Saturday, April 24, 2021

Enjoying the Desert

 We had planned to leave our Gold Canyon winter home this weekend, traveling to Texas for about a month before heading to Colorado for the summer. We have spent lots of time in Texas as RVers, volunteering three times at various locations.  We wanted to revisit our favorite places.

Now, we aren't sure when, or even if, that part of our travels will happen.  John and I have lived almost our entire lives in Colorado and Arizona.  And we enjoy being outdoors as often as possible.  That is the cause the skin cancer we are developing in our late 70s.  For several years, John has been visiting the dermatologist twice a year.  I have gone once a year.  

At our checkup last month, the doctor found a basal cell carcinoma on the left side of my nose and sent me to see a skin cancer specialist.  He also burned a couple of places on my ear and hand.  Now, I too, will be returning twice a year.  John also had several spots frozen (burned).  The doctor also cut out a cancerous spot on his right arm.  And he, too, was referred to the specialist where some cancer was removed behind his right ear. 

I am healing nicely, if slowly, from my surgery.  I have been grateful I can hide behind a mask when I go out among people.  The only time I have been grateful for the Covid restrictions. When John returned to have the stitches removed from his arm, the doctor said the wound hadn't healed enough yet.  He had to wait.  John also had the doctor look at another spot on his leg and we now have to schedule another visit to the specialist.

All this explains why we aren't leaving this weekend for Texas and our plans are up in the air.  Our resort is really thinning out.  Most snowbirds have flown north.  However, the weather in recent days has been beautiful--meaning not too hot.  We can enjoy the desert.

Yesterday we walked through the desert toward Silly Mountain, a small hill near our resort.  The road we walked on is really an access road for the power company.  We walked next to some high voltage lines.

We noticed a bird's nest in a cactus along the route.

There are many saguaro cactus along the route.  Some are quite old.  They live about 100 years before they develop their first arm.

Birds make holes in the saguaro and build their nests there.  Look at how this cactus is coming apart because of all the bird houses.  I guess this plant was an avian apartment house.

In our resort, we are enjoying the many flowering desert plants--one of the benefits of remaining here this late in the spring.

This is one of the most prolific ocotillo plants we have seen.

This is argentine giant cactus.  We call it an Easter cactus.  Doesn't it remind you of an Easter lily?

This flowering palo verde is beautiful.  And also causes a lot of allergic reactions.

Saguaros usually flower on the tops of the arms They form a circle on the rounded top of the arms. This one developed a bloom on the side and I was able to get a photo of it.  

I'm not sure if these are wildflowers or flowering weeds, but they are pretty.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Spring in the Desert

 The desert is a muted area of green and brown--at least until spring comes.  Then we see color everywhere.

Especially because we had some rain not long ago, we have seen flowers blooming all over the place.

All of these are sights we saw on our morning walk around our resort recently.

 Here are a couple more.

In addition to the native flowers, we also found a garden full of snap dragons, petunias and other traditional flowers from up north  (in Colorado or Kansas or Pennsylvania).

Isn't spring wonderful?