Sunday, September 21, 2014

Red Barrel Cactus

Last year we "rescued" some barrel cacti that a neighbor was getting rid of. They were redesigning their front yard landscaping and the 3 cacti were destined for the landfill.

By the time we got them, they had been dug up and baking in the sun for a few days. We carefully transplanted them into our yard, and made simple cardboard sunblocks to protect them from any further sun damage. We weren't sure how they were going to do.

We kept a close eye on them, but there didn't seem to be much change or growth.

Then, about a month ago one of them started to bloom.

Over the course of the last few weeks there has been a steady display of beautiful red flowers around the crown.

"The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous."
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, September 8, 2014

Another Deluge

This morning we had a monster rain storm, very similar to the one we had almost exactly one year ago. It poured buckets, with thunder rumbling from the heavy grey clouds. Judging from the rise in the water level of our pool, we got over 4-1/2 inches of rain in 2 hours.

Unfortunately when the rain comes down so hard and fast in the desert, it doesn't get a chance to soak very deep into the parched soil. Much of the rainwater runs off into nearby washes.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Momma Wolf Spider

We took a dip in the pool after an early morning walk today, and noticed something large at the opposite end of the pool. Swimming closer, we could see it was a huge spider clinging to the slippery tile just above the waterline.

Thinking it was in imminent danger we jumped out of the pool to grab the skimmer net, in case it dropped into the drink.

By the time we got back the spider had carefully navigated across the tile and was resting comfortably between two waterfall rocks.

It wasn't until we took some close-up pics that we saw the spider was a female, carrying hundreds of tiny baby spiderlets on her back.

She spent the next half hour or so tucked between the rocks. When we checked back, she and her babies had moved on to a safer spot somewhere else in our yard.