Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jake's Party

This is the 4th time we've done Peter Piper for Jake's birthday.
They do things a little differently now. Jake got to make his own pizza. He put on the food handling gloves.

And added his topping. Cheese.
Not much to making it, but it did turn out well.

Singing Happy Birthday.
We went with a cookie rather than a cake as that's what Jake prefers. 

These are going to be the coolest kids on the block!

So money really does grow on trees! 
We'll have to plant it with care and hope it grows...I've heard that if you pick these leaves they can burn a hole in your pocket.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Jake is 11!!

Since Krispy Kreme donuts gives a dozen free donuts on your birthday we've begun a little birthday tradition
Jake was even nice enough to share.

Presents time!

Early gift cards went to Legos.
and that was the least cheesy of the cheesy smiles.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some Interesting Cactus Pictures

I thought this was interesting as cacti don't really need supplemental watering. These healthy looking specimens are flowering nicely at Tovrea Castle.  I doubt the spigot is ever turned on for them, it just looks as though it might be the cause of their robustness.

This is way (WAY) north Phoenix in Deem Hills looking south.

This barrel was flowering nicely just this morning.

Barrels can look weird when stressed.  I don't think they have the same support structure as saguaros, but they can get to be 7 feet tall.

This little fishhook pincushion was blooming probably only a day or two after a summer monsoon rain.  Note the resurrection fern all greened up below it.

This dead saguaro frames a cholla and another young saguaro.

This large saguaro from Deem Hills is up the slope a bit and away from all the new developments - except the new trail that goes right past it.

But new or old, it seems that devlopment and saguaros are not good mixes.
The holes are very likely from gun shots long before the area below was even  graded for development.  This is also along the new trail, but we found out that the new trail followed an old foot path up the hill, so it is not so surprising to find this kind of damage. Not pleasant, either.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mesa (American) Gothic

American Gothic sculpture in Mesa.
I guess Mesa is attempting to be city which appreciates the arts, which in my opinion is a good thing.
Anyhow, you may or may not have seen the painting this is modelled from (I have had the privilege of seeing it), but do you have any idea how big this sculpture is?  Is it larger than life?

Oh yeah!

About two stories tall! Right on a corner in downtown Mesa.

This is a life-sized sculpture across the street.

and this one is kitty corner across the intersection.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hotter Than Blazes

115 (F) or 45+ (C) Either way you measure it = HOT
Looks like a beautiful day, and would be except for the incredible heat - or is it the humidity?
A nice breeze blowing makes it look even more like a nice day. Only this breeze is a hot wind - nothing cooling about it.  Think convection oven...

At least the end of the day signals a cooling off.  Even if it is only slight, it is cooler and that brings some relief.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


One of the Arizona C's (Copper, Citrus, Cattle, Cotton, and Climate) this cotton is growing at Pueblo Grande Museum.  I am fortunate enough to be able to work about half my shift there.  They are really hurting from City budget cuts and I help out wherever needed.  The demonstration garden is one place I'm helping...

Here is the garden with a 'living fence' of ocotillo behind it.  Irrigation sends water to each 'field' and out to a drain; it appears to be running uphill!

I just planted a hundred or two birdhouse gourds in these rows.  Should have plenty for projects by late November. 

Here is the cotton field.

Quite a large flower. (you knew I would sneak a flower picture in)

And the fluffy cotton waiting for harvest.

Check out my link to Pueblo Grande or friend it on Facebook!  There are always things coming up, and some very good, free lectures are among them.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fabulous 4th!

Went to the Diamondbacks v Dodgers and watched a horrible game - Dodgers 14 / D-Backs 1

But we really went for the fireworks. No hassle with parking, no standing around in the heat waiting for a couple hours. I thought it was a bit on the short side, but it was nice.

Not gonna bore you with text. Just sit back and enjoy. If you like one or two click on them to enlarge.

And when they start shooting off bunches together
you know the grand finale is at hand.
Listening to some great music didn't hurt anything either.

Jake's preferred 'fireworks' - Erik was pretty sick, so he missed this part of the fun.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hot Hike!

Took a hike and decided against better judgement to go the distance rather than shorten the hike. With temps quickly topping 105 (F) and heading toward 110+ it wasn't one of my better decisions.  Way too hot! But nice views!
Plenty of cholla & barrels which make for nice compositions.
The struggle of life & death.

Sharing spaces seemingly unfit for any kind of growth.

and the extreme coping skills - some oddity is causing this barrel to branch off in twos.

Of course, a little reminder that this is habitat unfit for humans - at least in the heat of the day. This turkey vulture was ready for casualties.

Frank Lloyd Wright House in Phoenix

Not too surprising to see FL Wright houses & buildings in Phoenix, but it is nice to see.

Here's one built near a small peak in a nice, small canyon

The house behind it sticks up over the peak, but just to show it is not part of he FLW house, here's  shot of it.  Kind of disjointed, art deco style or something.  Looks interesting, but I wonder how funcional it is to live in