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

By
Mortgage and Lending 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

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Rainmaker
495,768
Brian Burke
Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate
Kenna Real Estate

Mike, gosh I really have to come visit. It looks beautiful every time I see your photos. BTW - Brian absolutely loves hummingbirds. ~Rita

March 16, 2009 12:51 AM
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Mike Jones
Mike Jones NMLS 223495
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

Rita,

Thanks for being the first to comment!  It really is spectacular here, and we have more species of hummingbird than just about any place in the United States.

Mike in Tucson

March 16, 2009 01:00 AM
Rainmaker
591,122
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute

Mike,

Another good morning!

When we first moved to Las Vegas, the hummingbirds amazed us, twice as big as the ones in Michigan and totally fearless.

Bill

March 16, 2009 05:56 AM
Rainmaker
1,842,153
Gita Bantwal
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
RE/MAX Centre Realtors

Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos. I love spring.

March 16, 2009 06:36 AM
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Lenn Harley
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate

Way ahead of us.  I did pick up some Pansies yesterday to put in an old tub in my yard. 

I also picked up some fake Tiger Lilies for color.

Got to have color. 

March 16, 2009 07:03 AM
Rainer
211,971
Carol Smith
Casmi Photography

Beautiful photos, Mike.  We are loaded with cardinals, bluebirds, chickadees, tufted titmouse and red-tailed hawks around here.  But no matter where one is ... they are all beautiful.

March 16, 2009 07:29 AM
Rainmaker
630,067
Don Rogers
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield

Mike,

You sure love the great outdoors and always have some good pics to show off your area.

March 16, 2009 09:05 AM
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Mike Jones
Mike Jones NMLS 223495
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

Don,

I believe you're right about that!  LOL

Carol,

So true!

Lenn,

Another four weeks, and you'll have color to spare in Maryland.

Gita,

You're welcome!  Me too!

Bill,

Good morning to you!  Those hummingbirds are headed north to Las Vegas and beyond.

Mike in Tucson

March 16, 2009 10:44 AM
Rainmaker
308,123
Karen Pierce
Karen Pierce | Housing Counselor |Oregon

I was amazed to see that there are some year-round hummingbirds to be found here in Southern Oregon. Have to make sure we keep the feeder loaded for them though, because nothing but sticks and evergreens to be found in our yard in the winter time. I wonder how the lil' guys survive the freezing temps?

March 16, 2009 03:43 PM
Rainmaker
1,589,443
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
516,566
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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