To Green Valley and around

On the 12th, I dropped Amelia at the SJ airport, and drove toward the southeast. Gas prices got higher. $2.599 west of Bakersfield. As I got out into the desert area east of Mojave, the desert was in bloom. I shot a number of "throwaways" from the moving van. But, I salvaged a bit, with these of the flowers near the road: One, and two, and three, and four, and five, and six. The latter two show the flowers off in the distance, too. As I went through Needles to make a U-turn (missed my turn to the Avi Resort and Casino) I saw gas at $3.189 for regular. Nonetheless, I made it to the Avi, checked into my $19.80 room (it was nice - two queen beds, but I only used one), and went and played some nickel vikeo poker. Went to eat my $3.99 meatballs and spaghetti (with garlic toast), then played some more video poker. Got up by $1.60 before I quit for the night. It was a long drive, so I slept in a while, then went down for my $0.99 ham and eggs (with toast). Actually, I couldn't figure out how much I really paid, but it wasn't more than $1.22, still a good bargain. Then I went out and lost the $1.60 I had won the night before, along with another $1.40. Guess my ham and eggs weren't as much of a bargain as I thought. But gas was only $2.499.

I then proceeded on to the Phoenix area, where I stayed with Greg and Dee overnight and got the opportunity to see Dee's grandsons play a somewhat more advanced version of baseball. They did well. But, now I digress. Between Kingman and Phonenix, the flowers were so spectacular, that I actually stopped to take pictures of them. Here are three shots: One, and two, and three.

On Saturday (16th) we went over to take a look at how Sandy's house is going up. And going up it is. Then we walked around her new neighborhood. The landscaping is all southwestern, with prickly pear, rock, this unusual cactus (1-2-06 - Becky points out that it is a Victoria agave), another, unusual cactus, and ocotillo which is now in bloom. Other sights seen in the neighborhood is this (guessing) lechuguilla and here is another prickly pear. On the following afternoon, a family of Gambrel quail found their way into our back patio. It is pretty much enclosed except for a small drain hole for water. Apparently the babies came through that. While the parents could fly out, the babies could not, nor could they find the hole (where they apparently came in). They were pretty much in great distress until I opened the gate to let them out. Later we took a walk around our own neighborhood, where the yucca was in bloom. We also saw this pretty, but unidentified (1-2-06 - Becky points out this is a Mexican bird of paradise) bush, and this interesting plant sculpture. Back in our own patio, we have a view of bottlebrush and oleander and ocotillo in the common area. Also in the common area are cholla which house at least three cactus wren nests, the most prominent near the top of the near cholla.

Becky came on Tuesday, and on Thursday we took a trip up Madera Canyon. Along the nature trail we came on some Indian paintbrush, among other tenacious red flowers. At the Santa Rita Lodge (a favorite place for "shooting" hummingbirds), we saw this acorn woodpecker. Another interesting sight was this tree. On the way back we saw this cactus that looks like a drooping cholla.

On Friday, we (we being Becky, Sandy, Amelia, and me) took a little pleasure trip to Bisbee. We went via the back roads to Sonoita, Sierra Vista, and the southern route from there to Bisbee. Along the way we saw these California poppies along the roadway. Also these prickly poppies. We had to stop to get some pictures of the Mustang Mountains east of Sonoita. We had lunch in Bisbee at the Bisbee Grille, and went to the Museum, where I caught Becky taking a picture of Amelia and Sandy. Then I got them all to pose in their "not red"hats. We saw this church, of which I neglected to get the name. The Postoffice is in this old building. There was a bicycle race in Bisbee last weekend, and here is one young lady taking off on the time trials.

Back home we stopped by Sandy's house. Here's one of the entry with Sandy peeking out. Heading back to our house, we stopped to watch the sun setting on the Santa Rita Mountains, while in the opposite direction, the sun was behind the Tanaja Hills. After dropping Sandy off, we cut through the Presbyterian Church parking lot and noticed that the Great Horned Owl nesting there was perched on the parapet. Too dark to get a clear picture but pretty good, even so.

Late breaking news! We've been hearing about the javelina around here, but none had shown themselves, until tonight. Tonight our neighbor Bill called and said the herd was out in front of his house. Sure enough, there was a herd of eleven out there, tame enough (Bill feeds them) that I got close enough for this picture of a javelina herd.