Nature tour May 16 - Chuckwalla Trail

Nature tour May 16 - Chuckwalla Trail

It was a lovely warm spring day at Chuckwalla trail this morning, and the flowers continue to bloom like crazy. It seems it’s a somewhat different group of flowers than last week, but no less lovely. Shriveled and gone for the year are the purple hyacinths, amazing sego lilies, paintbrush, and the evening primrose in the chuckwalla area.. However, this passing of the torch ushered in an era of ripe red skunk berries, amazing yellow button brittlebush blooms, and an incredible bloom from the creosote. The vibrant yellow creosote flowers feel like a rarity, and thus, a treat, when you see them, yet alone entire fields of them!

We set along the trail to the stream and saw dozens of species of plants and animals. 

It is peak mating season for some birds, so we saw a couple male hummingbirds get in a fight over a female, or just territory, not sure which,, and what seemed to be two cactus wrens chasing off an intruder wren. Also, as usual, there were mourning doves and sparrows galore. 

We saw some of the usual lizards, nothing too rare, we smelled a skunk but didn't catch a glimpse, and we saw bees and hoverflies galore on all the gorgeous blooms. 

I love spring in the desert, the amount of life that comes out surprises me every year. Anyway, here’s what we saw this morning:


    • Species list

  • Plantae
      • White burr sage (Ambrosia dumosa)
      • Fourwing Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)
      • Paintbrush (Castelleja angustifolia)
      • Skunk bush (Rhus aromatica)
      • Indigo bush (Psorothamnus Aborescens)
      • Cheesebush (Ambrosia salsola)
      • Desert Trumpet (Eriogonum inflatum)
      • Desert mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua)
      • Utah yucca (Yucca utahensis)
      • Creosote (Larrea tridentata)
    • Cheatgrass ( Bromus tectorum)
    • Red brome (Bromus madritensis)
    • Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii)
    • Mormon tea (Ephedra ephedra)
    • Storksbill (Erodium cicutarium)
    • Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.)
    • Sand Verbena (Abronia villosa)
    • Rocky mountain bee plant (Cleome serrulata)
    • Cholla (cylindropuntia spp.)
    • Englemann’s Prickly pear (Opuntia engelmannii)
    • Hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus spp.)
    • Buttton Brittlebush (Encelia Frutescens)
  • Animalia
      • Darkling beetle (Tenebrionidae spp.)
      • Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)
      • Rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus)
      • Black neck? Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri)
      • Tiger whiptail lizard (Aspidoscelis tigris)
      • Fence lizard (Sceloprus occidentalis)
      • Side blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana)
      • Giant carpenter bee (Xylocopa spp.)
      • European honey bee (Apis mellifera)
      • Apache wasp (Polistes apachus)
      • Smelled a skunk (Mephitis mephitis) 
      • Robber fly (Asilidae spp.)
      • Ladybird Beetle (Coccinellidae spp.)
    • Mysteries
    • Solved
      • Bladder sage (Scutellaria mexicana)


    • Unsolved 
      • Little blue ones with the lines in the petals
      • This thing
      • That willow that was all over the place (Salix spp.)
      • These wild purrple ones
    • Shout out to Jesse for all the awesome pictures, I was too excited this morning and forgot to take any!
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