Grasshopper – Chilling instead of Hopping

Well, I’ve been busy and ignored my blog for awhile … three months. My last post was in honor of the first day of spring. I guess now that it’s summer, it’s about time I post something! It’s been incredibly hot here the last few weeks – with afternoon high temperatures hitting 116! At least […]

Valentine’s Day – A Day of Love

It’s Valentine’s Day, but this day is not just for sweethearts. It is a celebration of love – for all who have a heart to give and receive love. May you share your love and accept love back on this and all days. http://www.MarthaLochertPhotography.com Image copyrighted. Use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.

Post-Election Beauty Moment

This election has been ugly and divisive. Others have been. Others will be. Social media allowed everyone to be a campaigner and push their opinions, and mis-information, which made it all the more ugly. Certain individuals felt they could somehow sway their “friends” by name calling, and basically, insulting their intelligence. Others voiced their opinions […]

Liken It To a Lichen

Just what is lichen? It’s the symbiotic union of algae and fungus, with fungus being the dominant partner. Its combined form is different from either the fungus or algae. Some varieties cling to rock surfaces and grow in a carpet-like state, while others branch out from the surface of damp wood in a more three-dimensional form. It […]

Out with the Old and In with the New

  Bees and other insects like cicadas have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies (exoskeleton). So when they are ready to grow, they molt. The process begins with them taking on air, water or raising their blood pressure. http://www.insectidentification.org/process-of-molting.asp Once the shell is detached from the muscles and internal organs, the insect can climb […]

Little Gems in the Woods

One of my favorite places is Muir Woods in northern California. Walking through the giant Redwood forest is grounding; Mother Nature is in charge. The beauty of this forest is its richness in both the large and the small inhabitants. That old figurative expression can be applied quite literally here; it is easy to actually “miss […]

Mountain Harebell

Summer wildflowers abound in Colorado. Some of the flowers are the same as we see in southern Arizona, but ours burn out by the beginning of May, since we are so much hotter, while the ones in Colorado are at their best in summer and into the fall. This is a Campanula routundiforia (Mountain Harebell). It grows […]

Grow Some Spearmint; Make A Mojito

This is the spearmint plant I have growing in a pot on my porch. The slightest movement of the leaves creates a wonderful aroma. I started growing it mostly as an experiment after seeing it for sale at my local nursery. I’ve always liked the smell of spearmint, but wasn’t sure what I would do with it. […]

This From The LEAST Risky Skin Cancer …

Wear your sunblock, kids … This is not the first time I have been cut into, and I’m sure it will not be that last, given that I am of Irish descent, but have lived my entire life in Arizona, where the duration of sunshine (in the Sonoran Desert in which Tucson sits) is second only […]

Only a “Face” a Mother Could Love

    I was watering my plants and found this on a kumquat leaf a few weeks ago. At first glance I thought it was a bird dropping. I am not certain, but I think it was a Common Mormon (Papilio polytes) Swallowtail butterfly in the making. If so, his ugly appearance as a caterpillar changed dramatically […]

Happy in the Heat

Dianthus barbatus, or “Sweet William” is part of a genus of 300 species, which includes carnations. Sweet Williams are short-lived perennials which were first noted in the English botanist John Gerald’s garden catalog in 1596, but Dianthus are native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. I like growing Dianthus because they are pretty hardy through […]

Like A Glass Bead Necklace

Another spider web photo for my friend Mary Ann taken at the Cactus Forest Trail by the Rincon Mountains in Saguaro National Park, which we accessed from the east end of Broadway. http://www.nps.gov/sagu/index.htm This one looks like a necklace or the lace overlay on a Victorian dress. It’s amazing that such delicate strands can support […]

Design Perfection

I followed my own advise from the previous blog post to get out and photograph the rain drops that were in abundance after our three days of rain. What I had not expected was a foggy morning, but more on that in an upcoming post. As I had mentioned in my previous post, with macro photography and the close proximity […]

Holiday Wishes

Whether you are with family and friends or spending the holidays by yourself, may you have a happy heart, love, laughter, good health and always, always, an appreciation for life. Make the most of every precious day you are given and treat others with that same respect for the preciousness of their moment in the […]

Lounging Lizard

According to Saguaro National Park, the diet of a Desert Spiny Lizard is insects, spiders, centipedes, lizards, and occasional plant material. So I guess they are part-time cannibals! Yikes! At least they are not venomous. Only two lizards in the world are venomous – the Gila monster (which we also have in Tucson) and the […]

Vinegaroon

When I was a kid there was an episode of Gunsmoke which opened with Marshall Matt Dillon describing how a law-breaker would be squashed like a vinegaroon under the boot of the law! I had no idea what one looked like back then; I just thought it was a funny word. Ever wonder what a vinegaroon looks like? […]