Sunday, July 10, 2011

Another loss

There has been at least one more casualty here in the park - an ocotillo.

This is another very unique plant, pretty much confined to the Southwest. Most folks new to the area, or just visiting, find it to be rather ugly. It spends most of its life looking quite dead. Dark, bare sticks covered with nasty spines.

But just wait until it rains! It immediately leafs out in bright green
narrow leaves, which wither away as soon as the ground dries up again. And the flowers - brilliant red-orange atop each long whip-like straight branch growing up from the base to as much as twenty feet tall.

Most folks who choose to stay in the area learn to like these gorgeous quirks of nature. I know I do.

So it is especially sad to lose one. My new neighbor just up on the corner lost his, just after it leafed out from the last rain. A big wind toppled it! I had suggested he water it a few weeks ago, because it had been unloved for a while, and needed to get its feet secure in the ground. He didn't believe me that it was alive.

And now it's gone.

One of the very special facts about the ocotillo is that if someone sticks individual branches into the ground to build a very effective spiny fence, it often will grow into a living fence! That flowers when it rains!!

I'm sad to report also that the maintenance team here removed the entire saguaro that had been hit by lightning. I guess they considered the remaining plant an eyesore. Too bad!

The Animal Rescue Site
LogoThere is
person with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?