Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Desert Willow & Palo Verde

During the last month or so, our spring weather has careened between record-setting highs and unseasonably chilly lows. The weather changes and longer days have triggered a noticeable shift in the bird species around our yard.

The last of the Yellow-rumped Warblers headed north a couple of weeks ago, and the White-crowned Sparrows have been gone for about a week. The first White-winged Dove of the season showed up late last week - their arrival usually signals the beginning of our really hot weather (it was 107ยบ two days ago).

With the most recent hot spell, our Desert Willow and Palo Verde trees really started to bloom.

The Desert  Willow is covered in clusters of beautiful lilac-pink flowers, about 1-1/2" long.

Desert Willow flowers


Palo Verde flowers

The Palo Verde is completely cloaked in yellow flowers. They are smaller, about 1/2" across.

The Palo Verde has green stems, trunk and branches, which gives the tree its common name (in Spanish, palo = stick, verde = green). This allows the tree to carry on photosynthesis even if the leaves have dropped because of drought or extreme temperatures.

"Whether it's cold or whether it's hot;
We will have weather, whether or not."

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