Since we are all urged to stay home in these days of coronavirus pandemic (and panic), make the most of it by exploring the plants and animals in and around your yard.
Ocotillo flowers are now blooming. You can use the reddish-orange flowers as salad garnish. Blue Palo Verde trees are about to bloom and turn the desert golden. Foothills Palo Verde trees will bloom later in the month. Both trees produce beans which you can eat raw. For more information on wild edible desert plants see https://wryheat.wordpress.com/edible-desert-plants/ on my blog.
Entertain yourself with bird watching. I’m a backyard birder and over the years have identified more than 70 species of birds from my back porch. I put out hummingbird feeders and a quail block. In the front yard I have a trash can lid filled with water (the “bunny bowl”) which attracts rabbits, quails, doves, and occasionally javalina.
Look for lizards, they are out and about. When it gets a little warmer, go out at night with a flashlight and look for tarantulas. During the day look for holes about the diameter of a quarter. That’s probably a tarantula hole. Tarantulas are gentle creatures so don’t be afraid of them.
The photos below were all taken in my yard. Go explore your yard.
Note to readers:
Visit my blog at: https://wryheat.wordpress.com/
Index with links to all my ADI articles: http://wp.me/P3SUNp-1pi
Index also on ADI: https://arizonadailyindependent.com/columnist-jonathan-duhamel/
My comprehensive 30-page essay on climate change: http://wp.me/P3SUNp-1bq
A shorter ADI version is at https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2013/08/01/climate-change-in-perspective/