Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Spring in the Desert, Part 3

Each turn in the wildflower trail reveals a new delight — this is a Baja Fairy Duster, similar to the pink variety I shared last week. However, the red blossoms really set it off. As you might guess from its name, it is native to Baja California (which, of course, is in Mexico). It is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.

Here we see a favorite landscaping plant in the Valley of the Sun, a Red Yucca. It is native to Chihuahuan desert of west Texas east and south into central and south Texas and northeastern Mexico around Coahuila. It also attracts hummingbirds.

This is quite an unusual wildflower and one which with I was not familiar. So I turned to the Internet to discover that it is a Golden Columbine. It is native to Arizona and prefers riverbed and mountain locations. And with those flowers, it is not a surprise that they attract both hummingbirds and butterflies.

Wow! A wonderful planting of another favorite landscaping plant, Lantana. The plant is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and Africa although it has been introduced to a much wider geography. In fact, in my beloved Hawai`i, it is considered an invasive species.

Next we encounter another of Caroline Escobar's curious sculptures. This one makes me think of a bear head with two snake bodies connected inside a snail shell. Your imagination may differ.

I guess I am a sucker for these beautiful plantings of mixed varieties of wildflowers. Here Chocolate Flower and Goodding's Verbena put on a spectacular show.

These flowers are exquisite. They look somewhat like a type of Paintbrush but I could not find them in the wildflower catalogs I searched online. I guess we'll have to enjoy them without knowing their proper name.

Same problem here. I do not know its name but it sure is pretty.

Another stand of mixed wildflowers drew my eye — Blackfoot Daisies, Goodding's Verbena and a few Paintbrushy things.

Just as I was about to snap a photo of another wildflower, I heard the unique buzz of a hummingbird — and it just came into my viewfinder. No time to set up the shot, just point and shoot then hope that the camera was smart enough to capture these delightful little creatures. It was.

For the photographers out there, I was shooting in Aperture Priority mode with an f-stop of f/8.0. The cameras chose a speed of 1/1600 second which pretty much (but not completely) stopped the wings in flight.

I held down the shutter release which puts the camera in continuous mode and captured a few more images before my little friend departed. To me, this was the best as he hovered and fed on nectar from this colorful flower.

Sometimes it helps to be lucky. On this day, I was.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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