Late winter flowering plants

In Phoenix, late winter on the calendar is more like early spring elsewhere. These pictures are from early February through mid-March.

The plants in the upper tier of the picture have minuscule flowers and short, delicate leaves. The plants in the foreground have larger leaves and flowers that are more visible. The silvery green leaves belong to Brittlebushes (see below).

White flowers are rare in Phoenix’s desert.

Lupines — blue is a rare color in Phoenix’s desert, also.

Looks like a Dandelion but it’s not

Green Feathery Senna

Close-up of Green Feathery Senna flowers

This Brittlebush is larger than ones in the wild because it’s being irrigated. It’s growing outside my apartment’s patio.

Close-up of a Brittlebush flower at Sabino Canyon. From Wikipedia.

Creosote bush

This Sweet Acacia tree needs to have the dead wood cut out and to be shaped.

Sweet Acacia flowers

Unless otherwise attributed, photos are mine from a Sony point-and-shoot camera.

Desert Milkweed in bloom

Mid-December| Phoenix, Arizona

This Desert Milkweed is blooming. I would have thought that this is too early in the season. It is visited by Monarch butterflies and bees who are cold blooded and need a warm temperature. Around here, the hottest it’s getting during the day is in the 50s and low 60s. On the other hand, the sun is quite powerful and warm. After swimming the other day (in a heated outdoor pool), I sunbathed (and no one else at that time) as I was drying up.

A couple of years ago at this time, I visited the Desert Botanical Garden and saw a flock of Monarch butterflies visiting a patch of Desert Milkweed. Will a few find this lone plant?

There’s another, single plant that I’m aware of about a mile away. Interested people planted a row of native plants with identifying signs along a sidewalk in a public park to help green the Town Center.

Is it winter or spring?

Late January 2021 | Phoenix, Arizona

It’s clearly winter in Phoenix. Spring will start around March 1st. In the meantime, some plants flower during the winter into the spring. At the same time, a tree like the Cottonwood lost its leaves for the winter and won’t regain them for awhile. Cottonwoods are the only native plants that lose their leaves before winter as they do everywhere. The first picture is of a Cottonwood near where I live.

A Cottonwood near seasonal water

The following shrub is a Senna. It has started flowering while last year’s seed pods are still on the plant.

These Brittlebushes flower from late winter into early summer. The first is on the edge of private property. The second is on an empty lot. While the first may receive irrigated water, the second doesn’t and yet it’s flowering.

I’m glad that I have pictures of the following Senna because the homeowners’ association just cut it down. It had self-seeded next to a hedge of Oleanders that screen the property from the parking lot next door. It’s been crowding out the Oleander bush behind it. I dislike Oleanders because they are overplanted — especially in places where they’re out of scale. They’ll grow 15 feet high if left alone where the conditions are right. They’re the only thing that grows here that is able to screen property from neighbors or the street, though. The Oleanders are to the right and left of the more compact Senna in this photo.

A new year dawns

Friday, January 1, 2021 | Phoenix, Arizona

New Year’s Day began at midnight, but nothing in nature was noticeable as the day changed from December 31st to January 1st. It’s a social convention.

In contrast, dawn and sunrise are observable. So, I took pictures as the first day of the new year dawned.

May good fortune for the world dawn with the new year.

Happy New Year.

May we celebrate with many cups of hot tea with sugar!

About 7:34 AM Mountain Standard Time. Sunrise behind the mountains was at 7:31 AM. What look like fingers are the arms of a saguaro (SWAH ro) cactus.

About 7:45 AM

About 7:49 AM

Moments later

Moments later

About 7:50 AM. A bird appears at the top of the picture.