Sunday, May 4, 2008

#21 Hiked Wild Burro Canyon

I joined friends GT & PT for a nice hike today up the Wild Burro Canyon and Alamo Spring trails in NE Tucson Metro (about 8.5 miles roundtrip). Palo Verde, cholla, prickly pear, hedgehog, ocotillo were all still blooming and the saguaros were just starting to bloom -- most were still getting buds ready to bloom. The above picture shows a palo verde tree still in a bright yellow bloom.

I guess I'm still working the bugs out of the new camera... We ran into several of the above insects roaming around in the sandy wash. I don't believe I've ever seen these before... Anyone have any idea what they are? Update: It is an Iron Cross Blister Beatle -- not one to handle or eat. For some more info check out notes on it at the Firefly Forest.

The ocotillo up here were putting on quite a show. Most of the ocotillo were leafless -- but just a little bit of rain and these sticks will be covered with fresh green leaves in a few days, only to drop them again shortly after the soil drys out again.

Which way? Oh, ok, thank you kindly Mr. Saguaro.

This low hanging saguaro arm is really budding out getting ready for the bloom!

Orange cholla flowers

We ran into a bunch of these poppy'ish looking flowers along the trail. Very pretty and really stood out against the other ground cover. [Update: grannyj has identified this as a "Mariposa Lily"]

When I uploaded this picture from my camera I did a double-take... This looks like one of those camera or photoshop special effects where you emphasize one color and drop out the rest. But no no no... I assure you this is a full color picture and the cholla really was that drab and its one flower really stands out this much!

Here is a closer shot of the cholla flower shown in the previous picture.

I really like purple thistles. I usually see bumble bees on patches like this one, no such today.

Here's GT & PT headed on down the Alamo Spring Trail and back to the car, shade, water, and food! It was starting to get hot out -- Tucson hit the low 90's today -- time to start thinking about heading to the high ground in the surrounding pines for summer hikes.

Ran into this rowdy bunch on the hike out. Not sure if they were giving us a hard time for thinking it was getting hot... Then again, they may have just been watching the game on a secluded TV stashed behind the bolder.


  1. Beautiful pix. The poppy-like flower is one of my favorites, a mariposa lily.

  2. grannyj -- thx! and thank you very much for the flower id.


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