Compass Cactus Flower

I happened to be up in the “outback” (the hill behind the RV drive) yesterday to take photos of our recently recovered RV slide-out toppers when I noticed a flower opened on our Compass Cactus (Ferocactus cylindraceus). These flowers open generally in May and June, but as has been the case this year, many cacti around town have had late blooming flowers here in mid to late July. Click on the image to enlarge.

From LLIFLE (Edited for brevity):

Origin and Habitat: The various variety of Ferocactus cylindraceus (= Ferocactus acanthodes) are spread in the southern of United States (central and western Arizona, southeastern California Nevada, and Utah) and southwards into Mexico (Baja California and Sonora).

Altitude range: From sea level to 1750 meters.

Habitat: This cactus is locally abundant in arid gravelly or rocky foothills, canyon walls, fans and wash margins, sometimes on the plains among creosote bush scrub, it also utilizes slopes and acid igneous rock lands. The species is limited in its northwards range by frost conditions. To reduce the damage by frost the plant is found on south facing slopes and it leans to the south to protect the sensitive growing tip by placing it for best exposure to the sun.

Common Names include:
Spiny Barrel Cactus, Le Conte Barrel Cactus, Barrel Cactus, Golden-spined Barrel Cactus, Desert Barrel Cactus, Cliff Barrel Cactus, Compass Barrel Cactus, Golden-Spined Barrel, Desert Barrel, California Barrel Cactus, Cliff Barrel, Compass Barrel, Compass Cactus

Sweet Sixteenth Blogaversary

Our first post on VERNABOB.COM was on July 17, 2006. We put up a couple of photos of us taken in our leisure time since we were still reporting to work in those days.

Now, after nearly thirteen years of retirement, we’re still going strong in our desert abode. We are currently in a phase of summer weather called “monsoon season” where it isn’t exactly a “dry heat” in the Arizona desert. Even so, we’re mostly indoors where it’s a nice cool 80° with controlled humidity. It’s very comfortable.

As we move further into our retirement years we plan to keep blogging here from time to time.

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.

Tucker’s Cuteness

I decided to try and upload a video to YouTube as an experiment to replace the videos I used to upload to the blog using Flash™ animations which have no more support from most browsers. So this is a video I captured in my Android Phone a couple of weeks ago. It is now embedded in this post.

Tucker, our little Chihuahua mix pup begs to get up into Verna’s lap in this 30 second video.

UPDATE: A close-up of the little guy (click to enlarge):

2022 Saguaro Cactus Flowers Now Opening

The 2022 spring cactus flower season is well underway with the opening of some of the beautiful Saguaro Cactus Flowers. This one was on our big cactus near the garage and courtyard this morning. Click on the image to enlarge © 2022 VBI Dynamics. Usage OK with Link and/or credit.

  • Camera: Canon EOS REBEL SL1
  • Lens: Canon EF-S55-250mm
  • Exposure: 1/400Sec
  • Aperture: F7.1
  • ISO: 100
  • Focal Length: 250mm

Photo Status Update

 

It’s been a while since we posted photos of us and our dogs. Life goes on and things change, people get older and pets come and go. So this shows our current configuration of us and our pups – me, holding Cabela and Verna, holding young Tucker. Click on either image to enlarge.

The photos were taken in our courtyard with each of us posing with the big saguaro and ocotillo just outside the gate. In a few weeks, the courtyard will be nearly overtaken with the red bird of paradise (a.k.a. Pride of Barbados) shrubs and their beautiful flowers.

So, that’s our Spring 2022 status update. I don’t plan on doing status updates like this on a scheduled basis, but will probably get to them now and then. Enjoy the rest of Spring and the Summer, too.

A Friendly Antelope Ground Squirrel

Lately, when I go up the little hill behind the RV Drive to refresh the bird feeders, this little white tailed antelope ground squirrel runs out and begs for me to toss some of the birdseed her way. Yes, I figure this is a female since it is obvious from this photo that she is nursing some young ones back in the burrow.

I say “friendly” in the title because these little squirrels are cautious, but show more interest in being fed than any of the other critters in the area, although Verna’s cottontails will come out when she brings food scraps to the wash west of the house. This particular squirrel will come to within a couple of feet to beg. Of course, as soon as I toss out something, she whisks it away to begin consuming it at a safer distance.

More about Ammospermophilus leucurus:

The White-tailed antelope squirrel is a species of ground squirrel. They have a brown to gray fur with two white stripes running from the shoulder to the hind end. Their bellies and the underside of their tails are white in color and there is a black stripe on the tail.