I asked my husband what one of his favorite plants were in the yard and he said Catalina Ironwood. I would have to agree with him. It is a magnificent looking tree and while we put two in the yard, I am still searching, wondering if I can find room for one more. They have a graceful fern-like leaves, reddish bark (at least at this young stage) and as they age and their trunks grow, the bark shreds into feathers that cling to the tree until the last possible moment when they fall to ground and create a beautiful leaf litter duff. In reading up on them I found that blue jays like to stash their food behind the bark and that alligator lizards tend to hide there too so sometimes, the blue jays get an unexpected live meal.

I knew I wanted to use the line about alligator lizards hiding there so then I brainstormed anything I could think of about the tree.




blue jays
hungry blue jays
search for food
no one is home
rusty slivers of bark
rusty feathers
rusty bark feathers
beneath the bark
behind feathered bark
feathered bark

I came up with two versions. I’m not sure which I like best.

Catalina Ironwood
beneath feathered bark
alligator lizards hide
shush, no one is home

Catalina Ironwood
beneath feathered bark
alligator lizards hide
blue jays go hungry

@copyright Susan Taylor Brown
April 7, 2009