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Monday, April 19, 2010

Finally, After Five Years

About five years ago, we were given a non-descript little cactus in a medium-sized tupperware container. We were told the cactus had amazing red blooms. Although most of our front yard is landscaped with native plants, we didn't have any cactus, so we kept the little guy going in its tupperware for awhile, and a few years later moved it up to a much larger planter once the roots cracked through the brittle plastic container. Year after year we patiently waited for the fabled red blooms, wondering if we were giving the right amount of water, or if we needed to fertilize the cactus due to a lack of nutrients in the planter. Finally this spring, we were pleasantly surprised with what initially looked like some sort of parasitic growth on the cactus spines. The cactus is now in full bloom with nine red blossoms, and they are truly magnificent!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Flowers at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, AZ

This "winter's" (does Phoenix have a winter?) heavier than normal rainfall has made for an exceptional wildflower season this spring. We drove out to Boyce Thompson Arboretum to see what was in bloom, and found globemallow, lupine, poppies, and penstemon along the way (not to mention some perturbed cows that got caught in the cholla), as well as climbing roses and yucca at the arboretum itself.

Granite Dells and Rocamadour Bed & Breakfast, Prescott, AZ

Amanda and I took a quick break to escape Phoenix and explore the Granite Dells of Prescott. We had driven through the area on several occasions, but never stopped to actually explore. We found a wonderful bed & breakfast, Rocamadour, in the heart of the rocks between Willow and Watson Lakes. Hosts Mike and Twila Coffey are very knowledgeable of all things Prescott, including the best places to hike and dine. They are also accomplished landscape photographers, and have many of their beautiful prints of Arizona on display and for sale. We highly recommend a visit before the weather starts to warm up!

We also took a detour on the way home and toured architect Paolo Soleri's project Arcosanti. They offer free tours of this experimental arcology every hour.