preRA: Fountain Hills #4

Off the bike for 5 days in a row this week, playing in a golf tournament.  My partner and I didn’t do too badly, so I made a brief post about it here.

[By the way, if you’re into exquisite dining and a way cool celebrity encounter, you should check out a couple other very recent posts on our travel site – start here.]

The desert up by Saguaro Lake is always beautiful, and this morning the temperatures were a perfect 75F or so.  Most of the penstemons have waned, but the desert marigolds are in full glory.

The other showstopper right now are the creosotes, and while less showy than the marigolds, they’re also in full decoration.

Closer to the Beeline Highway, I found several of these interesting looking plants. I believe these are wolfberry plants, and the tiny red fruits are related to peppers, but are said to taste like tomatoes.  I didn’t try one.

Wolfberry, Lycium pallidum, or possibly Lycium fremontii


Once at the Beeline, I had to check out my new friend, the claret cup cactus, and was obligated to take another photo of its gorgeous flowers.

I groaned as I turned southwest down the Beeline facing a 15 mph cross-headwind. Hardly much fun rolling downhill when you have to pedal into it. This dead bird gave me an opportunity to stop, though. This is a phainopepla, a very interesting spring visitor here in the desert. They look like slender cardinals but are all black, except that their eyes are red (although not visible in this photo).

Nice leisurely breakfast at the fountain with Jesse. I jabbered on for a long time about the golf tournament, and we also talked about our upcoming tour and looked at girls.

Uneventful ride back by McKellips. I lost my sunglasses SOMEWHERE this morning, and so stopped and bought 4 pairs on the way home. That should last me a month or two.  58 loaded miles.