A-h-h-h, That New Camera Smell

Beethoven’s Nose

I just came back in from the courtyard where I had been taking some pictures of ’stuff,’ when I got in the house I was greeted by ‘Beethoven,’ our five year old min pin. He seemed very interested in the camera, so I let him sniff at it.

I guess I pressed on the shutter release just as his nose was up to the lens guard. I thought this was an interesting and humorous view of the curiosity of a small, but very loveable dog. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Lawyer’s Tongue Cactus Flowers

Lawyer’s Tongue Cactus Flowers

These nice showy flowers are open on our Lawyer’s Tongue Cactus (opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis). This cactus, which is now over three feet tall started from a single paddle that we rescued from a local park in 2011. We planted the paddle in a pot and it thrived in the courtyard until last winter when we transplanted it to the west side of the lot.

This is the first year that it is producing flowers and (hopefully) fruit. We would like to try and use the fruit in some recipes for syrup, juice or jellies. Maybe we will even make some Lawyer’s Tongue Margaritas this summer.


First Saguaro Flower Buds Sighted

Saguaro Flower Buds

The first saguaro flower buds were sighted today and they are on our own big guy out front! We passed by the big saguaro today and I noticed what might be some flower buds on the crown of the cactus. Sure enough, when we got the pictures blown up big enough, we could see two or three buds.

In a few weeks, there will likely be many saguaro flowers open. I will be sure to post pictures of ours and any others that we might see around town. Yay for the Arizona State Flower! Click on the image to enlarge.

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The Earth Day Scam

Instead of addressing the international and domestic issues of importance, the President creates a global warming distraction for his weekly radio address. Out-of-control spending, scandalous cabinet-level agencies running amok, Iran rapidly ramping up their nuclear weapons program and numerous other critical domestic and international issues go unmentioned in favor of the president’s proposed solution to no known problem.

This is all a subterfuge to deflect attention from the real issues mentioned above. We have cited dozens of examples that prove climate change, global disruption or whatever they are calling Global Warming these days to be a complete hoax. It’s in the numbers, stupid.

Meanwhile, the hypocrisy of Obama and some wealthy celebrity greenbats is demonstrated by the writers at Townhall.com:

Environmentalists use Earth Day as another opportunity to disparage the most important source of human prosperity and enriched quality of life – fossil fuels. Ironically, President Obama, whose method of travel makes him one of the single largest individual contributors of CO2 emissions, is once again firing up the engines of Air Force One on Earth Day. This time it’s a flight to the Florida everglades for a photo op to highlight global warming’s impact on the planet. Air Force One burns five gallons of fuel per minute. The flight to Florida will be around 150 minutes and use 750 gallons of fuel. And that doesn’t account for other military aircraft, C-17 transport planes for his fleet of limos and security vehicles, or the dozens of police escort vehicles used to move him around on the ground. It’s a very carbon laden trip for someone hoping to convince the public that CO2 emissions are responsible for global warming and the destruction of the Everglades. But this year’s Earth Day trip pales in comparison to overseas trips in 2011 and 2014, when President Obama’s travels used over 35,000 gallons of fuel and contributed 375 tons of carbon to the atmosphere.

These trips are the personification of hypocrisy, and typical of eco-hypocrites who don’t change their personnel carbon emission behavior while asking the rest of the world to do so. It’s the ‘do as I say, not as I do’ principle. President Obama is not the only environmental crusader who is producing a massive carbon footprint while decrying the use of fossil fuels. Hollywood eco-hypocrite Leonardo DiCaprio likes to talk the talk and not walk the walk. It was recently revealed that the movie star, who led the People’s Climate March in New York, flew by private jet from Los Angeles to New York six times in six weeks last year. DiCaprio, and other wealthy environmentalists like billionaire Richard Branson and Greenpeace’s Pascal Husting, want to save the planet by making it more difficult and expensive for the average person to enjoy mobility, while they jet set around the world in their private planes.

That’s the problem with their eco-ideology. The wealthy and privledged don’t have to suffer the consequences of environmental regulations that put average people out of work, and make it more difficult for the poor to maintain a basic quality of life that is dependent on the use of fossil fuels.


Thimble Cactus Flowers

Thimble Cactus Flowers

My little thimble cactus has lots of open flowers at this time. I had this one out back, but it is now in the courtyard because of the construction. It didn’t seem to mind the transition though, since the tiny flowers continue to open. Click on the image to enlarge.

The official botanical name of this cactus is Mammillaria fragilis. Here’s some information I found on the web at PlantOfTheWeek.org:

Mammillaria fragilis, or Thimble Cactus, is a clump-forming cactus native to Central Mexico. The clumps can exceed 12 inches (30 cm) in width in containers. Stems are up to 1 inch thick and are easily disarticulated. Tubercles are in 5-8 spirals with 12-16 white, radial spines, which are needle shaped and up to 5 mm long. The central spine are brown at the tips, pointed outward and very stout. This cactus is an easy one to grow and very showy in containers.

Blooming: In the greenhouse, our specimen blooms from late summer into fall, with very small pale yellow flowers about 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) long.

I can say that outdoors in the Arizona high desert that our specimen starts blooming in April.

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If Modern Media Had Reported the Revolution

If modern mainstream media had reported the news in Lexington 240 years ago today, we might have seen this sort of nonsense in black and white:


Read it all - it’s kinda cool. Click on the image if you don’t have your bifocals. Found on Fecesbook™.

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Arizona Desert Mining Town

Desert Mining Town

After we took the dogs to the groomer yesterday, we had a couple of hours to ourselves. We decided to head over to an old mining town (and tourist trap) about 25 miles west of Wickenburg.

Unfortunately, when we got there after driving 28 miles on pavement and another 2 miles on dirt, we found that the attraction was closed for the day having been reserved for a photo shoot by some unknown enterprise. We noted a large number of California license plates on the vehicles parked there.

The cowboy that ran things told us that they didn’t have time to notify the media of the closing. He was very apologetic and assured us that if we were to come back on a normal visiting day that he would waive the admission and guided tour fee. I guess we will take him up on that sometime in the near future, before the desert heat gets too out of hand.

The place is called Robson’s Ranch & Mining Camp. We will probably take a trip out there soon.


Indications of Summer

Seasonal Brew

It’s still 17 days to Beltane, the mid-point between the Vernal Equinox and Summer Solstice, the latter of which is still sixty-some days away. The daily Low and high temperatures are on the increase and the local supermarket is already carrying summer-seasonal products as shown in the image above. These are all signs that summer will soon be here.

Now, don’t get us wrong; we like the triple-digit temperatures and the fact that all of the snowbirds are gone. The roads and the aisles in the supermarket are clear of the ’snow zombies’ as we like to call the town’s itinerant winter population.

Plus, I like the Summer Ale.

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Cholla Flower Cluster

Cholla Flower Cluster

This interesting photo is of a cluster of cholla flowers in bloom just behind the wall next to the little wash. I liked the appearance of the crimson-tipped yellow flowers framed by the spiky stems of cactus.

Our friend, Crotalus tells us that this is a buckhorn cholla and that there are dozens of varieties of the cylindropuntia family of cacti. Click on the image to enlarge.

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First Color Image of the Pluto/Charon System


NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto released this image yesterday of planet Pluto and it’s satellite Charon. The distance between the imaging spacecraft and the two objects was about 71 million miles when this photo was taken.

At first glance, the colors appear to be quite close to those depicted in space artist Dan Durda’s 2001 illustration (commissioned by NASA) of the planetary system panorama seen here. The reddish color of Pluto is brighter than its grayish companion. Click on the image to enlarge.

New Horizons at Pluto

NASA Press Release:

First Pluto-Charon Color Image from New Horizons

This image of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was taken by the Ralph color imager aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on April 9 and downlinked to Earth the following day. It is the first color image ever made of the Pluto system by a spacecraft on approach. The image is a preliminary reconstruction, which will be refined later by the New Horizons science team. Clearly visible are both Pluto and the Texas-sized Charon. The image was made from a distance of about 71 million miles (115 million kilometers)—roughly the distance from the Sun to Venus. At this distance, neither Pluto nor Charon is well resolved by the color imager, but their distinctly different appearances can be seen. As New Horizons approaches its flyby of Pluto on July 14, it will deliver color images that eventually show surface features as small as a few miles across.

Some of us have been waiting for fifteen years to see the images from New Horizons. We’re looking forward to seeing more as the spacecraft looms closer.

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