Archive for January, 2014

We the President

Ramirez’ response to Obama’s veiled threat to act unconstitutionally made during the SOTU . . .

We the President

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This Week’s Flowers are Tulips

Orange Tulip

On our weekly shopping trip, as usual, we bought some flowers for the house. During the winter season, tulips are generally available. We bought these nice, mostly orange tulips with bright yellow highlights. Most of the dozen stems are in the vase on the dining room table with one in a bud vase in our bathroom. Click on the image to enlarge.

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The Beautiful Light of a Red Sunset

Red Sunset

I took this image of our little desert house just after sunset this evening as we were walking the dogs. The light from the fiery sunset in progress at that time gives a wonderful glow over my little dream home.

The temperatures have been mild for the last month, but there is possible rain coming over the weekend, The temperatures are forecast for a little cooler in the wake of the rain than the nice 70 plus degree days we have recently had. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Early Spring Cholla Buds

Cholla Buds

For most of January, we have enjoyed warmer daytime temperatures, like in the high 60’s and low 70’s. It is still quite possible for winter to hit here again, but in the meantime, we’re enjoying “faux spring.” Some of the cacti on the lot also seem to be responding to the warm trend.

I was up on the hill behind the RV drive hanging the bird feeders that Damsel refilled yesterday afternoon. I walked over to inspect some of the buckhorn cholla cacti because I saw some cactus wrens and a couple of curve billed thrashers hanging around them. I thought I might see evidence of a nest or two being built, but all I saw was some new buds starting to appear on the cholla. Damsel reminded me later that the cholla on the hill always seem to get flowers sooner than the ones down on the front of the lot. Click on the image to enlarge.

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A Rainbow in the Sky

Rainbow in the Sky

When I took the dogs out for their first run on Tuesday of last week, I thought I heard an airplane going over. When I looked up, I didn’t see a plane, but I was astonished at the sight of a rainbow in the clouds overhead. The sun is out of the bottom of the frame in the image above. I can’t remember ever seeing a rainbow arc away from the sun until I saw this. Click on the image to enlarge.

I uploaded the image to and found out that this is a circumzenithal arc:

The circumzenithal arc, CZA, is the most beautiful of all the halos. The first sighting is always a surprise, an ethereal rainbow fled from its watery origins and wrapped improbably about the zenith. It is often described as an “upside down rainbow” by first timers. Someone also charmingly likened it to “a grin in the sky”.

Look straight up near to the zenith when the sun is fairly low and especially if sundogs are visible. The center of the bow always sunwards and red is on the outside.

Fairly rare to see. I feel blessed.

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Mars Rover Opportunity Tenth Anniversary


Originally envisioned as a three-month Martian experiment, rover Opportunity managed to exceed its lifetime projection forty fold. I missed posting this yesterday, so here it is today.

From APOD and NASA:

On January 25 (UT) 2004, the Opportunity rover fell to Mars, making today the 10th anniversary of its landing. After more than 3,500 sols (Mars solar days) the golf cart-sized robot from Earth is still actively exploring the Red Planet, though its original mission plan was for three months. This self-portrait was made with Opportunity’s panoramic camera earlier this month. The camera’s supporting mast has been edited out of the image mosaic but its shadow is visible on the dusty solar panels arrayed across the rover’s deck. For comparison, a similar self-portrait from late 2004 is shown in the inset. Having driven some 39 kilometers (24 miles) from its landing site, Opportunity now rests at Solander Point at the rim of Endeavour Crater.

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Purple and White Variegated Carnations


The flower purchase this week was these nice purple and white variegated carnations. I also got some plain white carnations to mix with these in the vase. When you get close to these, you can smell a delightful, sweet fragrance. Click on the image to enlarge.

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