Verna

Red Bird Season Almost Over

It’s that time of the fall when the Red Bird Of Paradise (Pride of Barbados) shrubs in the courtyard are about through with their production of gorgeous flowers (and pea pods). Within the next few days, we will be cutting them back to the ground for the winter. However, they will be back by next late May or early June for another colorful season.

The image above (click to enlarge) is of some of the last flowers on one of the shrubs. Canon EOS Rebel T6i, 1/1024 sec, F5.6, ISO 250, EF-S18-135mm lens @89mm.

More about these flowering shrubs from Wikipedia:

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a species of flowering plant in the pea family.

It is a shrub growing to 3 m tall. In climates with few to no frosts, this plant will grow larger and is semievergreen. Grown in climates with light to moderate freezing, plant will die back to the ground depending on cold, but will rebound in mid- to late spring. This species is more sensitive to cold than others. The leaves are bipinnate, 20–40 cm long, bearing three to 10 pairs of pinnae, each with six to 10 pairs of leaflets 15–25 mm long and 10–15 mm broad. The flowers are borne in racemes up to 20 cm long, each flower with five yellow, orange, or red petals. The fruit is a pod 6–12 cm long.

Caesalpina pulcherrima is the national flower of the Caribbean island of Barbados, and is depicted on the upper left and right corners of the Queen Elizabeth II’s personal Barbadian flag. Claire Waight Keller included pride of Barbados to represent the country in Meghan Markle’s wedding veil, which included the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country.

A Sunset Cloud Rainbow

About a half hour before sunset this evening, this beautiful prismatic rainbow appeared in the ice crystals of high clouds west of our house. There were a lot of clouds over California and Arizona due to Hurricane Kay, currently making its way up the Baja California Coast.

The weather forecast for us over the next couple of days will be cloudy with possible thundershowers. In California, there are forecasts for flash flooding and high winds that may cross over into Arizona. We’re ready for it, however, having recently gone through our annual monsoon season.

A Neighborly Gesture

Our neighbor to the west had an address placard on her fencepost that, unfortunately, got blown away by one of our famous Arizona Monsoon Thundershowers. She is a schoolteacher and a single woman living in her home. Her brother, who usually does chores around the residence is off to their homeland in Minnesota for the summer. So, we decided to take on the task of restoring her address sign to a readable state again.

We had a can of white paint that I was going to use to touch up the rusted spots on our mailbox stand, so I used a little of it to paint the sign. Bob got some numerals at the hardware store and we placed them on the sign after it dried. In the image above, I am driving in the last of the little tacks that hold the numbers to the wooden sign. This installation should survive many storms in years to come. Click on the image to enlarge.

2022 Cherry Red Cactus Flowers Now Opening

There are several pots in our courtyard containing Trichocereus Grandiflorus cactus (a.k.a. Cherry Red or Torch Cactus). We have been watching a few of the flower buds getting ready to open and today the first ones were out.

We acquired the “parent” cactus several years ago and at one point separated the “mother” from several “pups” which are now planted in their own pots in the courtyard. The one above is a pup with flowers open while the mother is still getting ready to open her flowers.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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.

Winter Weather in Arizona


 

We’re lucky here in Arizona that the winters are mild. We went out shopping on two consecutive days when I took the above photos at the end of our road before turning onto the pavement. Both pictures are of a little hill across our roadway where desert vegetation grows; in the top instance, the weather is sort of rainy and drizzly and in the bottom, the weather is sunny with some beautiful puffy clouds floating about.

The day and night temperatures on both days were similar, with the highs in the upper 60s and the lows in the mid-40s Fahrenheit. We thank the Almighty for our home and environment. Click on either image to enlarge.