Hello Friends and Family,

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Spring in the Desert, Part 2

Continuing the springtime tour of the Harriet K. Maxwell Desert Wildflower Loop Trail at the Desert Botanical Gardens, we encounter another of the sculptures by Carolina Escobar. This one looks like a giant seed, perhaps with the shell of an equally giant worm surrounding it.

Wow a Firecracker plant similar to those I have often enjoyed seeing in Hawai`i — but a bit different. A quick bit of research tells me that this one is called Firecracker Penstemon. They are native to the desert and mountain terrains in the Southwest. Hummingbirds love them.

Another Escobar sculpture. I have to admit that I did not see them when I photographed the luminarias during the holiday season. Either the wildflower trail was not illuminated or I simply missed it. What is it? Your guess is as good as mine.

Here we find Desert Marigolds. Also native to the Southwest, these showy flowers bloom spring, summer and fall, attracting butterflies.

Next is a stand of Blackfoot Daisies. Also a native to the Southwest, these plants favor desert and upland sites. They also attract butterflies. These seem to have seen better days but I will bet they looked great a couple weeks earlier.

Incredible! Escobar sculptures everywhere. This appears to be some kind of bug carrying a leaf umbrella to stay out of the noontime sun.

Ah, one of my favorites — a Fairy Duster. Native to this area, they like the desert and upland locations. Butterflies love them.

This shrub is familiar — Desert Willow. I recognize it because my good friend, Mike, has one planted in his front yard (although I confess I had to ask him to refresh my memory regarding its name). Also a native, it likes the desert and upland areas as well as the banks along creeks and rivers. Butterflies, including large varieties, love it. These can grow to tree size.

This Escobar sculpture makes me think of a huge alien crustacean shedding its shell. Yeah, my imagination can get a little weird from time to time.

We close with a beautiful stand of Goodding's Verbena. Beautiful and they attract butterflies.

Important Notice: I have shared photos of the wonderful glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly that were exhibited here in 2008. Guess what, the Desert Botanical Garden has announced that a new Chihuly exhibition will be coming starting in November and available to enjoy for six months. I will be there, camera and tripod ready both during the day and at night — I hope those of you who live in the Phoenix area will be able to visit as well — it is well worth seeing.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com