The letter F is brought to you by…

Good morning dear readers!  Today’s letter is brought to you by….


The Ferruginous Hawk!  This hawk is not an exclusive native of the Sonoran Desert, but can be found all over the western half of the United States.  The Ferruginous Hawk is the largest of the hawks, and is often mistaken for an eagle due to its size, proportions, and behavior.  It ranges in length from 20 to 27 inches, and has a wingspan that goes from 48 to 60 inches.  This hawk weighs between 2.1 to 5 pounds.  I’ve seen the Ferruginous Hawk several times on different hikes, and it is a beautiful bird!

Our letter F is also being brought to us today by….


The Fish hook Cactus!

The fishhook barrel cactus is a native of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, and usually will grow up to somewhere between three to six feet high.  It has a pretty long life span – 50-100 years (which means these cacti will outlive me).  During the summer months it blooms, and the flowers will range from yellow to reddish-orange.  This cactus has a nickname – it’s also called the “compass barrel cactus”.  Why?  Well, the fishhook generally leans towards the south, so travelers throughout the desert learned that they could tell the general directions if they could find a fishhook barrel cactus!


Last by not least, our letter for today is brought to us by…


The Foothill Palo Verde tree! I think Palo Verdes are interesting – their bark is green, the leaves are extremely tiny, and when they bloom the tree has pretty yellow flowers.  Another interesting fact about the Palo Verde is that most of the photosynthesis is actually done by the bark – the leaves are too small to carry out the process to keep the tree alive as it gets older!  Older is right – these trees live to be over 100 years old, and some of my research says that Palo Verde trees have been found to be almost 400 years old.  Imagine the stories these trees could tell!  🙂


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. C.B. Wentworth
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 22:22:53

    Those palo verde flowers are making my allergies go crazy, but they sure are pretty! 🙂


  2. Joe Owens
    Apr 08, 2013 @ 17:43:46

    Wow, you are a fabulous guide to new things. I am learning quite a bit from your blog. Thanks for sharing your great pictures.


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