Verna

Christmas Greetings

Image: Red Amaryllis Flowers – Click to enlarge

Christmas week is here and we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. —Luke 2:4-5

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. —Luke 2:6-7

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” —Luke 2:10-12

May the Joy of Christmas be in your hearts in this Holy Time.

Sun Dogs over Wickenburg

  

A lovely pair of “sun dogs” appeared over the western horizon this afternoon a little after five P.M. The combination of high clouds and frozen water crystals made for a brilliant display of colors in the sky.

No special camera settings were needed – just a little help from the patio post to block out the sun. Click on either image to view in the vernabob.com image viewer.

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

Technically, it’s still spring here in Sonoran Arizona, even though the temperature has been above 110° the last week or so (today 112°). In spite of the warmer temperatures, our Cherry Red Cactus is producing new flowers and is likely to do so into the summer in a few days time.

This flower opened today and is the third one this season. The first two I posted on our other blog. These are gorgeous and I will try to post more photos as the flowers open. Click on the image to enlarge.

Mule Deer

Western Mule Deer

I went out to the courtyard to water my little flower bed at just about dusk last evening. I looked up and saw that there was a deer in the back yard. I hurried back into the house to get my camera, went back out and took several images of the deer. This is one of the best ones I got. Click on the image to enlarge.

We don’t often see deer although there is evidence they come here frequently. Several of them (I assume) stripped our lemon tree of most of its leaves this past winter.

Don’t worry about the lemon tree, though. All new leaves have already filled in and we’re seeing little green lemons growing all over the tree. Harvest is not until next December but we expect to have another good crop of lemons then.

Spring Cactus Flowers

Cholla Cactus Flowers Beavertail Cactus Flower

We have been getting spring cactus flowers for a couple of weeks now, but today is the first day with contrasting yellow flowers. We’ve had all pink ones in the yard until the two Cholla flowers (left above) opened today. The Beavertail flower on the right is one of many open on various beavertails in our xeriscape. Click on either image to enlarge.

June Flowers

Saguaro Flowers Red Bird of Paradise Flower
Bishop’s Cap Cactus Flowers Fishhook Cactus Flowers

June is another colorful month here in our Arizona abode in which we have many late spring flowers opening. Upper left above is the Arizona State Flower of the Saguaro Cactus. Our big saguaro had many of these since May and there are a few late comers yet to open. Upper right is the showy and colorful Red Bird of Paradise flower. This is a close up of one of many, many currently open in the courtyard. Lower Left is our reliable old Bishop’s Cap cactus with too many open flowers to count, which is a regular thing for this little barrel cactus, even in the other months of the year. Finally, at lower right is the little rescued Fish Hook Cactus in a pot out back with two open flowers. There will be several more to come as June continues. Click on any of the images to enlarge.

Even though the Fish Hook and Saguaro Cactus Flowers will disappear soon, the Red Birds will continue to adorn our courtyard throughout the entire Summer and into the Second Spring months of Fall. The Bishop’s Cap will produce flowers on and off when it feels like doing so.

Update: 16 June – Some of our Cherry Red Cactus Flowers opened today:

Cherry Red Cactus Flower