Wednesday, March 09, 2005

March 9, 2005
Yesterday we went on a hike behind Picacho Peak, a state park about forty miles north of Tucson that is the site of the only Civil War battle ever fought in Arizona. Apart from its historical significance, Picacho is renowned for its wildflower displays.

We saw everything yesterday: brittle bush, lupine, poppies, phocelia, tackstem, twist, globe mallow (the pink kind), and a gazillian yellow, pink, and magenta flowers that weren't in the wildflower book. I took several digital photos, and will try to figure out how to post them here.

It was a gorgeous day, blue skies and around seventy degrees, and except for a few planes it really felt like "being out in the desert." In addition to the wildflower, we also saw:
  • A white goat with a black face at the top of one of the ridges. We were told he is a domestic goat who escaped, and has evaded capture for three years. He seems to be very happy trotting around on the ridge top and foraging in the desert scrub. I'm assuming that he has reverted to an ancestral state. I hope a female goat escapes sometime and joins him.
  • A white bird! We do not know what this was, as we weren't able to get a really good look at it, but its body shape and habits seemed very finchlike, so we concluded that it is an albino or leucistic house finch. I tried to get a picture of it, but don't think I succeeded.
Not too many other birds visible, but it was midday and already feeling hot. I know summer will be coming soon enough, but I'm really loving the spring.

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