Thursday, February 12, 2015

Show time!

 [Edited 2015-02-13]
It's been uncommonly warm here, and combined with the rain we recently had - a soaking kind I call Seattle rain, what the Navajo call a female rain, the flowers are beginning to bloom. These confections of perfection are common according to a guide I have, but to me they are uncommonly spectacular.

The first blooms I spotted were brown-eyed evening primrose, Camissonia claviformis. The blossom is no bigger than a half-inch across.

You can see where the brown-eye part of the name comes from. These are the most plentiful of any I've seen.

Golden evening-primrose, Camissonia brevipes. I saw a couple yesterday and many more today. A tiny pollinator is already at work (at 3 o'clock).

This lesser mojavea, Mohavea breviflora, was just a couple of inches tall. There were only a few in bloom today.

I almost missed this scented cryptantha, Cryptantha utahensis. It's a spreading, mounding plant only a couple of inches tall. The blossoms are about 1/32 of an inch across.

Yesterday there were only buds of desert gold, Geraea canescens; today there were two or three blooms. The brochure says the desert sunflowers form golden fields. The dark specks look like they're marks on the flower, but instead are insects.

Three stages of the notch-leaf phacelia, Phacelia crenulata, are on this specimen. More tiny flowers, again no more than a half-inch across. This is a look-but-don't-touch plant; contact with this tiny beauty can cause skin irritation.

I have no idea what this one is yet. The rosette leaves don't appear in my guide, so I have to wait for the flower to appear.

Finally, bees were ecstatically moving from flower to flower. Spring has arrived in the Valley.

On the way back home after all these discoveries, I heard coyotes yipping and calling nearby and got the camera ready. This lone critter was the only one to make an appearance and was so neatly camouflaged that I saw him only as an irregularity on the curve of the ridge. A bat, no bigger than my palm, flitted and swooped around me, pivoting mid-air on the point of a wing, while I watched the coyote watching me. As I walked the final distance to my house, to my HH, an unbidden thought traveled at the speed of light from my heart to my consciousness: I love my life!


Thought of the day:

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. - Oprah Winfrey