Tag Archives: toms thumb

desert needlegrass

Hiking during the hottest of weather results in seeing plants you may never have seen before. Like Desert Needlegrass, for instance. I stopped to photograph it because it looked so pretty against the rising sun. (note: I incorrectly identified it as Arizona Cottontop. Thanks to botanist Steve Jones for the correction!).

Desert Needlegrass (Achnatherum speciosum)
arizona cottontop

Even though it is a native plant, it and all the dry invasive grasses pose a serious fire hazard.

arizona cottontop

wildflower report

I scouted for wildflowers on the Toms Thumb trail yesterday morning. With the temps climbing, there are now lots of blooms and many species on the verge of blooming. In bloom were: Combseed, Fiddleneck,Cryptantha, Arizona Popcorn Flower, Storkbill Filaree, Blue Fiesta Flower, Deer Vetch, Lacepod, 2 kinds of Mustard, Miners Lettuce, Yellow Throated Gilia, Chia, Birch Leaf Mountain Mahogany, Ragged Rockflower, Perennial Rockcress, Lupine and POPPIES!

Here are just a few photos:


pacman rock

Frustrating Photoshop issues rearing their ugly heads but I did enjoy a hike to Toms Thumb this am.
Here’s a new rock face to add to my folder. Looks like Pacman, don’t you think? Sleepy Pacman 🙂
I was lucky to get a person in the image for scale (lower right).


Thanks to my friend Barry who spent all afternoon troubleshooting with me!

of all the gall……

These are by far the coolest galls I’ve ever seen! I spotted them on the leaves of some Sonoran Scrub Oak at the top of Tom’s Thumb Trail. In checking BugGuide on the net, the most likely candidate for creating this gall is a Gall Wasp. If anyone has an idea of the exact identity of this gall, please let me know and I’ll post the ID. Thanks!

Gall Wasp perhaps?
Gall Wasp perhaps?

The largest gall measured approximately five eights of an inch.
collected in the interest of science
collected in the interest of science