Posts Tagged ‘cactus flowers’

Today’s walk is only a few steps but I hope Jo will consider it as appropriate for the challenge. After all, how can anything this beautiful not count??

Although we have a torch cactus in our backyard, it’s a callow youth compared to the one below in my dad’s yard, a cactus at least three times bigger than ours. Yesterday it looked like this, with 3 or 4 flowers and a lot of buds.

Today when I went over, the flowers from yesterday were already wilted but the buds from yesterday were simply over-the-top magnificently in bloom!!

A closer look at these showy flowers gives you a glimpse of the interiors and a feel for the abundance of this many flowers about 8″ or so in diameter. I really have to keep myself from using exclamation points after every sentence because they’re really that dazzling.

I can never resist shots of the inner flower, unworldly in appearance. While our cacti has much smaller flowers as befits its younger, smaller size, I noticed that ours attract a number of bees, which I didn’t notice at Dad’s. Maybe that’s because we don’t spray our weeds and we also have lots of bushes with flowers on them. Last year our cactus bloomed about three times. I hope it works that way this year as well. But for now, enjoy these because tomorrow they’ll be gone or at least wilted.

Some things are not improved by words. Welcome to April.

FOTD 4.1.22

This is my favorite poem about spring and even though the Arizona world is rarely mud-luscious or puddle-wonderful, it still evokes spring for me. And I’m going attempt to find e. e. cummings quotes or poems to go with all my photos for Marsha’s WQW challenge for this week.

in just spring

 
in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it's
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

Well, I don’t know if this balloonMan is goat-footed (or whether the balloonPerson is either), but it is a balloon even though not the sort e. e. had in mind.

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in 
are winging in the blossoming)  e.e.cummings

(One of the things that drives me mad about WP is trying to get poems to format properly and the only way I know to do it puts them on the grey background. Sorry about that.)

This bird may not be flying right now, but I’m sure it’s quite merry despite the fact that its mother obviously never mentioned that standing on your food while eating it (or at any other time) is not really the thing. But spirits are singing and there’s definitely blossoming going on. 🙂

“Then it was spring; and in spring anything may happen. Absolutely anything.” ~ E. E. Cummings

Spring makes the wall finally warm enough to tempt these two to make their spring debut.

And still the mad magnificent herald Spring assembles beauty from forgetfulness with the wild trump of April:witchery of sound and odour drives the wingless thing man forth in the bright air. ~e. e. cummings

It also drove this winged bee into an ecstasy of headfirst pollen-gathering. Our girls used to sometimes say something caused an ecstasy spasm and that’s exactly what I saw here as he flitted from flower to flower. In fact, spring gives me an ecstasy spas. (Note: going headfirst into food probably qualifies as not being quite the thing either.)

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having—
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
—it’s april(yes, april;my darling)it’s spring! 
 ~e.e.cummings from "when faces called flowers"

These trumpet cacti don’t flower often and the flowers begin to wilt by the end of the first day but oh, the glory while they bloom!! We were blessed with three rounds of flowers our first year here. A sighting makes me grab my camera and rush outside immediately. Hurrah for spring!!

Six-Word Saturday 3.26.22

for Squares: bright and Life in Colour: pink

Color in April is different in Arizona than in every other place I’ve lived, starting from ground level up. Except for Steamboat Springs where April was mud season, April almost everywhere else starts with a carpet of green grass covered or at least dotted in many places by innumerable wildflowers. Not so in Arizona where in populated areas grass is replaced by a layer of rocks with individual or small groups of plants dotting it, and in the desert, not much of anything with the same individual or groups of plants. There is grass, but it requires large amounts of water, something I find irresponsible when you live in a desert.

Be that as it may, we were blessed in our rental house because we have a great variety of plants. Most of the other rentals I viewed had nothing in the backyard and I mean nothing, nothing but “dirt” and “dirt” here is a cement-like thing called caliche, nothing like in the Midwest where you can easily sink a shovel into the earth almost anywhere. One of the nicknames of caliche is “hardpan” for a reason.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t beauty and color, such as this yellow trumpet bush which just showed up one day in a corner where it appeared nothing was growing, a welcome surprise! We have another much larger bush of these and an enormous one with orange flowers.

Red yucca isn’t really yucca (go figure) but its flowers are beautiful. There are streets with a row of these along the side which makes for very attractive landscaping.

As far as I can ascertain, this is Britton’s wild petunia, one of the flowers the bees love but one that can be invasive.

You can’t have a colorful April in Arizona without the spectacular flowers and fruits found on the cacti that are everywhere. There may be thorns on many plants but there’s also luxurious beauty and sometimes food, as in the case of the fruit of the prickly pear cactus you see here. These will open up.

Finally, there are these short-blooming, one day, flowers found on the trumpet cactus. Our cactus is small, but welcomed us with three rounds of gorgeous flowers when we moved here just over a year ago and has already has two flowers this year.

Now that we’ve seen some of the April color in our backyard, have a seat on the patio and just relax for a bit. I’m always happy when you stop by and I have some delicious jasmine green tea if you’re so inclined or some iced English breakfast.

© janet m. webb

for SquareUp 1.16.21 and Six Word Saturday 1.16.21

Amy at The World Is A Book sets us the challenge of recalling precious memories in a year that might have lack any or many. She’s shared lots of lovely photos of happy, mask-less people, something which probably features large in any of our precious memories. I’m going much further back to share the precious memory of family.

Memories, precious to me, of “my” park in Illinois and winter, which I do miss.

Wonderful memories of a memorable trip to Yosemite.

A beautiful welcome to Arizona!

And for the furthest back memory, a selfie of sorts with “my” first horse/pony. The owner brought the pony to our house during his trip around the neighborhoods and my parents paid for my photo to be taken. Happy? Oh, yeah! Much better than the ice cream truck!

Barrel cactus look a lot like a spiny barrel. No surprise, right? But you might be surprised at how beautiful the flowers are. Yellow and orange are the most common colors, pink and red less frequent. But whatever the color, the flowers only bloom on top of the cactus. Barrel cactus are usually about 3′ or less, although some have been found as tall as 9′. Whatever the height, they can live to be 100 years old.

Fun fact, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Barrel cactus can fall over because they grow based on sun orientation. They usually grow towards the south to prevent surface tissue sunburn, giving the name “compass cactus.”

And here’s my favorite cactus quote:

I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, D**n. I am less nurturing than a desert. ~Demetri Martin

As with all cactus, admire the flowers, but don’t forget the spines!

These small cactus were everywhere at Saguaro National Park. They might be small, but take notice of the multitudinous spines! Don’t mess with small. They have large, beautiful flowers and the bees, as you can see, loved them. The cactus, mammillaria grahamii or mammillaria microcarpa, has a rather unfortunate common name: Graham’s nipple cactus. I have no idea where that came from as the resemblance isn’t evident to me!! Even Madonna at her worst wasn’t as sharp as this.

Let’s go with its other common name: Arizona fishhook cactus. This is a rather specialized cactus found in a small area of west California, southwest and south Arizona, southwest New Mexico and a few small areas of far west Texas