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Thursday, January 31, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

January 2, 2013.  Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

I took lots of photos with the new Sony Too, almost 400.  Many have been and will be showing up on my blog, Reflection's Flora and Fauna.  Follow the links for the previously posted photos as you find them below.

Just outside the entrance gate is this fine specimen of a crested saguaro.  You can learn a bit about the crested saguaro here.

Saguaro Skeleton photo is here on Flora and Fauna.

A view of the walkway and gardens.

There was a fascinating display of minerals and rocks and stuff.  The room was dark, the display behind glass, difficult to photograph.

Below:  This is azurite, from Bisbee, Arizona.

The Puma Mountain Lion is here.

I found this large egg laying on the ground near the walkway, looks fresh to me.  It is twice the size of a chicken egg, give or take.  The only "bird" that I was aware of that was nearby would have been a wild turkey.  Looks to me as if someone had a good meal??  But, WHY was this on the outside of the exhibit areas on the walkway?

Of course, I am always looking for fences:

Sculpture of what I interpret to be a prickly pear on the fence.  Photo does not do justice, no way!

The American Kestrel is here.

Black-Tailed Prairie Dog.

Big Horn Sheep.


Still to come, gray fox, fairy duster and some I have not worked on yet.  In the meantime, here is a totem pole cactus.  I really love the shape of this one!

There are still a number of photos to review and edit and post to Flora and Fauna, so, stay tuned.  So for now, I'll close this wonderful visit to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum with Man having a rest and enjoying the view and the sun, with a saguaro skeleton in the background, and all that BLUE sky!

OK, I lied, how bout just ONE more, with a bucket load of color?  A barrel cactus.

* I will update the links on this post as I add to Flora and Fauna posts.  Come back soon.

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Gray Fox on February 1, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Fairy Duster on February 2, 2013.

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Organ Pipe Cactus on February 3, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  A most unusual Agave on February 4, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Sugar Sumac on February 5, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Scarlet Sage on February 6, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Hooker's Evening Primrose on February 7, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Long Spined Prickly Pear on February 8, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Beaver Tail Cactus Nopal on February 9, 2013

Added to Flora and Fauna:  Javelina on February 10, 2013


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Saguaro National Park, East

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

December 29, 2012  ::  Saguaro National Park, East.  On the east side of Tucson, we found the saguaros to be larger, with more arms.  I am sure it must have something to do with age, weather, rain, etc.

Here at the visitor's center I tried to catch J inspecting this very nice and tall specimen.  Seems I cut off the top of the saguaro.  Yep, they are big!  LOL

A vista of multi-armed saguaros.  Seems most have many arms.

I think this is one saguaro, with MANY arms!  Can you count them??

This is a gila woodpecker.  He was sitting on top of this saguaro and was a long way away.  Thank you Sony Too for the capture.

New arm buds (my term, not sure what the correct term may be):

Thank you J & D for taking this photo of Man and Carol and one nice Saguaro.

Baby saguaros grow under other desert trees for protection.  This was the best example of a saguaro nursery I saw.  All sizes, too many to count, there were at least another 5 or more around back.

Again, thanks to Sony Too.  This made use of just about all of the zoom.  Following a bird flying with that much zoom, well, I was well pleased to capture this.  Believe it is some kind of hawk, if you know the ID, please let me know.

We took a walk along the Desert Ecology Trail where we found this nice prickly pear.  There are many different types of prickly pear, as D and I would discover over the next week or so.  We lost count on the number of different ones we were finding.

I always love the skeleton remains of flora in the desert.  The washed out colors, the textures, the shapes, they always speak to me, draw my attention.

Here is a fishhook barrel cactus that had fallen over, not a lot of root structure there is there?

And, I never tired of photographing the hooks either!

Another beautiful vista of saguaros, almost as far as the eye can see.

As the day was ending, we found shadows enhancing our views, again, saguaros fill the view, but, in the very back you will see civilization, homes.  Bet they have nice views from their decks and porches.

The last photo of the day, golden with the setting sun colors.

There are a few choice pulloffs and short hikes in Saguaro National Park East that would make for outstanding sunset photos given a few clouds.  Maybe sometime - - -


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Titan Missile Museum

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

December 28, 2012, Titan Missile Museum, near Sahuarita, Arizona.

Ok, folks, here is the deal.  I wanted to go, I wanted to see, I did not understand 90% of it, but, it was sooooooooooo cool!  LOL  No techy talk here, just a few photos for you to see.  So, go to the web site, read, and maybe you will understand what I did not.  But, it was sooooooooooo cool!

This is one way to get underground.

Some of the youngsters may not know what this is.  A ancestor of your cell phone, that's what!  With wires to keep it in place, not much portability here.  Connectivity, yes, portability, nope, not much.



From the bottom looking up, what those keys and buttons could have sent skyward, wracking widespread powerful damage.

And, from the top looking down.

This is the only Titan Missile site left intact.  54 Titan II missile sites were on alert across the United States from 1963 to 1987.  The other 53 were dismantled and destroyed.

If you ever happen to be in the Tucson area, you should drive about 25 miles south of town on 19 and visit.  Even if you do not understand it, it is sooooooooooo cool!  

* At the end of this post I wanted to say, BOOM!, But, I did not have the nerve!  Cannot be scaring off my readers!

Monday, January 28, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Saguaro National Park, West

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

December 27, 2012.  Saguaro National Park, West.  This is an interesting national park in that there are two sections, one to the west of Tucson, one to the east.  I found them to be the same and yet different.  My take, was that the saguaro in the west portion of the park were tall and had less "arms".    That said,  you will see photos of multi-armed saguaros in this post.  So, you will have to believe me on this.  LOL

There is a article on the saguaro on Wikipedia, which states the saguaro can grow to over 70 feet in height.  The article claims they must be 75 years old to grow an arm, I have heard other time frames, but, needless to say, they don't get to this size quickly.  There is a very interesting article here about the park and the saguaro.  The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum also has a great page of facts on the saguaro, including the fact that "A 10 year old plant might only be 1.5 inches tall".

According to this web page (link broken as of October 2018):

"To the native Tohono O’odham people, the saguaro cactus is considered an honored relative that sustains them both spiritually and physically."

(The page has more interesting information, but, reluctant to challenge the fair use gods, I will just have to let you roam over there yourselves, have a read and then come back to Reflections.)

This large saguaro specimen is actually outside the park, not all arms grow up, some almost seem to embrace you. (Note the blue skies.)

In the park, everywhere you look, more and more saguaros.  (Note, the skies are not blue any more, they are heavy and rain laden.)

Skies blue again, as we moved around the park, conditions changes.  This is a large specimen, multi-armed.

Considering how slow these plants grow, this one is rather amazing.

A fishhook barrel cactus spent bloom.

This is the end of a saguaro arm, any blooms will be here at the end.  Because this plant had a low sweeping arm, we can see what is usually found at the "top".

And, this is what a jumping cholla can do to you, jump on and stay put.  Hint, a comb will "brush" them off.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Loosing Our Travel Companions

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

As we knew would happen at some point, we are sadly parting our travel paths with dear friends J & D.

J & D are going the other direction, continuing on till they hit the left ocean. We are going to miss them so much. The dry wit, the deep research, the tidbits of info they toss out our way, the wise choices, the suggestions as to where the next Flying J is! LOL

J & D at Sabino Canyon near Tucson, we will miss watching D find the most interesting things to photograph.  We will miss J and his studious ways.

They have both been gracious beyond the call of duty, even when I blew up during the Discover card freezeups.  These are the kinds of friends that go looking around a campground to see if there are other spots we could both move into when I was distressed at the barbed wire in Tucson.  After setting up for an hour or so they come back with alternative sites.  What good friends.  No, we did not move, I kept the blinds down and just did not look at that stinkin' barbed wire.

D and I would fight for photo ops!  LOL   At times we would get giggling, till we had to assume the crossed legs positions.  All the gals will get that!  We decided that was our code to each other.  When things got too funny to talk, we just crossed our legs.

Man and J solved problems together, two analytical minds, the problems did not stand a chance!  J the man who has the eagle eye for solving and finding caches and my MIA earring.  That earring better not fall out again without J to find it for me!

To the perfect gentleman and his wonderful wife, THANK YOU!  It has been a great experience.  And, so much more, like the peanut butter pie!

You taught us much, no manner or amount of thank you will suffice.  Safe rides, and enjoy the left coast, cannot wait to see the photos!

We laughed, and laughed some more.  Crossing my legs, one more time.

THE Trip, THE Encore' :: Tucson, Home for the Holidays

Copyright 2013, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

December 12, 2012 to January 12, 2013.  HOME.

For one month around the holidays I like to stop, breath, clean up, fix up, catch up, nest, decorate for the holidays and stay off the road over the Christmas and New Years events. This year we chose to do the nesting in Tucson.

The office entrance, Lazy Days, Tucson.  Pricey, yes, but, power was included and we did use a HUNK o power.  We were treated well by all staff, service, outstanding.  Clean park, centrally located to all we did in Tucson, shopping or sightseeing.

My friends at Facebook may remember my grumbling about the barbed wire.  It surrounded the entire park, even tho it was a gated park.  My desk faced this lovely view, so I did not open the blinds in the back of Tana for one full month.  I hung a holiday decoration at the desk window, at least I had something to look at besides this.  SIGHHH  The only downside of this park.

That said, we did have a lemon tree on our lot.  Free to pick all the lemons you wanted.  In the park there were also grapefruit and orange trees.  We could pick from any tree on any lot that was not occupied.  And, we did!  The oranges were sweet and juicy and totally wonderful!

A bowl of oranges, we still have some we picked, yummy at breakfast.

The sunsets were pretty good, and a few palm trees too!

We celebrated Christmas and New Years with our traveling friends J & D.  Christmas we cooked, New Years we cooked, New Year's Eve, we splurged and went to the restaurant in the park.  OHHH MYYYY. It was yummy and then some!

D had Tropical Seared Salmon for her main event:

J and I had Grilled New York Steak:

Man had the Chicken a la Mole:

Dessert, Flan de la Casa

And, we all had a glass of bubbly!

It was a pretty good way to start the New Year.