Photo Friday: Desert Blooms

Flowers are just starting to bloom around here. The other day I started seeing spots of color in the beige desert landscape so yesterday I took a walk with camera in hand. I found all these along the side of a busy road (though a little less busy these days).

This post is for all those stuck inside or stuck in winter. I hope you enjoy.

I have no idea of plant names so I will call them by color!

Pink. I think this is my favorite.
Dark purple.
No flowers on the cacti yet but this south facing plant has cool looking buds. I do believe this is a barrel cactus.

Keep your Focus!

The Week in Review 3/21/18

Spring Weather: I often complain about the lack of weather and seasons here in the desert southwest but this year I realized we sort of are having a Spring. Our temperatures are fluctuating between 60’s and 80’s and we have had clouds and even a little rain. Rain is a big deal here and any amount is welcome. (Well, unless we get bad flash flooding monsoon rains.)  Gentle spring showers are thrilling.

First rose bud of the season!

Spring training:  Every year we go to a game up in Phoenix.  This year we saw the Cubs play the Royals (the Royals won 11-9).  It was a lovely afternoon in the 60’s, Canadiens in front of us reveling in the “warm” weather while I was glad for my warm sweater once the shade creeped over us.

The cold shoulder:  Actually I have a “frozen shoulder”, ironic here in the desert.  Not uncommon for people “of a certain age” with hypothyroidism/diabetes.  The doctor gave me a cortisone shot and I start PT next week after the inflammation goes down.  Pain relief should happen in 2 to 3 days.  I am glad it wasn’t anything more serious.

Why is it:   Why does Netflix says “oops there was a problem”  75% of the first time I go to watch something from my list?  After a few reloads I can usually get to my show but there is never a problem with the previews running.  Strange. And annoying.

New word I learned:  “Chiaroscuro” – the contrast between light and dark, their juxtaposition.  I found the word in “A Trick of the Light”, an Inspector Gamache novel by Louise Penny.  Man I love these books.  I will be very sad when I get caught up in the series.

 

My interpretation of “chiaroscuro”. 

And how was your week?

The Month of March

I have always liked the idea of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) held in November. The goal is to write 50,000 words, typically the first draft of a novel. But November doesn’t work for me. My mind is filled with Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping. My son has two holiday breaks, Veteran’s Day and five days at Thanksgiving. We typically have at least two football games to attend and well, you get the idea.

But March is a nice quiet month. So I am doing my own NaNoWriMo.  I am not going to work on a novel but rather an interconnected short story idea that has been floating around my brain for some time now.  I have pages of notes and ideas to get me started and we will just have to see how it goes.

I am also borrowing Anne Butera’s (of My Giant Strawberry ) idea of a creative retreat. She always has the best ideas!  I am hoping taking a bit of a blogging/internet break will help me focus on my writing.

So my goals for March are to write eight short stories and stay off the internet except for the  bare minimal household essential tasks like paying bills and reading e-mails from my son’s school.

I will write one short post around mid-month and let you know how I am succeeding.  (Not even going to think about failing.)

In the meantime enjoy the approach of Spring!

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I miss seeing the tulips peek up through the snow but this small vase of pink cheered me right up.

Change of Season

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It was a relief to flip the calendar to March. With 16 days 80° or warmer it is nice to see the word Spring on the calendar. Every time I looked at February I thought I was on the wrong month since it felt more like April!

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I walked the dog this morning about 9:30.  It was warm enough not to wear a jacket and a light layer of cloud cover kept the sun from feeling too harsh.

 

Lots of bird song and buzzing bees in the air.

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The trees are still bare but that meant I could see this bird (right in the center).

 

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Turns out it is really hard to get a picture of a bee but can you see the two blurs?

Not too many flowers out yet but I found a few.

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Love these little daisy like flowers right next to the walkway to the school.

 

The blossoms on the lemon tree smell wonderful.

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I did my winter pruning of the rose bush in January and it has leafed out wonderfully, I even have a few buds.  Rose bushes aren’t supposed to do well here in pots but I keep it in the shade during the summer afternoons and just let it get a bit of early morning sun during the worst of the heat.

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I have had this chrysanthemum for four years now!  I keep it in the shade all summer and somehow it survives the heat.

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It is too wonderful having a bit of year around green in the neighborhood.  I wonder how much water these bushes use?

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I think they kind of look like hershey kisses.

 

HAPPY ALMOST SPRING EVERYONE!