After snow, ice, severe winds, and very cold temperatures, spring started to reassert itself today in the Sonoran desert. On my rove at Tohono Chul Park this morning, I saw these beautiful early wildflowers: Arizona blue bells with a few Gooding’s verbena mixed in.
It was gloriously beautiful out on the desert trails. The saguaros on this hill seemed to glow in the beautiful warm sunshine. The saguaro on the extreme right is a rare cristate saguaro. These saguaros (and some other cacti, such as barrels) have suffered a change or injury to the growing tip and no longer grow from a point. See this link for a fuller explanation, and look at the video below for a closeup of the crest.
I climbed the hill to take a closer look at a very vocal cactus wren that was perched on the saguaro’s crest. While I watched, another cactus wren landed next to the vocalizing bird, and both fanned their tails in what I took to be a very provocative display. I believe they were courting. Here is a brief video of their behavior, up to the point where the second wren flew off.