpuff
a pretty yellow wildflower
with toothed rays
radiating star-like points

only to be named after its
beautiful seeds —
a secondhand blossom

— kenne

Cactus Blossoms In The Sonoran Desert   3 comments

April 16 EventStaghorn Cholla BlossomApril 16 EventPrickly Pear Blossom — Images by kenne


Hedgehog Cacti Are In Bloom   4 comments

7 Falls April 2013Hedgehog Cactus Blossoms — Image by kenne

One of the first cactus blossoms in the spring are those of the Hedgehog cactus. They have been blooming around the Tucson area for about a week, adding spring beauty as some of the wildflowers pass on.

Yesterday I got a report that some saguaro cacti have begun to bloom, which is early for such blossoms. But, these giant cacti do have a way of blooming when they want to — it’s time to start watching for the return of the white-wing doves.



Here’s some fact-i,
About some cacti,

They’re plants you shouldn’t touch,
Because their spiny leaves are sharp,
It might hurt too,too much!
Yes those pointy spines they have,
Are cacti’s shield and cape,
Helping water stay inside,
Through spines it can’t escape!
They love the desert,
Sun baked lands,
For water’s what they store,
Inside their bodies,
Or their roots,
Like clothing’s in a drawer…

Are really pretty cool,
Just don’t give a kiss to one,
Or miss some time at school…

 — Mr. R’s Plant Poems

Capturing The Moment — Cliff Dwelling Resurrection Plants   5 comments

Romero PoolsResurrection Plants Defining the Cliff. — Image by kenne

The Resurrection Plant is in the Selaginella genus of plants. Because of recent rains, the plant quickly turns green after having seemed to have died from a lack of water — seemingly returning from the dead therefore justifies its common name.

The plant’s ability to grow in the cracks of a rock-cliff, providing a mountain terrace look.


Look Around, Art Is Where You Find It   3 comments

MMM 02-04-13Image by kenne

seeds jettisoned

dizzily dancing

riding the wind

capsules abandoned

doors remain open

attraction lost

to the ages

now it’s time

to turn the page

you know it ain’t easy

to see another view

but, these feelings

won’t go away

echoing off all tomorrows

echoing . . .

echoing . . .


Buffelgrass Is More Dangerous To the Saguaro Cactus Than Freezing Temperatures!   2 comments

Ned's Nature Walk -- 01-1-09-13

Ned's Nature Walk -- 01-1-09-13

Ned's Nature Walk -- 01-1-09-13Buffelgrass In Sabino Canyon — Images by kenne

When the Tucson area experiences sub-freezing temperatures, as it did a week ago, many express a concern for our stately Saguaro cacti. This icon of the Sonoran Desert can be damaged by long hours below freezing, depending on the health of each cactus, but the biggest treat to the saguaro is fire. The above images show many saguaro cactus surrounded by an invasive species, Buffelgrass. The upper right of the top photos has no buffelgrass, which represents a more normal view of the canyon vegetation. 

Buffelgrass grows densely and crowds out native plants of similar size. Competition for water can weaken and kill larger desert plants. Dense roots and ground shading prevent germination of seeds. Buffelgrass can kill most native plants by these means alone. However, buffelgrass provides an intense fuel for wildfires and resprouts vigorously after fires, where most native desert plants are killed — including the saguaros.

Removing buffelgrass from steep slopes such as those being inspected by Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist, Mark Hengersbaugh is a very difficult task, which often involves the individual removal of each plant.

The image below is from a posting about a year ago I did on buffelgrass. Many volunteers are at work removing this invasive plant, but many more are needed. (Click here for link to earlier posting.)


Esperero trail to the RidgeMarkus removing buffelgrass in the Esperero Canyon, February 24, 2012 — Images by kenne 


Capturing the Moment — Death of A Giant Saguaro Cactus   10 comments

A casualty of extreme weather, July 2011 — Image by kenne

inspiration for “Nude Runners” November 2011 — Image by kenne

Nude Runners 1st Posted November 10, 2010 — Image by kenne

Saguaro Cactus are large trees that live to be hundreds of years old. It is one of the defining plants of the Sonoran Desert. Like this Saguaro in Tanuri Ridge, these plants are giant, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. The number of arms and the likely age of this particular plant may have helped shorten this plant’s life due to the current long drought and unusually cold weather this past winter. Our Saguaro was one impressive plant when I first photographed it last November. I’m sure that over the life of this plant, it experienced harsh conditions, but none as severe as the previous nine months. Even with some of the arms reaching down to help support this giant (most Saguaro arms point up), our freaky weather took its toll.

Its many arms help depict many images in one’s “mind’s eye,” i.e., runners embracing one another at the finish line, or a symbol of, “He out heavy, he’s my brother.” Although the age of this plant is hard for this novice to determine, the Saguaro rarely grows its arms until after the age of 75. Definitely a slow maturer, the cactus only puts up a main stem or spike for three-quarters of a century, during which it might grow as high as a foot after fifteen years and even seven feet after fifty years. Yet, for many, they may still not have any arms. As the images show, this “big guy” in Tanuri Ridge had a lot of arms, all of which now lie helpless on the ground near the Rillito River.

This is a significant loss to those who walk the Tanuri Ridge trails along the riverside. However, as someone who loves to “capture the moment,” the two (several exist from each shooting) I have near the end of its long life only cause one to challenge the imagination as to other moments that might have been captured over the years. For example, at one time, there was running water in the river with large cottonwoods lining its edge — just imagine! Such imaginative moments are priceless.

— kenne

Capturing the Moment — Crested Saguaro Cactus   Leave a comment

Crested Saguaro Cactus — Image by kenne

The cristate (or crested) saguaro is rare in the plant world.  Science has not yet fully explained why this mutation occurs — many explanations have been offered. This one is located near the Sabino Canyon dam.



%d bloggers like this: