Roses are A-bloomin’!

Last spring during the pandemic lock-down, Jayel and I planted roses in our front yard. We were new to the neighborhood and I will admit to having rose envy. Everywhere were these beautiful roses; adorning patios and peeking over the tops of fences.

Last summer was one of the hottest summers Phoenix has had to date. We lost two lemon trees in the backyard and I’m grateful the roses didn’t succumb to the same fate. Things were a little sketchy for a while but they’ve pulled through.

There are several buds on each bush right now and each time I spot them I wait in quiet anticipation for each phase of blooming. There is beauty in each.

Years ago I took a bus from Ensenada, Mexico to an area a few miles away that was home to many vineyards. As the city slipped behind me, the landscape ahead revealed rolling hills with rows and rows of grapevines. At the ends of each row was a blooming rose bush.

It was a warm day which was the catalyst for the fragrant rose scented air. I asked a worker what the purpose of the rose bushes were in the vineyard. He told me aphids. Apparently aphids will eat the rose petals first, which gives the workers time to get rid of them before they attack the grapes. Very clever.

Morning In The Desert

On Sunday, a girlfriend and I made it over to South Mountain Park for a morning of hiking.  This park is located a little bit south of Phoenix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The desert heat is gone for a few months and we were treated to temps in the 80s.  To the right is a view of the valley floor.  Camelback Mountain is directly in the center.  If you look closely, you can see that it resembles a camel laying down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Phoenix can be seen in this one.  I work in one of the highrises there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These saguaro cactus epitomize life in the desert.  Many of them have been used as target practice by people with guns (there's still an element of the wild west here and it is legal here for most to carry guns).  Saguaro are protected by the state but are often poached, only to wind up in someone's yard. 

They are quite majestic.

Below is a pile of volcanic rock.  This mountain range at one point in history had been an active volcano.  Glad that's changed!

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a view looking west.  If you look to the horizon of this picture, you can barely make out the tops of houses in the valley below.  Somewhere in there is Ruben's and my home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stone structure to the right was once part of a camp.  This area had been a working ranch at one time.  The park has these type of structures scattered throughout it's grounds.  At one time they had tin roofs.  Most have an old fireplace inside.

 

One item I had hoped to catch on camera was a boulder with ancient Hohokam Indian drawings on the side.  I remember the first time I stumbled across it I stood in awe at the drawings of scrolling lines and the outlines of what appeared to be drawings of people.  This time around though, the entire boulder was gone.  It could not have been an easy feat to remove that from the mountain.  I hope it is safe in a museum somewhere where all can enjoy and not in some millionaire's home. 

 

So this was my Sunday.  Peace was had by all.

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Seen In Phoenix

Have I mentioned that I love where I live?  There is so much here within the city that would make good blogging material.  Over the weekend I took a few pictures while I was out and about.  A few weeks ago my husband and I were driving by this area with all these run down little houses.  He explained to me that these were used to house Japanese Americans during World War 2.  This is a very sad part of Phoenix's past.  I guess these buildings had been located elsewhere throughout the city and then they were just stuck on this plot of land.

 

One very neat thing about Phoenix is that there are murals everywhere.  They are painted on the sides of buildings and on the sides of bridges underneath the freeway.  The photo below was taken outside of a menudo shop.  Menudo is a tripe soup (and was also the name of that boy band featuring Ricky Martin way back when).  The Virgin of Guadalupe is featured everywhere in this area.  She is the patroness of Mexico.  Her image adorns t-shirts, bumper stickers, and even car air fresheners.  In Spanish above her head it reads 'God Bless This Business.'  There's usually an angel underneath her but the angel here has been replaced by a man in a mariachi outfit. 

 

The next shot was taken from downtown Phoenix.  It's looking south to the aptly named South Mountains.  This was taken from where I work back in May.  I think that is the last time it really rained here.

 

Finally, my own backyard.  It's not much but it's a great place to sip wine and watch the stars.

 

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