Monday, June 29, 2009

Cactus Monday

I thought I'd post this today since it's Cactus Monday. This is a buckhorn cholla bloom, photographed in the East Mojave Desert in early June. The buckhorn cholla is a particularly thorny cactus that I tend to avoid at all costs, but it has absolutely gorgeous blooms.

Be sure to check out the beautiful art and photos posted for Cactus Monday at Teri's Painted Daisies.

"He who wants a rose must respect the thorn."

~ Persian Proverb

Thursday, June 25, 2009

But wait, there's more...

Well, it turns out my husband had his camera in hand while I was playing in the pond, so I thought I'd share this amusing scene of me knee-deep, with Mom and Sadie supervising.

And then a wider view of those very happy lotus pads...

Oh, and another shot of the smallest helper...

A daughter is a little girl who grows up to be a friend.

~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Water Lily

We visited my parents in Santa Barbara over the weekend and I am only now getting around to looking at the photos I took. I had fun walking around in my mom's reflection pond, wearing her hip waders to get closer to the water lilies. When I was growing up and my grandparents were still living in this house (where my mom grew up), the pond was a dark, murky mess. When my parents moved in several years ago, my mom cleaned it out and planted water lilies and a lotus. Now it's a tranquil, reflective spot in the garden, admired by everyone who wanders by.

When was the last time you spent a quiet moment just doing nothing - just sitting and looking at the sea, or watching the wind blowing the tree limbs, or waves rippling on a pond, a flickering candle or children playing in the park?
~ Ralph Marston

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tarantula Hawk

During our trip to the desert a couple weekends ago, we stopped to take some photos along a sandy wash. I stumbled upon this scene—a tarantula hawk very busily going from blossom to blossom on this desert milkweed. These are one of the few insects to which I have an absolute aversion (and after reading about their powerful stings, that seems wise), but since this one was so obviously engrossed in his feeding, I got up close and watched. I have to admit, they're beautiful. Those veined rust-orange wings. That irridescent blue! And check out the curled antennae.

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
~ Bertrand Russell

Monday, June 15, 2009


I stumbled across a photo contest at Gardening Gone Wild. Since the subject is roses and I am always snapping photos of mine, I thought it would be fun to enter.

I took this photo just the other day. This is my Brandy rose, which I adopted years ago from a neighbor who couldn't take it with her when she moved. She wanted it to have a happy home, so I gladly accepted. It lives in a container and has made a couple moves with me. It never ceases to delight.

These two photos are of our French Perfume rose. My husband and I call this the "Grandma Rose" because we bought it in honor of his grandmother, who adored roses. We think of her often as we enjoy its heavenly scented blooms.

I'd rather have roses on my table
than diamonds on my neck.
~ Emma Goldman

Cactus Beauty in Bloom Slideshow

Someone sent this to me recently. The photos of cacti blooms are absolutely stunning. Hope you enjoy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Desert Sky

I don't participate in Skywatch Friday like so many of my favorite bloggers do, but since it is Friday and I was just looking at this photo, I thought I'd share. This was taken while the dogs and I were on our evening walk last Saturday in Goffs, California. The perfect ending to a perfect day.

Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dance of the Bees

We spent a wonderful long weekend in the East Mojave desert. We enjoyed astonishingly perfect weather, wildlife sightings, and bountiful blooms. I'm still trying to get around to tinkering with photos, but I did steal a few moments to create this little "bee movie." Seems someone else is really enjoying the blooming cacti too.

Let us dance in the sun,
wearing wild flowers in our hair.
~ Susan Polis Shutz

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sweet Alyssum Surprise

Mother Nature can be quite the trickster. The other day I was snapping "bee's view" shots of various flowers in the garden. When I later opened them on my computer, I noticed something in this sweet alyssum that I hadn't seen when I was taking the photos. See the funny blob that I circled here? Well, in one of the other shots it is much more clear... especially blown up like this...

A teeny tiny baby grasshopper! We do generally have a batch of baby grasshoppers in our yard every year, but I don't usually notice them until they get a bit larger than this. What fun!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Morning Glory

Southern California Morning Glory

A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.

-Walt Whitman