Arizona, Sketches

I took a ton of sketching material with me to Arizona, but didn't work as long/often as I had hoped. This is ALWAYS the case with me and traveling....

Here's my first attempt, from the safety and comfort of my room:
Tucson1
I was using my watercolor pencils, dry. The new sketchbook I was using just wasn't beefy enough to handle wet media.
Tucson2
While it was a shock for me to see such flat, brown color in the desert compared to the rich green of New England in the summer I was surprised at how many flowering bushes and cacti I saw. Orange was the strongest presence, on a few different types of plants.
Tucson3
I need to point out that I was in a cute little hummingbird garden at the property for these sketches. Sounds perfect but I had the threat of the monsoon looming (thunder, dark clouds, high winds), some sort of tiny ant population that kept swarming my feet, bees at my feet as well although they seemed more interested in the dropped blooms nearby, and some unknown bug that bit me MANY times. I think it was some type of mosquito but I never quite saw it. The bites looked like mosquito bites but itched and stung.
Tucson4
I called this 'hairy swamp tree'. I'm sure it has an official name. I'd never seen a tree before that had green bark and green branches and wispy green needles.
Tucson5
How could you not love these big cacti! I wondered about the holes in the sides. I imagined that birds were making their homes here but saw nothing actively moving in or out. Perhaps it's just where arms of the cacti dropped off. The flower cluster on the right was so tiny and lovely I had to pick it and draw it from a less buggy environment.