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A week ago I should have realized when I photographed this White-winged Dove perching atop a Saguaro Cactus that southern Arizona’s annual nearly instantaneous transition from cool spring weather to intense heat was upon us.
A couple of weeks ago parts of Tucson, including our neighborhood, saw low temperatures just above freezing and a very brief snowfall. The weather service predicts high temperatures in the mid-90s for the Tucson area (in the vicinity of 35 degrees Celsius) by this weekend. So it always goes around here. Spring is fleeting — it seems to last just a couple of weeks — and then our annual six months of blazing heat arrive.
White-winged Doves seem to understand the transition as well or better than we humans do. However, it’s not the heat that attracts them in large numbers. White-winged Doves have an intimate relationship with Saguaro Cacti. The doves feast on the fruit of these giants. The Saguaros begin blooming once the weather heats up and, by late May or early June, they put out their delicious deep crimson colored fruit. The doves live for those days.
So, while we greet the White-winged Doves on their return, let’s brace ourselves for the blazing heat that is just about here.
Image made with a Canon R5, Canon RF 100-500mm f4.5-7.1 IS L zoom lens+1.4x RF telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 800, f9 @ 1/2000.