Sunday, March 29, 2015


Saguaro blossom

Hedge Hog Cactus blooms at the base of a Saguaro

Teddy Bear Cholla

The only Saguaro we've seen with multiple flowering stems

Our friend Selma and I went on a photo ATV ride on Friday.  She had a brand new Canon SX60 so it was a learning and fun filled day.  I enjoy being able to do a bit of mentoring. 

Here's a shot showing Selma in the last photo and what she is aiming at

While this is my photo, it is the same one she was shooting

Firecracker Penstemon

Desert Mariposa Lily

A Hedge Hog Cactus grouping shot from the driver's seat out the passenger side while Selma was taking her photo

Purple Potties for Country Thunder a large country music event coming in April

Yesterday, I took Terry and Sandy out on a flower tour.  Terry is taking over his parents lots beside us as his parents, Bud and Arlene, may not be returning after 34 winters in the park.  We are going to their farewell get together this afternoon and they leave tomorrow to return to Minnesota.  If their health co-operates, they may be back for a while next year but time will tell whether they are able to. 

Saguaro pair

Staghorn Cholla

We're in our last week here in Arizona and we're having record breaking temperatures.  It is well into the 90s F these days.  When I looked at the forecast for our route home, Wells, Nevada is forecasting a low of 24 F next weekend.  That is going to be a shock to our systems!
This has been a very busy week.  I was out through Box Canyon five days in a row.  Tuesday, I led the club ride.  Wednesday, Destination Polaris came to film two of our club members.  Micky is a lady my age who owns a RZR ACE and Blue is 85 and riding three days a week still.  I was drafted as their guide/leader.  It turned out to be an 8-5:30 day then I rushed home in time to go to a ATV club farewell party.  On Thursday, I took Aileen and friend Richard J on a flower tour.  Friday, I took our friend Selma on the same route.  Selma and I had a great day out taking photos and sharing our experiences.  The one thing I really miss with our current life style is getting out with other avid photographers.
Selma is over this morning and we're going to play around with Photoshop Elements.  I blew a boot on my old Sportman so it is done for the season.  There isn't enough time to get it repaired so it will be first on the agenda when we return in the fall.  My last ride will be on Tuesday then Wednesday begins the packing up process.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Our friend Selma came by this afternoon and  told Aileen about this owl family so I went and took some pictures when I returned from my ATV ride

A wild Hedgehog Cacus out in the desert

Does anyone see the cloud dog chasing the other dogs?

North and South Buttes under the clouds

My friend Richard overlooking the Gila River at the end of South Butte

North Butte from South Butte.  The Copper Basin Railway tracks are at the base of North Butte

Looking to the east from South Butte

North Butte with lots of Saguaro cactus in the foreground

Does anyone else see the running duck?

Ocotillo blooms

Staghorn Cholla red flower

Staghorn Cholla yellow flower

We saw one Saguaro with a few flowers out

Staghorn Cholla

Ocotillo bloom

Desert Broomrape

A honey bee feasting on Salt Cedar

Two weeks today should see us on the road heading north to BC.  We've had some warm days and have had a couple of heavy showers to help freshen up the desert and encourage the flowers to bloom.  Where it rained enough, it settled the dust that was getting pretty bad.  Our main riding areas are really busy right now as it is spring break.  Yesterday and today I went to less known areas and we were almost on our own.  Only four of us rode yesterday as it was raining hard from about 6 til 8 am.  We made the decision to wait 45 minutes past our usual departure time and had no rain and a nice day.  Today, just my friend Richard and I went out and we made it a photography trip making many stops.  We had an enjoyable day.  I think I will get to see a lot of the desert flowers blooming over the next two weeks.  We've never stayed this long before and may never again either.  Aileen is re-thinking our plan to stay until April 3.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Somehow the time got away on me again and here it is a long while since my last post.  Life always speeds up during our last weeks down south.  We were fortunate to have my brother Charlie and his wife Sheila come stay for a few days.  Charlie and I went on four ATV rides while the ladies entertained themselves going to places like the Olive Mill and the Florence Museum.  They also attended our block party and got to meet most of our close neighbours.  They also attended our monthly ATV club potluck.  That had a bit of a sad news as two of our members had passed away overnight, one at 63 from cancer and the other at 79 from something else.  Also, just after we got to the clubhouse, one of our members took a fall while helping in the kitchen and broke her femur right below her replaced hip.
We had an 83 year old guy with no ATV experience come stay in a neighbouring park and he bought an old two stroke ATV and rode with us six or seven times.  I took him under my wing and made sure he knew how to get around safely.  Since he didn't have a computer, I did up a bunch of photo files for him that he could take to a photo printer.  When he was done, he sold his ATV and went home to Wisconsin a couple days ago.  For a couple of my rides, I had an 85 year old, two at 83 one at 81 and the youngest other than me was 77.  My geriatric riders!
The weather is warming up, the flowers are starting to look good and unfortunately, the snakes are coming out.  Aileen is not pleased with the first and third items and is regretting renting the park model up til April 3.  She is ready to head for a cooler clime already.  Our current plan is to close up the park model on April 3 then head north.  We do have to get across the border no later than April 10.  At our rate of travel, the fastest we can do it is six days.  That will give us two days leeway.

At the Greek Monastery

Outside at the Greek Monastery

California Goldfields that cover the desert floor like the photo below

Gambel's Quail

We're finding lots of bee's honeycombs this year in the desert wash cutbanks

This Great Horned Owl was sitting on a nest in a ledge on a cutbank peering at me.  He flew off to this Saguaro right away.

A group of us in fourteen ATVs took a long road trip last Wednesday, 75 miles to the drop off point, then an 82 mile loop ride north of Roosevelt Lake near the Moggollan Rim.  We were nearly twelve hours away from home.

A Birdcage Primrose

Desert Star that looks like a daisy but has no stem to speak of

We went to Chandler Friday to visit friends Doug and Gay from Campbell River on Vancouver Island.  After going to lunch at PF Chang's, they took us to the Gilbert Riparian Preserve where we saw lots of turtles of different varieties.

We also spotted this American Bittern

And lastly, how about a yawning turtle?