Sunday, December 8, 2013

Poinsettia at the beach

I've been fascinated with my Poinsettia's the past few months.   I have had one at the beach and monitored it with fascination.    It managed to make it through the summer months,

 and into the fall.  Didn't get real big but then one day I noticed it changing colors, and I got excited.   And when I get excited I pick up a camera and document stuff. 

Here it is, as it evolved;

October 5, when I visited the beach I noticed that the veins on the leaves were beginning to show some color:
And there was a faint change in color on the leaves as well.   I got so excited.

The next time I went to the beach was on the 14th of October and this is what I found.
I got even more excited, this was so cool, a plant that I used to buy fully formed and red had evolved from the green of summer and was going to turn a brilliant red.  Or so I hoped.
And it did.   Turn red that is, or at least was in the process of turning red the next trip I managed to make to visit on November 1st.   And as luck would have it, I found a swallowtail butterfly visiting at the same time.
I got kinda busy and didn't make it back out until the 25th of November.

And the red was almost a neon red.   But oh, so beautiful.  And I felt so proud, why, I don't know but I did.
Then we got a couple of nights where the temperature dipped down, and stuff froze.  Including my lovely Poinsettia
But I am so glad I got to see it in all of its glory.    It really was lovely.  But I still have the one at the house and I'm babying that one.   I'll share its journey later on

Friday, August 16, 2013

The rest of the Desert Flowers

You could see some of the blooming desert along the roadways, the flowers muting into the background foliage. 

 There were yellow ones...

 This was taken at the Visitor Center at one of the parks...
 Even a cactus that was a yellow caught my eye.   Of course I kinda wonder about that sprinkler head beside it.  

 I know it's a weed, but the flower is so bright and cheerful...
 Even the lichen in the rocks was a brilliant yellow.  

 and purple flowers.   I think these belong to the Statice family.  But I could be wrong.   And I misplaced my cheat sheet with all the flower names on it. 

 and even a pink one. 

  white ones...

 I believe these are Datura, which are poisonous, but safely viewed through a camera lens...

 Mounds of white flowers, and I have no idea what they are, but they were gorgeous.
 Also spotted this one blooming at Zions' park.  
as well as the orange, blue and shocking pink cactus flowers I told you about before.   

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Orange Desert Flowers

Not only did I see beautiful Cacti blooming when I visited the desert, but I also saw a lot of other flowers.

There were Orange ones,

And even some orange flowers glimpsed and hurriedly photographed from the window of the tour bus.

I have more colors to share, but for now, I just wanted to share these.  

I'm just so glad I was able to make this trip and take the pictures.   I may never be in the right place at the right time again, because seeing the Desert flower like this is pretty rare.   At least I'm told that seeing so many flowers blooming so profusely at the same time, is rare.   I'm hoping I get to see it again, and if I do, I will have my camera with me and will share the pictures. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Pink Cactus

The dichotomy of a flowering cactus has always fascinated me.

 The contrast between this sturdy, prickly inhospitable plant and the delicacy of the flowers.   

I was lucky enough to see some blooming cacti this spring during a brief stop in the desert.  So of course I took some pictures and I want to share them here.  These are called Strawberry Hedgehog.   And before I get to the pictures I took, here is a picture of the description from the Nature Center Display.

I think I could have spent the day, stopping the car each time I spotted one of these blooming off to the side.

The blooms already done,  and the remains left behind


The luster of the petals with a slight, slight dusting of pollen left behind by a wandering bee.

The contrast of the bright flowers to the surrounding soil, no other greenery or color in sight.

And close up the vividness of the pink and the tracery of darker pink on the petals.

In a weird sort of way, they blend in rather than contrast too starkly to the surrounding area.

Some blossoms done, and others ready to unfurl and show themselves.

The luster...

I am so glad I was finally able to see these cacti blooming.  It's been a wish of mine for many years to visit when the desert blooms and this year I was able to see it.    I hope to do it again, but if not, I have the pictures to enjoy for years to come.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blue Desert Flowers

I was lucky enough to be able to finally see spring flowers blooming in the desert this spring.   I'd always wanted to see them, but...
I'd been in the right place,at the right time, but they never seemed to mesh.  But, the planets had not been in alignment.   Right place, right time, but not enough moisture over the previous few months.   However, this past spring it all worked out.   And I took pictures, lots and lots of pictures.

I'll just bore you with a few though, along with my thoughts and feelings.     I was going to do an overview of the different colors, but then decided each color or species deserved their very own post.

I saw these gorgeous blue flowers.    They blended in with their foliage from a distance,

but when you got up close the color was so intense, so surreal, so beautiful. well, here they are.

 Are those not incredible colors?   And yet against the gray green of the foliage they just fade away...

I felt so lucky to see these gorgeous flowers, blooming away, and even happier I got to take pictures.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mountain Goats

A couple months ago when we  I finally got to see Zions Park, we were just on the outskirts of the park, when we spotted a bunch of Mountain Goats clambering around a rather steep slope.  So we pulled off to look at them, and I got fascinated, and took lots of pictures.   And because we'd pulled off to the side to look, we were joined by other people who wanted to see just what it was we were looking at.   We actually stayed there for quite awhile, just watching.   These animals fascinated me.   I knew they were sure footed, I knew they lived up in the rocks, but seeing was really believing for me.   

So, I'm sharing the pictures here. 

Following along behind each other.

We were quite a distance away, but luckily I have a zoom on my camera.

They were pretty nonchalant

Good thing none of them have a fear of falling

There were a total of six in this small herd

She was ready for a rest, and just plopped herself down.

Baby exploring

Just amazing how sure footed these animals are, even the babies.

So there you have it, a few pictures of a bunch animals and I hope I gave a good idea of how steep the slope they were on was.    Just felt privileged to have seen them.