Belated Gifts for Verna

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and Coral Set  Kingman Turquoise Set

Since Verna’s Birthday and Christmas are very close together, we celebrate each separately, including gift-giving. No “combination” gifting allowed. No Sir. That is the case for this winter season when we went shopping for a birthday and a Christmas present for her. Also, since I have no calibration on what she considers a “perfect” gift to be, she goes with me to pick and choose.

We were both not particularly in the mood to do any shopping prior to last month’s holiday, so we mutually decided to forgo any shopping until after the crowds dissipate post-holiday. Today is our weekly shopping day for groceries, etc. and since we get out of our jammies on shopping day, we went to the Old Livery Mercantile in town (technically, a touristy souvenir and gift shop) to see what might be suitable as a birthday and then a Christmas gift.

Verna has long wanted a nice Native American Squash Blossom Necklace, so we started looking in the display case where many beautiful examples of N.A. crafted items are located. After several trips around the jewelry cases, she was split between the two pictured above. I suggested that she could have one for birthday and the other for Christmas. So she got ‘em both.

The one on the left is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise with Coral and the one on the right is Kingman Turquoise. Both are hand-crafted by Native American Artists in the Southwest, not sure if Hopi, Navajo or ? but they are both beautiful. Click on either image to enlarge.

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Verna’s Birthday

Verna on her Wedding Day

Here’s wishing Verna a very happy and wonderful birthday!

Image taken on our wedding day in 1998.

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It’s Almost Wintertime And The Bees Are Still Buzzing

Cactus Flowers and a Bee

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we are less than two weeks from the official start of winter. Regardless of that fact, and the unusually colder weather happening everywhere else in the country, here in Wickenburg, we are enjoying our usual mild temperatures with highs in the 60’s or 70’s.

This Bishop’s Cap Cactus in the courtyard had a couple of open flowers today. I took this photo of the cactus while a bee was browsing for pollen. The cacti aren’t the only source for pollen in as much as the Rosemary shrubs behind the RV Drive still are producing flowers. You can see the bees browsing them as well.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Thanksgiving 2019

2019-thanksgiving.jpg

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” —Psalm 100:4-5

Let us be thankful for the good things on this day.

We hope all of you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving Day!

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Apollo 12 Crew Visits Lunar Surveyor Spacecraft - 3D

Lunar Anaglyph

Fifty years ago, there were men walking on the moon. This 3D photo of Pete Conrad jiggling the surveyor lunar lander was taken by Alan Bean in two images merged into a red-cyan anaglyph image. Click on the image to enlarge.

Not mentioned in the below Article from APOD was the fact that the astronauts brought back the robotic scoop from the spacecraft which I later saw in a display window in Building 5 at the Hughes Aircraft Facility in Culver City, CA.

This is the blurb from APOD:

Put on your red/blue glasses and gaze across the western Ocean of Storms on the surface of the Moon. The 3D view features Apollo 12 astronaut Pete Conrad visiting the Surveyor 3 spacecraft 50 years ago in November of 1969. Surveyor 3 had landed at the site on the inside slope of a small crater about 2 1/2 years earlier in April of 1967. Visible on the horizon beyond the far crater wall, Apollo 12’s Lunar Module Intrepid touched down less than 200 meters (650 feet) away, easy moonwalking distance from the robotic Surveyor spacecraft. The stereo image was carefully created from two separate pictures (AS12-48-7133, AS12-48-7134) taken on the lunar surface. They depict the scene from only slightly different viewpoints, approximating the separation between human eyes.

Of course, if you don’t yet have your free pair of 3D glasses to view the image above, you can see the 2D version here.

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Landscape Improvements

Path Through the Rocks

Last week we had our landscapers embellish our yard with some additional red rock gravel ground cover. They did a good job by placing the additional rocks and spreading them over the bare ground adjacent to the RV drive.

After the work was done, Verna went to the retention wall by the little wash behind the house and discovered that she had trouble walking on the rocks. She goes back there to feed some table scraps to the cottontails that live out there.

So, we decided to clear a pathway leading to the wall for easier access. I accomplished the project incrementally yesterday and today by raking away the red rocks and lining the path with medium round rocks. The path is “T” shaped so Verna has her access to the wall going left and I have access to the bird feeders out of view up the hill to the right.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Clear Skies Over Arizona

Clear Skies Over Arizona

Last week (10/22/2019), I captured this image from one of the GOES weather satellites in geosynchronous orbit above the western hemisphere. GOES East showed this area of the southwestern US which I cropped to highlight Arizona which is centered, more or less, in the image. The image showed the area mostly clear of clouds at that time.

October in our part of Arizona has the in-between hot summer and cooler winter temperatures which are still warm (80-90 degree highs) and we call “Second Spring” because of the flowers we have open this time of year. As I write this post, the late October temperatures have started to drop and soon we will be back in flannel and long pants.

Anyhow, back to the satellite image; you can clearly see the Mogollon Rim which is defined by the darker forested area at its southern side that extends from the New Mexico border on the east and arcs toward the north across the northeastern part of the state and ends in northern Yavapai county in north central Arizona. The two darker forested areas continuing north are the Kaibab National Forest. The gap between the southern dark area and the northern dark area is where the Grand Canyon is located.

Other interesting features visible in the image can also be seen; over in New Mexico toward the right lower side of the image you can see the White Sands area where WW2 Atomic Bombs were tested. On the left side, in California, you can see the Salton Sea. Finally, at the bottom left corner, the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in Mexico is visible.

I look at the satellite images on a regular basis to help me identify our weather patterns. I use them in addition to radar and other tools to get an insight on our weather. You may click on the image to enlarge.

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