This afternoon I was walking down High Road here in Bisbee. I was on my way home from a walk up on the canyon slope. The monsoon season is about over, but there are still towering cumulus clouds slowly sailing by.
I stopped when I encountered an Arizona Cypress tree growing in someone’s yard down below the road. The Arizona Cypress is native to the higher canyons in the Chiricuaha and Huachuca Mountains nearby and the conifer is commonly planted in Southeast Arizona towns.
The foliage of the species emanates an appealing musky-resinous odor. The fronds of scaly needles have a primitive look. Like all conifers this cypress was thriving long before the slow advent of flowering plants and their broad membranous leaves. I’m reminded of other primitive plants such as mosses, ferns, and liverworts. Cypress foliage side-lit by a low afternoon ray of sunlight:
The cones are about 1-1/4 inches in diameter, roughly spherical with almost-hexagonal facets. Soccer balls and geodesic domes come to mind. These cones are still green and will darken as they ripen over the winter:
I enjoy seeing these trees slowly transacting their reproductive business, a refreshing diversion from the trivial political squabbles so prevalent in this election year!