Archive for Arizona

Saguaro Flower Boom

Happy Cactus

Compared to last year, the number of flowers on the saguaro cacti around the area is many times more this spring. I didn’t get an exact count on our big cactus last year, (and won’t this year either) so the observation is subjective. Most of the older, mature saguaros have flowers on all the arms and new buds are still coming.

It could be the very mild winter we just had or maybe something entirely different that is the cause of the flower proliferation. It’s anybody’s guess. Regardless of the reason, we are very happy to see the cacti being very happy. ;)

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21 Flower Salute

echinopsis-trichocereus-21.jpg

Even more spectacular than last year’s opening, our “Cherry RedTrichocereus Grandiflorus cactus presented us with twenty-one beautiful hot pink flowers this morning. Despite the Cherry Red nomenclature, the color of the petals in bright sunlight has a definite pink tinge.

This is our third, and most spectacular year of flowers on this cactus. It is in it’s original pot from when we bought it, and now needs to be transplanted into a larger pot or into the ground in the rock and cactus garden. The only problem with the latter option is that I’m afraid that the desert wildlife will nibble on the cactus, buds and fruit. I have a larger pot into which we will put the cactus and all of it’s satellite “pups” to remain in the courtyard where it is less likely to be damaged by the critters.

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A Pleasant Visit

A Pleasant Visit

Long time reader and commenter Crotalus and his wife stopped by this afternoon for a visit and tour of our humble abode. They were in Wickenburg on a little Vacation trip and took the time to get in touch with us to set up the visit.

We previously met up with Crotalus when we were camped in Palm Desert. At that time he presented us with some specimens from his cactus collection to add to ours. We sincerely appreciated the gift cacti and they are doing well here.

We enjoyed the visit and were pleased to show them around our place. We parted company with an open date to get together again, possibly for dinner. We wish them a safe trip back home and look forward to our next encounter.

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Hedgehog Cactus in Bloom

Pink Hedgehog Cactus Flower

This is a flower in bloom on one of the transplant hedgehog cacti out front. This one used to be up on the hill behind us near the north property line. These beautiful flowers were mostly hidden under the desert brush up there until we moved it down here.

Our spring days continue to be beautiful with warm temperatures and sunshine. Today, we’re both in shorts and had a backyard BBQ session with filet mignon on the grill. Retirement in the Arizona desert is good.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Native Cacti

Compass Cactus Christmas Cactus Fishhook Barrel Cactus

I am still taking it easy and relaxing after surgery last Friday, but I wanted to get outside since it is a nice spring-like Arizona day. I took my Canon SL1 up the hill behind the house and took some photos of “stuff” I could see up there.

Once you’re behind the retention walls out back, it is all natural desert. The vegetation and wildlife are typical of the Sonoran Desert. Other than having moved a hedgehog cactus to the lower lot, nothing up there is managed.

The three cacti pictured above are all located in the natural part of the lot. Left to right, they are Compass Cactus, Christmas Cactus and California Barrel Cactus. I don’t know (or can’t remember) the binomial botanical names for these three. Click on the images to enlarge.

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Bishop’s Cap Flowers

Bishop’s Cap Flowers

We have had this cactus for a very long time. We originally bought it at a garden shop near Chandler, AZ way back in the late 1990’s. It lived with us in California and then moved with us to Arizona. It gave us lots of flowers over the years. Then, a couple of years ago, It started growing another barrel on top of the crown. Lately, the flower buds have come out on the new growth.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Weekend Activities

A Humorous Quilt At the Craft Fair

In a rare departure from our tendency to remain home during winter weekends, we broke with that and went to the Town Library and Civic Center to attend two functions happening simultaneously. It was a very nice spring-like day, so we opted to venture out among ‘em.

In the town auditorium, there was a showing of quilts from a local quilting society where there were hundreds of beautiful items on display. All of them looked that they had a lot of labor hours going into them, some taking the quilter years to complete. Damsel took the photo upper left of me being amused at a quilt commemorating the “Christmas Story” with Ralphie and the Leg Lamp.

The other activity was a craft fair presented by “Friends of the Wickenburg Library.” It was the usual display of art, jewelry, woodwork, soap, pottery and you name it. The displays were on the grounds of the library and it seemed to be well attended, now that the town population is over 20K with our winter visitors here for the beautiful weather.

While we were out, we decided to stop at the supermarket in that part of town and pick up a couple of sale items and some things we missed from shopping on Thursday. We noted that shopping on the weekends seemed to be a competition in that the parking lot and aisles were crowded. We resolved to avoid weekend shopping in the future during the winter season.

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