This year around Midsummer the largest, most beautiful moon graced our clear desert sky. Randy and I hiked up Sabino Canyon, the mountains on both sides of the road actually benefitting us with the impression of several spectacular moon rises during one evening.
By 10 pm the moon had cleared the mountains and, hanging close to the zenith, was bright enough to read the small symbols on my camera's dial.
|Queen of the Night (Peniocereus greggii)
Last night more magic happened. Our first, and this year only, Queen of the Night (Peniocereus greggii) flower opened. Delicate and fragrant it survived into the early morning hours, so I could capture the first rays of sunshine just reaching it. As beautiful as this seems, there is a scary reason for this longevity: right now pollinators are virtually absent. It has been nearly a month that I saw the last Manduca or Whitelined Sphings, and even local feral bees that often do early morning duty have completely disappeared.