Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bits of August

August skies in Tucson are often dramatic and wild, colorful and ever-changing.  I try to get out on my walk early enough to catch the sunrise.  On the days I succeed, I am usually rewarded.

This morning the cloud cover was just a bit heavier, and I was a little later, which I blame on the nectar bats who emptied the hummingbird feeders.  Of course I had to fill all the feeders before I could go walking.  So, there was little color in the sky, but these beautiful rays shone through the clouds.

As you can see by those four saguaros, this is one of my favorite spots to shoot the sunrise.  On the next block is an amazing crested saguaro, perhaps the most unique I've ever seen.  Not only is the main trunk crested, but three of the arms are now making crests also.  Scientists do not know the reason for the cristate formation, although there are a number of theories. Generally, it has to do with some disturbance of the growing tip.

From big things to little things.  I'm usually on the lookout for trash as I'm walking, and all that looking down sometimes rewards me with tiny sights like this little creature.  This is a red velvet mite, Dinothrombium sp., in the arachnid family.  While most mites are tiny, microscopic even, the red velvet is a relative giant.  They
emerge from their underground homes during the rainy season and are occasionally seen in large numbers.  

A guy walking his dog thought it was hilarious that I was taking a photo of this little creature.  Another day I saw a desert millipede crossing the street, so naturally I had to take his photo too.  A passing driver gave me an odd stare.

August is the month of blooming barrel cacti and deep red prickly pear fruits.

Tiny pink flowers of the chain fruit cholla throw their color into the mix as well.

A young male Costa's hummingbird has found a very appropriate perch in my yard where he can sit in the shade and keep a close eye on 'his' feeder.

It's the birthday month, which always means lots of FOOD!  Fun and delicious lunches and dinners with friends and my husband.  At the Stables restaurant in Tubac, I shared lunch with my friend, Beryl, and of course we had to have a choclaty dessert.  

And those beautiful skies just keep on coming!

Now, if those clouds would only do their real job and bring us some rain!  Here's wishing you many glorious skies!


  1. I always enjoy your pictures from the desert, but your header is especially lovely.

  2. Wow, beautiful August pictures! That sure is an unusual crested saguaro, and I love the color of the red velvet mite. :)

  3. Beautiful sky shots. This time of year is so perfect for dramatic skies.
    I had to smile reading your post - it makes me feel better knowing I am not the only who gets funny looks from passers by when they see what I am photographing :)

  4. You have some gorgeous pictures on your blog. I kept scrolling through and even though I don't like frogs and snakes found the pictures interesting. :) Gorgeous colored flowers, also.

  5. Hi Carole, long time no see!! I've been so remiss about visiting blogs, but while I travel, am trying to catch up and say hello. Your pictures are gorgeous! I esp. like the hummer on the hummer. How random!! Take extra special care! ~karen


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