Friday, March 27, 2009
Skywatch Friday: Ocotillo Sky
Brewer's sparrow-A thorny perch 11-30-08
Ocotillos en masse in Sycamore Canyon 3-19-08
Ocotillo on the rim of Sycamore Canyon 3-24-09
Ocotillo Buds 3-29-08 Saguaro NP
Ocotillo blossoms-Fire in the Sky! 4-24-08
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Ocotillo has to be one of the most interesting plants I have become aquainted with since moving to Arizona. They always remind me of an inverted jelly fish with rigamortis! Ocotillo are drought deciduous, which means they loose their leaves during drought and grow them back during the rainy season. The tiny leaves slowy turn yellow before dropping like coins to the ground. In spite of the fact that there is no main trunk, ocatillo are still considered to have branches. The dried branches have been used for centuries as fencing. They are also used by many species of birds for perching on and some even eat the blossoms. Hummingbirds use the nectar for food, as well as numerous butterflies and some nectar feeding bats. All these photos have been taken since we moved here with our Nikon D80 and some were taken by Gus while others were taken by me. As you scan down the photos you might wonder why anyone would want one of these in their yard, but as you get near the bottom you can see why. When they are in bloom they are spectacular!
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Thanks Skywatch Team!