Thursday, May 13, 2021

Aloes in the desert

 

I find that many people think of Arizona as one huge desert but this is far from the reality. One of the most impressive places to visit in Arizona is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum located about an hour east of Phoenix on Highway 60 just south of Superior, Arizona. For many years, until we moved to Utah, my wife and I had a membership in the Arboretum but we make a point to visit when we return to Mesa from time to time. It has one of the most impressive collections of desert plants from around the world and may dramatically change your impression that all of Arizona is a barren desert. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Down the tulip path

 

With my background that comes from living in the low desert of Arizona, I associate Spring with cactus flowers. Now that I live in the mountains of Utah, I am beginning to associate Spring with tulips. Unfortunately, we can't grow tulips ourselves because the deer that live around us love to eat them. Every year the Ashton Garden at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah has a Tulip Festival. As you can possibly tell from my recent photos, this is a lovely Spring experience. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

The Heart of the Tulip

 


This flower is known as a parrot or fringed tulip. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of varieties of tulips in the world. Here is a summary of tulips from Wikipedia: Tulip

Tulips (Tulipa) form a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophytes (having bulbs as storage organs). The flowers are usually large, showy and brightly colored, generally red, pink, yellow, or white (usually in warm colors). They often have a different colored blotch at the base of the tepals (petals and sepals, collectively), internally. Because of a degree of variability within the populations, and a long history of cultivation, classification has been complex and controversial. The tulip is a member of the lily family, Liliaceae, along with 14 other genera, where it is most closely related to Amana, Erythronium and Gagea in the tribe Lilieae. There are about 75 species, and these are divided among four subgenera. 

The variety, color, and form of tulips are amazing.  

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Spring Flower Displays at the Ashton Gardens, Lehi, Utah

 

We love gardens and we love flowers. The Ashton Gardens is a relatively new garden with a huge variety of flowers, trees, and other plants. We have a membership so we can visit as many times a year as we would like. We also get the benefit of the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program that gives us access to many other gardens across the United States for no additional admission cost. I am also glad I have a digital camera because I can essentially take an unlimited number of photographs. 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Falling Water

 

Officially, there are 17,079 waterfalls in the United States. See List of Waterfalls in the United States. This is actually not one of them. This is a water feature at the Ashton Gardens in Lehi, Utah. However, it is more accessible and just a lovely as a "real" waterfall. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

Fosteriana and Lily Tulips

 

The purple tulips with the pointed petals are called Lily Tulips. The large red tulips are called Fosterianas. There are hundreds of varieties of tulips and each one has its own name. There is a whole world tulip culture and some of the bulbs selling for thousands of dollars. Historically, the most expensive flower was the Semper Augustus tulip, which sold for as much as a fine home along the best canal in Amsterdam during the 17th century.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Another Grand Canyon Photo

 

Whenever I visit the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, I take lots of photos. Most of these photos are of the Canyon itself. Does the world need another Grand Canyon photo? Yes. Recently, the coal-fired power plant near Page, Arizona was permanently shut down. This photo is from my first visit since the shut-down and the air is as clear as I have ever seen it and I have been going to the Grand Canyon for over 60 years. Now some photos show the Canyon with clouds or snow. These photos are usually on a day that appears crystal clear. But the day in this photo was perfectly cloudless and you will always see the natural blueness of the air. This is always true because the oxygen in the atmosphere scatters blue light. Here is the same photo without some of the blue in the air removed. 

Here is what it looks like with the blue removed entirely.