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The Buttterfly Tree

I was sitting in my office this morning and happened to look out the window. Movement around a large desert broom plant alongside Sols Wash caught my eye. I looked more closely. Could it be?


I grabbed my new digital camera and zipped out the door to take a quick photo. The tree was absolutely covered with butterflies and many of them were flying around the area. There were also lots of bees.

The desert broom is one of the love ’em and hate ’em plants of the desert. They’re normally the first plant to take root in any disturbed area. For example, when local real estate owners clear their land in preparation for sale, it’s the desert broom plants that take root long before the land is sold. That’s good, because the desert can always use some more vegetation. But what’s bad is the time of year when these plants go to seed. After flowering, they make fuzzy seed thing-a-ma-bobs that fly all over. This can be quite a nuisance when they get sucked into air conditioners and fly into houses. I once took my Jeep for a drive along the Hassayampa River in the fall; the it took me months to get the desert broom seeds out.

Now the desert brooms are flowering. That’s obviously what attracted the butterflies and bees. Bees, I can understand. We’ve always had bees around town. But butterflies? I can never remember seeing so many of them.

The Butterfly Tree

The weather in Wickenburg has been absolutely beautiful lately. I’m just getting over a cold, so I haven’t been able to really enjoy it yet. But we’ve gone several days with no air conditioning at all and at night it’s been a little too cool to leave all the windows open. What a difference from this time last month when it was still hot all day long!

This is also the time of year when we get what I call “the boring weather.” It’s day after day of perfectly blue skies with few or no clouds. Beautiful yes, but terribly boring. Each morning, I get the previous day’s SaguaroCam movie e-mailed to me and I get to see the cloud patterns change throughout the day. Sometimes the only way I know it’s a movie of mulitple images is by checking the way the shadows change on the Saguaro cactus in the movie. We usually get a few rainy days in October — we had some serious flooding one year — but October is the absolute best month of the autumn in Wickenburg.

If you’re here, enjoy it!

Last 5 posts by Maria Langer

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