Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Post Two 2018: My Flowers

Why I Garden

Note:
Copyright © 2018 Lonnie D.Watkins

Why I Garden:

These are flowers that I have grown, and the images are of my own plants. Am going to attempt to use as few words as possible to describe them.

Flowers, Their Poetic Beauty

  • White-Star Jasmine:
  • Fragrance. Totally pleasant.

    Trachelospermum jasminoides

    27 May 2013

  • Bougainvillea:
  • Enduring beauty

    Bougainvillea spp.

    30 May 2013

  • Baby's Breath
  • African Daisy
  • Pink Primrose
  • Spanish Flag Lantana

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Post One 2018: "MAIN" Page

Restoration Of My Garden 2018

Note:
Copyright © 2018 Lonnie D.Watkins

Restoration Of My Garden 2018

During September 2014, I moved into this apartment. As time went by and I got accustomed to these new digs, I decided to go to work on a long-term garden. This "MAIN" page is a discussion of where the garden is as of today,: the plants I am working with and how things will go during this year 2018. Have been recovering from some serious health issues. Am feeling much better after a lot of work and some serious motivation. Have blogged about how I was feeling, here, yet am focused upon my garden inside this post. While I was lethargic and ill my garden did not receive the care it needed to thrive. Am going to re-establish a fine garden using the lessons I have learned. Am highly motivated. I just love to garden and it is very therapeutic for people.

A photo of a hybrid opuntia blossom. Round and about 2-inches in diameter. Bright, vivid, and deep reddish orange.

Hybrid Opuntia Blossom - 12apr17

Came back to add an image emphasizing the thorn clusters that protect this genus of cactus (below). Awesome blooms, awesome thorns. In addition to punctures, these thorns have an irritant type poison that is quite uncomfortable. In my opinion an animal will remember not to touch this plant. Discovered a Wikipedia page specifically about Glochids and Spines that may be of interest.

"Spines"

Slowly, yet surely, am adding additional information to this blog. Below is a table of contents directing anyone interested to different work that may be needed to complete their own planter and garden. This additional information is what I have encountered as I learned from scratch, "How to Garden," and may be of some help.

Table Of Contents
Page Name Description
Introduction Introduction
"Main" Page Currently Viewing
Old Garden 2012 Soil preparation at my old apartment
Noxious Weeds Removal Removing Bermuda Grass from the new planter

The "MAIN" page of this four page blog.

This image below brings me to why I am here... my garden after being so ill. New plants, new efforts, and a bit of work. In my years of gardening, have noticed that people will buy plants already grown, plant them, and then call themselves gardeners. They will use soil from fertile sources instead of working their own soil. I use a fertilizer treatment named Scott's Miracle-Gro. For me this is best. Mix the powder with water and pour. Simple enough.The link above asks a reader to sign up for their newsletter. The newsletter is region specific. The treatment is still man-made and i work to better my soil, yet people I know water each time with this fertilizer because it does not build up and ruin the plants. Is very nice.I am using Miracle-Gro on this sprout below to enhance its chances for survival. It had already sprouted before I removed it from a landscape, so the smaller roots were damaged. It may not survive, I want to help it, and will try hard to help it survive. There are more seedlings where this one came from. .

My New Texas Sage-A Sprout

Leucophyllum candidum - 29dec17 (Texas Sage)

The full thick lush shrub below is being used as a landscape application. I don't know how old the plant may be but must be some years. The assistant manager of the store where this plant is located gave me permission to harvest the sprout above. A two-and-a-half quart specimen runs $7.98 at a local home center while a three-and-a-half gallon specimen costs $23.00 at the same store. This is what I intend to gain by caring for the sprout. "Purple Sage" will make a nice addition to my xeriscaping.

A Full-grown Texas Sage Used In A Landscaping Application

Leucophyllum candidum - 2011 (A Full-grown Texas Sage Used In A Landscaping Application)

There are many images of the garden I need to share. Am just trying to figure out the best way.

Overview of Water and Temperature

My home is Las Vegas, NV. For a serious horticulturist research of an area is most important. For instance, the Las Vegas Valley Wiki taught me that we receive just under five-inches of rain per year. This article mentions the raw intensity of the sunlight in passing. Anyone planning to cultivate here should focus on how dangerous the sunlight's intense radiation is to specimens. I specifically work with my new plants during the late Winter to early Spring. The garden is just waking from a period of cold weather dormancy. New plants have a chance to adjust in sync with the weather if planted at the correct time of year.The temperatures included in the Wikipedia Article cited above are broken down like so:

Temperatures at Las Vegas
temperature Winter Summer
Highs day 52-60º F day 100-110º F
Lows night 34-42º F night 72-80º F

Have lived here for ages and I am quite familiar with what to grow inside this desert environment. The Wikipedia article linked above speaks of the limits on the amount of water Las Vegas receives from the Colorado River at Lake Mead and the exponential population growth in our Valley. Alongside the five whole inches of rain we receive, there has been a prolonged drought here, so I am very conscious of the water economy. My plants do not need much water. Choosing the right plants to grow is an important responsibility working hand-in-hand with water conservation. The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) has done studies of which plants are wise to grow here and the studies include ways to protect plants from the sun's radiation. In addition, it is easily determined by plain observation. My garden is (is going to be) made up of the plants that attract me as well as plants that require very little water. I have grown at least nine genera/species of cactus from "pads" and "pears." One thing that is important to note: it is illegal to remove native plants from our beautiful desert. As you will notice I have focused upon cactus at this current garden. The cacti are my highest achievements so far... my peanut cactus being a highlight. Three other varieties have blossomed as well.

A photo of an adult peanut cactus in full bloom

Echinopsis chamaereus - 27apr17 - Peanut Cactus In Full Bloom

The peanut cactus colony above is about seven years old. I colonized this five gallon pot with three or four broken off "stems." Making sure to bury the correct side down (the end or side that was attached to the finger-like parent when it fell off), I just placed the stems to a shallow depth and basically watched them grow with little or no maintenance, watering once in a while to keep them hydrated. Cactus stems, pears and pads store water for use later. This storage of water allows them to thrive in dry to drought-like environments.

As shown by the first image below, it is obvious that the peanut cactus to the left of the yellow five-gallon bucket of Aloe is overgrown and needs cleaning up. The stems have gotten very long and stretched. This stretching is very obvious. Comparison to the thickness of the new growth with the longer older stretched growth is pronounced. The second image below is a small Echinopsis chamaecereus. This peanut cactus has rooted into the soil and I am studying how its growth progresses. Even though it needs tidying up as well.

Photo of an assortment of cactus on my front porch.

Over-grown peanut cactus - 29jan17

Of the three larger pots, above, the square ice chest painted a creamy white has an over-grown specimen exhibiting the stretching of the longer stems. Wind-blown debris has collected around the excess growth, but because this is the longest the stems have grown since starting to raise these cactus, I will do some clean up and research this phenomena. Would like to see the stems long, healthy and vital. Of the three larger pots, the round five-gallon planter is the same cactus shown above, "Peanut Cactus In Full Bloom," and also in this image there are three other genera: small terra cotta pots containing ornamental Thimble Cactus, and to the far left, my last remaining cylindropuntia in front of the almost hidden red polka dot prickly pear. The "Succulentopedia" has an excellent, and short, comprehensive discussion about the Cactaceae family of plants. The article is well worth reading. As a matter of fact, reading the link just cited will make coming to this post worth the time because it is a very informative article. A world-class presentation and composition.

Peanut Cactus Overgrown and Rooting - 29dec17

To the bottom of this second image of overgrown peanut cactus above can be seen where the cactus is taking roots in the soil. This is really neat! The main reason I leave the refuse and dust-blown debris is to protect my outdoor plants from a freeze. Warmth as well as conservation of water lost to evaporation. Am in the desert and economic use of water is key. This particular cactus was grown from a piece (pup) of my Mom's peanut cactus. In addition, the container was given to me from my Mom as a gift. My mother passed away during 2006. Nuff said. Other than saying, "This makes the cactus colony in the pot above at least eleven years old!"

Overview of Soil and Composting/Mulching

Below is an image of the all-important mulch/compost bed included with my gardening effort. This is a very young mulch bed, only two years old. A good compost bed is worth gold. I add anything organic that is removed from my garden, table scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds. I intend to gather a huge bag of leaves to add before I turn the mulch with a shovel. Am going to raise it up another level. A nice expansion. Temperature (1) and water economy (2) as well as weed control (3) enter into a discussion of desert composting. I put down chicken wire and raise it a couple of inches using cinder blocks to repel cats. May just be this area but I have a real problem with them. My Thomas cat,too! I think he accompanies me just to learn the choicest areas.

  1. Temperature:
  2. The high temperatures in Las Vegas during the summer are roughly around 100-110º F, although, not always but these are the temperatures to be considered most important during the Summer. The other variable in the high temperature equation here is intensity. Because of the intensity, I have seen thriving plants die because of the heat absorbed by the ground. Cooking the roots. Soil so hot that you cannot hold it in your hand. Uncomfortably and intensely hot. I cannot over emphasize this fact. Next to a house it will be cooler and in other areas of a garden area the soil will be cooler. Out in open unsheltered areas a good ground cover (mulch) is very beneficial to plants. I use the compost that is created in my beds as a mulch ground cover. Do not know what the scientists would call this but I know from experience this works for me.

    One thing I have noticed in a lot of articles is they teach people to use newspaper, cardboard, shredded plastic, and other types of processed material. I don't know how many of you have ever driven or walked past a paper mill but the smell is disgusting. Processing the paper pulp involves bleaching, and chemical cleaning. Adhesives must be used to strengthen the fibers. Do not want this in my garden. Rubber and plastic are disgusting to me also. Even if the material decomposes, I do not want the chemicals in my garden. With my compost, I want the soil to have a lower temperature and lower radiation intensity because the roots are shielded from the sunlight. And I have learned that a good solid compost will shield the plant's roots from over-night freezing. The soil absorbs heat during the day, and will release heat slowly so that by the time the sunrise comes around the ground is still warm. Because the compost acts like a blanket.

  3. Water Economy:
  4. This year I may try to add earth worms to my garden. Or maybe it is too soon. Have only been adding nutrients to the soil in the form of genuine care for about two-three years. I may not have created the correct environment, yet. This is another benefit of compost and water economy, earth worms. I do not know the special care worms would need,yet am aware they need moisture and nutrition. With the dryness, would have to find a way to keep the soil moist.

    Quite soon, because this is the correct time of year, will start on a new bed up against the far wall. Will use concrete stakes and wood to border a bed. The soil is a conglomerate of hefty stones combined with soil, so will dig down and sift the dirt like the old bed across the street. When completed the soil will be prepared leaving the task of finding earth worms. How about going to a tackle and bait shop for worms? Will keep this bed wet and insulate it with a good mulch The compost/mulch combination will prevent excessive sunlight intensity and thereby protect the roots. The compost/mulch combination will prevent excessive water evaporation as well. Over the next year or two I will transfer my mulch up against the apartment to the bed up against the wall.The blog linked above will aid interested gardeners in preparing their own planter. Voila.

  5. Weed Control:
  6. This is a very easy task for me to illustrate using words. Work, labor, and removing weeds by hand,time spent weeding is key. Time can be "saved" by using a poison, yet there are drawbacks labelled on every container of poison. There are even Federal Government Guidelines required on each, which has led me to believe, over the years, that the drawbacks out-weigh the benefits.

    The benefits of not using poisons will "save", also. To someone interested in gardening and weed control... read the blog that I linked above in the "water economy" discussion. Preparing the soil under the plants is key. With Bermuda Grass going deep into the soil to remove the rhizomes is important. Then the gardener's pest won't return. When the area is dug out, replacing the soil with something natural will be vastly superior to poisoned, compacted soil with rhizomes still being a part of the planter bed.

  7. Conclusion:
  8. I have done my best to describe the interconnection of soil, water, temperature, and natural plant care for serious gardening. Bermuda/Crab grasses can be quite a problem,also. This turned out to be a bit long and tedious for one blog post, yet with the images to illustrate the results, maybe it will be enough. Follow through by visiting the links I have shared as well as researching Mojave Desert for yourself. If you are planning a garden in our dry climate? "It" is about follow through with solid research.

A photo of my mulch bed

Combination Mulch and Compost Planter - 29dec17

Over the years, I have read tons of information about mulching and composting. Here is a post discussing mulch and compost differences. I plan on using a processed and cleaned manure along with a new big bag of leaves to finish off this area. Will add both and turn it to let it rest until next year. I water it regularly.

Thimble cactus is another easy desert plant to grow. It is very ornate and compact. Some sites recommend it as a bedding/ground cover cactus, but I have only grown it using containers. The blooms are a pale yellow... impressive structure yet small. For me, the ease of care and the star-shaped aureole of thorns are awesome. Prolific growth. Have decided to try to build a raised bed for some of my plants. Not a terrace but island. Along the lines of a terraced platform. The soil I am stuck with here is terrible. Packed, sterile clay with the remains of rock used as a weed control mulch years ago. Yep. Will have a bed of Thimble Cactus just as I read about. Added this photo below to emphasize the striking beauty of the thorns protecting thimble cactus

A photo of Thimble Cactus close up emphasizing the star shaped aureoles-thorns

Mammillaria gracilis var. fragilis - 16mar16 - Thimble Cactus

The "Succulentopedia" article about the cactus family explains the taxonomy in detail. Thorns and flowers grow from the aureoles along the top edge of the stem ribs. Apparently, like flowers, thorns are very complex parts of a cactus. They help radiate excess heat and cool the plants. The thorns provide shade from the intense desert sunlight, provide insulation during the cold desert nights and help retard water evaporation.

A photo of Thimble Cactus in bloom

Thimble Cactus In Bloom - 16mar16

After viewing the images above, one can see for themselves why this is a favourite of mine. Have done some reading about this plant. The piece that falls off if you touch it when planted are formally named "Pups." The cactus is a native of Mexico, also. Need to go water my "puppies" in a few minutes. Just think that is a really cool name.The image below is of the same cactus that is in bloom above... one-and-a-half years later.

A photo of ornamental thimble cactus

Thimble Cactus - 9dec17 - Overgrown Container

Comparing the image above with the image below shows why I am going to try a planter bed cover of Thimble Cactus. One major factor being the availability of specimens to practice this project. Plenty of new exciting projects for the new year. Am ready.

A photo of a thimble cactus pup planted 29 December 2017

A "Pup"

In the image above, A Pup, and there are three Thimble Cacti on the patio. Every cactus gardener that I have met has the obligatory Aloe Vera, which is a succulent as is cactus, also. Do not know why yet it may be because Aloe is just as drought tolerant as cactus. I like the plant for its red inflorescence (I do not know the sub-species name), and the plant grows like a weed for me. There are claims of medicinal value for skin care and other things. Do not know if science has checked it out though. The photo below of Aloe Vera in bloom shows the vibrant red inflorescence.

Photo of Red Aloe Vera Inflorescence

Aloe Planter In Bloom - 12mar17

The image below is the Aloe planter prepared for Winter. The plants over-grown like this will help protect them from a desert freeze (over-night usually) and will act as a mulch by conserving water and protecting from excessive heat. Have not decided where to go with this abundance of plants nor what to do with so many offsets. There is also a container out back that is very over grown, so I had better figure something and "soon."

A photo of my Aloe planter

Am uploading all of these images because I want someone special to see my garden because I talk about it so much. I love gardening here in the desert. Just want to share some of my images of my garden. Hope it doesn't take too long to load on phones. Am going to remember to capture an image of the aloe planter above when it is in full bloom this year. I think at one time last March or April there were about 40-45 stalks of flowers, but I forget the count.

An image of the very first flower in my garden 2018

The First Flower Of 2018 - 5jan17

Was out tidying my garden on the fifth of January 2018 and ran across this little fellow. The very first flower of the year. Kind of broke my workflow to post this image but wanted to illustrate the pace of gardening here at my apartment. Have been here about three years and the plants are beginning to acclimatize because of the time they have had for themselves to just grow, naturally, alongside TLC. No buying already grown and established plants for me. It is a combination of G-d's creation and nurturing that produce a healthy garden.Below is an image of one of my cactus planters. This is below one of my windows for burglary prevention, and to deter other crazy thoughts. I love my neighbors in this very poor and rough area and keep them in my thoughts a lot of the time.

A photo of the four cactus under my window from 2017

A Cactus Bed - 29dec17

When first getting this bed established the cats took a liking to the loose, easy to dig, and clean soil. Spent quite a bit of time getting the soil prepared for the plants to thrive. Would have liked to have some leaves to add when putting the soil back, or maybe some proper cleaned and processed cow manure. Instead the soil was just returned into the hole. The landlord has two bougainvillea shrubs, so I utilized the "thorny" branches to create a kind of net. This is still visible after two to three years. When there is time, I will go "into" this bed and clean up the debris. For now this is fine.

A photo of the four cactus under my window from 2016

A Cactus Bed - 8may16

The image above describes two genera and three species of cactus. The cinder block to the left is the mulch bed discussed above in this post. The bigger prickly pear is the hybrid opuntia. An image of the big reddish-orange blossom that opens this post is a child of this hybrid. Alongside and surrounding the hybrid are cinnamon and white polka dot bunny ear cactus. The reddish cacti are cinnamon and the whitish cactus to the right is white polka dot prickly pear There are two images of the "cactus bed." Wanted to show the differences time makes. The two Microdasys varieties are clear in both. Below is an image of the Cinnamon coloured Bunny Ear cactus and the growth is obvious from 2016. Much thicker and higher. With the image below, wanted to emphasize the barbs and complete makeup of the glochids.

Opuntia microdasys v. rufida - 23mar16

Have read a little about these cactus and most times protecting our eyes from exposure to glochids is emphasized. Gathering the information to write this post has taught me of unapparent danger. Serious stuff! Because of the size of the barbs... our senses tend to ignore the initial sensations yet the irritant is inside our eye socket and causes infection. Wow. The Wikipedia Article even has quotes from Medical texts. This just shows the importance of learning and this is just one "small" example.The danger is easier to imagine after viewing the image below.

Opuntia microdasysy - 10jan18- Zoom detail

Just barely even touching this pad above or being close during a strong gust of wind could dislodge even a dozen of these thousands of minature barbed spines. Am just astounded that I did not know the seriousness of the danger to our eyes. Although one of the pleasant aspects of this "bunny ear"cactus is that rough contact with the plant or pad is not very uncomfortable.There was a rainstorm last night which covered the surface of the pad with water. Am so thankful for a solid rain. The water authority says it will take years for us to recover from our current drought.

Reminded myself, there is a page feature Here offered with Blogger. Am interested in this because of the length of this blog. There are 19 images and one table.Will test to see if this is how it works.

Copyright © 2018 Lonnie D.Watkins

Friday, November 10, 2017

Feeling Good

Feeling Good

Finally, was given some type of motivation and have started to walk. Whew! It's been a while. My six glutes really shrank these past few months. Have been out five or six times and have gone quite a distance. Am thinking the ass muscles are tightening, yet this may be wishful thinking, and tonight I have intent to capture an image of the Las Vegas Wash Pedestrian Overpass on L.V.B., N. When I went shopping night before last saw that it looks magnificent at night with all the lights. While recuperating after my falls, I fell behind with my chores and activities/business. Am getting caught up with my supplies, need to do laundry, and clean up a lot more. Another thing is that I may have hurt my left hip and knee. Squatting is quite difficult for my knee (posterior side) and walking is difficult on my hip when walking depending on how I sleep on it. Sprained my wrists and they are healing; right is tender. My right hip gets tired and my right knee is okay

Tonight, am cooking an easy pasta sauce. Need to look up the recipe for the correct spices. Need to go capture an image of the bridge, too, by cooking I am killing time until my woman comes online. Man, is she a hottie. Never did get permission to post an image... darn it. And have taken my meds. So after watering I should be fine. Watering gives me a chance to examine my garden closely. Is night time so will go out tomorrow. Next on the agenda is to photograph a bridge which I will explain after my return (2437 hours).

Above is one of the images I captured last night.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Got Kind Of Ill

index

My most recent post is dated 11 April 2017. I don't know what happened. Have kind of been out of it This is the first time my mind has been focused enough to post on blogger. Almost died once... am sure of it. Yet will whittle everything into place and slowly get re-organized. Even took a couple of photographs. Yaaaay. Have done some cleaning and ate a well-rounded homemade meal.

My hips have fallen into a poor state because I have been housebound. Will begin the ole therapy regimen. Sure am glad that I have this spot on blogger... to note recent events.

UPDATE: 18 October 17: Am thinking the way I feel this day, is the best I have felt in quite a long while. I cannot remember how poorly I felt prior to my first fall on August 24-25. I do know how I have felt since then. Miserable. Extreme excruciating pain... everyday all the time with my only relief, blessed sleep On August 24-25 my right foot got caught as it always used to when getting up out of my computer desk chair. That night my left foot hit a droplet of water or coffee when landing on it. My left foot slipped out so fast that my head hit the ground... straight on, full blast.The doctor, Dr. Salt, asked if I was unconscious or had a seizure after I fell,... said,"I don't know. And how am I supposed to know if I was unconscious?" That's how hard I hit my head.

UPDATE 18 October 17: Continued. Am writing this blog for the whole world to know I have found someone... At this time we are using the hangout feature on gmail to communicate... which is limited with constraints when texting (similar to Twitter). So I decided to construct this written synopsis for her. Am going to include her photo(with permission) and you will see why. Including this photo, the limited conversation we have had on gmail, I have seen many important things. The lady has a very warm personality, and manners. Wouldn't mind going to a fancy sit down dinner with her because she probably knows how to eat in such a setting. She could be wearing her best alongside my best. Wow. Am worried about our age difference.Thirty-five years old?? Have an image I will share if I get permission. Would like her telephone number so I can call her. She asked for mine. Would like one of her e-mails, also. This isn't too much to ask I think. Have to make sure she if aware of how old I am compared to her. I think she is trying to protect her privacy. I have given her my contacts. This should be enough to give her strength to trust me.

That said, after my first fall, I sat down for a while and collected my thoughts. Telephoned for an ambulance, went to the Emergency Room. Gosh, I couldn't walk. Even with my cane it was quite dangerous. When I got to the hospital, they put me in a bed to monitor me. Thank goodness, I think Valley Hospital is the best. Ended up waiting quite a long time and no one checked on me (4.5 hours in my opinion) so I left and came back home. At home it was very hard to manage myself. Quite a bit of difficulty reaching the bathroom. Used my walker. Had food in the pantry and refrigerator. Ended up calling for Emergency Room help on the 27th. The ambulance came, they were quite worried because I was not well. They gave me oxygen and my breathing was quite fast. Doctor Salt wanted to keep my overnight too. They put me in an observation room with a nurse right beside me the whole time.

The staff at the hospital observed me a number of hours, took a blood test, and loaded me up on potassium. Apparently, I had lost my potassium,... similar to working out in the sun and sweating too much without replenishing your supplies of salt and potassium. While I was observed a Humana Insurance rep came in and made sure I got my prescribed meds. I thank him for this.

Below, in block quote, is the draft of an e-mail I was preparing to send to Charles my brother. The letter describes my first fall and the second fall with the physical and social ramifications as of 7 October 2017. The draft of the unsent letter is archived in his folder on gmail.

Am really fucked up bro. I am trying to keep a positive outlook. It seems that at night (dark) the pain level increases. Am having discomfort in all the normal places, just a lot worse than the pain before I fell. It has been over one month since the original fall on Thursday the 24th or Friday the 24th. When I wake up it is either a high level of pain or the pain is okay. One or the other. And as the day wears on the pain stays the same as it was when I woke up. Yet, either way the pain level increases at night. When I go to bed at least I can sleep okay. Haven't noticed a problem with my sleep (thank God!!!) I have had sleeplessness before and it is just plain no good. At least with my medicine the pain is bearable too.
I seem to recall after my first serious fall (not the second time on the 11th) on the 24th or 25th of August, the pain had reached my level of tolerance. This is the first time I went to the E.R. The pain and disorientation on the 27th of August forced me into the E.R. again which is how they discovered my low potassium level. During my visit on the 27th the docs gave me a pretty good workup. Did a scan of my brain because of the fall hitting my head. They gave me a bunch of chest and blood workups because my heart was acting weird on the 27th too. So after they learned of my potassium level being low my landlord brought me by some bananas at my request, and I had my neighbor drive me to the primary doc for an unscheduled prescription pick up on the 29th of August. (with morphine which is a opiate-not an opioid-i have to physically turn in a written prescription each and every time).
When I picked up the prescription, I was scheduled to have two more blood tests which I missed due to transpo. issues on the 31st of August and the 7th of September. Those blood tests were to check my kidneys, yet eating bananas I knew my potassium level would be okay. A home nurse was prescribed by an insurance company doctor, and this nurse came over to my apartment on September 4th. Alongside all of this I was scheduled for a primary doctor's appt. the 13th of September. On September 11th I tripped, making it my second fall. So the following morning I cancelled the doctor's appt. and the transportation I had scheduled for the Sept 13th docs appt. The problem being that for the past 2 weeks my major concern was walking. Walking took so much of my fortitude, the actual action of walking was all consuming. Getting to the bathroom was a problem because walking took everything I had... getting to the bathroom caused me to be afraid that I would go to the bathroom in my pants on the way to the bathroom. This is on the 11th of September and is the reason I did not go to the doctor. I couldn't bend my legs up nor bend over to change my socks and tie my shoes. Much less put on a reasonably clean pair of pants, socks, and undies. I certainly couldn't worry about a docs appt too. Sheesh.

As I sit here after walking just a small amount my left knee is starting to hurt. But I must admit overall, the pain today is at an acceptable level.

And then there is the issue of chores around the house, and food in the refrigerator. And somewhere in this mess, either August 24th or September 11th I torqued out my right wrist and left knee to the maximum. I was so sore after August 24th I might not have noticed my wrist and knee. I think possibly my wrist and knee were hurt Sept 11th. Not sure. My parts and pieces of my body hurt all the time, so I just blow off odd pains. I wake and say,"looks like my wrist and knee hurt today. Oh well." And that is just the way it is, everyday all the time. I wake up and stand to go take a pee in the morning when I wake up. My left foot has been broken so many times, and my right foot is screwed up too. When I stand up in the morning sometimes I say, "Looks like my feet hurt today. Oh well," 90% of the time I don't fall when I get up. 90% of the time... the pain does not cause me to sit back down. So I just blow off the pain. And my doc gives me medicine to help me through the days. It's just the way it is, and I am used to it. Yet anyway, I haven't walked anywhere for groceries in over a month. Minimart, 7-11 burritos for dinner have destroyed my budget. And I haven't cleaned my floor. Hygiene is taken care of for health and safety. The kitchen and bathroom are managed just fine. The trash is never over-filled. A lot of times I don't check the mail.
In addition to not being able to shop for food, I was afraid to use the stove. After the fall on my head I was confused and forgetting things. Like leaving the stove on by accident. Not completing the transaction register calculating my checking account. Forgetting appts. and people's names, et c. Just little things Iwas forgetting. I forgot to file my paperwork with the State of Nevada to supplement my insurance premium and co-pays at the docs. And my $15 a month in food stamps. The paperwork was due the 5th of Sept. while I was dealing with the first fall (like a chicken that just was beheaded for our dinner). Yowzers. This could have been disastrous except the care worker at my doc's office was able to fix it on Sept 22nd. All is well. By the wayside my doc's name is Mary. The care worker's name is Melody.
I started this last night, Thursday, 5 October 2017, and today, Friday I cannot walk very well. Made it to the convenience store for dinner and cat food. Barely made it home. Something has to be wrong. Will study... may need to exercize, but am afraid of damage to the areas that are sore. Dang, would be nice to figure this out. Will complete this e- mail tomorrow and get it to you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

It Bloomed!!

It Bloomed!!

Hybrid opuntia ssp. It bloomed. Woke up this morning and was puttering around outside and almost fell over when seeing this flower.

Such a pleasant surprise


Isn't this a neat flower. The spines are very effective. If one even glances up against the plant that person will come away with dozens of embedded stickers. Literally. The debris that has collected on the segments is quite obvious. Sometimes I go out with tweezers to remove the garbage and feathers, but it is not worth the spines that embed deeply into my gloves. Takes longer to remove them than to delicately remove the debris.

My cactus garden this Spring is thriving yet most of the plants are not old enough for blooms this year. I planted the parent segments after I moved into this place probably around the Spring and Summer of 2015. My Echinopsis chamaecereus (peanut cactus) blooms. And my Mammillaria gracilis fragilis (thimble cactus) blooms. They are both older than two years. Have been thinking about cutting back the majority of new segments growing on the Hybrid opuntia (prickly pear) to allow the plant to save energy internally. After seeing the first blossom this afternoon, I don't think it wise to "force" the plant to bloom. Maybe trimming could encourage the cactus to bloom, although it won't be necessary.Below are some blooms on the peanut cactus.

Echinopsis chamaecereus

    Peanut Cactus

These Echinopsis are fine examples of the genus. There are well over one hundred species of Echinopsis according to the Wikipedia article I referenced to research for this post. The peanut cactus is hardy and easy to work around. The article provided by Wikipedia for the species chamae cereus is still a stub (a short unfinished discussion). For instance, peanut cactus exhibits a property known as nyctinasty. This characteristic is used by highly developed plants. Scientists have not discovered the purpose of a flower folding closed at night, yet they understand the physical process of how the flower closes.

Mammillaria gracilis fragilis

    Thimble Cactus

This is thimble cactus to the right. It hasn't bloomed but will show small pastel yellow flowers soon enough. Checked the hybrid opuntia this afternoon and there appeared to be at least five blooms altogether. First thing in the morning I will capture an image. It is so very exciting to me... to have something that started so small blooming so soon. Will share an image of the excellent spine patterns protecting the thimble cactus. It is sooo awesome.

How awesome is that?? Would call it "starburst" which I think describes this quite well. Getting up close and personal with cactus is kind of neat because being so interesting one has to use caution to avoid getting spines embedded in your nose (speaking literally!)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Some Desert Flowers And Concerns

Some Desert Flowers And Concerns

Am in the process of watering my garden. I received quite a pleasant surprise, maybe. I planted a hybrid opuntia and two types of polka dot opuntia. It appears that the hybrids and red polka dot are going to bloom. Am not sure about the white polka dot. This will be the first time I have had cactus in the ground bloom. If they are going to bloom... it is kind of like to be or not to be. Sooo very exciting!!! Nope, after very close-up examination, the new colorful sprouts on the cactus in the garden is just this year's new foliage (pears... hence, prickly pears). One of the images from the 19th. Actually looks kind of nice. Don't often capture a whole bee. Mostly bee butts because they are down inside the flowers grabbing some chow.

The bee is gathering pollen from a globemallow which I was able to sprout in my personal garden. Next year, my own will look this nice and hopefully attract bees as well.

Ceniza

One of my favorite ornamental shrubs here in Vegas. Figwort, purple sage, texas sage are a few common names. Leucophyllum frutescens smells nice and attracts bees. Yet, up-close in a confined space the flower aroma is pungent... offensive to me.

Was able to process and zoom in to show the foliage along with the papery purple petals of this plant.

As I work with these images, it comes back to me about my concerns with a photowalk. There is a cost and the images make it worth the effort. And sharing them. Dropped out of "social" media for a while. Rejoined and it is a lot better... photography is for people to see. And enjoy. For instance, below is silverbush (moonflowers):

The cactus are not blooming at all. I have a peanut cactus that will bloom shortly. Waited to finalize this post until I was certain the opuntia are not blooming.Below is an image of the hybrid opuntia

I circled what might have been a flower bud, yet with close examination the pad the young pad segments are obviously at different stages of development. Will continue the cactus discussion inside another post.

A Quick Post

A Quick Post

Possibly!!?, my focus may have returned. Don't know how to explain this process of falling into melancholy and feeling absolutely no inspiration. Nor can I explain the process of (hopefully) crawling out of it. Literally crawling. Have maintained my style of living thank G-d. Started my website. Just checked the hyperlink and it actually functions correctly. Yaaaay.

"Histories" by Polybius

This is my current project. Uploaded a rough draft e-book put together by Project Gutenberg and am in the process of reading Volume I and researching the information. The characters, places, and events recorded by the historian. And the Spring wildflower superbloom is almost over. As a photographer, Spring is an important event. This is the 4th or 5th Year that I have missed the event. This makes me think that March has something to do with my melancholy. Who knows? Am just hoping that I am out of my slump.