Work Day

Ready to Transplant In the Ground

Now that the temperatures have cooled (only 90° today), we started some of the chores we have been putting off. My first order of business was to put Damsel’s Prickly Pear cactus in the ground in the rock and cactus garden. She grew this cactus in a pot from a single paddle over the last year or so and it is now ready to make it on it’s own. The two images above are of the cactus in the pot transported to the spot we picked for it and the cactus in the ground taken later in the day. Click either image to enlarge.

There was another prickly pear cactus we planted in the yard that needed to be moved since it was in close proximity to the new RV drive. This variety spreads like crazy and we didn’t want to chance it growing over the concrete. Since it was still small enough, I dug it up in one piece and moved it thirty feet or so over to the west property line fence.

Meanwhile, Damsel was doing her thing inside the house and on the patio; she mopped the tile floors and started draining the patio spa, the latter needing the water changed for the fall season when we heat the spa (it is at ambient temperature when we use it during the summer).

We decided to remove some other invasive cacti, also in close proximity of the RV drive. These were Beavertail cactus that we rescued from the back of the lot and that we no longer wanted by the drive not only for the proximity issue, but they had some sort of malady that was eating holes in the paddles. I took out one on each side of the RV drive and, with Damsel’s assistance, transported via wheelbarrow and put in the dumpster.

At this point, we called it a day for the yard work. Perhaps over the weekend we will refill the spa and get the heater started. We might also remove a couple more Beavertails that are close to the RV drive. Or we might postpone all of it until next week.


A Landscape Waterfall


We took a little detour today along the street just to the north of our little road. We have lived here for almost five years and had not driven through this segment of our very local neighborhood. We were stunned to see several beautiful homes and landscapes, but none of them compared to this one where the homeowner installed a water feature on the front of the lot.

This working waterfall must have been ten to twelve feet in height from source to the pond below. This property is similar to our situation where the house is on a berm above the road, but the similarity ends there. This place had giant boulders stacked in front with embedded cacti, trees and this waterfall. I looked at some of the photos that I took and there appeared to be accent lighting on the property. It will be interesting to take the short walk some evening this fall and see if they’re all lit up. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Weather Changing in Arizona


Over the past few days, the weather has played a role in the changing of seasons here. I’m not ready to call it Fall just yet, but we have had a pretty wet week thus far. The forecast has it warming up again toward the rest of the week, so I’ll assume we’re going to get into “Second Spring” for a few weeks before the really cooler weather settles into the desert.

Bob and I were out and about several times today; we had an early MD appointment, a post office PO box check, shopping at two different stores for last-minute specials that expire tonight and, finally, to pick up my pair of glasses that the O.D. office repaired. That was late this afternoon when the rainfall had moved east of town and the sun came out to form this beautiful arcing rainbow. Click on the image to enlarge.


Six Years Down the Road


It’s hard to believe that I have been retired for six years. October 01, 2009 was the first full day of official retirement from big aerospace, although excess leave and personal time off hours allowed us to take most of the last three months off. But on this day, six years ago, the first pension check from the second stint at the same company I had retired from a decade before. Sorta weird, but I get a separate check (directly deposited, of course) for each term of service.

I say that retirement has been damn good because we have had ample opportunity to relocate, build a new home, travel and just enjoy the leisure time. There have been a few pitfalls, but the outcome of those (so far) have not had a very negative effect on our retirement.

As we go forward with our life of leisure, we will be able to travel a little more often than we have in the first six years which is important now that our families have presented us with a new grandson and a great grandson. We will be visiting them and going to visit our other extended family from time to time. We envision an upgrade in our RV status in the future and will be organizing a vacation get-together with some of the family who also have that capability.

We eagerly anticipate the next six years of retirement and even more, God willing.

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Visit from the Local Javelina Herd

Local Javelina Herd

Damsel called me to the great room late this afternoon to show me the herd of Javelina (Collared Peccary) that had wandered onto the neighbor’s driveway across the road. As we looked through the window, I called the neighbor to advise him of the presence of the herd. He and the family were not at home at the time and he told me that his dogs were secure inside the house.

This herd has grown in size from when we first moved here, from about five to seven at that time to over a rough count of eleven today. Javelina herds stake out their own territory and seldom compete with other herds for the 5500 acres of desert where they claim domain and forage therein.

Residents in semi-rural areas just have to cope with the beasts, since they are considered a game animal here. Even so, a defensive gun use is not out of the question if they become aggressive, which they might, if startled or accompanied by offspring. Damsel and I both pack when not sleeping, just in case of trouble. either the four or two legged kind.

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California Cacti Acquisition

Cactus Number One Cactus Number Two Cactus Number Three

On our recent excursion to the California Desert, we were honored to meet up with long-time reader and commenter Crotalus, who was kind enough to present us with these three beautiful examples of cacti from his collection. We transported them to the Arizona desert where they seem to be doing quite well.

In our hasty meeting (we were packing up to head home) I was not able to record their proper binomial names, so I will (for the time being) just refer to them as our California Cacti number one, two and three. You can click on any one of the three images above to enlarge to full size.

We are already planning our next visit to the Palm Desert area to meet with our kids and the other set of Grandparents to the new little grandson. By then, we may be able to meet up with Crotalus again to properly identify the varieties of these cacti.

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Second Spring

While most of the northern hemisphere marks the beginning of fall, we, here in the Arizona Desert celebrate the beginning of “Second Spring.” The summer monsoons are gone and the flowers are opening again.

Here are three open flowers on my Devil’s Tongue Barrel Cactus with several more flower pods set to open:

Devil’s Tongue Flowers

This Star Cactus flower was open when we got home from California:

Star Cactus Flower

Finally, a lone flower blossomed atop one of the Buckhorn Cholla in the west cactus garden:

Cholla Flower

Click on any image to enlarge.

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