Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Desert Wildflowers : Green

“If your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life,” said Bill Watterson, author and illustrator of Calvin & Hobbes. After Sunday's day of shooting wildflowers, not only were my knees green---or at least brown and dented from the gravel groundcover---my legs were aching from so many squats. Ah, but good for the soul, no?

It's not easy being green, they say, especially in the desert; these plants, though, might argue otherwise:

A Gregg's mist in our backyard that is just about ready to explode into small purple blooms---blooms, moreover, that attract queen and tiger swallowtail butterflies by the dozens as the summer heats up.

The filtered leaves of a Chilean mesquite in the side yard of our home. Even though it's non-native, it's a pretty popular desert tree in these parts.

The velvet mesquite, so named because of its velvety flowers, is native.

Native mesquites have taproots that can go down a hundred feet into the dense desert soil to find groundwater.

The fleshy stem of this large aloe is just about ready to bloom, as well. Lofty offerings like these are often pollinated in the evening by bats and large moths.

The wicked thorns of our native velvet mesquite. Apparently nothing, even being green, comes easy around here, after all.

The ephemeral leaves of an ocotillo, spines hidden beneath the leaves, against flowering palo verdes.

One of my favorite flowers of all: my younger daughter, nestled among the bright and lush flowers and shrubs of a neighbor's yard. Still, she outshines them all, doesn't she?


Tomorrow we'll slide on into yellow, which at the center of our wildflower rainbow also offers the most photos---something like eighteen.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Yes, she does!