Growing up in Tucson, there’s certain things you can expect every year: monsoon rains in July and August, the Fourth Avenue Street Fair in March/April and December, the City Council doing something ridiculous pretty much every week…and the palo verde trees blooming in March – May.

Aren’t they pretty?  I’ve always loved the colors…it’s so cool when the whole city just sprouts these big gold puffballs all over the place.  Of course, I would probably think differently about them if I was allergic to them…when we first moved here our realtor warned us that if you have allergies you’ll hate these trees.  Fortunately I do not.

Isn’t that a neat-looking flower?  It’s like a really tiny orchid.
I planted two in my front yard, and I had planted one at my old apartment too.  I did at least one painting that included a palo verde when I was a teenager, and at art school I took pictures of one for a photography assignment, a photo that did better in critiques than many of my other photos did that semester.
They’re also in the same subfamily as Poinciana, which is another tree I really love…I took this picture of one in Oaxaca:
I can see the family resemblance.

I also think the yellow trees with the dusky purple mountains in the background makes a really cool color contrast, as seen in this photo. 
Man, I need to put these trees in a painting again…
Anyone else have a favorite tree?  Or am I just an artsy weirdo?