Posts Tagged ‘desert’

The new view

Posted: March 31, 2020 in Uncategorized
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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!

When I visited my parents in Arizona in January, we visited Carefree for the wine and art show. This desert landscape  was a bonus along the road on the way home.  To some, the desert is too spare and hostile.  I think it has a beauty all its own, one that allows distance and expansion.  While vertical shots work better in WordPress, the desert to me is horizontal and surrounding.

© janet m. webb 2016

In the desert as elsewhere, there are invasive plants. Often invasive species are beautiful, just as evil people can be the “nice neighbor.” I don’t know what sort of plants these are, but my mom told me how they began to take over the next door neighbor’s yard. Eventually he cut them back, although they’ll likely make another break for it. In the meantime, they do look beautiful, just right for Sally’s “Nature” theme, and something in the desert that doesn’t have spines.

© janet m. webb 2016

© janet m. webb 2016

Desert pincushion

Posted: January 26, 2016 in Nature
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The beauty of the desert and its flora and fauna never cease to amaze me. Of course, some parts of it are best viewed from a distance or with a zoom feature, but always very carefully!

© janet m. webb 2016

One of our best off-season adventures was many years ago when our girls were young.  Since we home schooled them, we could go on vacation when others were in school and that’s just what we did when we met my parents at Busch Gardens, Florida.  There were hardly any people there, so we we went from ride to ride with nary a wait in line, except a small one at the water ride.  The best story, though, was when our older daughter wanted to go on a ride that she was technically to small to board.  The attendant let us on and said, “If you need me to stop it, just put up your hand.”  When her eyes started looking like those of a cartoon character, almost rolling around, I asked the woman in the next car to put up her hand (as I was holding our daughter), and the ride was stopped.

Not long ago, our younger daughter and I went to Arizona, not the thing usually done in summer.  Many people, at least retirees, were gone for the summer–snowbirds, as they’re often called.  The weather started at a “mild” 90 or so, but each day got hotter and hotter.  Yes, the dry heat is easier to endure, but, yes, it’s still hot.  On a day when the mercury climbed over 100, we visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix where I came across someone indulging in sweets.  No snowbird this and obviously not bothered by the heat!

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I usually visit the desert in January or February, an enjoyable break from the cold, but not the ideal time for flowers.  Although hotter now, the desert is blooming, and every morning during my walk (a photographic walk, not an exercise walk), I took photo after photo of the beauty.  Among the array of glorious colors, purple was the least on display.  But there were examples of it, as you can see from my entry in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

The flowers on cacti aren’t always long-lived.  Sometimes in a day or two, they’re gone.  While they bloom, however, they’re often stunning.  The size of the flowers is sometimes incongruous:  the mighty saguaro has tiny flowers, while some much smaller plants have large, opulent blooms.  Whatever size or color, these flowers decorate an otherwise mostly neutral-hued landscape with bright splashes of color.  But beware of stepping back unawares while taking a photo or or trying to pick a flower.  They’re well-protected by a bevy of deadly thorns whose effects, if touched, can be rather beastly!

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