Saturday, December 17, 2011

Round Robin: A Cactus is Also Ever-green

For Round Robin Challenge: Evergreen, I asked to see any plant that stays green all year, whether it's a pine or fir tree or something very different from what we normally think of as evergreens. I can show you both, so let's get started!

Christmas tree lots aside, most of our pine trees and such are up in the Santa Catalina mountains, where the climate is cooler. Late this afternoon I heading up there with my camera and my dogs, hoping to make it to the evergreen forests that start around ten miles up. I was reasonably sure that's where I would also start seeing snow. Mt. Lemmon's Ski Valley, the southernmost ski resort in the continental United States, officially started its season today with a 14 inch base and over two feet of powder from the massive storms we've had over the past week. Not that those ski conditions mean anything to me. I haven't skied since I was about eight years old.

It was just about sunset as we climbed the lower reaches of Mt. Lemmon Highway, so I made the traditional stop at Babad Do'Ag Vista, one of the best sunset vantage points around here. You can't really see them, but under that gorgeous sunset are some ever-green cacti and palo verde trees (the name means "green stick").

See? Told ya!

Climbing higher, we reached the Ponderosa Pine trees (I looked it up) and the snow at about the same time.

By the time we reached the Middle Bear Picnic Area, dusk was closing in on this shady and snowy part of the mountain. My old sneakers weren't much good on the snow, particularly with two dogs pulling on their leashes in two different directions; so I settled for a few not-so-good shots and headed back down the mountain.

Really though, there is no need to climb mountains to see green plants in Tucson in winter, even Christmassy ones! These saguaros at the entrance to Tucson Medical Center are dressed for the season.

And on the street behind Calle Mumble is a seriously big Christmas tree, part of the biggest Christmas display in the neighborhood.

Now let's see what's ever-green where the other Robins live!

Linking List
as of Saturday, December 17th
at 7:53 PM MST

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

Keyhole Pictures

Freda - Posted!
Day One

Jama - Posted!
Sweet Memories

Pamela **Welcome, new participant!** - Posted!
Words Can't Express How Beautiful It Is



Jama said...

That sunset shot is so stunning!How long did you have to drive up till you see the snow?

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Jama, the snow and the evergreen trees started about 10 miles up the mountain, somewhere just above 5,000 feet in elevation. At 35 miles per hour, that's a little more than twenty minutes of driving twisty, slightly dangerous, beautiful highway to get there! If I'd had time, I'd love to have driven the other 15 to 17 miles to the top, where Summerhaven and Ski Valley are. By now they'll have snow even where it's sunny!