Archive for Photography

First 2017 Hedgehog Flower

First Hedgehog Flower

Two of the hedgehog cacti in front of the house had open flowers today, one on each. The flower in the image above is on the hedgehog cactus that we transplanted to the front from way up near the back property line where we seldom go to enjoy and take pictures of the flowers. Now that it’s out front, we will likely get to see all the flowers open.

We have a total of four clumps of hedgehogs out front with another in a pot out in the courtyard. The potted hedgehog and two of the ones in the ground out front have flower buds, but two others have none that I can find. Bob was on the hill yesterday and reported that the two clumps up there also have no buds and appear to be dormant.

As flowers continue to appear in our little desert plot, I will continue to take pictures of them and post them here. Click on the image above to enlarge.

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Claret Cup Cactus Flowers

Claret Cup Cactus Flowers

Echinocereus triglochidiatus is the binomial name for the Claret Cup Cactus. I must admit that these beautiful flowers are not in our garden, but are in a xeriscape garden in a local shopping center. I would like to have some of this variety of cactus in our rock and cactus garden someday.

From Wikipedia:

Echinocereus triglochidiatus is a species of hedgehog cactus known by several common names, including kingcup cactus, claretcup, and Mojave mound cactus. This cactus is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, where it is a resident of varied habitats from low desert to rocky slopes, scrub, and mountain woodland. It is most abundant in shady areas.

There are a number of varieties of this highly variable cactus species, but not all are universally recognized. In general it is a mounding cactus, forming bulbous piles of few to hundreds of spherical to cylindrical stems. It is densely spiny and somewhat woolly. The showy flower is a funnel shaped bloom up to 8 or 9 centimeters wide and bright scarlet red to orange-red tepals. There is a thick nectar chamber and many thready pink stamens at the center of the corolla. The flowers are pollinated by hummingbirds.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Our First 2017 Cactus Flower

Pink Beavertail Cactus Flower

This flower just opened today on a little Opuntia Basilaris planted out front in the red rocks just above the road and below the garage. This cactus is a transplant from another part of the property behind the house.

There are other flowers opening soon or are already open; the lemon tree has blossoms and my golden barrel cactus has a flower opening soon. The plum tree is sprouting leaves and has many open flowers.

Desert springtime is just a very pleasant time for flower lovers. We plan to show a lot of the flowers as they appear.

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Springtime is Imminent in The Arizona Desert

Cactus Flower Buds Plum Flowers Lemon Flower Buds

We have been fortunate here in the Arizona upper Sonoran Desert region to have had increasing spring-like temperatures over the past two weeks. It seems like we have turned the corner for springtime with high temps in the upper 70’s to low 80’s. The overnight low temperatures are now at or above 60 degrees.

The three images above were taken this afternoon and are (left to right) cereus cactus buds, flowers on our plum tree and flower buds forming on our lemon tree. We also notice flower buds on many of the native cacti and there has been activity in the bird nests that we can see. As was mentioned on the other blog, we have spotted many of the migratory birds back in the area after their winter absence.

We realize that this is a poor time to brag about our wonderful climate since much of the north eastern part of our nation will be in blizzard mode for a couple of days. We pray for the safety and well being of those in that part of the country as they batten down the hatches.

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Throwback Hoodoos

Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon

Damsel took this image of Hoodoos at Bryce Canyon in July of 2008. Seeing it in the archives gave me some serious wanderlust, so Bryce Canyon NP just may be one of our vacation destinations this year after the weather gets a little warmer.

We have several excursions in mind over the next few months, not the least of which is to see our first great granddaughter in April and to go witness the All American Eclipse in August. We anticipate that during the extended eclipse excursion, we will be visiting the only two states in America that I have not been in - North Dakota and Iowa.

We will be taking a shorter trip this month which is a repeat of the maiden voyage when we will be out in the California Desert visiting with the Kids and our Grandson who will be nineteen months of age. This will be the last such trip to Palm Desert due to conflicts in the Kids’ work schedules that make it tough on them to meet us halfway. We will see them in April when we will go by their home on our way to see the new great granddaughter.

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Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

Wintertime brings cloudy skies from time to time, and, so far, this January has been more cloudy than not. A nice thing about the partially cloudy skies late in the day is the brilliant, fiery color display produced as the sun sinks below the horizon. I took this image last week during a break in the weather.

For the rest of January, the weather outlook is for more sun and more occasional rain. We can deal with the clouds now, since there are statistically likely to be 300 days of sunshine this year. Most of the overcast cloud covers seem to occur in the Winter. We are looking forward to having warmer, sunnier days.

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Circumzenithal Arc

Circumzenithal Arc

Damsel got this shot of this rare Circumzenithal Arc over Arizona this morning. She was sleeping when I saw one in January of 2014 and today she managed to get this shot directly overhead.

I missed seeing it, but when I downloaded from her Canon camera this afternoon, I recognized the phenomenon. Glad that she got to see one of these. Very nice.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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