Bodacious blossoms stir the cycle of life

Ocotillo Nectar Available Here

If you live in the Sonoran Desert you’ve noticed we are at the height of blossom season. The palo verde trees that line our streets and grace our yards have blanketed themselves with brilliant yellow flowers. Pollinator bees buzz from blossom to blossom and I saw a hummingbird drinking nectar from our palo verde tree. No wonder we have so many hummers! As these blooms drift and carpet the ground in gold, the ironwood trees begin to strut. The orchid-like pink flowers of the ironwood will be visited by various insects, bees and birds that thrive on nectar. Sparrows and finches gorge on brittlebush seeds, and desert mallows sift tiny black seeds to the ground where they may be eaten by lizards or quail, or survive to sprout in a future spring. Ain’t it all grand?
By the way, I’ve been reading about the 18 species of hummingbirds that hang out in Arizona at one time or another during the year, mostly congregating in the southern parts of the state. The Costa’s hummingbird is the year-round low desert resident and particularly favors the nectar from cactus, ocotillo, chuparosa and wolfberry. We also see Anna’s hummingbirds in the suburbs, this larger hummer aggressively seeks backyard feeders and exotic plant flowers. Did you know that hummingbirds cannot hop or walk so must fly everywhere?

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