Bob

Our 24th Wedding Anniversary

Cutting the Wedding Cake

Today we’re celebrating the twenty-fourth anniversary of our wedding. This is a photo taken at our wedding reception which was held in Avalon, on Catalina Island, at the Blue Parrot Restaurant and Bar adjacent to the Hotel Metropole on Crescent Avenue, the main drag along the shore of Avalon Harbor. The Blue Parrot is now gone, having been converted to additional hotel spaces for the Metropole. We revisited the island for several years around the time of our anniversaries and finally, as we mentioned last year, we stopped going back.

This year was the year of Tanzanite and Verna got several small, but pretty, jewelry items made from it. Next year, we will be having our quadranscentennial anniversary, and we look ahead to celebrating the Silver Jubilee.

Wagon Wheel Gatepost in 3D

I ran across this 3D image in an archive somewhere a few days ago (frankly, I don’t remember which archive) that I took several years ago during the time that Verna and I were in Congress, AZ, shopping for our courtyard gate. This gatepost is in front of a business on the main road between Wickenburg and Yarnell, along AZ HWY 89. The wagon wheel and old wagon next to it seemed like a good target for a 3D photo. Click on the image to enlarge.

If you don’t have a pair of 3D glasses available, you can see the 2D Image here. Of course, you are missing the stereoscopic effect without the glasses.

Delivery Instructions Signage

Because our courtyard gate latch is a bit wonky, we prefer that packages be delivered to the rear of the house by the patio. Now, most carriers allow you to specify delivery instructions, but some of the drivers don’t get the message and try to open the courtyard gate which is a bit difficult. A lot of the time, they just dump the package out front outside of the courtyard. We saw this as a minor security risk, so today we installed the sign in a location that can be seen from the driveway and courtyard walkway.

Image: Verna recording the sign installation for posterity. Click to enlarge.

The sign is installed on the electrical box where the house’s circuit breakers are located. The box is made of steel, so I needed a good drill bit for drilling four holes to accommodate #6 sheet metal screws. I also needed a center punch to locate the holes. We gave away most of my old tool collection to family when we left our old home, so I had to buy the tools again. Although this is not my first time to do “handyman” chores around the Arizona house, this was the first time that I had to get special tools.

So I went to the hardware store and bought some #6 sheet metal screws, a couple of 7/64 drill bits (they did not have a number 36 drill unless I bought a set) and a center punch to indent the locations for the drills. I previously got the sign from Amazon, so we were now ready to do the installation. It all went as planned and you can see the resulting installation in the image above.

Pod Casting

That was our morning courtyard chore today, casting the poisonous seed pods of our Red Bird of Paradise shrubs. When we say “casting,” we mean into a trash receptacle. We remove the pods, as seen growing on the raceme flower stalk in the image to the right (click to enlarge), and dispose of them. If we don’t remove the pods, they could fall to the ground in the courtyard and, while we generally don’t allow the dogs access to the courtyard, one of them might take a notion to eating a pod that has fallen, God forbid.

The Red Bird Flowers themselves, on the other hand, continue to be as beautiful as ever this year. The showy flowers dazzle our senses every spring through late fall. See for yourself in the image below.

Monsoon Weather

Our usual summer monsoons are upon us. We have been having thundershowers in the area for a couple of weeks and the forecast is for that to continue through this coming weekend and perhaps beyond. Verna took the image above on Monday as we were coming home from picking up our new eyewear from the optometrist – the location is looking west toward the Arizona Outback just before we would be turning right at the signal. There was a large thunderstorm cell dumping a lot of rain in that area. Click on the image to enlarge.

Most of the monsoon cells manage to get around us, but not all of them. We had a magnificent lightning and thundershower event last week during the wee hours that woke us and freaked Cabela and Tucker (our dogs) out for about an hour or so. The storm dumped a lot of rain, but it quickly soaked in or ran off down the wash near our abode.

There has been enough rain near the headwaters of the Hassayampa River that there was some visible water flowing down the usually dry riverbed as we crossed the bridge on US 60 east of town this afternoon.

The image above shows the riverbed looking north. This is just a small amount of runoff since history shows the river during peaks with whitecaps and rapids when the monsoons really get going up toward the headwaters. The “raging” river has been known to overflow the banks and do significant damage to riverfront properties and motorhomes. Fortunately, that has not been the case (so far) this monsoon season. Click on the image (courtesy Verna) to enlarge.

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