This darkness burn, horseback brown, Continue Reading
Clyde Tombaugh was born this day, the fourth of February 1906 in Streator, Illinois and in 1930 discovered the then planet and now dwarf planet Pluto. And a spacecraft, New Horizons, is hurtling toward Pluto and if all goes well and it should, will make its closest approach something like the fourteenth of July 2015; and when I say hurtling I mean it. New Horizons was launched from Cape Canaveral on 01-19-06 atop an Atlas V 551 and holds the record for the fastest object ever launched from earth.
Yes your kind host lives in the beautiful desert southwest in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, part of the Sonoran Desert that extends south into the Mexican state of, wait for it, Sonora. This particular geography is home to the majestic Saguaro cactus, in fact, it is the only place on Earth this particular cactus, Carnegiea gigantea, exists regardless of various marketing uses of the saguaro cactus silhouette used by brands like “El Paso”, which is a city in Texas 150 miles from the nearest Saguaro cactus. Incidentally, El Paso rocks, but there are no Saguaros there. The Saguaro cactus only lives in the Sonoran Desert. Continue Reading
No matter where you live – and I especially mean this about those of us like me, that live in a big city (actually I live in a suburb of a biggish city; Phoenix, Arizona) or even rural, chances are you are close to some spectacular, beautiful areas. Why? Earth is a beautiful place that’s why! Just look around, or drive a bit out of town and look around a bit. Nice, huh? Continue Reading
Here’s a scattering of photos from last summer’s car camping excursions…
As usual *click* to embiggen!
Caption says it all. At the big rest stop on Hwy 17 between Phoenix and Sedona is a largish sundial. I took the photo in late afternoon on the way back from a day in Sedona – I was playing guitar for a wedding up there and the day, and the ceremony were beautiful. If I’d have had my wits about me for this photo, I would have taken it so you would know the time. Duh!
Hwy 17 runs north out of Phoenix up to Sedona and then on to Flagstaff.
Hwy 60 runs east out of Phoenix and that’s where these photos were taken – we went east on 60 to the Oak Flat Campground, stayed the night and the next day we went to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum to get there early since it’s 55 miles east of Phoenix and it opens, I think, at 7 AM.
Nice spot right in front. You know how you go to a campground and there is no one there? Not this evening! The place was packed to the gills and I think this was one of maybe two spots open. That’s cool. When you’re car-camping sometimes it’s solitude, sometimes it’s a public park. Bring earplugs! It was big fun.
It was pretty up there and there are nicely groomed trails. If we really wanted to be alone, you know we could have just humped our stuff for 30 minutes and been in utter solitude. No need. It was just fine – the camp sites are situated such that after dark you might as well have been alone.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum has been recently redone and it’s pretty cool – you take a trail all around the plants and structures and it’s very scenic. We were early enough that really, almost no one was there and because it was early morning we beat the heat. Of course we had our dogs with us – they are allowed on the trails. They love that place!
Have a great weekend!
While doing research on flying motorcycles I couldn’t help but blunder into the awesome story of one Juan de la Cierva, (b. 21 Sept 1895 – d. 9 Dec 1936) a Spanish civil engineer and aeronautical enthusiast who invented the Autogyro – the precursor to both the modern helicopter and the modern flying motorcycle.
The emergence in 1920 of the autogiro of Juan de la Cierva was a great event in the world of aeronautics. Today it is considered the precursor of modern helicopters and eventually was named the “gyrocopter”.
“Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses or employers, in the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other former British colonies. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December.”
It’s just about time I got back to describing the planets and our efforts to visit them. Today we do Venus the second planet from the sun named after the Roman Goddess of Love. Continue Reading
We were treated to a veritable light show at sundown yesterday due to a marvelous riot of clouds we had here in Arizona. I finally got out and took a few pictures:
As a contrast to the rain, sleet, snow, and hail we are getting around the country this winter, here are some photos of Sunny California to warm you up!
Readers unfamiliar with this area, Santa Cruz is here: Continue Reading