We are not the first 'Gronseths' to make it to Arizona, but we are the first from our immediate family.
Dan - I do most of the blogging, photos, artwork you'll see. Came from Wisconsin to Arizona in 1986 after a bicycle trip to the lower 48 states. I've been a park ranger since the end of 1988.
Karen (Bleeker) - Karen came from South Dakota to Arizona in 1989. She has been a teacher and a teacher trainer. We met here in Arizona and were married in 1990.
Erik - Erik came along in 1996. He is pretty smart and likes math, reading, playing the Wii and watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Jakob - Jakob was born in 1999, the last of the 'old millenium' Gronseths - at least amongst our immediate family. Jakob loves people and can seldom stand to be alone for any length of time.
I'll start with this agave stalk since I mentioned that sometimes they get plants and seeds growing on the stalk and here is proof:
The Totem Pole Cactus is an interesting one.
It is an abberant, or monstrose, form of the Senita and is spineless. They are rare in the wild but are easily cultivated, so now they are fairly commonplace as landscape plants. To the right is evidence of how easily cultivated these are.
Here's a close up of the stem and absence of spines.
Quite the opposite is the Teddybear Cholla (aka Jumping Cholla). It has a pale yellow flower, but in this picture I was focused on the bird skeleton inside. (Click it or any picture to see larger)
I understand that roadrunners will hang snakes and lizards from cacti in order to be able to come back at another time and have another meal - other scavengers won't be so quick to snatch it away. I am not certain, but I would think it makes sense, that roadrunners also eat small birds.
Here's a nice shot of the flower and a couple of buds.
This is an unusual pink flower from a Santa Rita variety.
I have some Santa Ritas out front that have yellow flowers with red centers. I would imagine that many cacti have been cross-pollinated over the years to produce a large variety of unique cacti. I also have no doubt the practice continues and we'll see new and unusual varieties for years to come. Look how many different roses have been produced over the years!
Here's a Prickly Pear I planted from a cutting a month or two ago. Nice reward.
This Cholla flower is a deep pink with a waxy coat on the petals that make it shine in the sunlight.