July Flowers

July has always been a good month for desert cactus flowers opening. After only three days, this month gas been no disappointment. All the flowers shown below have opened on or since July first.

This first photo is of a peniocereusgreggii “Queen of the Night” flower, two of which opened up last night (July 2). They are short-lived like many cacti flowers and were mostly gone this morning. We were lucky to spot them last evening to get this photo.

These next beauties also opened overnight. They are “Cherry Red” (trichocereus) cactus flowers and look almost hot pink in the morning sun.

Our old reliable “Bishop’s Cap” cactus produces flowers many times during the year. We bought this cactus over 25 years ago in a three-inch plastic pot. These were open on the first of July.

The “Star Cactus” (Astrophytum) is also one of those that produce flowers several times a year. This flower also opened on July first.

Lastly, is our showy “Red Bird of Paradise” or “Pride of Barbados” shrub which will produce these brightly colored flowers from April through September. We have three shrubs in the courtyard.

That’s all for now. Click on any image above to view enlarged in a new window or tab.

Another Cherry Red Flower Opened

These are so beautiful – Trichocereus Grandiflorus a.k.a. “Cherry Red” cactus opened up this morning in the courtyard. There are more buds on this and other cacti in the yard and we may be getting more of these striking blooms over the next few weeks. Click on the image to view larger.

White Sands

We took a short drive up Dunes Road at White Sands Nat’l Monument yesterday on our way to our present camping spot in Deming, NM. After a few miles, the pavement ended and we were driving on the white sand. In the photo below, you can see dunes and footprints on some of the softer gypsum sand.

Having seen this impressive natural sandpile, we asked “How did this get here?” The answer is it’s the sediment left behind by an ancient sea.

From NPS:

Geology of White Sands

The story of the world’s largest gypsum dunefield began 280 million years ago when the Permian Sea covered this area and gypsum settled on the sea floor. The formation of the dunefield continues today in an endless cycle of erosion and renewal.

We didn’t have time to get out and play in the sand this time. Maybe when we come through here next spring we will take the time to do so.

Fall Photos

We like to say when the autumnal equinox happens that we’re in “Second Spring.” The temperatures aren’t over 100 degrees like in the summertime, only reaching to 98 or 99. When the thermometer starts peaking at only in the 70’s, then Fall is finally here and second spring is over. That is likely to be around Halloween or after.

This time of year, we’re still seeing the Turkey Vultures (Buzzards to some) soaring overhead. I took this photo of a buzzard swooping low this morning.

Our “Devils Tongue” barrel cactus usually has its flower power in the fall. This is a close-up of one of the flowers surrounded by other flowers, flower buds and (below) cactus fruit ripening. Image courtesy of Cap’n Bob.

Click on either image to enlarge.