Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A long tail with a surprise at the end

I know this plant only as "Donkeytail". Four years ago, after my mother in law passed away, I scrounged a few 1 or 2-inch pieces from a withering plant in her yard. It has lived and grown (and grown) on my front porch ever since, mostly ignored. But the other day I noticed something new about this plant:

Look, Grandma!

Cactus and wildflower pictures

Just when you thought I had finally put all my desert pictures to rest, here's a link to the botanical ones on Flickr.

Friday, April 25, 2008


We stopped here just briefly on the way to Joshua Tree. Jerry had memories of visiting when he was a little boy. It was never a real town, just a movie set.

Jerry decided it wasn't as magical as he remembered. I found it rather boring, but somewhat picturesque.

Ah, purple cactus. How nice.

Ultimate cactus planter

Desert junque collection. It seems that people in the desert display an inordinate amount of junk in their yards.

But it can be kinda fun to look at.

100 posts. Hang me upside down

I wonder if this could help my chronic back pain?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Nothing too spectacular. There's a single "banana" from a "string of bananas" plant that I hope I can propogate. A couple of tiny cactus pads that may or may not grow, and a bunch of stuff I already have.

Chin cactus then and now

A couple of years ago:


I hope it will still be OK.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sneak Preview

I was at the arboretum today, getting ready for my duties in the Childrens Garden tomorrow. The whole arboretum was chaotic with people setting up their booths and putting their merchandise on display. So of course, I took a little time to get a sneak preview of the vendors.

I especially like to see the cactus and succulent displays. There's one company that comes every year with a very impressive collection. Lots of blooms. The first time I saw them (several years ago), I whipped out my camera, but the nasty saleslady told me not to take pictures. So every year I make it a point to take pictures of her cacti. When she's not looking, of course.

I don't know if I'll have time to take any pictures during Green Scene itself. I've tried in previous years to take candid shots with all the visitors walking around, but they were disappointing. But come Monday, I will be back, in the very spot where the cacti and succulent booths will have vacated, leaving behind a few choice gleanings for me to find.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Silly, but true

I have no business wasting my time with this, but hey, when has that ever stopped me?
This is me as a little kid, some time in the early '60's, playing in my backyard. Notice my standard summer outfit. I had a bunch of these loose-fitting summer sundresses we called "shifts". I lived in shifts and thong sandals all summer. Notice I was already living the "Bad Hair Life", even then. And notice the teeth.

I've loved the movie Cars since it came out a couple years ago. But I can't help seeing the undeniable resemblance between me and Mater.

Desert sunset view

Hard to believe it's already been a week since I came back from my little desert trip. I really liked this view out the back door, the contrast of the warm tones of the interior and the chilly blue sky. The wind was howling outside when I took this shot.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but one of the many weird things I like is what I call "window vingnettes". Mostly they're views of illuminated interiors seen from outside (which makes evening walks a little more fun) but this inside-looking-out view works for me too.

I still have lots of pictures to upload. I'm trying to post at least a few a night. I've gotten a few bugs posted, but I have lots of flowers and cacti to post as well, so stay tuned.

More flying, uh, things

Whirlpool (2008) - Swans
Uploaded by joecool85

I was looking for this commercial the other week to go along with the flying penguins in this previous post. Thanks, Donna, for finding it for me.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Our Adobe Retreat

I made a digital scrapbook page for our desert getaway. I have been quietly fascinated with digital scrapbooking for some time now, but I was never really sure what to do. Slowly, I have been collecting ideas. This is my first attempt, using only pictures from our trip, altered as desired. Of course, I have many more pictures to post, of flowers and bugs and such. I just don't feel like organizing them yet. It was "easier", but not necessarily less time consuming, to just take a few pictures and play with them, with the pleasing results above.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Flying penguins, etc.

In the last couple of days, these videos have been making the rounds on both TV and the Web. The first one is a British commercial.

The next one has actually been around awhile, but has suddenly become really popular:

I think between the 2, I like the penguins better, even though it's just fantasy, or maybe because it's fantasy. It's just delightful. I can imagine the joy the penguins would feel to be able to fly. It's fun, and (I'm fairly confident,) no penguins were harmed during the making of the commercial.

The elephant video is real. I looked around on the Web, and learned that in Thailand, elephant camps are big tourist attractions. They perform, give rides, and many are actually trained to paint. And not just random swipes of color across the paper. They're making recognizable images! They manipulate their paintbrushes with purpose and dexterity, to the delight of the paying audience.

On the one hand, this adds a new level to what I already know about elephants' intelligence, and with it, a greater respect for these creatures. But at the same time, I can't help feeling that these elephants are aware of their captivity and that they are being forced to perform actions that they would never undertake of their own free will. That makes me feel a little sad for them.