Although it is beautiful, this thing is not a native plant. The little dot to the left of the flowering stalk is a honeybee, which isn't native either. But, both are now part of the Sonoran Desert and they are here to stay. The agave sent up a ten foot stalk, over the matter of a few days, sending its whorls of flowers spiraling up to the sky to signal to the bees and the birds.
Not far from the agave, I found this male Phainopepla (Phainopepla nitens), glossy black and red eyes, hanging out in a blue palo verde tree. The backdrop is the Catalina Mountain range. He was on high alert, apparently, I was near his nest!
Next, I saw the female of this pair visiting her nest and dropping berries of the desert mistletoe into the mouths of their three chicks. Tufted with down, they seemed asleep as soon as I was able to peer over the top of the nest. All of these photos were taken in the wash near my friend's house, surrounded by homes in the foothills of Tucson.