A Day in the Desert

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North America » United States » Arizona » Mesa
March 26th 2011
Published: March 28th 2011
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Ok, this one is just plain creepy...Ok, this one is just plain creepy...Ok, this one is just plain creepy...

in every sense of the word.
(Sunshine Acres Children's Home)

In January and February when we were wearing shorts, the locals were talking about how cool the weather was this winter…well now that it’s in the high 80s, low 90s, we’re talking about how hot it is (don’t buy into that “dry heat” thing) and the locals are saying it’s not hot at all! It’s all relative, I believe!

Mesa is so full of snowbirds, and as they’re preparing to head home, I can’t help but wonder what this town does when they’re gone. One of the RV resorts said they have a winter population of 1800 (in one resort!) and a summer population of 200! I don’t know if some of the businesses close during the summer, and then reopen with the population explosion (in October) or if they just go under and never reopen. But it has to be quite a change for them.

A couple months ago I mentioned to a friend that I’m not really fond of the desert terrain...it’s just not my pick, and he said he felt the same way, but it grows on you. It has. Now that the desert is coming to life with its blossoms
This has a bit of a Medusala look!This has a bit of a Medusala look!This has a bit of a Medusala look!

I don't know the name of it because, frankly, I wasn't interested in spending enough time around it to find out!
and new growth, I find it very interesting. The ground that was so so dry and barren now has a light coating of green, as the desert grass pops up. It’s beautiful, in its own way, and it is growing on me!

Last weekend Bob and I went to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum and took a hike through all the different cacti and trees and plants there, and we were so excited about it that we planned a tour through there this week. It rained about ½ inch on Monday, so we hoped things would really be blooming this time. It hadn’t changed a lot, but was still amazingly beautiful. We took a picnic lunch and ate under the eucalyptus trees! Great day!

The time here has gone so fast; I don’t really understand why some projects go so much faster than others. It has been fun having another team here~~we have dinner together on Tuesday evenings and weekly Bible study together. We’ve enjoyed serving here with them.

Is there anyone besides me who hasn’t received their invitation to the ROYAL wedding yet? It seems like they’d have them in the mail by now, but how else
This is the strangest tree~~This is the strangest tree~~This is the strangest tree~~

the flowers are in the midst of the branch; there are leaves above the flower, and below the flower! I don't know the name, but the flowers are very ferny looking, and quite red.
can you explain me not getting one? Yet. I’m sure it’ll come. I hope it gets forwarded to me….

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


I didn't say all the cacti were pretty!  I didn't say all the cacti were pretty!
I didn't say all the cacti were pretty!

This is called Old Man, and I think that is a good name! The white "hair" stays on all the time....it looks soft, but by this time I was waaay past touching anything else!
Prickly Pear~~my favorite cactus!Prickly Pear~~my favorite cactus!
Prickly Pear~~my favorite cactus!

(hi, Sara and Megan!) This will become a flower, and then turn into a fruit...where we get prickly pear syrup! (which has many uses.)
Can you see how tall this thing is???Can you see how tall this thing is???
Can you see how tall this thing is???

And while it may look like an aspargus, it sure didn't feel like one! It felt like a tree! It's a type of aloe plant.
Yep~~a lake in the desert!Yep~~a lake in the desert!
Yep~~a lake in the desert!

This one is man-made, and they use it for irrigation for the plants that need more water. The plants and trees come from all over the world, and are closely monitored to keep them from becoming unmanageable.
Here's a sign I didn't challenge!Here's a sign I didn't challenge!
Here's a sign I didn't challenge!

But I did think it's a good idea that the snakes have their place, and we have ours! I wonder who trains the snakes to stay there......
These eucalyptus trees shed theirThese eucalyptus trees shed their
These eucalyptus trees shed their

bark, and the underneath skin is so smooth. They don't regrow the brown bark, but later they will shed thin layers of the whitish bark.
This is a bearded yucca plant,This is a bearded yucca plant,
This is a bearded yucca plant,

and you can see how big the buds are. We haven't seen any in bloom, which is too bad, because they must be gorgeous. It looks like a yucca plant that we'd have at home (Montana), except the bearded yucca has a trunk, which is covered with strange looking yucca leaves. (someone else might have a better description for it, but this is my blog, so I'm calling it!)
A human sundial..A human sundial..
A human sundial..

Milo was standing on the March stepping stone and when he raised his arms his hands pointed to the stone telling what time it was! Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time, but if they did, the time would still show real time. So I guess the sundial doesn't do daylight savings time!
Other things go on in an arboretum~~Other things go on in an arboretum~~
Other things go on in an arboretum~~

someone else was painting on the easel next to this lady's. It was me....in my dreams!
The cacti are cacti are covered with The cacti are cacti are covered with
The cacti are cacti are covered with

the horribly sharp spikes, and yet the flowers pop out between them! Amazing!
This little yellow flower was smallerThis little yellow flower was smaller
This little yellow flower was smaller

than my little fingernail!
I love how the flowers just come outI love how the flowers just come out
I love how the flowers just come out

right between the thorns! There must be a life lesson in that, huh? They don't stay but a few days, to conserve water; then they have fruitthat is sweet to attract desert animals. The seeds then pass through the animals, and the desert grows! (That little lesson was free!)
This is for those of youThis is for those of you
This is for those of you

who think the desert has no beauty.
Our high class devotion room!Our high class devotion room!
Our high class devotion room!

Because the other team is using the regular devotion room, we get to use the board room! I feel out of place in my paint clothes!

28th March 2011

Neat pictures! God is so creative! I laughed when you said you were over touching stuff! It reminded me of when I touched that cactus "just to see" and it hurt and Dad laughed! He's been watching you do that for 3 months! Bring me some prickly pear syrup, will ya! :)
28th March 2011

Hi, Sara!
Well I did touch one this morning, but I did it with the back of my finger. The sticker doesn't hurt as much there! (It was hard, not flimsy!!) I'll look for the syrup....
1st April 2011

Invitation is here!
Hey, I think your Royal Wedding Invitation came here! I didn't recognize the return address so I threw it in the burn barrel thinking it was junk mail! SORRY! I am sure if you call them, they will send out another! Ha! What ever would you wear?? I love all the cacti that you have seen, they certainly are more impressive then the ones we have here in North Dakota, and I bet you see them before you step on them, too!!
2nd April 2011

Hi, Jean!
Oh shoot, I picked up a dress at the thrift store, and now I'll have no place to wear it!! The cacti are the trees of Arizona! They're fascinating!

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