This year is fascinating with all the blooming cacti and plants. This is my third spring in Arizona and it’s truly amazing. I’m sure it was the rainy winter we had that is encouraging all the plant life to come alive with flowers. Right now the saguaros are blooming, something I didn’t see much of the past two years.
We have a nature’s preserve across the street and it’s gorgeous to see saguaros topped with white flower crowns. They remind me of the floral crowns we swim moms ordered for my senior day for my daughter’s college swim team.
Saguaros topped with white crowns of flowers at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
A saguaro in bloom at a neighbor’s house.
In our back yard.
What unusual plants, flowers or wildlife have you seen this spring? Did you have more rain or snow than in the past few years?
A common theme this week is the color yellow. There are yellow blossoms on trees, cacti and bushes.
My week included enjoying my Bird Buddy. This is a juvenile Cardinal. His coat is getting hints of red. Males are brilliant red while females are brown.
Blooming yuccas at our neighborhood park.
This staghorn cactus is bursting in blooms.
Palos Verde trees are common in our neighborhood. They are in their full glory of yellow blossoms.
I can’t help but remember my daughter who loved the color yellow but called it “lallow” as a toddler.
Our house guests are gone, we have friends visiting from Seattle who arrive today. We swam and walked, I cooked, I was productive in my new space. We made it to breakfast last weekend at our favorite cafe and I had a delicious latte and bagel with lox and cream cheese. It was a good week!
A yucca in bloom at the entrance to our neighborhood.
On my morning walks, I’ve noticed some beautiful blooms. We had a temperature swing of 30 degrees the past few days and I wonder if the flowers will wilt immediately in the heat? I decided yesterday to take photos to share the blooms while they are here.
A hedgehog cactus in bloom.
The hedgehogs have different colors of blossoms.
I hope all these buds bloom in the next day or two and it’s not too hot for them to make it.
According to my desert plant guide, these yellow flowers are Lemmon’s Ragwort.
I think Spring is my favorite season with all the wildflowers and the neighborhood coming back to life.
We’ve lost three saguaros since we’ve moved here. The fourth one went down last week.
I was sitting by the window in the casita and glanced outside as a huge saguaro crashed to the ground. I was glad I wasn’t standing in the way! That was the first one we lost.
We called a cactus doctor and he walked around our yard diagnosing saguaros.
He found one with a disease and he recommended having it removed or the disease would spread to our other saguaros. That project included not only paying the cactus doctor, but getting a permit from the city. An inspector came out to look at the saguaro and signed off on the permit. Then we had to hire another company to cut down the saguaro and remove it. That was saguaro number two that bit the dust.
The third was in the front yard and one of our only ones with arms. It was turning brown from the base that was slowly creeping up. The cactus doctor told us we’d need to brace it if we wanted to keep it. A neighbor told us that the previous owners had that saguaro treated for something a couple times. One day we walked out the front door and it was down.
Then last week after all the rain and a big wind, this smaller one was laying on the ground. The cactus doctor told us that once they fall they are traumatized and can’t make it if they’re replanted. In spite of his words, I wish we would have tried to replant the first one that fell.
We asked our gardener to try to save this guy. There’s a crack along the crown but we hope it lives.
This saguaro has been given a chance to live.
What special plants or trees do you have that need attention?
I brought the Bird Buddy AI feeder inside until after Christmas. I found it on the ground one morning after our GIla Woodpeckers were hanging on it upside down and got it to slide with their weight. It’s strapped on the fence with a velcro strap that came with it, but it’s not secure — obviously!
We decided to cement a pole into the ground and do away with the velcro sliding strap. That was the project for last weekend, but I got sick. I think we’ll wait until after Christmas when we return home after spending a few days with family.
In the meantime, I bought some “critter crunch” bird seed and tossed a scoop on the ground. The quail went nuts!
You can visit my Instagram @e.a.wickham to view quail dancing to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” I didn’t know how to add music to the video on WordPress or I would have.
I’m not decorating for Christmas this year, so I’m looking to wildlife to make it festive!
Does anyone know how to add music to photos or videos on WordPress? If so, can you share?
If you have an Instagram account, would you share it in the comments so I can follow you?
Today we had a winter weather warning. There may be a foot of snow above the 3,500 foot level. Unfortunately, we’re at 3,000 elevation so I think it’ll miss us. I have to check with our friends one mile up the hill to find out if they get snow.
When we moved to Arizona this week two years ago, we were surprised to see styrofoam cups on cactus. We asked people about it while we were out on walks. We learned that cactus like warm weather (duh). They die from the top if it gets below freezing. The styrofoam cups offer a bit of protection and insulation. Some people get creative and put Santa hats on them, or wrap them completely in fabric.
It’s supposed to freeze at night this week, so it was time to get out our cups and protect our cacti. At least the styrofoam cups are reusable!
Last week we were out walking and met a couple we’ve seen, but never stopped to talk to. The husband warned us of the cold weather and asked if we have heat tape.
“Heat tape?” my husband and I both asked. We’d never heard of it living in Palm Springs for the past 37 years.
The wife got out her iphone and began to show us photos from a storm they had a few years before we moved here. They got feet — as in multiple feet of snow. Their neighbors’ water pipes burst and made eery patterns as water froze in the air. This couple is originally from Minnesota so they were prepared with their heat tape.
We got instructions to go to Ace Hardware, buy heat tape and wrap our water pipes. I’m urging my husband to do that now, before nightfall!
Have you heard of heat tape before? What do you do to prepare for cold weather? Or do you ever have any freezes of snow?