The ‘Don’t Touch Me’ World of Cactus Spines

Living in Arizona has taught me a few things about the Danger of Cactus Spines! While it is unlikely they would cause any serious reaction, the punctures can be painful! When I go on a ‘Nature’ walk, I carry a pair of pliers to pull cactus spines out of the soles of my shoes. When…

Arizona Bark Scorpion

Bark Scorpions are usually 2 – 3 inches long, are nocturnal, and eat crickets, roaches and other insects. Scorpions hibernate in the winter. This one was lurking in my broom closet, and unfortunately met an untimely ‘death by swiffer sweeper’. Scorpions glow in the dark if you shine a Black UV light on them, as…

Saguaro Cactus – Slow Growing Giants

Plant Profile Common Name: Saguaro Cactus Scientific Name: Carnegiea gigantea Native to: Sonoran desert – limited to southern Arizona Growth: all growth occurs at the tip of the cactus. The rate of growth is very slow. Under natural conditions it may take 20 years to attain one foot in height. By age 50 it could…

A Mountain Bluebird in Utah

Bluebirds have taught me a few things. First, the more you think you know, the more you have to learn. Second, never say never because they will fool you every time! Third, they have taught me to stop sweating details in my life and learn to enjoy the simple things. There are things far greater…

The Prickly Ocotillo – I Wish Mine Would Grow Leaves

There are plants on the Arizona hillsides that look like bunches of spiny crooked dead sticks. They are the Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens). The photo above is of my plants. They are leafless. Small 2 inch leaves will grow from the stems when there is enough moisture. They may lose these leaves, and then sprout new…

Monarch Butterfly Collage

I made this Monarch Butterfly Collage with 5 photos. The first, and background layer, was a photo of painted daisies. I gave it a textured filter. The remaining four photos were close-ups of a single Monarch Butterfly. I put those photos into 4 layers, gave each of them a border, and positioned them on top…