Monday, January 21, 2013



The Big Dipper is straight overhead & slightly to the North in the predawn sky now.  The dipper’s handle points southeast in the direction of my favorite summer night’s sky constellation SCORPIOS, the large Scorpion with it’s warm colored star heart, ANTARES.  This dark sky Scorpion also has two giant star claws.  The Scorpions tail will soon be visible as it winds down around the horizon curling back up & ending with two stars known as SHAULA & LESATH.  These stars are commonly referred to as the Scorpions stinger stars.  If you are up before dawn now, or out under the June, July, August summer skies, the big Scorpion will be in the southern hemisphere traveling east to west…..just above you.


I’ve been able to change up my morning routine a bit this past week.  While staying in the Motorhome for 5 days last week I got into the habit of not turning the mindless television on thereby not irritating myself first thing every morning with the repetitive doom & gloom news reporting by stations like CNN.  Local news channels are even worse with their panels of giggly squawking chickens thinly disguised as responsible news reporters.  I am continuing & hope to continue my habit of not starting my days off by deliberately irritating myself anymore with morning news channels.  Now, it is out of bed & into my relaxing chair with computer on my lap listening to my favorite Sirius satellite radio ambient music channel, the Spa at 068.  A much nicer way to start the day methinks:))



Last week while out on Jerry’s PETROGLYPH WALK he told us of a Crested Saguaro Cactus across the valley along a ridge line.  Said it was one of the nicer crested Saguaros he had seen.  This morning, with Jerry’s words still fresh in our ears, we set off in search of that Saguaro.


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We knew a road out near the Pioneer cemetery that would lead us back along that ridge line so that is where we headed.  A little rough & tumble in spots but we took it slow following along the northwest facing ridge, heading southwest.  About the time we figured we had missed it, I spotted something ahead on the left.  Looked like a crested Saguaro alright. Found a rare flat spot & parked the Jeep close by.  Pheebs was out the door & off exploring.



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At first glance & from a distance I thought this was the shortest Crested Saguaro I had ever seen but as we neared we could see the Saguaro was growing from a low hillside gully giving it a short appearance.  It was truly a fine specimen with many twists, curls, & swirls.  No one really knows what causes Saguaros to occasionally distort like this but when they do, they end up looking quite remarkable.  You can see another nice Crested Saguaro we found on Pipeline road near Ajo Arizona last year…IN SEARCH OF THE SAGUARO FOREST.  Another Crested Saguaro here…GROWING GHOST TOWN OF STANTON & lastly, another one on this blog entitled, WE FOUND THE MICA MINE.


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Near the Crested Saguaro we saw another rough & tumble road heading in the direction of Congress so rather than return the way we had come we decided to follow it in hopes it would lead us to a highway.   Better than that, it led us right back to Ghost Town Road near the railroad tracks on highway 71.  But, it was a bouncy ride all the way as we skirted some deep gulleys, made our way through sandy washes, & slowly clambered over a series of ruts & grumbles.  Even saw a train go flying by.  Actually, it was about 10 train engines all joined together,  I suspect they were headed to the town of Hillside to load a lot of train cars with copper ore from the big copper mine in nearby BAGDAD



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Again, it was nice to be out in a part of the desert nearby that we had never seen before.  Always something different to see, challenging hills to climb, & interesting roads to rattle & bump along on.  No two Saguaros are the same, no two mountain tops alike, & the valleys & canyons can quickly change in a few miles, or a few feet in altitude.  Always something to see & do here in the southwest.  Always somewhere to go:))



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Didn’t do a lot of yard work today.  Leg is feeling much better so I am trying to give it a lengthier period of rest to see if that will heal whatever may be wrong with it.  And remember all those Cactus plants I hauled home & planted a couple months ago.  Well, that cold snap a week ago has killed about half of them.  Many are droopy & some are already turning black.  Very disappointing:(( 


GROANER’S CORNER:((  The judge read the charges, then asked, "Are you the defendant in this case?"
"No sir, your honor, sir," replied Jill, "I've got a lawyer to do the defendin'. I'm the person who done it."

- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.



Ruth said...

That cactus is awesome!! It really is very beautiful. Jackson sleeps on my pillow like that when I get up. Cracks me up.

Gypsy said...

That is one wild looking cactus. I've never seen one.

Luci & Loree said...

Sorry for your froze cacti!! That one u went to see was wonderful. It really went wild with whatever causes them to do that!! What a find!

Steve and Joan said...

Wow! That cactus is pretty cool. Took our first off road ride the other day here in Lk Mead Ntl Rec Area. No cactus like yours but pretty awesome scenery.

Jean and Skip said...

Really nice crested Saquero,we saw one at Organ Pipe. and what a shame about your cacti, I guess they were too young to survive.

Merikay said...

I thought about the long summer of 2013 and wondered if you would loose any of the babies. Never thought they would get froze! I'm sure you will have many new ones in the ground soon.

Gaelyn said...

That is one Wild looking crest. Almost looks like it should live under sea rather than the desert.

Who needs TV anyway.

meowmomma said...

Super great photos of the crested Saguaro! I've never heard of them or seen one before! Now it has to be a goal!

I would be right there with Kelly... bent over in the wash searching for treasure gifts from the earth!

Russ Krecklow said...

Those are very interesting plants, too bad we don't have anything like that here in Oregon.

You've got the right idea in starting your day the way you do, Al. What you don't listen to won't make you agitated. I'm much the same way. Don't really feel like watching much television, especially not the news. Whatever happens in the world while I'm not watching will certainly not cause me to loose any sleep.

Most things we can't really do anything about, so are we better off for knowing? or, are we just ignoring the obvious.

I get all the news I care to using Google Reader, and that way I can skim headlines, and only read things that I'm interested in. I certainly don't need some talking heads explaining what someone else just said, and the "experts" they bring in to explain everything that happens everywhere.

Human nature remains the same as it's always been. We are motivated primarily by fear and greed. Some combination of those two things can be found in just about every form of advertising and also in most media programming. They go with what works best. We don't need to let it get to us, though. One thing we can do is filter the input, and that's not always easy.

Sue and Doug said...

great photos from your day of jeepin'! the crested saguaro is amazing!!

Mike McFall said...

Thanks for the nice trip into the desert again AL.
Maybe the loss of your cacti's is a blessing in desguise,, I hate the dern things, You won't find any on my property...Been there done that!!
Enjoy this sunshine!!

George and Suzie Yates said...

Nice pictures of that crested Saguaro and another fine day exploring.

Rvlifeonwheels said...

Wow, Al, you and Kelly are having fun. Great crested saguaro and I love your two sepia pics, one of the jeep and the saguaro and the one of your digs. Spectacular! Judy & John

Janna and Mike said...

Great cactus photos Al!

Kathy said...

Great pics, Al, of the crested saguaro! Very unusual formation!

Pheebs and Molly have the same tactics in the mornings: Snuggle in bed until it's breakfast time! lol

I'm sorry the cold snap we had last week has put a dent in your new plants! Same here in Benson.

Glad to hear your leg is feeling better.
And here's to warmer AZ days again!
Kathy, Grant and Molly

Dennis and Donna said...

One of the most beautiful cacti I have ever seen..We did see a crested in the Cabreza Prieta by Ajo..but it wasn't nearly as big as that one!! I DO feel like you , listening to the "talking heads" every day, but I also feel that if everyone was of that opinion, we would be like lemmings, marching to the sea...:-(

BJ said...

Al, when you took the picture of the cacti close up it looks like a beautiful piece of art! Thank you for sharing it with us.

Tom _Kathy_Retired said...

Great off road trip and Crested Cactus to view.
Didn't know you lived by train tracks, love that clicky clack if far enough away.
I TONED down the news also. I listen to Jazz and let the world go around.