Monday, January 5, 2015

Portrait of a Mockingbird

Photo by Marty Horowitz 12/22/2014

This beauty is a Northern Mockingbird. I checked; there aren't southern, eastern, or western  Mockingbirds, so you're good calling this a Mockingbird.

And now for trees from yesterday's post.

Tree ONE: Goodding Willow (Salix goodinggii). We have 3 more species of willow (Bonpland, Coyote, Yew Leaf) in Sabino Canyon, but this one is very common is the riparian area above the dam.
From Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert (the go-to site for all Sabino Canyon plants):

The flower catkins, tender inner bark, and sap are edible. This plant has also been used for medicinal purposes since the bark contains salicin, a precursor of aspirin.

Tree TWO: Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii). Also in the Willow family (Salicaceae), these trees also contain salicin in the bark. Found in riparian areas, cottonwood leaves turn that beautiful golden yellow in the fall. 

Tree THREE: Velvet Mesquite (Prosopis velutina). Desert tree in (you guessed it) the Pea family! The dried fruits (pods) can be ground into a lightly sweet, high protein flour. Yum. 

How did you do? 

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