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Creosote bush

Crisp morning. The east side of the wash was in shadow as I walked north along it, with a couple of Anna’s Hummingbirds perched at the top of mesquite trees, waiting for the sun to hit. Moving over to the sun on the western side for the return walk, I started to hear the songs of Verdins, Goldfinches, and Gila Woodpeckers, and saw the white wing flash of Phainopeplas in flight.

The fruit of the Creosote Bush (larrea tridentata) is a fuzzy white capsule that stays through winter. The bush gives off a tarry smell after rain, which will always be for me the smell of the desert.

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About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.


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