We’ve been in the desert for a little over a year now, but it wasn’t until today that we saw our first scorpion, and a baby scorpion at that! Actually, by the end of the day, we found three separate baby scorpions! (I use the term “baby” loosely as these little critters are probably “teenagers,” as one volunteer remarked.)
As with most trail maintenance volunteer work, we were moving rocks—lots and lots of rocks. Geoff picked up a rock and lo! There was a baby scorpion! We all stopped what we were doing, of course, to check out the little baby. Since I never volunteer without my phone handy, I snapped some pictures before Geoff tucked the little guy (or girl) back under a rock.
A few minutes later, I picked up a rock and found another little scorpion! Again with the pictures. Further down the trail we found our third one. A quick search revealed that these little guys/girls may be giant desert hairy scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis) with their little brown hairs. Scorpions usually come out at night to hunt (and mate) so we were pretty excited to have accidentally uncovered them during the day.
Other cool finds include a cluster of Arizona Lupine (Lupinus arizonicus) seedlings, still with their dicot leaves intact. As opposed to other seedlings, the Arizona Lupine seedlings are distinctive due to their color and palmately compound leaves! These lupines are a new personal fave after we discovered that they have a gorgeous scent! The fragrance is similar to that of Hyacinths… Mmmm…
Arizona Lupine seedlings
Toward the end of the day, Geoff spotted a plant that we had not seen before. It was a small shrub with whitish-grey holly-like leaves. We joked that it was probably a “desert holly” or “Mojave holly” since many plants in the desert are preceded by Desert or Mojave. I uploaded the photos to the iNaturalist app, and a few hours later, someone identified it as, you guessed it, Desert Holly (Atriplex hymenelytra)!
Desert Holly Inflorescence
Desert Holly Leaves and Flowers