Archive for Retirement

Cactus and its Pups Transplanted

Removed from Plastic Pot You probably remember our “Cherry RedTrichocereus Grandiflorus cactus, the one with the bright red or hot pink flowers. Well, today it was time to separate the overcrowded parent from the pups in the original pot.

Bob took his circular saw to the plastic pot in order to cleanly remove the cactus and its roots. The result is seen at the right - the cactus sans pot on a camo tarp. The tarp was there to retain the soil that we brushed away from the roots. The residual soil went into the transplant pots along with some local sandy soil.

The yield was the original main cactus and a bunch of pups ranging from mature to very small. All were transplanted into pots except for the very small pup which went into the ground in my xeriscape garden outside the courtyard main gate.

Before attempting to separate the cactus and pups, we consulted with several on-line sources describing methods for separating cacti of this type. We think that some of the pups that broke off of a main stem without the roots will develop them in their new pots (or in the ground) over time. The main cactus and larger pups had partial root systems that made it into the new pots.

We’re hoping that eventually we will have bright red flowers happening all over the courtyard and xeriscape instead of all in one place. You can see from the photos below that we are spread out a bit now. Click on any image to enlarge.

Parent Cactus Large Pup Cactus

Three Small Pups Very Small Pup in the Xeriscape

Medium Pup Medium Large Pup

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Retirement Milestone Nine

nine.pngIt’s hard to believe that another year of retirement has passed, for which we’re very grateful. We had a good year with some travel to visit family and see the sights of the great American Southwest. We have had a good health year, only suffering some of the usual senior aches and pains, but nothing too serious.

We still love living here in the Sonoran High Desert of Arizona. We currently are experiencing some light rainfall with a promise of heavier showers overnight. That should break the drought in this area good and proper.

During the coming year, we are planning a vacation in the springtime to visit the grave of my great grandmother Emma in Montrose, Colorado. She was buried there in 1960 and until just a few weeks ago had no marker on her grave. Damsel and I changed that and ordered a slant from a monument company in nearby Delta. We would like to visit the cemetery again to view the marker in person and decorate it with a wreath. My great great grandmother Adeline is also in that cemetery so we will place wreaths on her marker which she shares with her son, my great uncle Ulysis.

We don’t have a lot of other plans for the coming year and are playing it by ear, so to speak. We have plans to do some home improvement; painting the house exterior and walls plus new furniture for the inside. It should be a good year until the tenth retirement anniversary next fall.

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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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Caught on Google’s Aerial Image

walking-the-dogs-on-google-maps-2.jpg

I was casually looking at the Google™ satellite map of our neighborhood (actually an aerial photo mosaic, not taken from a satellite) when I noticed a couple of objects on our neighbor’s driveway. I zoomed in to have a closer look and the conclusion I came to was that the objects in question are us walking our dogs!

Our morning routine after breakfast: we feed and then walk the dogs. We generally walk them up the road to the west toward our neighbor’s house up the hill from us. In the image, the dark colored part of the road running to the left side is where we are. You can see our light colored cowboy hats, our shadows and the dogs and their shadows. Damsel is further up the road than I am by about 30 yards. The image below will clarify where we are in the top image.

walking-the-dogs-on-google-maps.jpg

I think it’s a funny coincidence that we happened to be out where we were when the aerial photo plane flew over. I estimate the time frame for the image is last summer. My clues are that the RV is not in the usual place as it was being serviced down in Avondale last year and the shadows are shorter on the north side indicating summertime.

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Safe Arrival at Home

Cactus Wren on Saguaro Buds

We’re safe at home today, after a five week absence. We drove from Bullhead City over to Kingman and then down US 93, also called the Joshua Tree Forrest Arizona Highway, but there is lots more to see along that scenic route going from I-40 down to Wickenburg. Damsel and I are happy to be at home again, having missed our beautiful retirement home. Our two small dogs seem equally happy to be getting back in their routines.

The Cactus Wren in the image above was waiting on the big saguaro out front to greet us. It is our State Bird perched on the buds of our State Flower. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Camping at the Colorado River

Camping at the Colorado River

Tonight, we’re camped at a neat little RV park right on the Colorado River in Bullhead City, AZ. The campground is less than 300 feet away from the river where we enjoyed the view that Damsel captured in the image above. It is a lot warmer here than we have had during the entire trip with the mercury hitting a bit over 100° at check in time this afternoon.

Yes, we’re finally back to our home state. We got here by a circuitous route designed to avoid Las Vegas metro area. From Beatty, NV, we went down US 95 Veterans Memorial Hwy and actually went back into California along CA 127 to Baker, up I-15 a ways and across again to Searchlight, NV, Laughlin, NV and finally arriving here in Bullhead. There is always plenty of beautiful scenery along all the desert highways. We had sunny weather and a pleasant drive with only some minor gusty wind conditions in mountainous areas.

Our plan is to head home in a couple of days after relaxing here and enjoying the summer-like weather in the RV resort. The RV’s dual A/Cs keep the temperature comfortable inside.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Next Camping Spot - Beatty, NV

Hills near the campground

Our route from Hawthorne, NV, took us along Veterans Memorial Highway (US 95) through Central Nevada. We drove through several little farming and mining towns along the way. Tonapah and Goldfield were the most interesting.

Tonight and tomorrow night we will be here in Beatty, another old mining town but with casinos being the main attraction these days. The image above is the view directly across the road from the campground. Click on the image to enlarge.

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