Archive for May, 2014

What the Heck Is It?

Red-Headed Lizard

I saw this lizard clinging to the patio screen outside today. I walked out to get a photo of the little red-headed guy. We later tried to look up on the Arizona Lizard website, but couldn’t find a match. It looks like the spiny lizards we see around here once in a while, but this is the first time we have seen a red-faced spiny lizard. Click on the image to enlarge.

Update: Hat tip to Glenn B who points out in comments that this is likely a female spiny lizard whose head has turned red for breeding season.

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Dust Devil

Dust Devil

On our way back home from K-stan today, Damsel photographed this very large dust devil as we passed through the Arizona Outback. Conditions were nominally conducive for dust devils to form, with the 102 ° temperatures and ten to twenty knots of wind with gusts to 35. These guys do little damage, but can disrupt your daily activities by repositioning the trash bins and anything else not tied down. We’re learning to cope with these mini-tornadoes. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Quail Brood

Quail Brood

We stopped at the last rest stop in Arizona before crossing into California on our way out to the old homestead today. We have to stop in order to (as Bob says) “Californicate” our carry weapons. You know, unload and lock the guns away where they are of no use to us for self defense purposes. But, enough about the unconstitutional state of Kalifornistan.

At the rest stop, a family of quail, a mama and papa and their brood of seven chicks were browsing the area just as we were leaving the rest stop. I took several images of these cute little birds as they made their way to wherever they were headed. Click on the image to enlarge.

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A Red Rose to Remember Our Fallen

A Red Rose

We hope everyone is having a nice Memorial Day. We are having a nice day and are thankful to those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom. I took this photo of one of the multicolored roses we bought at the floral shop in the supermarket and dedicate it to those we remember on this day. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Neighborhood Building Activity


For the past two days, there has been some activity on the lot immediately to our east. They are clearing a pad for potentially building a new home there. When I say “immediate” I mean the property boundary and not the site where the work is being done which is at least 150 feet east of our property line.

When crews completed their work for today (the second day of work), I went over to the area and made the panoramic image seen above. Click on the image to enlarge.

I also took a panoramic image of the access road to the pad. The road connects between the next street to our north and the pad in the image above. Their lot size is a little over two acres.

I spoke with the owner who says he is going to speculate on building and selling a 1900 square foot home (excluding an attached garage). He may be in luck since the housing market has started back toward the positive side in our area.

I may post progress updates as the work continues.

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Lady Cardinal

Lady Cardinal

Neither male nor female of the species cardinalis cardinalis has a good camouflage scheme for the desert. This female cardinal was perched in a mesquite tree adjacent to Damsel’s bird feeders. As you can see, her camo isn’t exactly something that blends in well with the desert’s spring colors. Regardless, their repeated trips to the feeders out back, speak to their survivability in our part of the desert.

I was using my Canon SX40HS Power Shot camera with zoom set to near maximum in “AUTO” mode. Damsel gets most of the good shots we post here, but once in a while, I get lucky. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Bright Colors in the Courtyard

Red Bird of Paradise

A little over a week ago, I posted a picture of flower pods on one of my Pride of Barbados (a.k.a Red Bird of Paradise) shrubs in the courtyard in front of the house. Yesterday and today, the bottom pods opened up to reveal my favorite Arizona flowers.

This is the third year since we planted the one-gallon shrubs and this year is the earliest we have seen flowers open on them. Some other Red Birds around town were opening already, so I assume as the shrubs mature, they will open earlier in the spring. We shall see next year. Click on the image to enlarge.

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