Thursday, September 29, 2016


A brief mention of global warming which recently came up on NPR (5:45 pm, 10/4) which noted that if we didn't meet the ambitious goals set by the Obama administration we "would be in trouble with global warming."

Elizabeth Kolbert, who did all the hard work on THE SIXTH EXTINCTION, (writing is, indeed, hard work) creates a non-fiction account of  the history of five previous mass extinctions recognized by science while laying the groundwork for labeling many currently endangered species headed for extinction.
Science recognizes five previous mass extinctions each occurring at the very end of one historical epoch or as a significant element at the start of a new epoch.

We  are  currently at the beginning of the Anthropocene Epoch with its own mass extinction going on.  Mass extinctions are pretty much just that:  PeriodS when there is a significant reduction in the number of species living on Earth.

That includes homo sapiens.  As one commentator put it, "man is very busy sawing off  the very limb he is perched on."  It has generally been recognized that Man has caused ocean acidification, global warming, and vast changes to the ecosystem that resulted in habitat loss for many species pushing many of those species to the edge of their ability to survive.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

LSD for Bees

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams." -- Paul Gauguin

Bees lead interesting lives.  Although some people do, as well, bees are smaller, get into smaller places and, from a human perspective, perceive remarkably distorted vistas of color.
The palette becomes infinite from the perspective of a bee.
A Teddy Bear Cholla glows fluorescent green. 
What a bee notices may be obscure but this Hedgehog Cactus may be more dramatic to it than a sunset.

Green or Yellow? . . . hell, a bees eyes may have defined 
chartreuse before we knew what it was. 

"Color! What a deep and mysterious language, the language                            of dreams." -- Paul Gauguin
The color of this Hedgehog Cactus approaches the drama of the Aurora Borealis.

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Monday, August 11, 2014

A Swarm of Hummingbirds

I'd like to say we traveled to the far reaches of the desert backcountry to get these photos but, alas, I journeyed no further than my back porch.  At 30 min. past sunrise, coffee was there, also!

A Rufus intent on the feeder.
At an average of 50- to 80-beats per second, this is what you get with a slow shutter.
Oh, my . . . 
Something got part of this gals wing!
A youngster has trouble!

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Bees View

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Skinny Dipping at Lee's Ferry

We had driven north through the Navajo Reservation looking for cooler weather up around the Vermilion Cliffs.  We didn't have permits for this wilderness area but figured we'd find good stuff on the edges.  The Colorado River runs along the southern edge of Vermilion Cliffs . . . that's good, it'll provide focus and texture to our thoughts...imaginings...activity.
Lee's Ferry is about 30 miles down-river from the town of Page/Glen Canyon Dam/entrance of the Paria River.  Lee's Ferry, despite its historic roots, is nothing but a "rubber ducky" concession for tourists.
Years back I had gone on two white water raft trips on the Youghiogheny River near Ohiopyle, PA.  If you were lucky Spring rapids were Class III - IV, exciting because the ride was fast and there was a danger of being thrown out.

The Youghiogheny's Class III/Class IV was measured, in those days, against the 
Colorado's IX/X.  This day, however, the Colorado was not a Class X nor was I still 25.  
We decided to skip skinny dipping and, as fits our gray hair, opt for the car air conditioner.

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Bees Do It

In a collection of essays titled, Natural Acts, David Quammen questions whether sex is necessary for reproduction.  As it turns out, the answer is "No", nor is it necessary to do it in a libidinous frenzy for either bees or flowers.
Hedgehog cactus blossom is on the edge of old age.
Flowers usually avoid excesses...and bees often just hang out on the edges, waiting for a photographer to go away.
Globemallows come in a range of colors: from orange and red to blue,
white and lavender.  Perfect for Mother's Day.
When bees jump in, it's not libidinously but out of hunger.
The salmon-colored blossom is a favorite but scarce in my area.
So, we're left with a peculiar question: Do bees lust for the flowers' pollen or are they just hungry?
This Prickly Pear hybrid has reached old age judging from the condition of its filaments.
Maybe it doesn't matter.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Little Did I Know...

Buckhorn Cholla, Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa, grows in
Northern Mexico and Arizona. Its colors are often yellow, 

orange,  russet . . . but not green.

The "chenille" prickly pear, Opuntia aciculata, grows on dry 
open ground. . .or on the Gulch Road curve of 89A in 
Jerome, AZ.  
This salmon-colored prickly pear  is a favorite.  
Why, I don't know but the Gulch Road curve 
of 89A in Jerome, AZ is a prettier place.
This glow-in-the-dark prickly pear was buried behind 
branches of a bush, hiding from most traffic at the spot.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Where's Your Tail . . .

It's not often that one becomes close to a lizard.  While not close in the strictest sense of the word, this was more an interest that sprung from the fact that I had witnessed the "altercation" with a cat when the lizard rid himself of his tail.  I had read about this dreadful separation but never saw it happen. . . but I had to dispose of the tail when it did.

This lizard ditched his tail in an altercation with a cat.
The loss of its tail didn't affect its appetite, however.  It was actively stalking the crab spider when I first began to notice the drama.
The new tail began to appear in about 3 - 4 days and has grown about 3/4 in.since then.
At the first hint, sight, glance or intuition that the lizard had a meal on its mind, the spider immediately began to rappel down the fence post. It wasn't until I got the pics on the computer that I realized it was missing a leg.
Crab spider is missing a leg, but . . . 
Whether a lizard, crab spider or human we all are damaged and the best way to look at it is                                                 "what the hell" we've all got parts to spare.
                                         So . . . I hope you all find your missing tail.
. . . what the hell, he's got a few to spare.

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Potpourri of Color

Bee coming for a visit at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
  Buckhorn Cholla just hanging out.
Teddy Bear Cholla blossom.
Bee leaving an early Teddy Bear Cholla  at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Thanks and get back!

I recently reviewed the 5 - year statistics of Cactus Photographics
 and realized that an unexpectedly high number, 10% of the Page Views, came from outside the US.  Below is a list of the Top-10 viewing sources.

United States         11587

Russia                     807

Germany                 178

France                     110

China                       99

India                         66

United Kingdom      63

Canada                    61

Malaysia                   53

Poland                      46

If you are from overseas and happen to see this, I would love a quick "Hello" or acknowledgement of who you are and where you live...Just to satisfy my curiosity.  
You can respond in the comments section of this blog or send me an email at

Regardless of where you're located, however, I hope Cactus Photographics, continues to present a bright spot in your day!   Always feel welcome to leave ideas, thoughts, or criticism in the comments section below.  

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