Replacing the Compost Bin

Compost Bins

“Nothing lasts in Arizona,” was the warning given to us by one of the guys installing stuff when we first moved here. Sure enough, the old compost bin installed in 2011 is, literally, coming apart at the seams. Even though this location is in the shade most of the day, the UV and other damage has taken its toll.

Enter the new compost bin; we don’t expect this one will last any longer, but it will replace the decrepit bin tomorrow. We will lift the old bin off of the heap and put it in the recycle bin after disassembly. The new bin will fit the footprint of the old one within a couple of inches. We may have to rake the compost toward the center of the heap before putting the new bin over it.

Despite the triple-digit heat in the summer and the frosts in the winter, our compost worms continue to thrive. A quick dig into the heap reveals many, many red wigglers doing their thing. We take a couple of quarts of composted soil out now and then for various of Damsel’s garden projects.


Cactus Wren

Cactus Wren

I went outside this afternoon with the telephoto lens on the Canon SL1 to try my luck at capturing images of some of the local wildlife in their habitat. Damsel and I have already observed a couple of quail herding their spring chicks around but I had no such luck today.

I did see this cactus wren nibbling on the seed bell. I waited until it got off of the human-provided feeder and into this mesquite where it perched briefly for me to secure the shot. Click on the image to enlarge.

The cactus wren is the state bird of Arizona and, according to Wikipedia, has these additional attributes:

The cactus wren is the largest North American wren, at 18–23 cm (7.1–9.1 in) long. Unlike the smaller wrens, the cactus wren is easily seen. It has the loud voice characteristic of wrens. The cactus wren is much less shy than most of the family. Its marked white eyestripe, brown head, barred wings and tail, and spotted tail feathers make it easy to identify. Like most birds in its genus, it has a slightly curved bill. There is little sexual dimorphism.

My guess is that last dimorphism bit means that one cannot easily distinguish between males and females as is the case with many other birds. Why not just say that in the first place?

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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

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.

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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

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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