Hum, Hum, Hum, Hum, Hum, Hum


Jeff and Harlan hike the Indian Palms Trail one morning…

and discover the purple blooms of the Fremont Box Thorn…

buzzing with bees…

courtesy of Tyler Goodearly 

and Costa’s Hummingbirds… (courtesy of Laura Ellis) (courtesy of Herb Elliott)

The next day Jeff escorts Elise, docent extraordinaire and birdwatcher, along the Indian Palms Trail to observe this phenomenon.  When she returns and reports this “charm of hummingbirds”, well it’s my turn to go see this for myself! I know exactly where the Fremont Box Thorn is located on the trail.

So, Harlan, Mary, Ginny and her friend Noel, and I head for the Fremont’s Box Thorn  to observe hummingbirds a day later…

Also known as Wolfberry, Lyceum Fremontii is a species of flowering plant in the nightshade family. Fremont Box Thorn is native to northwestern Mexico and the southern mountains and deserts of California and Arizona. It often grows in areas with alkaline soils, which are clay soils with a high acidic level, poor soil structure, and a low infiltration capacity. Alkaline soils contain a great deal of sodium, calcium, and magnesium. ( /

The numerous native palm groves in the Coachella Valley Preserve are fed by water pushed to the surface by underground pressures from the San Andreas Fault. (Docent Don, our geology expert)

A minute later, after capturing these photos of Hummingbirds on my humble iPhone,  I look up and… wow! … I find this beautiful photo op I just can’t resist. The desert is filled with hidden wonders, subtle colors, and natural landscape architecture!

Meanwhile, back at the Fremont Box Thorn…

I am amazed that my iPhone can take such good pictures.

Costa’s Hummingbirds are small, short, and stocky- looking when perched or at rest. They are easily recognized by their vibrant iridescent blue or purple throat. Without appropriate lighting, they appear black and colorless. The female, of course, is quite bland. The Costa’s is a true desert-dweller and can be observed in the Coachella Valley throughout the entire year. (Anita K. Booth)

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