Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Late June HOT Rove

Longtime readers of this journal know that I frequently write about roving, the docent activity in which I just roam around Tohono Chul Park, interact with visitors, and see what's what. Every rove is different, and there is always something beautiful and/or interesting to see.

Here are some sights I encountered on yesterday's rove, on a morning when it was already nearly ninety degrees by 8 AM and expected to go to the mid 90's or higher by 10, when my shift ended, and 103 or so by afternoon. It was also the 25th straight day of temperatures 100 degrees or higher.

Cereus Grandicostatus 6-24-2013 9-20-35 AM 3616x2712This gorgeous flower is Cereus Grandicostatus, a probable native of South America.

Ant lion holes better 6-24-2013 9-36-28 AM 3616x2712

These depressions in the sand are antlion pits, created by the larval form of the antlion, an insect that preys on ants and other very small insects. The sand in the pit is placed at such an angle that a small creature will plummet through the hole at the bottom, where the voracious larva awaits. For more info on this fascinating duet of death, click here.

Tarantula hawks on milkweed 6-24-2013 9-45-17 AM 2520x1949Two tarantula hawks seemed to be mating on this desert milkweed blossom. Tarantula hawks, which are specialized wasps, prey on tarantulas and other large spiders, and are very common as the monsoon approaches (which is when tarantulas leave their burrows to seek mates).

Pink Rain Lily Best 6-24-2013 9-26-43 AM 2377x2596 Pink Rain Lily, from Southern Mexico

Sonoran spider lilies 2 6-24-2013 9-31-09 AM 2728x2300Sonoran Spider Lilies. Note the orange anthers on these flowers. (I do not know what color the quethtions are.)

No Rove would be complete for me without a new bird’s nest. This is another Bell’s Vireo nest. Myy fellow docents and I watched as both parents fed their chicks.Bell's vireo at nest 6-24-2013 10-04-00 AM 3616x2712The nest appeared to have notepaper attached as part of the design.


  1. Oooo! Lovely lily! We have many, but nothing that shade. And really -- that many days over 100 seems a bit excessive. Can't you get someone to dial it back a bit?

    1. I don't think so. My Representative is a Blue Dog. And BTW, thank you for commenting, but you missed my pun. You were my only hope.

  2. Anonymous3:08 PM

    I am glad you said that, I thought the heat had gotten to you and you were inventing words.

    1. The heat has definitely gotten to me. But I pun in any weather.