Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What a little water will do

After we set up here at Mittry Lake yesterday, I went for a short hike up into the hills above our camp. One of the things I noticed right away is how the vegetation is starting to green up after the rains we had last week. The Ocatillos usually just look dead. No leaves, no green, just spiny sticks. 

Give them some water and the change begins. All those dead spiny sticks leaf out and turn green.

Also at the end of those stalks, bunches of red flowers.

Another desert plant that looks dead most of the time is the aptly named Brittle Bush. Normally the stems are dry, brittle and snap easily. 

Add water and the leaves develop. After a while the plant will develop stalks with a yellow daisy like flower.

Another desert plant that pops to life after a rain is the Creosote Bush. These are probably the most common shrub in the Sonoran desert. They are literally everywhere. Normally, while they do have leaves in the dry times, they are dull and drab. Add water and within a few days the leaves have turned green and flower buds start to form. Those buds will produce small yellow flowers.
The Creosote Bush is also responsible for what people call the scent of the desert or the smell of rain. The leaves emit quite a pungent odor after it rains. I am still getting used to it. The first time I smelled it last year, it kinda reminded me a bit of burning plastic. It took me a day or so to make the connection.

Not much to relate today. Just laundry day and a bit of grocery shopping.

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