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Plants and Flowers

California Crested Cactus

I am back from a bittersweet trip to the midwest. It was filled with a wedding, 2 high school graduations and many reminders of the family and friends I still have there. I came back with very few photos that would interest you – most of them are of people you don’t know so I thought I would post this picture of a small crested cactus that I spotted while walking along the canals of Venice, CA. I first posted about crested cacti awhile ago so you can imagine my delight when I happened across this one.

Sometimes you can find the best things when you aren’t looking for them. I’m pretty sure that’s a lesson in Zen I just wrote. 🙂

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Spring in the Desert

Spring in the desert is always an amazing time of year. My backyard this year has been the host of several Say’s Phoebes. I think they were originally looking to nest in the light fixture of the fan on my patio. I can hear their distinctive calls all day long.

Out at Magpie’s the other day I feasted on the spring bounty that was happening in her yard and practiced some iPhonography.

Finch eggs.

A cactus bloom.


The saguaro and ocotillo that I love visiting this time of year.

Today is rare cloudy day in the desert. We even had a bit of rain this morning. I am trying to remember to enjoy each and every moment because it is a gift, and once it’s gone is gone forever.


We Interrupt This Program For A Word From The Desert

Great Argentine Cactus

OK, back to the beach…..


Flowers Everywhere

Whew, there really isn’t much going on around here – I guess because of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up ALREADY. The weather is beautiful, and we even had some glorious clouds this weekend. The most exciting thing I could find going on was a remote-controlled boat race. Any of you who have been around me for very long know how much I like boats, but this was purely pathetic – just a few old guys and their little dinghys sailing around a lake even I could swim across. So, that was a short trip and as I got home I was reminded about one of the resolutions I haven’t kept this year which was to try to shoot more macros and flowers. Since the year is almost over I decided to walk around the side of the house and see if my rose bush was blooming.

This was more challenging than usual because I had a fairly new camera and a new lens that for some reason has turned out to be a bugger to work with. I can’t decide if I don’t like doing macros because I suck at it or if I suck at doing macros because I can’t do them. Anyway, here’s the same rose with the soft focus filter. I really love the filter which is kind of odd because I wouldn’t describe myself as “soft” (unless we’re talking about my mid-section!), but I guess there’s nothing wrong with trying to kick your way out of the box sometimes.

For what it’s worth, here are two sharp flowers and one fuzzy flower to start your Thanksgiving week. I guess I better keep practicing. (Advice is always appreciated!)


‘Tis The Season

Here we see a cactus, a tree and some mistletoe fighting for a small spot of desert land.  Contrary to popular belief, mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant and can kill trees that are heavily infested with it.

Wikipedia only has this to say about the custom of kissing under the mistletoe:

According to ancient Christmas custom, a man and a woman who meet under a hanging of mistletoe were obliged to kiss. The custom may be of Scandinavian origin. It was described in 1820 by American author Washington Irving in his “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon”:

“The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”

Goodbye to Summer

“Summer is like the ultimate one-night stand.. hot as hell, totally thrilling, and gone before you know it.” ~Unknown



A-maize-ing

Magpie said this was maize. I wouldn’t know so I’m taking her word for it!

This is a photo I took with my new camera! It’s an Olympus Pen E-PL2, and the photo came SOC using one of the nifty built in art filters. It is one of the micro four thirds cameras I told you about it. I finally got to really play with it this weekend when Magpie and I went out photo shooting. I am in love with this camera! If it were another man, I would be tempted to leave my husband for it. 🙂