Archive for May, 2016

Desert Wildflowers

Desert Wildflowers

I do not know the name of these white wildflowers that grow beside US 60 near Wickenburg and in the Arizona Outback, but they are sure pretty in spite of the unfriendly-looking thorny vegetation just beneath the flowers. These were growing near the Wickenburg Dog Park where we took the puppies today for one of the last springtime romps before the summer heat makes such visits uncomfortable for us and the dogs. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Memorial Day - Remembering the USS Cole

It has been almost six years since I updated the NEVER FORGET tribute seen in the right sidebar to memorialize the Islamic terrorist attack on the USS Cole. On this Memorial Day, I am reposting Remembering the USS Cole I posted on the tenth anniversary of the attack. Although the sailors that died that day were not in combat, they most certainly were in enemy territory.

Remembering the USS Cole

cole1.jpgTen long years have gone by and the US Government - Clinton, Bush and Obama - have done nothing to retaliate for the vicious Islamic Terrorism act, the bombing of the USS Cole. The current President even had a Judge drop the charges last year. That’s disgusting behavior, but typical of the invertebrate occupying the Oval Office these days.

About the same time the charges were dropped, we made the modification to the animated “Never Forget” tribute seen in the sidebar to include the USS Cole sequence. I was in contact with Gary Swenchonis, Sr., who provided me with feedback on the Tribute. Gary is the father of Fireman Gary Swenchonis, Jr., who perished in the attack on the USS Cole. Gary Sr. asked if I could provide a tribute to the Cole victims and I was honored to include it.

You can read the ten year anniversary post by Gary Swenchonis, Sr. at his website, Terrorism: Politicians and Victims.

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Red Torch Cactus Flowers

Red Torch Cactus Flowers

Not sure of the binomial name of this cactus variety, but they sure have nice flowers. These are located in a garden adjacent to a car repair facility on Wickenburg Way, just across the Casandro Wash, about a quarter mile south of our house. We were on the way back from a weekend shopping trip to the grocery store when we stopped the truck and I got out to take some pictures of these nice cactus flowers. The cactus is similar to the golden torch cactus we brought from California which didn’t do well here in the desert. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Snake Season

uninvited serpent

My first chore when I got home after yesterday’s medical procedure was to roust an uninvited serpent from the garage. Damsel noticed that a curve-billed thrasher had chased a gopher snake into the garage while the door was open. The bird flew off, but the snake hid itself behind the shop-vac along the garage wall.

I fetched a non-lethal corn broom from the back of the garage and proceeded to move the shop vac out of the way and to firmly but gently sweep the snake in the direction of the vacant property to the east. Damsel took this photo while the snake was still hissing at us before retreating over the rocks to the desert habitat on the unimproved land. I shooed it in that direction because I know that the curve billed thrasher that was chasing it has a nest with probable chicks or eggs on the west side of our property.

I seem to be doing a lot of good deeds for the thrasher population recently.

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Birds seen in Wickenburg, AZ. This is a slideshow, click images to advance. The list includes:

  1. Turkey Vulture (we call ‘em buzzards)
  2. Road Runner
  3. Red-Shafted Flicker
  4. Hummingbird Browsing Rosemary
  5. Cactus Wren
  6. Curve-Billed Thrasher
  7. Goldfinch

All images taken from our patch of land near Casandro Wash, Wickenburg, Arizona.

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The Earth is Warm Now - So What?

Climate Trend

The chart above shows mean world-wide air temperature since the last glacial period. Other than the Ice Age 13,000 years ago, the trends above and below the average of 15°C have been slight, seldom exceeding one degree variation in either direction. Moreover, the vertical scale is confined between 10 and 17°C which tends to exaggerate the excursions from normal. If the vertical scale were to be set such that the maximum (maybe 55°C) and minimum (perhaps -40°C) observed surface air temperatures were at the top and bottom of the chart, one would be hard pressed to see a ripple in the average temperature curve being plotted.

Looking at the chart, we observe that the current trend is above the average line by a fraction of a degree. We also observe warm and cool periods taking place way before men had fossil fuel-burning machines. What caused the warm periods roughly 2, 4 and 7 thousand years ago? All three of those plus the medieval warm period meet or exceed the current warming trend being blamed on anthropogenic global warming (AGW).

The logical conclusion from all of this is that the climate and air temperatures do change over time, but there is no connection between anthropogenic activity and temperature trends. I guess that makes us who apply logic to the argument to be considered “Climate Change Deniers” even though we admit that the climate does change.

I read a post by Joe Bastardi in which he presents what he calls a “Short Summation of My Climate Position.” I am quoting his assessment of this chart and the labels being assigned by the lefties when referring to us “deniers.”

In fact, it’s quite evident that not only does the climate change naturally, but the warmer it is, the better. See the chart above. Earlier warm periods, which dwarf today’s warmth, were climate optimums. How is it that previous warmer times were referred to as climate optimums? Let’s look at the definition of optimum.

Used as an adjective, optimum means this: most conducive to a favorable outcome; best.

As a noun, this: the most favorable conditions or level for growth, reproduction, or success.

Will the term “optimum” have to be adjusted, or will the temperature need to be adjusted down to fit the current missive of impending disaster?

The “climate change denier” label is a straw man argument that is designed to isolate, demonize and destroy people with false labels.

The whole argument as to what is best for us going forward is simple.

1.) How much is man responsible for variances that were previously exclusively natural?

In my opinion, most of the warmth today is likely natural given the tiny amounts of CO2 relative to the entire system, of which the oceans have 1000x the heat capacity and are the great thermostat of the planet, taking centuries of action and reaction to reach where they are now.

2.) Is this worth the draconian reactions that will handcuff the greatest experiment in freedom and prosperity in history, the United States of America?

3.) This question may arise, if one wants: Would not the cost of adaptation to such things, rather than trying to correct what has always happened in the past anyway, be a sounder fiscal response?

Let’s remember, our own EPA administrator said all this would save .01 degrees Celsius in 30 years, and that it was mostly an example for the rest of the world. Color me skeptical that the rest of the world is going to follow; instead, it will take advantage of repercussions on the American way of life that this causes. Not every nation is our friend, after all, if you actually look at the real world. No one is against any form of clean, safe, cheap energy. I am against economic suicide like we have seen in Europe, which will then handcuff generations for the chance of economic peace and prosperity.

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Flowers on Our Big Saguaro Cactus

Saguaro Flowers

The medium large saguaro in the front of the garage by the driveway has been producing flowers for over a week now. Only yesterday we were finally able to take the telephoto lens and get a close up of a flower not pointing straight up so we can see the inside of it. The arms of the cactus extend to twelve feet or so above the ground making it difficult to get a straight-on photo of the flowers.

We are noticing a few new buds that are more on the sides of some of the arms that might allow us to get a better image of the flowers when they open. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, click on the image to enlarge.

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