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Photograph of the Week

Mule deer and ocotillo

by Donna Catterick | May 3, 2021
Photograph by Donna Catterick copyright © 2021

Last week’s heavy rains produced an infloresence of ocotillo throughout Sierra County. Out in the Chihuahuan Desert scrubland, the crimson tips of this exotic-looking native plant dotted the landscape like Mexican Papel picado. The vernal sight gladdened the hearts of man and beast alike. It turns out that another Chihuahuan Desert native,  mule deer, rely on the blossoms of fouquieria splendense as an important source of nutrition. Apparently the flowers contain significant levels of  protein and carbohydrates.

Who knew? Not I. That is, not until an early-bird photographer, checking on wildlife activity in her Truth or Consequences yard before dawn, saw a mule deer rising up on its back legs to reach its next ocotillo-blossom snack and captured this rare image for the edification of the rest of us.

—Commentary by Tom Hinson, editor, Photograph of the Week

Editor’s Note: Click on the photograph to view it in a light box for even greater clarity.

Professional, amateur and phone-camera photographers alike are invited to submit images to the Sierra County Sun for possible publication in the Sun’s “Photograph of the Week” feature. The deadline for consideration is every Friday at 5 p.m. For further information, click on the Help Us Report button on our home page and then check the box labeled “I want to submit a photo to Photograph of the Week.”

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