The trichocereus is in my opinion the most beautiful of all the cactus flowers. Usually, one or two cacti will bloom at a time, but yesterday I saw a mass bloom of dozens of tricho’s in a garden at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It was so stunning it took my breath away. I’ve already posted these photos elsewhere, but thought I’d give everyone a chance to look at them.
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
I have told you before about the beautiful Pipevine swallowtail butterfly (see Butterfly Sex Notes) that lays its eggs on leaves of the pipevine.
Soon the eggs hatch into a beautiful, though toxic caterpillar (it picks up toxins from the pipevine leaves).
Eventually, the caterpillar matures and creates a chrysalis in which to pupate. This is so cool! First, it places some silk on the twig (or in this case wall) as a base, then it spins the chrysalis, attaching the top part to the wall with a noose made out of silk!
Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Yesterday my roving partner, Sue, and I had a special treat. While walking on the Desert View Trail, we saw a jackrabbit that didn’t see us, and were able to watch it for about five minutes. It was eating creosote—first standing on its hind legs, and then crouched on the ground. As always when I see a jackrabbit, I was astounded by how big it is and how HUGE those ears are. Jackrabbits (which are technically hares, not rabbits), are among a very few animals that can eat creosote, because their kidneys are adapted to handle the poisonous oxalic acid in the plant.
Later on, we saw an unusual, double-decker verdin nest—one nest built on top of an old one. These are great times to be in the Park!