Archive for March, 2014

Cholla Flowers

Cholla Flower

Spring and summer will give me plenty of subject material for my flower photos. I took this picture today of a neighbor’s cholla cactus. We also have cholla blooming on the upper lot, but it’s a bit of a climb to get up there with my camera. We have some cholla on the lower lot too, but they flower later in the summer. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Hidden Hedgehog Cactus

Hidden Hedgehog Cactus

This is a hedgehog cactus clump located up near the north property line behind our house. This is the largest of several in that area and it is currently flowering as you can see from the image Damsel took a couple of days ago. Click on the image to enlarge.

This cactus and the others in the area are not visible from the lower level of the lot where the house is located and can only be seen after a moderately difficult climb. There are also lots of trees, cholla, creosote and other shrubs and cacti that make access difficult but not impossible.

We would like to move one or more of the hedgehogs to the lower lot, so we did some research on moving native cacti. Arizona law protects native cacti from randomly being removed and transplanted, but it allows us to remove or transplant on our own property without going through the process of getting permission to do so.

The cactus in the image will be too large for us to manage digging it up and moving it, but there is a smaller clump near the property line just behind the palo verde whose base can be seen in the upper center of the image. That cactus is similar in size to this hedgehog cactus which has been properly tagged per state permit process. We plan to move it sometime in June when conditions are said to be optimum for transplanting cacti in Arizona.

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Musical Mesquite

Musical Mesquite

Bob trimmed up my “Musical” mesquite tree along the RV drive a few weeks ago before most of the new green growth started to come back. He removed much of the growth overhanging the RV drive to clear the way for towing the trailer up the drive and cleaned up some of the dead and tangled branches to give the tree a more open look.

The work made it easier to see my wind chimes and other colorful and interesting decorations I have hanging on my Musical Mesquite as well as clearing the drive for the trailer. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Politically Engineered Drought

Here’s Ramirez’ take on the political drought in Kali-stan. I love his caricature of Gov. Moonbeam.

Politically Engineered Drought

Israel, according to Planet Gore, has solved its drought problem. That country has built desalinization plants along their Mediterranean coastline to provide plenty of fresh water for all their needs.

Hey! Wait! Doesn’t K-stan have a rather large ocean immediately to the west?

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Desert Spring Flowers


The flowers in the slideshow above are all growing on or around our property. The show starts with one of our bright pink beavertail cactus flowers (we have so many now) and is followed by some unidentified wildflowers, creosote, sage flowers, some other unidentified wildflowers, a lemon blossom, a wild desert marigold and yet some other unknown pink wildflowers. Click on the images to advance the slideshow.

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Vernal Equinox

Vernal Equinox

The first day of spring is finally here, although we already have longer days than nights (12hr, 10min of sunlight today) and the temperatures have been spring-like for weeks. The wildflowers and cacti are in bloom and the garden flowers are open. The Red Bird of Paradise shrubs in the courtyard are sporting their seasonal growth. We expect to see their colorful flowers as early as May or June.

The image above is a screen capture of the dynamic depiction of the grand octal earth orbital clock at Archaeoastronomy.com. I captured the image when planet Earth paused briefly at the Vernal Equinox position in the orbit. Click on the image to enlarge (slightly).

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Back Lot Panorama

Back Lot Panorama

I took a couple of images from approximately the center of the back property line in the “unimproved” part of our property this afternoon. I combined the images into this panoramic image using Canon’s ZoomBrowser Photo Stitch software.

The image from left to right shows the west corner of the house at the left and gradually sweeps to the right to cover Damsel’s cactus and rock garden, the southwest property corner, the little wash with all the natural desert vegetation and the several neighbors buildings in the distance. The northwest property corner (circled in red) is just above the bottom of the wash below and approximately halfway between neighbor’s house on the hill (right of center with the flags) and the house with the Spanish tile roof on the right side. Click on the image to enlarge.

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