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  • Writer's pictureMark L. Johnson

TA Tidbits #57-Transition To Summer

First Light-Alamo Springs Spur Trail (5/19/24)


Hiked the Alamo Springs-Spur-Wild Burro Trail Loop very early this morning. The transition to summer is happening. Very few wildflowers remain but cactus flowers are still blooming. At the upper elevations, the saguaros have plenty of buds but only a few flowers.

Dry Grass

The trail perimeter is lined with dry grass and according to my iNaturalist App used in the field and post-hike review, it appears to be Genus Bromus and likely red brome which is an invasive species.

You may recall in 2021 we had significant monsoonal rains and an invasive grass species called soft feather pappusgrass invaded the Alamo Springs Trail. The soft feather pappusgrass has now disappeared and the brome grass is now the dominant grass. See comparative photos:

Alamo Springs Trail-brome grass (5/19/24)

Alamo Springs Trail-soft feather pappusgrass-8/22/21 (growing) and 10/17/21 (dry)


It's so dry in the Tortolitas, the rabbits are pulling down low tree branches to get some green leaves for breakfast!


Photo collage (left to right and down)

Alamo Springs Trail: top (west view), saguaro flowers (2), buckhorn cholla-yellow (2), buckhorn cholla-red, banana yucca, whitestem paperflower, walking stick cholla-red, mid-trail & saguaros, Spur Trail: multi-arm saguaro, Wild Burro Trail: ironwood tree-first light (2), ironwood tree flowers, saguaro on the hill.


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