Archive for Photography

Night Blooming Cactus Flowers

First, the Argentine Giant (Echinopsis candicans) offered two beautiful flowers this evening:

Argentine Giant

Not to be outdone, the Queen of the Night Cactus (Peniocereus greggii) east of the driveway opened up this beautiful and fragrant flower:

Queen of the Night

Tomorrow, I will post the Cherry Red (Trichocereus Grandiflorus) flowers that are ready to open in the morning. Click on either image to enlarge.

Update: The Argentine Giant Flowers and the Queen of the Night Flower were still open this morning.

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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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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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An Upside-Down Rainbow

Rainbow Arc

When putting the BBQ grill away in the garage late this afternoon, we noticed a couple of Sun Dogs on either side of the sun. But, when looking almost straight up, we saw the rainbow which is not actually a rainbow at all but a Circumzenithal Arc. I went back into the house and got my camera to photograph the unusual phenomenon. I stood in the shadow of the big saguaro out front to get the photo above.

The weather was very spring-like today with high thin clouds, a light breeze and a high temperature of 72 degrees. No wonder that the snowbirds are here in force. We also currently have rodeo events which brings out lots of participants and observers.

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