Monthly Archives: February 2017


February is a quiet month for  wildflowers, so I have been putting my energy into working on my new book, tentatively called: “Small Wonders” in which I show enlarged pictures of tiny flowers that are rarely noticed. I am up to page 150 out of a possible 200.

In addition I have been working on watercolors for an upcoming show with our son, Owen at the Contreras Gallery in Tucson. The opening is next Saturday, March 4 from 6 – 9 pm. Here is the invitation. I would love to see you there.

And here are some of the paintings.
c-Snow at Loma Lind

c-Patagonia gold

c-San Rafael Valley
Many wildflowers have started blooming, and soon they will absorb much of my attention.


It has been a quiet time for flowers. Today Ed and I walked in Saguaro National Park East. On the outward journey we did not see any flowers in bloom, so we paid attention to the many forms Saguaros take. Normally they have a single trunk, but we found one that had four.

Carnegia gigantea quadruple

We have had about three inches of rain since January 1 this year, and the Saguaros have expanded, in some cases to the breaking point. Here is one that is not only very fat with water, but has a long split. We suppose it just burst its skin there.

Carnegia gigantea split seam

Normally the ridges are vertical in saguaros, following the lines of the trunk and arms. For the first time we saw one with a different pattern on top of which is a new arm.

Carnegiea gigantea face like

A little farther on an almost complete Saguaro Skeleton had fallen across the arroyo.

Carnegiea gigantea skeleton in wash

Saguaros need a nursery plant in their tender early years. Almost any fairly long-lived plant will do. We came across a fallen Palo Verde (or was it a Mesquite?) That had evidently given shelter to a whole ring of Saguaros. The nursery plant has fallen, and the family of Saguaros stands as if in respect.

Carnegiea giganteas honoring mother

On our return trip we found three species of plants in bloom: Desert Zinnia (Zinnia acerosa), Filaree (Erodium cicutarium), and Brittlebush (Encelia farinosa.)

Paved trail

We were particularly thrilled with the newly paved trail – the Mica View Trail. It goes seven tenths of a mile from the East end of Broadway to the Mica Picnic Area, and provides an opportunity for people in wheel chairs or baby strollers to easily explore the gorgeous Sonoran desert. Congratulations to those who made the desert accessible to more people.