Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I never thought I would be doing a post about mushrooms in the desert, but here it is! I don't know any of their names. I have field guides for birds, reptiles, cacti, wildflowers and butterflies but not mushrooms because I rarely find any. However, we got a lot of rain this monsoon season and mushrooms are popping up now.

This first group of slender mushrooms was standing in a wooded area by the creek.

The next two mushrooms were growing on the side of the road right out in the harsh sunlight where the cacti grow.

These appeared in my backyard. I tipped one over to look at the gills.

I found the remaining mushrooms on the roadside. At first glance I thought this was a ground squirrel standing up:

The last one fascinates me because of the dirt on top and also the light portion on the rust colored cap, a patch of universal veil maybe?

Have a good day!

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Hello! Here are a variety of snapshots from the desert, around the garden and of the sky.

I've been noticing new needles sprouting on the tops of some young saguaros. It seems that the new spines start out reddish in color before turning light grey. Most of the saguaros around here are too tall to see their tops.

The barrel cacti are blooming!

Hard to see, but there's a metallic green bee crawling out of the red flower.

The two pictures below look almost monochromatic except for the dove's pinkish legs and feet.

A tiny toad on my patio:

Indian Mallows pop up all around the garden. I planted one from the nursery many years ago and now there are about a dozen. I like their soft velvety leaves.

An Albert's towhee has been visiting the backyard this month, usually hopping around in the shadows, but for a second it posed on a chair in the sunlight.

Jupiter and the Moon 9/20/14  5:56am

Orion, Sirius and Jupiter 9/27/14  4:43am

Clouds over Tucson 9/20/14  7:11am

y  W e !

Friday, September 19, 2014

Little Things in the Garden

Greetings! These pictures were taken on different days over the past month. Most are typical sightings for this time of year. I planted zinnia seeds for the first time and I'm surprised how tiny the flowers are, but they are cheerful. The green moth was only about 1/2 inch across, it could have fit on my thumbnail.

queen butterfly, hummingbird, Arizona yellow bell flower,
 bubble floating in our rain flooded backyard, kitty visitor,
background: tree shadows on moonlit wall

bee and Vitex flower

Green insects by the porch light: lacewing, katydid
praying mantis, emerald moth


"Autumn Joy" sedum, white-lined sphinx moth, mesquite and moon
lesser goldfinch on vitex tree, ruellia, zinnia

giant swallowtail butterfly on mesquite tree

Enjoy your day!

Friday, September 12, 2014

September Skies

On Monday the sky was cloudy but the rising Harvest moon did make a brief appearance.

9/8/14 7:03 pm

A change of lighting with Photoshop made this image look eerie.

9/8/14 7:06 pm

This "break" in the clouds was happening next to the sunset, crepuscular rays maybe?

9/8/14 sunset

I took my camera with me to the market the next morning in case there was a good moonset photo op, which there wasn't, but I ended up taking a sunrise picture.

9/9/14 sunrise

Wednesday night from my street I was able to glimpse the glowing nearly full moon rising from behind a hill. Those little stick-like things are saguaro cacti.

9/10/14 8:17 pm

See more skies from around the world at Skywatch Friday.

e  a   !

Monday, September 8, 2014

To the Creek

Here are some of the landscapes, plants and things that caught my eye several days ago on a quick walk to the creek and back. This area is receiving a lot of rain today. If I do go for a walk after the rain, I won't visit the creek because of the possibility of flash flood.

Hooker's Evening Primrose

Lion face in tree


Desert Senna, Pea family

Saguaro Cacti

Blooming Barrel Cactus

e   a   d  !