Tag Archives: flora and fauna of Arizona

Arizona Through Linda’s Eyes

When I first moved to Arizona, I attended the Arizona State University Piper Center Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference.  In my workshop group, I met an artist and writer named Linda Fritz Wilson.  Some time later, I was lucky enough to join a small in-person writing group of wonderful women writers and discovered that Linda was in this group.  Serendipity.

Much of her beautiful photography is influenced by our desert habitat and characterized by intense color.  

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Meaningful–Or Otherwise–Spring Moments

I’ve broken out with Spring Fever and don’t want to work on characterization now.  In fact, I’m being downright cantankerous about it.

It’s not the sort of spring I used to wish for when I lived in Michigan. I couldn’t wait until the dirty snow and slush had dried up and disappeared and the green spikes of the bulb flowers were pushing up out of the ground.

You can tell when spring arrives in the southwest when you notice the snakes have woken up from their long winter naps and by the blossoming of the Sweet Acacia trees.  These events are accompanied by dirty desert air which coats my throat and sinuses.

We go all winter without having to worry about whether a snake in the yard means danger (the rattle alarm) or not.  Then one day in March there is a snake lying there on the ground, and I flinch until I know for sure.  King snakes are our friends; they eat baby rattlesnakes.

The Sweet Acacias don’t look much different from Palo Verdes or Mesquite trees, but their yellow blossoms smell so sweetly they make you feel sick.  So sweet they almost smell like garbage.  But I could tolerate that if they didn’t make my sinuses flow like Niagara Falls.

The allergist says that the reason the standard skin tests don’t include the Sweet Acacia is because it isn’t a specific allergen; instead, everybody is sensitive to it.  It’s partly to account for the high incidence of hay fever in the valley.

Here are the Sweet Acacia blossoms, which my husband calls puff balls, up close and looking innocent.

Still, it’s our spring, rattlesnakes and allergies aside.  And there are always the baby bunnies :).

4" long baby bunnyhiding in plant

4″ long baby bunny
hiding in plant

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Filed under Creative Nonfiction