With all the rain we had through July and August, the Arizona desert is lush and blooming. It was slightly cooler than usual this morning, so I went for a walk with my husband and took pictures.
We have morning glories everywhere. I didn’t know what they were and I’ve been ripping them out. Now I feel bad!
Little gardens have sprung up in every corner of every yard.
The desert was so clear and pretty, I was able to get some long views.
The desert here is mainly creosote bush and coyote bush, with the occasional cactus or mesquite. The distant desert sloping up the mountains is very green.
The butterflies are amazing. Driving up the mountain, I thought there were leaves blowing out of the back of the car ahead of me. Then I realized it was butterflies. They are yellow, white, orange, black, and green. The air is just full of them. It’s like those pictures you see of a monarch migration, except these are just native species.
I’ve lived in Arizona eight years, but I always lived in the city and never got to experience the desert like this before. I’m constantly in awe.
We’ve had a ton of rain this summer in Arizona. I’ve been frantically chopping weeds, but I let some of them grow to see what they would do. Particularly these broad-leafed things that I hoped would be flowers. They’re starting to bloom, and here’s what they look like:
According to PlantNet, the app I use to identify plants, these are either moonflower, or desert thorn flower, which are in the same family. They look identical to me! These flowers only open in the evening, after sunset, and close up again in the morning when the sun touches them.
We have an abundance of insects right now, especially butterflies. Last month, I noticed that there were caterpillars everywhere, and figured that by August, it would be butterfly city. And it is! Bright yellow butterflies. My husband was driving down the road and one got stuck in his windshield wipers. The thing is, the stupid butterfly was still crawling out of its chrysalis! In fact, the chrysalis was what got stuck on the car. The butterfly was already flying around. It eventually freed itself and flew away, despite the moving car. Desert bugs are tough.
Of all the things I expected to find in the desert, butterflies and moonflowers were not one of them. 🙂