Middle May 2009
I picked up Df at the airport Monday night. She told me that she had Tuesday off, too. At the crack of dawn, we decided to drag out of bed and go see the Ironwoods. The Ironwoods have come in bloom in the last week and this week has got to be the time to see them at their best. Ironwoods are about the size of the mesquite and palo verde trees. The palo verde are masses of bright yellow blooms. An ironwood blooms in a mass like that, only the colors are generally lavender. They range from white to deep purple. They are even more impressive than Washington D.C. cherry blossoms. The trees are generally 2-400 years old. It is awe inspiring to behold a 6 to 800 year old tree that has survived. They aren’t particularly massive and are often bulldozed in mass by illegal cavalier developers. There are only two intact Ironwood ecosystems left on the planet.
They sometimes go by the name ‘Ol Smokey because of the gray bark. Looking down on the “forest’ of them in bloom today, I saw that they do look like smoke amongst the other greens. They have dark green foliage during most of the year. Continue reading