Archive for Photography

Our First 2020 Cactus Flower

Hedgehog Cactus Flower

One of the Hedgehog Cacti (echinocereus engelmanii) in front of the house had an open flower today. This is the first flower of any cacti around the house and in the courtyard. This cactus is one of the older cacti which was originally right next to our lot and transplanted to its present location. It has flowered every year since put in its present position.

From American Southwest Website:

Like most hedgehog cacti, the spring flowers of echinocereus engelmannii are very bright and colorful. They are followed by spiny, greenish fruits that turn red when ripe. Stems are upright at first but may fall to the ground with old age and grow laterally. This is one of the most common of the hedgehog cacti.

This cactus is “expecting” many more flowers in days to come soon. Click on the image to enlarge.

UPDATE: Cherry Red Cactus Flower opened today!

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

UPDATE: 04APR2020 - Beavertail Flowers now opening - this is the first one on the cactus out front of the house>

Beavertail Flower

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St. Patrick’s Day 2020

Wearin’ of the Green

Verna and I posed for this today as we were getting ready for a couple of errands. Wishing all a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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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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Turkey Buzzards’ Farewell

Turkey Buzzards

Now that Summer has abruptly ended (a 20° drop in daily high temperature since the first day of Fall), the Turkey Buzzards (Vultures) have been showing signs of migrating south for the Winter. Today, there were several circling overhead (as they generally do) and these two came to roost on the ridge just to the west of our back yard. It’s as if they dropped in to say adios as they head to Mexico. They will return sometime in the Spring of 2020.

More about Turkey Vultures from Wikipedia:

The Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its food using its keen eyes and sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gasses produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals. In flight, it uses thermals to move through the air, flapping its wings infrequently. It roosts in large community groups. Lacking a syrinx—the vocal organ of birds—its only vocalizations are grunts or low hisses. It nests in caves, hollow trees, or thickets. Each year it generally raises two chicks, which it feeds by regurgitation.

We look forward to seeing the Buzzards in the Spring when their return signals warmer weather ahead for us. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Nice Arizona Sunset Colors

Nice Arizona Sunset Colors

We finally got some decent rain yesterday when a monsoon emptied its thunderstorms in the area. We went all summer without a monsoon and finally, on the first day of autumn, we got a couple of inches of precipitation. In the aftermath today, we had some winds and a few clouds, some of which gathered to our west just as the sun was setting. I took the photo above from the courtyard with our front yard mesquite tree silhouetted against the colorful sky. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Last Desert Sun Ray of the Day

Last Desert Sun Ray

The last sun ray of the afternoon shone through some of the natural desert vegetation on the west side of the house just before the sun went behind the hill over that way. There wasn’t a lot of pastel colors or any brilliant desert sunset, but a nice, mellow sepia-like photo portraying the brief event before fading to dark.

We had a great trip home from our August vacation to Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico. It was a lot of fun and we accomplished our objective of setting memorials on the graves of some of our ancestors. We came away with a good feeling.

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Southwestern Rose

Southwestern Rose

Our current location is in Albuquerque, NM. We’re in a nice campground west of the main part of town where we have a nice view of the Sandia Mountain Ridge to the east. In camp, there are several rose bushes. I took the above photo of one of the nicer roses open today.

We will be going west from here tomorrow setting up camp at Holbrook, back in our Home State of Arizona. On the next day, we will be back home in Wickenburg.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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