Paddle Cactus Rescue

Paddle Cactus Rescue

Perhaps the post title should include “In Progress,” since the cactus isn’t yet in it’s ultimate destination. The image above shows the original location and now in the pot to which it has been transplanted. Click on the image to enlarge.

We recently discovered a small (1½ inch) prickly pear cactus trying to grow alongside the concrete RV Drive just west of the house. That particular location is unsuitable for a new cactus start-up for a couple of reasons, First, it is too close to the RV Drive to be able to develop into a larger plant and, second, that location offers little or no protection from cactus-eating wildlife. As a small single paddle, it would be bite-sized for a Javelina.

We took the start-up cactus out of the ground and placed it in a five-inch clay pot for the time being. When it gets a bit bigger, we will move it o a larger pot until it gets developed enough to stick it back in the ground on the west side of the house where it will have a better chance of survival in the wild as a larger cactus.

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Mid-April Cactus Flowers

Star Cactus Flower Hedgehog Cactus Flower
Beavertail Cactus Flowers Two Beavertail Flowers

Spring Months in our part of Arizona is always a colorful spectacle with the various native and some imported flowers. The native flowers above are the three with pink, being Hedgehog Cactus Flower (above right) and Beavertail Cactus Flowers (both lower pictures). The non-native is an Astrophytum (Star Cactus) flower whose cactus species is native to other parts of North America including Mexico.

The Star Cactus does well here and has given us many flowers, not always confined to spring like the others shown. Given our mild winters here, the Star and its cousin the Bishop’s Cap Cactus show flowers several times during the year.

Click on any of the images to enlarge.

UPDATE: 04/22/20 - Argentine Giant Cactus Flowers

Argentine Giant Cactus Flowers

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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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Yard Cleanup - Feeding the Chipper

Feeding the Chipper

Over the past months (maybe over a year) we have trimmed mesquite tree branches away from the driveway and in the back and front yard areas. We also recently removed a few branches from the plum tree in the courtyard to encourage it to grow upward. When we don’t have time to break the limbs down and stuff them into the refuse bin, we sometimes drag them across the road to our lot over there to be dealt with at a future time.

Well, the future is here. Yesterday, Verna and I took the chipper that we bought last spring over there to dispose of the branches and create some mulch for Verna’s gardening. I took the 3KW Honda Generator in the back of the pickup so we could have power to run the chipper.

We got most of the work done in that single session and created a box full of wood chip mulch that Verna can spread on her trees and other items she grows. There remains some thicker branches that we will chop into firewood for our neighbors that have fireplaces.

When operating the chipper, the manufacturer recommends protection for eyes and ears (pieces fly and it’s loud). I borrowed the goggles and earmuffs from the range bag for the job. Click on the image to enlarge.

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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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Beethoven Is Ten Today

Bay Bay at 10Happy Birthday to our beloved Beethoven (a.k.a “Bay Bay”) who is ten years old today. He is the youngest of the two Miniature Pinchers that run our household. We adopted him about eight and a half years ago and, needless to say, is a beloved family member.

Image: Bay Bay at 10 - click to enlarge

As older dogs go, he is still very alert and seems happy most of the time. Of course, he is showing some signs of having joint pain and has turned grey in his face. He loves to sit with his “parents” watching TV and being wrapped in a warmed-up blanket. We hope he is having a good day.

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Valentine’s Day 2020

20200214-valentine.jpg

My gift from Bob was this nice little Waterford Heart Box with a nice card. Click on the image to enlarge.

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