Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

More Spring Cactus Flowers

Monday, May 16th, 2022

I took the dogs out this morning for their usual trip to the road outside and noticed that a lot of our May flowers were open on the various cacti around the house. I went back out armed with my Canon Rebel EOS SL1 to try and record some of what I saw when I was out before. I captured the shots as seen in the (clickable) montage above.

The most prevalent flowering cactus is our fourteen foot Saguaro out front of the house. There are buds, open flowers and some transforming into cactus fruit on the tops of the arms of the big guy.

Damsel has some small barrel cacti on the courtyard, a Bishop’s Cap cactus in a pot and a Star Cactus (Astrophytum) in the ground outside of the courtyard gate. Both are relatives of one another and produce flowers not only in May, but other times of the year as well. Both had open flowers today.

Individual photos in the montage above are (click to see each):

We will be seeing more cactus flowers during the summer since there are tell-tale buds on several of them that promise the opening of new flowers soon. Also, be on the lookout for some flowers on other shrubs and trees around the property this summer.

First Cactus Flowers of Spring, 2022

Wednesday, March 30th, 2022

Actually, not the first ones*, but this is the first to open on the native cacti around the yard. Damsel took this photo of one of two flowers that were open today on a hedgehog cactus in front of the house.

From Wikipedia

Echinocereus is a genus of ribbed, usually small to medium-sized, cylindrical cacti, comprising about 70 species native to the southern United States and Mexico in very sunny, rocky places. Usually the flowers are large and the fruit edible.

The name comes from the Ancient Greek echinos, meaning “hedgehog” and the Latin cereus meaning “candle”. They are sometimes known as hedgehog cacti, a term also used for the Pediocactus and Echinopsis.

The article at Wikipedia lists most of the species of hedgehog cacti, but we’re not sure of which one this cactus belongs to. Click on the image to enlarge.

*There are several store-bought cacti in planters around the courtyard and other places which have already produced tiny flowers in 2022.

Return of the Turkey Buzzards

Monday, March 7th, 2022

buzzard.jpg

We know that spring is about to begin when we see cactus flower buds starting to form and the migrating Turkey Buzzards return from their winter repose down in Mexico.

Despite the cooler weather we’re currently experiencing due to a cold frontal passage, we see new cactus flower buds on our Beavertail and Hedgehog Cacti as well as seeing Turkey Buzzards soaring in the skies above. It should start warming up soon probably towards the middle (Beware the Ides) or the end of March. By June, we ought to be in our “dry heat” season during which the Buzzards remain and will so until after October when they again depart for Mexico’s warmer climate.

The photo above is an old one which I took in May of 2011, soon after we made the permanent move to Arizona. That was before we assimilated. Now, after nearly a dozen years, we can foretell seasonal changes via flora and fauna indicators. Click on the image to enlarge.

A Classic 1955 Packard Clipper

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

1955-packard-clipper.jpg

Damsel took this photo of this classic 1955 Packard Clipper a little over a week ago. Neither of us remember seeing this car at any of the car shows or rallies that we have attended recently. The car appears to have the original paint job and when you click on the image to enlarge you may see some pitting on the hood (or maybe dead insects, I can’t tell). Besides that, the car looked very nice as the owners drove by along Wickenburg Way near the Maverik Gas station. You may notice our inflated local gas prices in the background which have gone up another $0.20 or so per gallon in the last week. Let’s Go Brandon!

Website Upgrade News

As I stated before, we have started the migration to the upgraded PHP and WordPress packages on our personal family site, VernaBob.com. The site is now running the new stuff and, as I feared, our old custom theme we used has some deprecated code and is incompatible with the new platform. As a result, I am using a stock WordPress theme and it will be that way until I can find the time to customize it. Some of the convenient features I used for posting are no longer available and I have to do a lot of the repetitive functions by hand rather than clicking a button.

So, I will be upgrading this website in the next few days and you can expect to see some major differences in the way the blog appears. I would appreciate any feedback you may have as to what you’re seeing and if anything is “broke.” I will try and get a “Stars and Stripes” theme going over the next few weeks, as time permits. Meanwhile, we will be functional with the new PHP and WordPress packages. This will be the last post under the old PHP and WordPress.

A Classic 1957 Chevy Step Side Pickup

Friday, October 22nd, 2021

57 Chevy Stepside Pickup

Damsel snapped this photo of a classic ’57 Chev step side that we spotted in the Post Office parking lot yesterday. This nice old truck has seen a lot of TLC since it was very bright and shiny, almost like new. It was parked next to another 1960’s vintage Chevy pickup. I don’t recall seeing either of these at the Classic Fly-In and Car Show we attended a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps they were just passing through. The 60’s truck had Oregon plates so maybe the owners are snowbirds or something. Click on the image to enlarge.

CB&D Announcement

In other matters, we need to upgrade our WordPress to a later version in order to be compatible with the newer PHP software on our ISP. Pursuant to that, you might tune in and see a stock format template rather than our custom Stars and Stripes template, so be prepared for that until we can regroup and get the template compatible with the new WordPress we’re going to install.

2021 Wickenburg Fly-In and Car Show

Saturday, October 9th, 2021

1975 Bellanca Citabria 1958 Chevrolet Apache Fleetside Pickup Truck

The Damsel and I deliberately got up at the crack of dawn this morning to attend the 26th Annual Fly-In and Classic Car Show held at our local airport. This should have been the 27th Annual show except that last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic DEM Panic.

The show was well attended by quantities of classic cars and fly-in aircraft plus the folks driving in. There have been bigger shows in the past, but this one was pretty good. Nobody was wearing the face diapers mandated by some not-so-free places so it seemed like the past shows we have attended.

The images above are (1) a 1975 Bellanca Citabria and (2) a 1958 Chevrolet Apache Pickup Truck. These were two of many aircraft and cars on display and my favorites of the show, although it was hard to pick just these two since there were so many cool displays. The Citabria, formerly manufactured by Champion Aircraft Corp., is among my favorites since I learned to do aerobatics and got my flight instructor rating in a Champ Citabria (airbatic spelled backwards). The Chevy just looked clean and had a cool paint job. Click on either image to enlarge.

Spring Quail Chicks

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021

Female and 2 chicks One of the Chicks

Mid afternoon, I was getting drowsy sitting at the desk, so I picked up my SL1 Canon and put the 400mm lens on it to go out and see what I could photograph in our busy little desert. Just as I came out of the back patio screen door, I noticed some quail and their chicks on the hill behind the RV drive. The photos above are of a mama and two of her chicks and a single chick. Click on either image to enlarge.

We have been seeing young quail for a few weeks now that the breeding season is in progress. The young birds leave the nest within the first day after hatching and follow their parents to places where they can forage for themselves. Quail do not feed their young so foraging is necessary for them to survive. The chicks are flightless for the first ten days or so, but shortly after that they can follow their parents as they fly up on the back retention wall behind our RV drive. We have seen a couple of broods back there which is entertaining to watch as the little ones, one by one, flit up to be with the others up on the wall.

You can read more about these interesting birds at All About Birds – Gambel’s Quail.

Photo Details: Cropped and resized by myself – Canon EOS REBEL SL1 – Normal Program Mode, 1/500 sec, F5.6, ISO320, Focal length 340mm. Lens model: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

There’s always something to photograph out here like Gila Woodpeckers, Cactus Fruit getting ripe and a Birdhouse I recently repaired and hung in a mesquite in the outback.