2022 Saguaro Cactus Flowers Now Opening

The 2022 spring cactus flower season is well underway with the opening of some of the beautiful Saguaro Cactus Flowers. This one was on our big cactus near the garage and courtyard this morning. Click on the image to enlarge © 2022 VBI Dynamics. Usage OK with Link and/or credit.

  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL SL1
  • Lens: Canon EF-S55-250mm
  • Exposure: 1/400Sec
  • Aperture: F7.1
  • ISO: 100
  • Focal Length: 250mm

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Photo Status Update

 

It’s been a while since we posted photos of us and our dogs. Life goes on and things change, people get older and pets come and go. So this shows our current configuration of us and our pups – me, holding Cabela and Verna, holding young Tucker. Click on either image to enlarge.

The photos were taken in our courtyard with each of us posing with the big saguaro and ocotillo just outside the gate. In a few weeks, the courtyard will be nearly overtaken with the red bird of paradise (a.k.a. Pride of Barbados) shrubs and their beautiful flowers.

So, that’s our Spring 2022 status update. I don’t plan on doing status updates like this on a scheduled basis, but will probably get to them now and then. Enjoy the rest of Spring and the Summer, too.

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A Friendly Antelope Ground Squirrel

Lately, when I go up the little hill behind the RV Drive to refresh the bird feeders, this little white tailed antelope ground squirrel runs out and begs for me to toss some of the birdseed her way. Yes, I figure this is a female since it is obvious from this photo that she is nursing some young ones back in the burrow.

I say “friendly” in the title because these little squirrels are cautious, but show more interest in being fed than any of the other critters in the area, although Verna’s cottontails will come out when she brings food scraps to the wash west of the house. This particular squirrel will come to within a couple of feet to beg. Of course, as soon as I toss out something, she whisks it away to begin consuming it at a safer distance.

More about Ammospermophilus leucurus:

The White-tailed antelope squirrel is a species of ground squirrel. They have a brown to gray fur with two white stripes running from the shoulder to the hind end. Their bellies and the underside of their tails are white in color and there is a black stripe on the tail.

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First Cactus Flowers of Spring, 2022

Actually, not the first ones*, but this is the first to open on the native cacti around the yard. Verna 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.

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Meet Tucker

As we mentioned in our comments from last month’s post about losing Bay Bay, we were going to look for another dog to rescue. Well, today the Humane Society of Wickenburg had an adoption event at our local Tractor Supply store and just like that, we adopted Mr. Tuxedo whom we will call Tuck Tuck for short. He is a long haired Chihuahua with mostly black fur and a bit of white here and there. He is about a year old and was found wandering around in Wittman, about 20 miles southeast of Wickenburg.

He has only been “home” for a couple of hours, but is fitting in nicely with our activities and with the other dog. He is a very affectionate little guy and seems to demand a little attention which we happily have given. He has a good appetite, can be frisky at times, is leash trained and mostly housebroken. We are looking forward to taking care of him for a long time. In the (clickable) image above, Verna posed with him in the courtyard. Just now, as I was typing in the story, he came into the office jumped into my lap and is resting as I finish this. I think we’re all happy about our new mutual relationship.

UPDATE 03-16-22: Since the adoption last week, we decided to dump the “Tuxedo” name and just call him “Tucker.” He is already recognizing and answering to the new moniker.

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Daffodils

Each spring (well, almost) the flower concession in the Safeway carries gut daffodils that I bring home to put in a vase to open up into the familiar beautiful flowers. I usually get about twenty stems which open a day or so later. I bought these on Thursday when we were doing grocery shopping. Click on the image to enlarge.

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So Long, Beethoven

“Beethoven” A.K.A. “Bay Bay,” sadly, is no longer with us. He passed last evening (Valentine’s Day) at the Vet who performed the euthanasia. The poor little guy had acute kidney failure and had lost most of his appetite and finally stopped eating last week and he stopped hydrating on Sunday. We had little choice but to take him in for the procedure. He had lost nearly half of his body weight since a month ago. Verna and I are devastated and miss him terribly.

We adopted him when he was a year and a half old on September 29, 2011 and he had been our constant companion for over ten years, so we can’t complain about having been with him for quite a long time, as dogs go. Bay Bay’s 12th birthday would have been in a couple of weeks on March 2nd.

So Long, Little Buddy – See you on the other side …

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