Cactus Flower Photography

Cactus Flower Photography

We enjoy raising cactus in the wild, in the rock and cactus garden and in the courtyard. When there are flowers on them, we both like to take photos of the beautiful blooms.

Above are a couple of images of today’s Astrophytum (Star Cactus) flowers open and I took a picture of Verna doing the picture taking of the flowers.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Six-Shooter Earrings

EarringsSince my birthday is very close to Christmas, Bob usually gets me something for my “Un-Birthday” in June (six months before or after). He bought me a nice pendant and some matching earrings made by an Arizona Native American jewelry artist in silver and turquoise, spiny oyster and a couple of other inlaid stones.

Before finishing the credit card transaction with the jeweler, I spotted these VERY CUTE miniature revolver earrings in the case. Of course, I HAD to have them too, so Bob got them for me as well. I’ve been wearing them all day. :) Click on the image to enlarge.

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Countdown to the Great American Solar Eclipse

The countdown has been underway here for almost five years since we first made our reservations at the RV campground near the centerline of the eclipse in Wyoming. Now, however, we’re down to the last few weeks before the big event. The Javascript countdown timer above shows the remaining time to the start of the eclipse (first lunar encroachment) in Arizona Time.

The date of the eclipse is August 21, 2017. The beginning of the eclipse is dependent on the location of the observer, but in our case is 16:22:20 UTC, The seven hour difference has been adjusted in the timer. Totality follows a bit over an hour later. The interactive eclipse map has moved to the NASA Eclipse pages:

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/interactive_map/index.html

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Dip in the Spa

Dip in the Spa

During spring and fall we may heat the spa, but when the outside temperatures here in the Sonoran Desert climb above 100 or so, the heater goes off and we use the spa as a place to cool off. The water temperature (measured today) was a cool 85° while the ambient temperature on the patio where the tub lives was 104°.

I captioned this photo on the FecesBook™ post I made today as “When it’s a dry heat - get wet!” Click on the image to enlarge (credit to Verna).

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Barrel Cactus Flowers

Cactus Flowers

We don’t know the binomial designation of the barrel cactus producing these pinkish orange cactus flowers, but they are certainly beautiful. The cactus itself is in the downtown area near the American Legion Post. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Throwback Thursday

Verna and the Casa Grande Ruin

We visited Casa Grande several times before we retired in 2009. This photo of Verna and the ruins was probably taken around summer of 2002.

The national monument consists of the ruins of multiple structures surrounded by a compound wall constructed by the ancient people of the Hohokam period, who farmed the Gila Valley in the early 13th century. Archeologists have discovered evidence that the ancient Sonoran Desert people who built the Casa Grande also developed wide-scale irrigation farming and extensive trade connections which lasted over a thousand years until about 1450 A.D.

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“Cherry Red” Cactus Flowers

Trio of Hot Pink Flowers

Our Trichocereus “Cherry Red” Cactus is fully in bloom this weekend. This is the second year we have had this cactus in its pot on the courtyard patio.

From Tucson Cactus and Succulents:

Trichocereus hybrids grow well in large pots or in the ground in the desert Southwest. Some growers can adapt them to full sun, but to avoid sunburn it’s safer to grow them in light shade, as under an unirrigated mesquite or palo verde tree. They respond dramatically to generous water and fertilizer. With weekly watering and monthly feeding, the best cultivars will flush massive blooms every two weeks or so for three months or even longer. With water restriction, bloom will be much reduced in number. (Some clones will flower for only one or two days a year; there is a great deal of genetic as well as cultural variability.) The authors obtain superb results using a water soluble ‘Bloom’ formula fertilizer, one with low nitrogen and high phosphate. Deadheading (cutting off the spent blooms) close to the stem will result in greater flowering potential since the plants may often abort new flower buds in favor of producing fruit from pollinated flowers. Trichocereus flowers may be enjoyed as cut flowers indoors in water.

If you live in the desert, you’ll need to protect your trichos from javelinas, rabbits, squirrels, or even deer; they will eat your flowers. Additionally, insect pests may include, the giant cactus beetle, Moneilema gigas, the cactus weevil, Cactophagus species, thrips, and cactus moth (blue cactus borer), Cactobrosis fernaldialis. These can easily be treated with regular applications of systemic insecticides.

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