Monday, June 20, 2005

In the Desert, May Flowers Bring the Fruit of June

Saguaro cactus blooming in our front yard in May, with a friendly pollinating visitor. Each blossom opens for one day and one night, and then dies the next day:

Saguaro flowers with bee.

In mid-June, after the blossoms have fallen to the ground, the fruit ripens and then splits open, calling birds, bats, and more with its bright color:

Saguaro fruit on top of cactus.

Eventually the fruits fall to the ground, where the crimson "flower" remains a strong call for javalinas, coyotes, beetles, and other ground-dwelling desert critters:

Saguaro fruit on bed of lantana leaves.

The Sonoran desert is an amazing place year-round, even though it will be 107 degrees today. And ahh, the sporadicly violent monsoon rains are just a month or so away....



Suzanne said...

Wow! Thanks for this, Simmons.

gina said...

I am AMAZED at how the desert is in flower this year. You guys must've had rain this winter. It's so beautiful.

Tried to run this morning a bit before nine. Very hot. I'll be up and out by six tomorrow morning, don't you know.

Where are you located? I'm in Oro Valley.

And do you know a place to get good prickly pear jelly?


gina said...

P.S. I think our monsoons will arrive sooner than that. We had clouds and wind this afternoon. I feel it. A charge. A bit of humidity tonight. The moon is covered in clouds. Sooner than a month. Wanna bet?


Simmons B. Buntin said...

You should have been down here in March! Awesome, especially down along the Mexico border.

Hmmm, up in Oro Valley---perhaps Catalina State Park has a gift shop? Otherwise, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum or probably any resort gift shop.

Remember, the monsoon season doesn't officially begin until there are three days of 54 degrees dew point (or something like that). But it's been an interesting winter/spring---a fairly wet spring, and I wouldn't be surprised if the monsoons came early. One can hope!

gina said...

Okay, I'd love to make your reading but I have no idea where the Civano Neighborhood Center is. I'm familiar with all of central Tucson, downtown, west and south, and northeast, but south east is a mystery. Send me directions from major crossroads?

Smelled like rain last night. We're pretty close to Marana where it seems to storm mightier than Tucson proper.

I'm looking forward to your reading!