Arizona (3)

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Starting on Friday, October 04, 2002, 12:53:56 PM

Well, well, now we see the frog is back in the scene. Enjoying his time here at my uncle's house he is seen here, appearing to have a nice chat with some of the local yard art. Some with which my aunt kept a close watch on. After all there's yard art thieves around.

My aunt and uncle have done such a great job in decorating and maintaining their home and their yard. Below you can see a hibiscus about to bloom and next to that I believe is an Africanized honey bee, better known as a "Killer Bee". I had worked with honey bees years ago in Montana and from what I am told, the killer bees are very difficult to tell apart from the regular bees, other than maybe a slightly elongated body. This one appeared to be a little different than the ones I had worked with in the past. Of course, not quite as horrendous as what the media had boasted over the years, the killer bees can be quite dangerous in large swarms. Just one or two on a flower doesn't pose much of a threat to a tough guy like me. Well, except when they start looking at me with that hungry look like this one here. Then I become frightened, run and scream like little girl.

Another threat to my uncle's property is this blue heron here. My aunt and uncle had built a small goldfish pond and found that the goldfish were disappearing. Later they had discovered that this bird was the culprit. Since then they have put a cage around the pond but the bird still comes back from time to time to see if it can get a quick meal.

Here you can see some of the surrounding vegetation on my uncle's property. The Cholla here is a very harsh cactus. It has been called a Jumping Cholla because of its ability to latch onto a passer by almost gives the illusion that it has jumped onto you. The individual segments of this plant are easily removed and fall off at the slightest touch. With tiny hooks on the ends of the needles it can easy attach itself to just about any surface of skin. If you are attacked by this plant and get a piece on you, take it from me, do not try to grab it and remove it. You then have it painfully stuck to your hand. I suggest that you find a stick and remove it that way.

Then there's the somewhat harmless barrel cactus. Of course its only harmless if you stay away from it. It has incredibly large needles on it and can be extremely painful if you were to fall on one. Nest to that is the prickly pear cactus, also with sharp needles.

Now the mesquite trees are all over the place. A small scraggly tree it usually doesn't have thorns and is normally safe to be around and touch. However, if any part of the tree is torn off or abruptly cut then that limb or branch will grow back with nasty, sharp thorns like the one below. An amazing protective mechanism, it would then keep any possible threat at a distance with its new armament. 

Even out in the desert my aunt maintains a beautiful rode garden with a nice variety of different colors.

The hummingbird feeder attracts several of the tiny hummingbirds. This one here seems to be a tough guy. Although he may be full he will try to run off any other birds from his feeder.

Then I found this giant. While exploring through the garden this big grasshopper came fluttering by and hid in the foliage of the garden. I crept up on it until I gained enough trust to pick it up and hold it. I took several pictures until my aunt saw it and yelled for me to kill it. Well I certainly couldn't do that after gaining its trust. So let it go on the ground so that she could squash its guts into the ground.

A few sad goodbyes to my uncle Carl and aunt Marvis and I was on my way down the highway to Mexico. Having altered my route just a bit I plan to stop back by here again, on my way through, for another much needed rest. 

Besides, they still had more food after I left.

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