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 […]


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? […]

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke (Gerum triforum), sometimes referred to as Old Man’s Whiskers, is a perennial wildflower. It get’s it’s name because after the flowers fade and the seeds form, long smoke-like seed tails become visible. I found this one growing in the Rocky Mountains near Ward, Colorado. It is in its pre-flower stage. Image copyrighted. Use […]

Little High-Country Jewels

  Yellow Stonecrop (Amerosedum lanceolatum) is a drought tolerant perennial which lives in the western half of North America at elevations from 5,000 ft. to 11,500 ft. As the name implies (sedum” from the latin “sedo” meaning “to sit,”), the plant likes to live (“sit”) on rocks or gravely well-drained ground. I came across these in northern […]

Easter Bonnets for your Easter Sunday

This image I created of some wildflowers seemed appropriate to post today, seeing as how they are called White Easter Bonnets. Have a wonderful day! Image copyrighted. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.

Bee Glowing in the Morning Light

It was a hot day at Tohono Chul Park in Tucson, Arizona. The bees weren’t about to start their pollen collection until they got a drink out of one of the fountains on the property. I love how this bee is back-lit by the sun and appears to glow. Image registered  with U.S. Office of […]


A Sharpshooter, or large leafhopper of the Cicadellidae family, forages for liquid on a leaf at Mt. Lemmon. The common name derives from their forceably squirting unused water and carbohydrates away from their bodies after extracting the trace nutrients. Image copyrighted. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.

Spotted Cucumber Beetle

Last weekend I took a ninety minute ride over to Willcox, Arizona and while exploring a field of sunflowers came across this tiny Spotted Cucumber Beetle. At first I didn’t notice it because they are so small. I was photographing the bees pollinating the flowers when I noticed the diminutive insects, which were about the size of a […]

Web Basics

This spider is a Western Spotted Orb Weaver (Neoscona oaxacensis). I came upon it as I was strolling through an outdoor Mexican pottery shop in Tubac, Az.   Like a zebra, the orb weavers each have their own unique pattern of spots.     Image copyrighted.  Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.

And the music plays on …

Four years ago today my father passed away. He was a piano and vocal music educator for forty-two years and for at least seventy-six of the eighty-two years his life spanned, he played the piano. His accomplishments included being the piano accompanist for the Von Trapp Family’s Stowe Singers in Stowe, VT. when he was just 19 years […]

Happy Feather Tree

My Feather Tree (Chilean Mesquite Tree) is in bloom. I’m happy. I have pampered three of these extremely slow-growing thorn-less mesquite hybrids from seed for about six years now and this one is only about two feet tall. They are a deciduous plant, so every winter they drop their leaves. Hearty to ten to fifteen degrees fahrenheit, they are usually […]

Didn’t Think I Would See Snow Today

Only a month into Spring and it’s suddenly gotten very hot. Our daytime high in Tucson is forecast for 101 degrees tomorrow, so today a friend and I chose the cooler air on Mt. Lemmon for our photo excursion in search of wildflowers, which we did not find, and insects, which we did. In addition to the millipede, sharpshooters, […]

Aeonium decorum

On a “macroing” excursion I saw this gorgeous Sunburst Aeonium (Aeonium decorum) in the nursery at Tohono Chul Park ( and was taken by the visual rhythm of this plant. I’m not a fan of baby  pink, but accenting the sage green and soft yellow, it is stunning. Aeoniums are members of Crassulaceae, in the succulent family. Most are native to […]

Bach’s Cactus Nursery

The other day I was with a friend at Bach’s Cactus Nursery and saw this gorgeous cactus flower in bloom. Though they have been in business forty-two years (since 1970), I had never visited the expansive five acres of nursery space and twenty-four greenhouses which sit on the ten-acre grounds of Dan and Diane Bach’s business. If you are in […]

Silly Succulent

My Uncle Louis is a cartoonist ( and I think he could make a wonderful cartoon commentary from this photograph of Hobbit Jade I made today. It is such an animated and cartoon-like plant, I’m  sure he could have great fun with it. Any use requires licensing from Martha Lochert.

Signs of Spring

Today I was gifted an adorable miniature cactus with these beautiful orange flowers. Though my macro lens makes them appear fairly monumental, they are diminutive blossoms smaller across than the size of a dime. They made this cold and rainy day a bit brighter. Thank you, my friend.   Image copyright Martha Lochert

Spring Chores of a Honey Bee

Spring will soon be upon us and already the cycle of life has begun again. The pollinators are extremely important in that cycle. Almond crops depend entirely on the honey bee for pollination at bloom time, while blueberries and cherries, are 90-percent dependent on honey bee pollination, according to the American Beekeeping Federation. This bee has been […]

He’s a fly not a bee …

On a recent “macro-ing” trip to Mt. Lemmon my friend and I encountered this unique-looking creature, which is a fly, not a bee. We spent a long time following this little guy from plant to plant trying to photograph him as he went about his business. This particular fly with the orange body and stiff protruding […]