Tucson Mountain Hike: Flowering Plants Welcome Hummingbirds Back From Central America

By
Mortgage Banker with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

The yellow flower of the creosote plantThe ocotillo "flame" provides food for hummingbirds migrating northUnknown flowering shrub on Cat Mountain, Tucson, AZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March is one of my favorite months in the Arizona Sonoran Desert.  I took an off-trail hike yesterday.  My destination was Cat Mountain, the dominant feature of the Ajo Pass which leads up and out of the Tucson basin heading west.

The trailhead is at the end of Sarasota Road off of Ajo.  It's only five minutes from our home, and the trail leads up and over the Tucson Mountains into Tucson proper.  Mountain bikers appreciate this relatively easy trail.  It winds along an arroyo in a break between Cat Mountain and Cat's little moutain sister, Catback.  Both are part of the Tucson Mountain Park, 44,000 acres of pristine desert surrounding our little neighborhood, Tucson Estates II.

I left the trail and made my way up and across the western flank of Cat Mountain, to a vantage point which overlooks my neighborhood, the older community of Tucson Estates I, and several newer communities built in the last five years.  There's also a Boy Scout Ranch with nearly 400 acres of open land along Kinney Road west of the mountains.

Because the varied terrain includes flatland, foothills, and even sheer cliffs, this place is a birders paradise. I saw one Peregrine falcon and an Anna's hummingbird during my four hour hike, as well as several Cactus wrens (Arizona's state bird) and a Canyon wren.

The plants which flower in March provide essential nourishment to the many varieties of hummingbird which are migrating back from Central America to their summering grounds in the United States.

Several REALTORS specialize in this particular area of Tucson, and prices are very reasonable. 

Ocotillo flame in the Tucson Mountains, Tucson, AZ

_____________________

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, AZ Mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your Tucson mortgage expert.

Call me if I can help you with a purchase or refi mortgage;
(520) 349-9090

photos copyright Mike in Tucson (all rights reserved)

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Comments 14 New Comment

Rainmaker
1,514,986
Dorie Dillard
Realtor-Canyon Creek- NW, Austin TX Homes For Sale
Coldwell Banker United Realtors

Mike,

What a wonderful way to start off my morning! Thanks for these works of art! Great photos!!!

March 17, 2009 06:04 AM
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Mike Jones
Mike Jones NMLS 223495
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

Dorie,

Remember when film had to be sent away and developed?  I'm loving digital technology.

Karen,

I didn't know they stayed all winter; it must be because people like you make them welcome!

Mike in Tucson

March 17, 2009 06:18 AM
Rainmaker
162,416
Suzanne Sands
Somerset MA Real Estate
Pavao Real Estate

Hi Mike,

Great photos! Now I didn't realize their was more than one species of hummingbirds...or as my hubby calls them hummingbees! LOL! :)

March 18, 2009 04:00 PM
Rainmaker
504,842
Robert Hammerstein
Bergen County NJ Real Estate
Keller Williams Valley Realty

Mike - Beautiful shots. We get humingbirds up here as well but probably not as much as you down in the desert. I think I recognize those mountains. I drove down to old Tucson one day and it looks like those mountains which I don't remember the names of. Just remembe a lot of cactus on the way down there. Am I correct?  

March 19, 2009 12:28 PM
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Mike Jones
Mike Jones NMLS 223495
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

Robert,

You're correct about the mountains.  As you drive down Kinney toward Old Tucson Studios, this ridge is on your right, between you and the City of Tucson. 

Where the cactus used to be, we have a couple of thousand new homes!

Suzanne,

There are dozens, ranging in size from the smallest (bumblebee size) to larger than you would imagine (nearly the size of a robin.)

Mike in Tucson

March 19, 2009 12:44 PM
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Mike Jones

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