Archive for Environment

Palo Verde Tree Rescue

Small Palo Verde Startup In its new spot

During an afternoon walk, I noticed a small palo verde tree growing on the shoulder of the road out front. I made a mental note to remove the tree from that location due to proximity to road traffic. In a couple of years it would likely have grown out into the roadway.

In discussions with Damsel, we decided to relocate the tiny tree to our rock and cactus garden on the west side away from the RV drive. If the little tree survives the transplant, we will be able to prune it into a nice addition to the garden. It can be made to look like an attractive tree, like so many in Arizona xeriscapes managed by homeowners and landscapers.

I took my spade and carefully loosened the dirt around the little tree, trying to preserve most of the roots. I dug a hole in the west garden and lowered the tree into it. I brushed the soil from the hole over the roots and the lower part of the trunk. We doused it with a gallon of water, hoping that would ease the shock to the transplanted tree.

The two images above are the before and after. Click on either image to enlarge.

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Hurricane Florence Coming - Lies to Follow

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Hurricane Florence (upper left of center in the GOES EAST animation above) is headed directly for the East Coast of the United States, probably making landfall in the Carolinas. The other two cyclones southeast of Florence are Hurricane Isaac, likely to be a problem when it strikes the Lesser Antilles, and Helene, which is forecast to drift northward over the open Atlantic and dissipate.

Florence will likely be the worst disaster to hit the Carolinas and Virginia in decades. It is forecast to make landfall as a category 5 hurricane and will be moving slow, thus prolonging the wind, rainfall and flooding. Recovery is going to be the most expensive in history for that area of the country.

Before, during and after, the alarmist Greenbats will begin their litany of misguided blame of man-made climate change. This is always predictable because of them never letting a crisis go to waste.

Pioneer meteorologist and extraordinary weather forecaster Joe Bastardi of Weatherbell Analytics penned an article Hurricane Florence: How We Got Here. These are some of the remarks he made in the article:

If I am right, this will be the most costly disaster for the Carolinas and Virginias on record. In addition, given our winter forecast, we expect the core of the cold and snow, relative to average, to be near these same areas, which for them means this could very well be the most extreme six-month period on record. A hurricane as strong as Hugo or Hazel, flooding rains due to Florence’s slow movement, the possibility of an exceptional winter — you can’t get much more extreme than that.

. . .

The 2018 Climate Ambulance Chaser Hurricane Blamefest is underway. Hopefully, if you have been following along with, you can see that this threat was a long time coming and has perfectly natural explanations. The setup for this started quite a while ago, and so I will keep clients updated and respond when called upon — and also sit back as the noise and fury hit a deafening pitch this week.

But remember the bottom line: Florence was predicted in advance, and the misery this is going to cause should be front and center. Hopefully, the response is ready to meet the challenge, which for the Carolinas and Virginias is liable to be the costliest on record when the flooding is factored in.

Joe has an excellent book he has written called The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore–And Others. Although I haven’t read the book yet (I plan to soon), I am sure it calls out the Greenbats for what they are - LIARS!

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Hardy Queen of the Night Cactus

Queen of the Night CactusThe Queen of the Night (Peniocereus greggii) cactus that grows on the slope of the hill on the west boundary of our property has had some predatory setbacks, namely something eating the green part of the stems. Regardless, it has rebounded quite nicely by growing three new stems, two longer and one shorter, over the course of the summer months.

It’s probably too late in the season to expect any flowers from this cactus, but the stems appear to be healthy. Hopefully, the predator wont be back again and maybe this cactus will flower next summer.

I found some interesting things about this cactus and it’s use for medicinal purposes in the University of Arizona arboretum pages:

Ethnobotany: Peniocereus greggii has some medicinal value and has also been used in religious ceremonies and ornamentals. Some of its medicinal benefits come from its tuberous roots which have been used to help treat diabetes and other maladies. The roots have also been used by the Tohono O’ Odham, when they boiled and drank the roots to help with respiratory problems, headaches, and digestion. The flowers have also been used in aromatherapy and ornamentally, due to it strong fragrance that some say smells like vanilla.

In the image above, the longest of the three new stems is about eight inches long. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Hurricane Chris

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This is an animated GIF from the GOES East Atlantic Coast region satellite imagery view. When this animation was taken, Hurricane Chris was putting on a show as it drifts slowly northeastward. There doesn’t appear to be any hurricane threat to the Atlantic Coast at this time.

I posted about the utility of the GOES East images on the Minstrel site earlier. Obviously, the satellite images can be used for news and entertainment as well.

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Camping in Barstow

Barstow on Route 66We’re camping in Barstow this evening after a six-hour drive here from Arizona. Today’s excursion was uneventful as we crossed from Arizona desert, across the Colorado River and into the California desert. We went through the Arizona Outback to Parker, up through Needles and across I-40 to Barstow.

We are facing some adverse weather tomorrow, starting with high winds in the desert. It is already gusting here this evening and is forecast to continue into tomorrow. Some gusts may reach 40Mph, according to the forecast. When we get into the South San Joaquin Valley, there is a 100 percent chance of rain in the forecast. We’re hoping and praying that we will make good time and be safe as we head for our family commitment in Stockton.

After Stockton, the plan is to take our time getting back home on a route through Nevada and Arizona. Our previous format for travel days has been to stay only one night in a place. The plan this time is to stay two or more nights in a place, being sure to relax and enjoy the time like a real vacation.

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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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