Friday, March 27, 2009


I've always planted daffodils at every place I've ever called home. Clearly, I've only had limited success with them in the desert. My lone bloom didn't emerge until the end of March which is about a month after they're supposed to bloom--or so I've been told.

The good news is that the javelina left it alone!

Note: If you're reading this on Facebook, click here for the original post with pictures!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Zodiacal Light

On the drive from Sedona to Flagstaff I saw the zodiacal light. If I hadn't just read about it in the local astronomy column the runs in the Arizona Daily Star, I'm sure I would have mistaken it for a moonrise or city lights. However, it was hours away from the moonrise, and there are definitely NO city lights on that drive. This is the time of year when you can see it in the west about two hours after sundown. That is if you're lucky enough to be somewhere without light pollution and clouds. How cool!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grand Canyon

As beautiful as ever.

My best side. (I won't speak for Carol.)

This is a Canyon perspective you don't often see. With all of the pine forest around, you don't realize the Canyon is there until you're right on top of it. I wouldn't want to be walking around at night without a good flashlight!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Drove Carol O'Donnell up to see Sedona. Got stuck behind a 6-car pile up (actually two 3-car pile-ups) on 10 so we got there later than we'd hoped. The town of Sedona is finishing up a huge road construction project that widened the main road through town and added rotaries. The traffic flow is much better since the last time I was there. Without traffic lights, there's nothing to obstruct a gorgeous view like this one of Courthouse Butte.

Only had time for a few galleries. Bought a glass piece for the "gallery wall."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Coyote spotting

I saw a coyote trotting down the back of the lot next to the privacy wall in the area we call the Javalina Highway. Of course, javalina aren't the only creatures who travel down this highway. I've also seen a bobcat walk through there. And now a coyote. (Coyotes always give you a double-take because at first glance you think they're a dog.)

Considering all of the cacti, palo verde, octotillo and other thorny plants that grow back there (almost everything that grows in the desert has thorns), I'm always amazed how quickly the critters travel the highway.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cactus wren nest

I watched a cactus wren build a nest in the yucca tree last week.

I've seen a cactus wren eating at the feeders, but I have not seen one back on the nest since it was built. I hope she comes back!

Fairy Dusters

Pink and red Fairy Dusters reached their zenith last week. According to the people who track these things, this is NOT a good year for wildflowers because of the sporadic rain last fall. However, I'm amazed at how the Sonoran desert has sprung to life with so many colorful flower displays.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

No daylight saving for AZ

Arizona exists in its own time zone. While the other 47 states in the continental U.S. move ahead one hour for daylight saving time, Arizona stubbornly refuses to switch. Hawaii doesn't spring ahead either, but it's so far detached from the mainland that not setting the clocks ahead one hour doesn't have the same impact as living part of the year in Mountain time and most of the year in Pacific time.

The "reasons" the locals give for not switching range from hilarious (the farmers prefer it) to pathetic (it's cooler this way).

First, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas are real farming states. They manage to cope with daylight saving.

Second, it's NOT cooler this way. I have no idea what math they use to make this one add up because the day itself doesn't change, only how the day is measured. Besides, Arizona doesn't have a monopoly on hot, sweltering days. It gets hot in Nevada, Utah and the South and Midwest have both heat AND sweltering humidity.

Besides, without daylight saving it starts to get light close to the uncivilized hour of 4:00 AM in the morning about mid-June.

And therein lies the answer to why Arizona does not follow daylight saving. Most Arizonans are in bed by 9:00 PM. With daylight saving, it stays lighter longer, and the locals would have to acknowledge that they go to bed at a time more suited for 9-year-olds than adults.