In the interest of full disclosure, this is not the First Lizard of Spring that I saw this morning. This one was lounging around last September and was not as quick to hide from my camera. But this morning's lizard looked very like this, sporting those clever little chevrons, and I'm going with Ornate Tree Lizard or Urosaurus ornatus. No, I did not make that up. Reptiles of Arizona did.
Additionally, local nature experts on the Watson Lake Loop Trail identified Ornate Tree Lizards, which are common in Arizona.
There's not much in the way of spring blossoms yet, but the beautiful red-barked Manzanita are going strong.
A few hummingbirds have appeared already, but I've never seen one sip from these tiny manzanita bell-flowers. I'm hoping they do since there's not much else out there right now.
This low-to-the-ground weed is the only other flower I've seen so far this spring. I believe it's some sort of Astragalus species, sometimes called Milk Vetch. There are a gazillion different kinds of Astragalus, listed at this USDA link if you search the name Astragalus. (Ok, only over 3,000 according to Wikipedia.) Some of them are used in herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory and to boost the immune system.
This one, however, is probably one of the locoweed types identified in this USDA article my sister Kris August, the herbalist, pointed out to me. Since 'loco' means 'crazy' in Spanish, I'll not be trying to boost my immune system with anything growing around here. When I was a kid, cattle rancher friends in Wilcox, Arizona, worried over their herd getting into the stuff. It can be deadly if eaten in quantity. Fortunately, the weed isn't prevalent around here; this is the only one I've seen so far this year.
What signals spring to you all?