Sunday, October 30, 2011


Triolet is a little known poetic scheme (Karen and I hadn't heard of it). Jake had a book of poetry to do over the weekend and did a pretty good job of it.  Once it comes back, I will scan in his work as there is artwork with each.  He ended up with 6 different types of poems. 

I thought this one was the most difficult of the six styles, so I had to play with it myself.  This is what I came up with (no artwork with mine).  No too bad for not having written poetry since gradeschool. 

God's will for us is right and just.
Please, Lord, please don't let me forget
We come from and return to dust.
God's will for us is right and just.
He will be glorified through Alzheimer's fog; I know He must.
So many things in this life I will never understand, yet
God's will for us is right and just.
Please, Lord, please don't let me forget!

I think it speaks for itself, my Mother-in-law is suffering from Alzheimer's and it took my grandmother many years ago. I am certain it touches many, many families.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Not the best carving this year. Those are supposed to be tongues sticking out.

Looks more like they're chewing on something.

Friday, October 28, 2011


It shouldn't be very surprising, but every so often I'm reminded desert plants have nasty thorns!

Two thorns in the foot. I only felt one.

First one went in at an angle that didn't reach my foot.

The second one got me! 

These were from a mesquite tree.  Back in the day, goodness, already 23 years ago, I had a sturdy work boot I also hiked in. Heavy but strong and with a thin layer of metal to prevent thorns (or probably nails) from penetrating the sole.  Seemed to hold up better than these boots, but then it was well over double the going rate for your average work boot.  Now the $100 hiking boots are low end, but that's all the City will reimburse us in a given year for boots.

Another Hike

This one on the 'Freedom Trail' also known as the Circumference Trail and Trail 302 in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. 

A lower view toward downtown Phoenix

Another downtown view from much higher.

On the back side of the trail looking west.

A little bit later and higher up again.

Finished well after dark, so I will have to do this one again to see what I missed!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pearls Before Swine

Got to meet Stephan Pastis at Changing Hands Book Store tonite.  He gave a power point presentation which was pretty fun.  Then the lines for the signing - I was group D, so pretty much waited a long while.  No one was pushy or upset, and he is a super nice guy.

He doesn't look as old as he draws himself, but he does like to wear his cap backwards.

I guess he pretty much drew Rat in everyone's copies. (*Click* on the scan above and it will go to the daily strip)

And he took time to pose with everyone.
What does Pastis think of
ha, ha, this came out of today's strip!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Summit Hike

I hiked up an unnammed summit today. Met a lot of people on this unofficial, unnamed, unsustainable (steep) trail, so it is no secret.

After heading up the old dirt road scar, the trail starts and heads up between these two giants. Unfortunately, one is already dead.

Not too far up (it is quite steep) the view is already spectacular.

Barrel cacti do not generally clump like this one right on the edge of the trail.

 Don't know the cause of all this damage, but it shows how tenacious these cacti are.

Side-blotched lizard scampered across and stood still long enough for me to get this quick shot.

The view from the top is very nice. I can see my house from here. Or I could see it if it weren't for the dust in the air.  I would guess our house is just right of center - maybe just left of Camelback.

Another great view. The Superstitions are lit up by the setting sun.

Dust in the air does make for some better sunsset shots.

This tiger rattlesnake is just uncoiling (after I passed him in the trail) and heading for cover.  I heard a couple small rattles turned and thought I saw a very small rattler.  This one is well over 2 and a half feet long and I must have passed within a foot or so of where it was coiled up!  Tigers are very thin, and their heads aren't a large when compared to other rattlers.  Apparently frequently sighted in PMP, but it was my first tiger rattler.
 This one didn't like my taking pictures too well.  It did continue moving away from the trail, so I felt better about leaving it alone.

 Part of my job is naming trails, so if this one becomes an official trail, I am thinking of going for Vulture Peak Trail.  There was a vulture crying as it flew around the summit as I approached - thought that might be a good name.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Saguaro Down

I am certain that this saguaro was standing upright on Wednesday evening. By Friday it had fallen over. Fortunately, no one was messing around under it when it fell.
Pretty much rotted at the base. Quite possibly a transplanted saguaro which was buried too deep, although it seemed healthy enough until recently.

 Several arms on one side - perhaps they may be salvagable.

Here's a saguaro cross-section.  It is high up near the end, so the circle of ribs is hardly noticable. In case you ever wondered what a saguaro looks like on the inside, here it is...

 Four arms - the very top had a hole so close to the top that it wasn't worth trying to save.

 They are planted in a lightly shaded structure in order to try to get them to root out.
We'll know if they made it in about 6 months to a year.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Scampi Growing Quickly

He was 1.1 pounds when we picked him up from the shelter.  One week later he was 2.4 pounds, and a couple weeks after that he was 4.1 pounds and growing. 

 Trying to sleep here.
Enough with the flash already! 
Maybe if I try a different posititon... 
Oh yeah, this is it! 
Wake me up when it's snack time. 
Or maybe I'll skip snack and sleep straight through to dinner.

Hyena from the Lion King

Complete with tail! Spirit Week at school and Erik's group did a number from the Lion King.  Erik has decided that acting will not be his future profession.

Agave Roast

This is an horno, or river rock-lined cooking pit. 

Step one, clear the rock cover.

Step 2 dig out the dirt and coals from last baking session.
Step 3 light the fire!
And burn until there is a very large bed of coals to do the cooking.

Start in the afternoon and finish after dark. Set down a layer of greens (agave leaves work fine) before wrapping the agave in wet burlap and setting on the bed of coals.

Cover with more greens and dirt to keep in the heat.   THEN start up another fire over top of all that and build up a smaller bed of coals over the agave before covering it with dirt.

Wait a couple days and we'll see how it looks...

Sunday, October 9, 2011