Archive for March, 2015

Cactus Rescue - Epilog

Last Lobe in Bloom

The last lobe of the hedgehog cactus we rescued opened it’s single flower today. That gives us confidence that all lobes still in pots will do OK until we can plant them in Damsel’s rock and cactus garden.

We may have mentioned before that we have a couple more wild hedgehogs in the upper lot. Well, both of those are now in bloom and, judging from the flower colors, they are each a different cactus variety.

Upper Cactus Lower Cactus

We have already brought one hedgehog down from the back lot, so, in Damsel’s thinking, we should only bring a couple of lobes from the upper and lower back lot hedgehogs for the rock and cactus garden, leaving the rest to remain up in the natural desert part of the property.

Click on any of the images to enlarge.

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Argentine Giant Flowers Now Showing

Giant Flowers

When we saw the white tips of the inner petals showing on the flower buds this morning, I knew that they would be open tonight. Two of the three large buds opened into the showy night-blooming flowers that make the Argentine Giant Cactus popular.

From Wikipedia:

Echinopsis candicans is a species of cactus from northern Argentina. It has large fragrant white flowers that open at night.

The cactus has a shrubby growth habit, with individual stems up to 24 inches tall. The plant as a whole can be as much as 10 feet across. The stems are light green, with a diameter of up to 5.5 inches and have 9–11 low ribs. The large white areoles are spaced at 0.8–1.2 inches and produce brownish yellow spines, the central spines being up to 4 inches long, the radial spines only up to 1.6 inches. The fragrant white flowers are large, up to 7.5 inches across and 7.1–9.1 inches long.

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Thrasher Cleared For Takeoff

Thrasher Launch

I walked out to the driveway yesterday thinking I would take some cactus flower pictures, but before I could direct the camera lens at the cacti, I saw this curve billed thrasher perched atop our big saguaro out front. I did not actually see the bird at first, but its loud wheet whee wheet call made me turn just in time to see it on the big cactus.

I pointed and shot several frames just before and after it leapt into the air and was gone. This was one of four images I took as it hastily departed. Click on the image to enlarge.

I’m not sure why the bird was on the big saguaro. It’s too early for fruit and there are no active nests on the big guy. Maybe it was just looking out for potential predators to its nest in a nearby cholla cactus.

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Argentine Giant Flowers Coming Soon

three flower buds

My Argentine Giant cactus has several buds on it that will likely open into giant white flowers. It will probably be a couple of days, but three of the five buds are almost ready to pop open with the beautiful flowers. The other two flower buds will follow with a couple more flowers a bit later.

The cactus isn’t particularly a giant, but the six-to-eight inch diameter flowers certainly are, among common cactus flowers. The cactus itself is only about fifteen inches tall, hardly a giant when compared to the saguaro, for instance.

The flowers smell like a fresh sea breeze the evening they open. I will post pictures of the flowers when they open. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Rescued Cactus In Bloom

Rescued Hedgehog Cactus Flowers Opening

The three lobes of the rescued cactus we planted in the rock garden in front of the house two weeks ago, have started flowering. One of the other three lobes we put in pots at that time also has an open flower. From the looks of all of the rescued cacti, it seems there will be lots of flowers coming.

We hope the cactus in the picture (click on the image to enlarge) will take root and become a permanent part of the landscape. We haven’t figured out where to put the other lobes in pots, but when the work for the concrete RV drive is complete, we will select a place. It will have to be in a place where the dogs don’t go because of the needles.

Speaking of after completion of the RV drive, I have some ideas about what to do on the west side of the lot. First, I want the landscape guys to remove some of the creosote bushes that have become rather out of hand in the four years we have been here. Next, I want some vertical cacti like totem and smooth cereus that get white flowers all summer long. I also want to place golden barrel cacti around the rock garden on the house side of the drive.

There is always something to do in retirement. I love it!

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A Simple Equation

The drone from the Greenbats continues without pause. Now, the Greenbat-in-Chief has directed FEMA to withhold disaster relief funds from states with sane governments. We so-called “deniers” are unworthy of federal money or some sh1t like that.

The worst part of it all, is that they know it’s all fabricated bovine feces. Yet, they peddle the poop as though it were real, in order to gain CONTROL. It’s as simple as that.

Well, I’m a “denier” and proud of it. There is real science that proves that solar activity is the principal factor in global climate variations.

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Pruning the Lemon Tree

As Damsel indicated yesterday in her Lemon Blossoms post, we planned to prune back the lemon tree. Well, today was the day that I attacked the spurious growth of the little tree in our “orchard.”

There were multiple suckers growing out of the ground near the main trunk of the tree in addition to multiple sucker growth low on the trunk. Although there were lemon blossoms on some of the undergrowth, they all had to go in the interest of confining the tree growth upward rather than outward.

I would have trimmed the tree into a perfect round shape if I could, but I did not because of the upper branches that are viable and will produce fruit this fall. Therefore, the shape is a little lopsided and has some thin spots, but there are lots of lemon blossoms and buds. As a matter of fact, I have already found some tiny lemons now developing on some of the branches.

The image above starts out with the ‘before‘ photo and can be clicked to alternate between that and the ‘after‘ image, courtesy of Damsel. Flash™ animation and code by yours truly.

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