A very merry un…

U

Dear reader,

Sometimes in this craziness that we call life, we need to stop and enjoy whatever moment we are currently in.  You’ve been on this month long journey with me for 25 days now, and I would like to thank you for joining – and continuing – with me.  So, as a way to celebrate, I’ve decided to join Mr. Lewis Carroll and the Mad Hatter and wish you a “VERY, MERRY UNBIRTHDAY”!!

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First some lovely tea…

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Then some yummy cake…

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Have an awesome Thursday!  😉

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Healthy Tuesday, and that means the letter S!

S

It’s S Day – and I went on a 5.5 mile hike over the weekend on Spillway and Signal Wash trails! Hopefully this means my motivation is back! 🙂

The thing about both of these trails is that you actually have to hike Blevins Trail to get to Spillway Trail, and then you can hike Spillway to Signal Wash trail. But to get back to your vehicle, you’ll have to hike about half a mile on Meridian Trail to get to Amigo Wash trail to get to Blevins Trail to get back to the parking lot! That’s how it goes from being a 1.7 mile hike to a 5.5 mile hike! 🙂 It’s a pretty easy hike – the map lists them all as “easy”, and my seventy-two year mother was able to do it yesterday. But remember – watch out for snakes this time of year, and take LOTS OF WATER!!!

Hope you enjoy the pictures and have a great Tuesday. 😀

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My 73 year old mother in the blue shirt hiking with me. 🙂

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eagle claw cactus 1

TODAY is letter H day!

 

H is for healthy, h is for hiking, and h is for Hayden Butte – which is where I hiked yesterday afternoon.  Hayden Butte (also known as “A” Mountain) is located in Tempe, Arizona.  It’s a nice hike when you’re looking for some outdoor exercise that won’t take too long.  What’s REALLY great are the views:  from Native American petroglyphs thousands of years old to being able to look out over the Valley of the Sun.  It’s not free, but at $2.00 for an hour, it’s not that bad either.

H is also for HELL – which is what wordpress has been giving me for the past TWO DAYS!!!!  I’ve got some cool pics to share with you, but wordpress is saying NO, NO, NO and my pics won’t post.  Unfortunately dear reader I am forced to simply publish this post and hope to get the pictures up tomorrow or Friday.

Please accept my apologies – apparently the internet is not my friend at the moment!  XP

 

 

 

U is for un…

a-to-z-letters-u

U is for Unbirthday!  😀

Dear reader,

Sometimes in this craziness that we call life, we need to stop and enjoy whatever moment we are currently in.  You’ve been on this month long journey with me for 24 days now, and I would like to thank you for joining – and continuing – with me.  So, as a way to celebrate, I’ve decided to join Mr. Lewis Carroll and the Mad Hatter and wish you a “VERY, MERRY UNBIRTHDAY”!!

unbirthday1

First some tea…

unbirthday_cake_canon_923332_o

…then some cake…

unbirthday

…and finally…take a moment to relax and enjoy

the moment!

Happy Unbirthday to you!  😉

M is for Merkle Trail

merkle

Merkle Trail…this is the one trail at Usery Mountain Regional Park that everyone, no matter what their health or mobile condition is, can do.  :)As you can tell, the paths are wide, smooth, and well maintained – perfect for the older walker/hiker, strollers or wheelchairs.

merkle 4

The lady in the jacket is my mother (and she’s 72 years old)!

The views are lovely, and the half mile hike is a great one when you’re running out of time (the park closes at sundown), getting over a pulled muscle, or just want to take a stroll.  🙂

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She had no clue at the time that I was taking her picture! 😉

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Sunset – not a particularly lovely one with all the usual colors, but a nice one just the same.

Eagles and Elves…

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You’re probably wondering what eagles could possibly have to do with elves in the Sonoran Desert.  Well…they both live in the Sonoran Desert!

Yes, we do have eagles that fly overhead, but the eagle I’m referring in this post is the eagle claw cactus.  I’m not sure how it got that name – maybe because the cactus spines like similar to an eagle’s claw?

Eagle_claw_cactus_flower_bloom

This cactus is a native plant of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico areas.  It varies in color from grayish-green to bluish-gray, and reaches a maximum size of about 45 centimeters tall by 20 centimeters wide. The body of the cactus is made up of curving sections that twist around it, and will have up to 10 spines protruding from each areole. The spines are pretty looking – they vary in color from pink, to gray, to brown.  The eagle claw cactus usually blooms in June, and its flowers range in color from pink to magenta.  One side note I discovered in my research on Sonoran Desert plants/animals whose names begin with the letter ‘e’ is that the eagle claw cactus is listed as an endangered species!

eagle claw cactus 1

On to the elves!  The Elf Owl, that is.  🙂  This little creature lives in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It’s the world’s lightest owl, with a body weight of about 1.4 oz. and runs in length from 4.9 to 5.7 in long.  Tiny!

Elf_Ow_Cropped_very_small

Elf Owls usually live in abandoned, north-facing woodpecker cavities in Saguaro cacti, sycamores, cottonwoods, and other hardwood trees, to raise their young.  They feed mainly on insects, such as moths and other flying buggies.  I think they’re cute – what do you think?

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So what did I learn along the way of writing this post?  That even cactus can become endangered!  Who would have thought that?  🙂

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