Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Kofa Mountains of Western Arizona

The Kofa Mountains of Western Arizona are some of the most rugged and remote in the entire state. The name "Kofa" is really an acronym for a mine in the area called the King of Arizona. There is one part of these otherwise largely inaccessible mountains that is frequently visited called Palm Canyon. It is the home of some of the only original native palm trees in the Southwest.

Monday, January 21, 2019

My Favorite Cactus

It is probably obvious why I relate to Cephalcereus senilis or the Old Man Cactus. But the real reason is that we had one of these beautiful cactus growing in our front yard for years. They get to be between twenty to thirty feet high. You can see one in the background. They have long hairlike spines and then some really long very sharp ones also. Sort of like me.

Cedar City, Utah LDS Temple

Cedar City, Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Cedar City, Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was announced in 2013 and dedicated in 2017. It sits on a prominent hill right off the freeway in Cedar City, a small university town in southern Utah. The day we stopped by was typical for me, cloudy, cold and very windy. We were just glad it wasn't snowing.

Friday, January 18, 2019

After the Snowstorm

When the snowstorms roll in from the northwest, you can see the snow like a curtain across the valley. Then the snow curtain covers the mountains to the north of us and slowly spins to the south until the snow starts to fall on our house. When the storm moves on east and the clouds lift, we can see the transformation of the mountains from brown to partially brown and white.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Prickly Pear Fruit

Prickly Pear is a family of cactus plants known as Opuntia. They range over most of the United States, even in very cold locations and on the Eastern Seaboard. Some of the plants have large edible fruit. However, the plants and fruit are very difficult to deal with because of the tine spines known as glochids. Here is an explanation from Wikipedia: Glochid.
Glochids or glochidia (singular "glochidium") are hair-like spines or short prickles, generally barbed, found on the areoles of cacti in the sub-family Opuntioideae. Cactus glochids easily detach from the plant and lodge in the skin, causing irritation upon contact. The tufts of glochids in the areoles nearly cover the stem surfaces of some cactus species, each tuft containing hundreds of glochids; this may be in addition to, or instead of, the larger, more conspicuous cactus spines, which do not readily detach and are not generally barbed.
If you have ever had contact with glochids, you will remember the experience. We have found one way to remove them is with athletic tape. The tape sticks to the spines and pulls them out but it is not a pleasant experience. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Circle of Waterlilies

Water lilies are in the plant family of Nymphaeaceae. Here is a brief explanation of the plants from Wikipedia: Nymphaeaceae:
Nymphaeaceae /ˌnɪmfiːˈeɪsiː/ is a family of flowering plants, commonly called water lilies. They live as rhizomatous aquatic herbs in temperate and tropical climates around the world. The family contains five genera with about 70 known species. Water lilies are rooted in soil in bodies of water, with leaves and flowers floating on or emergent from the surface. The leaves are round, with a radial notch in Nymphaea and Nuphar, but fully circular in Victoria and Euryale.
From my photos, you can probably tell that I love water lilies. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Busy at Work

Sometimes we think of nature as something in the background. But this busily working honeybee is certainly not a background phenomenon. Currently, our honeybee population is in a major crisis situation. For more than a decade, bees and other pollinators have been rapidly declining. Is this just one more background item to be filed away or is there some reason to start becoming more environmentally aware?