It’s Spring in the Desert

I’ve been so busy at work lately that I haven’t had time to do any non-blog writing at all. I have a goal to complete Draft #1 of my memoir by August 1. Yikes.

I tried to take a few moments out this weekend to enjoy spring in the desert.


The hummingbird on her nest right outside my backdoor.

The hummingbird on her nest right outside my back door.

Pretty adorable, right? Look carefully and you can see that the bottom half of what looks like the bird is her teeny woven nest. I wonder what’s inside the nest!

A full-bloomingsaguaro cactus I drove by

I drove past a full-blooming saguaro cactus


Here’s a close up (sort of) of the cactus blossoms:

Saguaro blossoms

Saguaro blossoms


On my drive, I also saw this little guy trying to haul that dried palm bark (actually I’m not sure if it’s bark or frond–it’s the dried stuff that falls off palm trees) up the wall to the other side. It was quite an ordeal.


And it wouldn’t be the desert without our family protector, the King Snake:

King Snake - 6 foot long

King Snake – 6 foot long


What does spring look like by you?


Filed under Blogging, Nonfiction, Photographs, Writing, Writing goals

54 responses to “It’s Spring in the Desert

  1. Spring looks very different in the centre of the Netherlands. Wet compared to your desert environment. But pretty, with many flowers and birds singing happily.
    Lovely photo of your hummingbird.

    • Luanne

      Paula, it sounds beautiful. I think my great grandparents came to Michigan from the Netherlands because it’s wet there. Some of the ground is “muck,” very wet black soil, good for growing flowers and celery. It’s very different for me out here in the American Southwest. Some good, some not so good.

  2. Spring is bird nests on our gutters – one house finch, one robin. Cardinal nests in the lilac bushes. And lots of bunnies and squirrels at work. We have a pair of mallards nesting in the runoff from our yard. Lots of critter activity!

    • Luanne

      Finches! Robins! Lilacs! Mallards! I love it! Some of my favorites.
      We too have bunnies, lots of them–some babies, some adolescents, a few adults. The other day my husband found two babies together waiting for their movie and they were frightening, hanging onto each other. And we have our lovely quail families–so loyal to each other.

  3. We filled our bird feeder up Friday evening and by Saturday afternoon, it was empty. All of the new baby birds that recently hatched have been ravenous.
    I’m curious, Luanne, what is the hummingbird nest build on? I’ve never seen a nest out in the open like that.

    • Luanne

      Jill, she (and I looked it up–always a she) built her nest on top of a pretty art object we have hanging back there. It’s under a bit of roof that protects a little patio area, so she purposely chose it to be protected from rain (why, I don’t know–no rain here). It’s unlikely to be protected from high winds, and that is a concern for me. Also, I know that at a certain time of the day the sun beats on that area. Once a week a landscaping truck shows up here and men get out of the truck and run around our yard, blowing with their big blowers for 15 minutes. I’m worried about that, too, and have to remember to catch them before they start!
      The nest looks very well made!

  4. Your spring is beautiful and life-affirming! Our spring here in San Francisco bay area is warm and bright – full of purple lupines and wisteria, sweet smells and green hills that soon will be brown.

    • Luanne

      Lupines and wisteria! And green! Ah, it sounds so lovely. I love green and that is one thing I miss out here in the desert!

  5. Ellen Morris Prewitt

    Thank you for reminding me how different the world can be. I’m about to return to Memphis to see what spring has sprung, but I know there won’t be any cactus flowers!

    • Luanne

      They kind of look like big daisies! Does spring in Memphis spring wet?

      • Ellen Morris Prewitt

        It does! Wet and green and lush – the trees are heaviest in the spring before the heat dries them up. It’s my favorite green tunnel of a world.

  6. What great spring photos, Luanne! Here, it’s the usual but later than usual. The grass is green, trees and bushes leafing out, flowering trees all blossoms and perfume, My columbines want to bloom and the other wildflowers have popped up in new spots. It’s Taurus time, blessed by Venus–flowers and greenery, birds and bees.

    • Luanne

      WJ, that all sounds glorious! I used to have a lot of Victorian flowers in Michigan, and columbines were some of my favorites.

  7. Right now it’s the flies in our house due to something that died in our walls! ugh! But at least it is green again.

    • Luanne

      YOU made me laugh. All these beautiful images of spring and then CCMM comes along with flies breeding and gluttonous over a corpse. Thank you so much hahaha.

  8. The hummingbird is beautiful, Luanne. I love photo essays of Spring. Thanks.

    • Luanne

      Isn’t she adorable, Rudri? I love looking out the door and seeing her there, She looks around at the world around her while she sits there hour after hour. I can tell because she has that long bill and i see it rotating a bit periodically.

  9. Great pictures, Luanne!

    • Luanne

      Anneli, thanks. I’m no photographer, but I do like to have the photos to remember some of the sites that I see. This morning I opened a curtain and surprised a female quail who was in my flower bed right up next to the window. Now I wonder if there is a nest there.

  10. I love seeing bits and pieces of different areas of the US! We don’t have cactus (except to purchase in garden stores), so I love seeing it growing naturally 🙂 So cool!

    • Luanne

      When I lived in Michigan I remember the first plant store opening up downtown (I worked there) and seeing all the cacti and succulents. That was so exciting. Then it became so common. But to see the huge saguaro cacti growing along the road and in yards and out in the empty desert is really marvelous.

  11. corinnetrowbridge

    Love your pictures Luanne! I adore the beauty of the desert and look forward to more please!

    • Luanne

      Hah, thanks, Corinne! I always miss the lush greens and frilly flowers of my childhood, but the beauty here is more spare and almost exotic to me. I’m always amazed by something new. And I see stuff all the time and don’t have a camera on me, darn!

  12. It is so fascinating to watch the desert bloom. Thanks for sharing pics. It’s good to stay busy.

    • Luanne

      Reading your comment, I’m trying to figure out if it’s better to be way too busy and stressed or not busy enough. I think the only way I would ever not be busy (because I have so many interests and stuff I always want to do) is if I lost too many of my faculties and couldn’t do anything I wanted to do. Then it would truly be awful not to have enough to do.

  13. Spring here is bulbs and blooms. Right now we’re at the height of those propeller things off the trees, and the little red bits. (I should learn new, appropriate words, lol)
    I’ve seen baby squirrels, bunnies and ducks — two bird nests on the property. And let’s not forget all the allergy meds! *achoo!*
    Spring in the dessert is kinda cool, huh? What’s the name of that little guy who was dealing with the palm shreds? Kinda critter is he?

    • Luanne

      Joey, you’ve made me think of all the stuff that floats through the air in the spring! I would love to know what the red bits and propeller things are! The baby animals are of course my favorite part of spring!
      Ugh, allergies are TERRIBLE here. Just awful. Every spring. Not just for me and other allergy sufferers, but everybody has them here. Here in the southwest, there are pollens that everybody is susceptible, or so my allergist told me.
      I immediately thought prairie dog and then I asked my husband and he thought chipmunk (too big for that) or squirrel. I looked him up. He’s got to be a prairie dog.

      • I will get some photos of the red bits and propeller things, and look them up for proper names! I have never seen a prairie dog in person, so that’s cool. I have a friend who lived in North Dakota for a long time and she calls them “dack rats” or somethin like that.

  14. Except for the snake, your photos are astonishing. Your blooming Saquaro reminded me of my recent hike in Usery Park outside of Phoenix where there too the Saquaros were in full bloom. So nice to see, especially for a gal like me where you won’t find a cactus growing. Here (Montreal) we dove from winter into summer. Somehow spring skipped us and so the blooms are two weeks behind.
    I empathize with you about finding time for my writing versus blogging. I keep telling myself I’ve got to give time to my novel. Time just flies by.

    • Luanne

      Yes, Carol, you do need to devote time to the novel. The problem with a big writing project is that if it’s not at the top of the “to do” list, it’s at the bottom. That is what I am going to try to fight against!
      I’m so sorry that your blooms are behind!! Maybe you should travel back to Arizona!!! 🙂

  15. It’s very green here — and wet. It has been raining a lot which makes the greens especially vibrant!

    I haven’t had any time for any writing at all. Of course since I haven’t really felt the need to say anything, that’s not so bad!

    • Luanne

      You are lucky if you don’t feel the need to say anything. I am always feeling anxiety that I don’t have enough time for the book! It’s getting annoying. LOVE the green.

  16. Oh, love the hummer! I’ve never seen one in a nest. We have several who hang around our feeders — they buzz my head when I’m changing the nectar. It is a good thing they are so small because they are aggressive little buggers!

  17. Sheesh – lovely and big snake. Where did he turn up?

  18. Here in TX the weather oscillates between hot and humid 90s one day, and pouring rain the next!

    Wishing you lots of time and motivation for your memoir…cuz I want to read it soon!

    • Luanne

      Hah, that sounds like Oklahoma! Even Michigan, to a certain degree. But definitely not Arizona!
      Thanks, Lindsey. It’s the time and energy I need at this point for sure. I have the motivation!

  19. I enjoyed the saguaro and its blooms and branches, too. I had not seen one for awhile. Did I ever share that my grandfather and his second wife lived in Phoenix by a golf course called, “Moon Valley?” The last time I was out in Arizona and out West was when I was 16 years old! I need another trip in that direction, Luanne! I am concentrating on my times and trips to Mom’s until she is gone. I am blessed having her still… So glad about the little hummingbird’s nest and she is really sweet looking! I am happy you will tell the lawn care people not to blow around the art object and protect your little nestlings! Take care, Luanne!

    • Luanne

      Moon Valley is a very nice area. You definitely need to plan a trip out here, Robin! October is the best month, or March/April. I understand about the visits to your mother. You’re such a lovely daughter!
      Do you have hummingbirds by you? I had never seen a hummingbird nest before. It’s so exciting! xo

      • I will have time later in life, to travel West, I believe! Thank you for saying that Moon Valley is a nice area. Both my Grandpa and my Step-Grandma have passed on.
        So glad to hear this is your firs hummingbird’s nest! It is very exciting to see it and you captured it beautifully! We have hummingbirds in Ohio, too.(Haven’t seen one this year yet.) My parents used to make that syrup and they realized in the 70’s that the red food dye was not healthy for those sweet birds. I also think that my friend’s flower garden is amazing while the butterflies, later in the summer, and the hummingbirds co-exist. I don’t have my own garden but have others’ to share with! Smiles, Robin

        • Luanne

          Hummingbirds and butterflies are the best parts of any garden!! I didn’t know that about hummingbird syrup–that they used dye in it. Scary. Maybe it’s what they used to make red velvet cake out of and they had to change the recipe or the food coloring.
          Your time will come to travel West, Robin! xo

  20. It is always refreshing to see the warmth and photos of the desert surroundings you live amongst, Luanne! I am facing a day I usually love, where the morning was only 43 degrees out to walk around my downtown area, looking at our exquisite Arts Fest here! I have seen cold, rain and wind make the weekend not go well. I am hoping for the artists’ sakes and exhibits to see the sun shining later or at least, tomorrow! It ‘hurts’ their sales and the attendance! I have a feeling of desperate ‘catching up’ needed to be done today, too. Take it easy, there really isn’t a deadline, is there?

    • Luanne

      It’s funny you would mention the Arts Fest. I just posted in The Family Kalamazoo yesterday (?) a picture of my mother-in-law from the early 70s (?) standing at the Art Fair at the park with her paintings. Such a happy memory. When hubby and I started going out in high school she was still doing the Art Fair and lots of painting. I hope you have the weather you prefer, Robin!

  21. The wee nest and the hummingbird are so dear! The King Snake on the other hand- frightening! Fortunately Spring in my part of the land is without snakes. We have bears that wander about!

    • Luanne

      I think bears area more dangerous than snakes! But I do love bears, though. Bears and gorillas and elephants–the big guys.

  22. What lovely pictures,Luanne! I’m envious that you have a hummingbird nesting at your house 🙂 Alas, we don’t keep bird feeders right now because we let two of our cats enjoy the outdoors when we are home. One of them fancies himself a hunter so we won’t purposely attract any birds until we can keep him in full-time. And given the rather annoying mewing he does when he wants to let out … it will be a while before he’s 100% indoor kitty 😉

  23. Great pics! Taking time to really see and appreciate your surroundings is a great way to relax and get inspired to meet that deadline 🙂

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