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Flowering Plum Tree

Plum Flowers

Spring officially starts tomorrow at about three in the afternoon Arizona time. Already, we are getting flowers in abundance on the plum tree in the courtyard. Click on the image to enlarge.

The rest of the xeriscape garden is also showing signs of spring. We have several beavertail cacti which all are sprouting flower and paddle buds. The Argentine Giant out front is showing flower buds and a new arm sprouting, maybe two. The other prickly pear cacti will be getting flowers later in spring. The giant saguaro out front should also be getting flowers in late spring.

In the courtyard, I have planted daffodil bulbs and the flowers are coming out as well. I love springtime in the desert!

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Queen of the Night Cactus New Branches

New Branches

The queen of the night cactus (Peniocereus Greggii ) on the east side of our driveway has branched out a bit. The two new branches in the photo above started last summer and look to be doing well. We monitor this cactus more since it is in plain sight from the driveway.

This cactus has bloomed with at least one flower over the past two years. We’re hoping to have at least one flower, and maybe more, this coming summer. Click on the image to enlarge.

I took this zoomed close-up of the branches using my DSLR Camera with the new EF-S 18-135mm lens. I shot the photo with the following camera settings:

Model - Canon EOS REBEL SL1
Date Time - 2019:02:28 16:40:11
Copyright - COPYRIGHT (C) VERNABOB.COM
Exposure Time - 1/250 seconds
F Number - 20
Exposure Program - Aperture priority
ISO Speed - 640
Shutter Speed - 1/256 seconds
Focal Length - 135 mm

The focus stayed sharp for the depth of field needed. Love the new lens.

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Local Mountains Snow

Local Mountains Snow

Since last Wednesday, we have had colder temperatures in our area. Just five years ago on this date, we were wearing shorts, but not this year. Both of us got new winter jackets just to keep warm here in “Dry Heat” Arizona. LOL

I took this photo today of to Weaver mountain range just fifteen miles north of town. The mountains have a nice coat of snow, but it won’t last very long since this is Arizona and the weather will undoubtedly become more spring like over the next few days.

As I said, we have had some unusually cold (even for winter) days. Our neighbor, who teaches school in nearby Congress came home early a couple of days ago and reported a foot of snow had closed her school for the day. Her car was caked with still fresh snow when she drove into the area.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Cabela’s Toys

Cabela’s Toys

The Mama says that I look like I have “Bubba J” teeth when I hold my new squeaky ball in my mouth. I don’t know who that is, but I like to play catch and chase after the toys. Those are the rest of my toys in the bucket under the coffee table.

The Mama got me this ball when she was at the dollar store last week. I like it. Click to make me and the squeaky ball big.

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Tiny Pink Cactus Flowers and an Arizona Sunset

Tiny Pink Flowers

This little barrel cactus is in the xeriscape area in front of the garage wall east of the courtyard. I think it must be happy here since it has this ring of tiny pink flowers around its top.

Sundown

Today was mostly cloudy, but still pretty warm. Our high temperature was nowhere near record for this date, but we’ll take 74° anytime in January. I photographed the clouds as lighted up by the setting sun.

Click on either image to enlarge.

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Sunset Ripples

Sunset Ripples

When we went out to look at the sunset this evening, Verna took this photo of these rippling altocumulus clouds to the southeast of our house. This is an unusual cloud formation that generally occurs in advance of an approaching storm front. Sure enough, the National Weather Service is forecasting a 40 percent chance of rain tonight.

The clouds are formed when a wave is generated aloft; that is, the air mass is rising and falling in a wave-like motion as it is carried along in the upper atmosphere. The water vapor in the air condenses into droplets or ice crystals when it rises and evaporates again when it comes down below into warmer air.

Regardless of all the nerdy science involved in explaining the phenomenon, it sure is pretty to see up there. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Live Tree Ornaments

Goldfinch Cardinal

We had one of our spring-like winter days today with mostly clear skies and warmish (not as warm as we like) temperatures. While eating breakfast we could see the birds frequenting the feeders on the little hill behind the RV driveway.

I speculated that some of the birds would hang around after breakfast, so I headed out there with my camera and 300mm zoom lens. I managed to get several shots of the little flying critters including the two above. On the left is a goldfinch and on the right is a cardinal, both males of their respective species. They were both briefly “decorations” on the mesquite tree up there. Click on either image to enlarge.

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