Archive for August, 2013

Second Spring is Coming

Devil’s Tongue Cactus Flowers

Several of the Devil’s Tongue Cactus Flowers have opened with the coming of Arizona’s “Second Spring” season. And, as you can see, there will be a lot more flowers soon. Last year, we didn’t get to enjoy the flowers because the rabbits and squirrels (and javelina) find the flower pods to be a delicate snack. This year, I enclosed the cactus in wire mesh and thus far all of the flower pods seem to be surviving. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Proof That the Hassayampa River Flows

The Hassayampa River that flows through town is an underground river (normally), but today as we drove down to the Valley and back, Damsel captured several images of water flowing above the river bed. There was rain in the mountains where the Hassayampa originates and a lot of water was going through today.

The first image in the slideshow above is the river flowing under the pedestrian bridge that used to be US 60 before the new bridge and bypass were built. The second image is of the BNSF railroad bridge over the river near the point where the river departs company with US 60 as it flows toward the confluence with the Gila River. Damsel took the third image just as we had our last glimpse of the river from the highway. The fourth and fifth images were taken as we were coming back into town with the camera pointed northeast toward the headwaters. Click on the slideshow to advance to the next frame (of five total).

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Last night, we got a couple of inches of rain in the time span of about a half hour. As usually is the case when we get that intense of a rainfall, the little wash that runs in front of the house flows like a small rapid river. It flowed strongly enough to move most of the rocks we had stacked in front to prevent erosion. Some of them carried downstream some 150 yards before settling in.

Damsel and I have discussed building a retaining wall between the RV driveway and the little wash on the west side of the house. I snapped a picture of the area the other day and, as it turned out, it became the “before” panel in the slideshow above. Click the slideshow image to see the “after” panel. You may also click these links for a large before view and a large after view.

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Forever Young

Forever Young

We bought flowers at the supermarket last week. The label on the bunch of red roses read “Forever Young.” These lovely roses are in a vase on the sofa table in the great room. Very pretty! Click on the image to enlarge.

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Monsoon Weekend


This morning, we were awakened to the sounds of booming thunderclaps and moderately heavy rainfall on the roof. Yesterday, The National Weather Service forecast for an eighty percent probability of thunderstorms with the usual flash flood warnings.

Damsel checked the Wickenburg P.D. Facebook site and saw that Sols Wash (a major feed into the Hassayampa River) had flooded Vulture Mine Road, about a mile from our little house. While walking the dogs, I checked for erosion and damage from the little wash that flows along the road in front of the house and found only minor indications of water flow.

In the past, we have seen heavy flooding of the little wash and water flowing rapidly enough to generate whitewater and rooster tails over submerged objects. It’s quite a sight when that happens and usually causes erosion along the front of our landscape.

The forecast is for more thunderstorms tonight and through Monday. We’re battened down here and expect to be safe. The red circle in the image above shows our approximate location.

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Transplanting Cacti

We have been avoiding transplanting a couple of prickly pear cacti because of the hot (107° in the shade) daytime temperatures in August. We finally had a cool cloudy day today, so I grabbed the shovel, loaded up the potted cacti into the wheelbarrow and set about the task.

These two, along with one other (to be transplanted later) were grown from cactus paddles Damsel brought from one of the prickly pear cacti at the California house. They grow very aggressively and had to periodically be cut back in California. Damsel saved some of the cut paddles and planted them in pots in the Arizona house courtyard. Of course, they rapidly outgrew their pots and needed to be taken to Damsel’s rock and cactus garden on the west side. We hope they will be aggressive in their new environment. They should do well since we see cacti like these all over town.

Click on the slideshow image above to see the two transplants after I plunked them into the ground.

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Magenta Asian Lilies

Magenta Asian Lilies

We’re still here despite taking the extended weekend off from blogging. Too many sports events plus other personal business. It’s all good, though, and we’re doing OK.

I took this image of some Asian lilies in my vase in the great room. We bought them last week and after opening, they look very pretty. Click on the image to enlarge.

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