As snow melts throughout much of the American Northeast, Southeastern Arizona is experiencing its second wave of spring. The first wildflowers have come and gone. Cottonwoods flowered over a month ago and many weeks have passed since they first set fruit. Winter rainfall brought the first wave, the fabulous Arizona heat leads the way for the next wave of flowers and their associated pollinators.
Rains grace the Santa Rita Mountains
The added moisture allows plants to put energy into creating flowers to reproduce all along the elevational gradient.
Fallugia paradoxa (Apache plume)
More flowers means more nectar for pollinators. Pollinators become abundant in the profusion of food.
Oenothera spp. (Evening Primrose)
More pollinators (bees/butterflies/hummingbirds/moths/bats) means that there is a larger readily available food source for other creatures along the food web.
Calliandra eriophylla (Pink Fairy Duster)
More water = more pollinators = more life
Fouquieria splendens (Ocotillo)