Posts Tagged ‘desert’

I promised you more of the Desert Botanical Gardens and I aim to keep that promise. If Jo’s walking today, this is my walk for her. Although the desert is mostly about cacti (the plural of cactus), and cacti have beautiful flowers, if there’s enough water and the temperature is right, you can get other flowers as well. Outback Steakhouse has their Bloomin’ Onion, but the bloomin’ desert is prettier and has way less calories!!

Although flowers can get up close and personal with cacti, I suggest you keep a respectful distance and always watch where you walk. Here you just have to stay on the path, but if you’re elsewhere, keep your eyes open. As it warms up, you always have to watch for rattlesnakes, not here probably but elsewhere. My husband’s seen several on the path along the canal where he rides his bike. I, fortunately, have yet to have that wonderful experience. I can wait.

We weren’t the only ones appreciating the flowers. The netting’s in place as protection from birds and critters of various kinds who might wish to express their appreciation for what they consider edible flowers and plants in a more destructive way.

It was wonderful to see all the color, but just all the green, whatever its source, was a joy as well. To have both was perfect.

Patti has asked us to find shapes this week. I’m sticking close to home for mine, as all are taken in our house or yard. I always enjoyed geometry; in fact I enjoyed math, because everything was logical. Just call me Spock. 🙂 I enjoyed math until I got to trigonometry, at which time I realized that unless I went into math, I probably wouldn’t have any use for it, even for figuring out the width of a creek from the shadow of a tree.

We’ll start with an edible shape, one cherry tomato from my patio plant, sharing shapes with part of our patio table (not edible.)

A shapely part of an aloe plant.

Cacti are made for geometry!

Some early morning geometry, courtesy of the sun and blinds.

Although there aren’t innumerable leaves here as there were in the Midwest, we still get some.

Thus endeth today’s geometry lesson. There will be no quiz and it’s pass-fail, so happy weekend!

This is what spring green looks like in Arizona, specifically at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. Probably not what spring looks like where you live.

for Life in Colour: green

For my birthday, we visited the Phoenix Botanical Gardens, a marvelous slice of desert life, past and present. The last time I visited was in 2014 when Dale Chihuly set up a marvelous installation. My sister-in-law and I arrived in the late afternoon, walked all the paths, then revisit after dark when everything was illuminated. It was magical! (And I did blog about it if you want to search.)

This day was just an “ordinary” day if there is such a thing there: a scheduled appointment, masks, and a somewhat limited crowd (although there were more than enough visitors for me.) When you arrive this is the first thing you see, the only leftover from the Chihuly exhibit.

Before setting out, let’s take a look at some of the inhabitants. Pollinators are some of my favorites.

Camouflage is even more of an asset when there are less places to hide.

There weren’t any butterflies around but I look forward to seeing some during our next visit.

I’m always happy to see bees.

Hopefully I’ve whet your appetite to see more of the visit. But for now, happy Monday.

for Jo’s Monday Walk

In the desert, it’s all about the sun, but two things can mitigate against it: trees and shade. Best of all is if the two are found together, the way we found them at Sweetwater Wetlands.

As we walked along the path, if we stepped down a few inches closer to the cattails, the temperature dropped dramatically. It was a fascinating phenomenon and a welcome one where it was already hot at 8:30 in the morning.

Just the appearance of water can make you feel cooler and more relaxed. For birds, insects, and other animals, it can be the difference between life and death. Of course, it’s the same for humans, although you wouldn’t want to drink the reclaimed water at the Wetlands.

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Ever since we got married (36 years ago next month), we’ve been driving the same route to Wyoming, whether from Cleveland’s east side or Chicago’s southwest side. This year, except for the last 30 miles or so, it was new territory. I’d planned to get up at 4 am, but woke earlier, heading out in the dark to cover just under 700 miles, a trip that would take over 10 hours. I don’t stop much with a goal of gas/bathroom stops coinciding. I had food packed, tea in my Contigo thermal cups, plenty of snacks, and the wonderful BBC radio “Lord of the Rings” production for the CD player. Incidentally, that recording has made the trip with us for almost all those years, first on tape, now on CD.

I didn’t see much scenery the first several hours, the sky only lightening around 5:30 am. I saw where a wildfire had devastated acres and acres and then it was through the White Mountains, onto I-40 (paralleling or overlapping with historic Rt. 66 in many place, and to Albuquerque, where my route turned north towards Raton, New Mexico just south of the Colorado border where I’d stay overnight.

Rain in this part of the country and at this time of year is scarce. We’ve been in Arizona since the end of March and have experienced only a couple “showers”, in quotes because there often not enough to measure. But past Santa Fe near Wagon Mound, there was more than the promise of rain, although most of it was to the west of me. It looked wonderful!

I could see the rain coming down in the distance. All these shots were taken with my iPhone while driving BUT with one hand firmly on the wheel and eyes on the road. It gives point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and also means lots of deleted shots when I finally stop, but I often get some good ones, too.

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The new view

Posted: March 31, 2020 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Friday afternoon we arrived at our new rental house in Gilbert, Arizona after a whirlwind of packing due to a move date that we advanced by almost three weeks due to the coronavirus. We didn’t want to have a problem leaving, so we packed the van and the car, loaded up the cooler with meatloaf sandwiches, apples, and other goodies, added sanitizer to be used at the motels. and hit the road. Three days later, we were here. A day and a half after that, our worldly goods arrived and are now sitting in the house and garage.

Yesterday morning I went out for a walk in my new world. It’s not the woman-in-the-middle-of-nature that I enjoyed at the park. It’s very different. But there are lots of paved walking paths like this and being out early, I didn’t see many people. It felt good to be outside walking after so many days of sitting. The sun had just come up and the day was lovely. Here’s a bit of what I saw. Excursions farther away will have to wait for now and hopefully for not too long. Until then, I’ll enjoy what’s here and keep exploring in the area. You’re welcome to come along for the journey.

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© janet m. webb

for One Word Sunday

On one of my last days in Arizona, my s-i-l and I hiked Wind Cave Trail, not far from Mesa in distance but, as you can see, not at all city.  It was the first really nice day in the nine I’d been there, so there were quite a few people on the steep, rocky trail.  That tan bit is one of the smoother parts of the trail.

We worked up quite a sweat walking up, but in the shelter of the “cave” (overhang), we quickly became chilly.  Emerging into the sun, we had a glorious view of the Phoenix area in the distance, the downtown area just to the left of the two little hills.  (If you click on the photo and then click again, you can see the buildings.)  The dotted line of white just above halfway is made up of the parked vehicles of the hikers.  There’s also quite a “forest” of saguaro cacti.  Although the view was great, we had to keep our eyes firmly on the trail, only looking while stopped.  You definitely don’t want to get off the trail and into the cacti without paying attention!