Saturday, March 31, 2012

Silly Mountain, Again

So I made Dad go hiking with me on the Silly Mountain again this winter.  Going to Silly Mountain to go hiking with the Timmy means that you get to ride in the Arizona Jeep, which is red, and has plastic doors.  So when you 'roll down' the window, you actually unzip along the outside of the clear plastic part of the door.  It's really classy.
This year we went to the very highest parts.  This is a snap of the rest of the mountain, from one of the higher points.  You can see one of the trails zagging along.
We saw two survey markers, from a 1914 survey campaign.  And we saw the saw-off stub of a third survey marker.  Better how they don't get caught, of the U.S. General Land Office will have earned themselves a snappy $250 from the perpetrator.
Dad laughed and laughed, and specifically requested this memory be captured with my photographing machine.  If you can't tell, the sign says, "End of Trail."
The Superstition Mountains from the top of Silly Mountain.
Shadow-portrait.  Who goes hiking with a small clutch bag?  Yes.  Me.
This year Dad kept saying, "No Huff & Puff Trail this time!  You almost killed your old man last year!!!"  And I was all, "I don't know - I think we ended up on it by accident last year..."

Yes - you will end up on the Huff & Puff Trail by accident every year.  The Timmy looks pretty pitiful, but he made it in the end.

Friday, March 30, 2012

More Arboretum Pictures

It was early spring, and really lovely, so I have loads of Arboretum photos I don't feel like paring down.

Mum and I did the regular loop through the gardens, then had a picnic lunch, then headed off to the High Trail.
We had passed the High Trail before: it's across the suspension bridge.
It's now my favorite trail at the Arboretum.  And it's even not too tricky for the occasionally wobbly Mum!

Suspension bridge from above.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Catching Cactus

I've been really preoccupied with work things: doing a really physical treatment project during the day, and then doing other professional stuff in the evenings.  Hence the long blogging pauses.

Everyone was sad after Michael and Liang returned to Pittsburgh, so Dad had us all go cactus-catching.

He uses 5-gallon buckets to assist in the 'catching,' so he's limited as to the size of the cactuses possibly to capture.  This is the back of the car, full of all his new little cactuses.  He's all into landscaping in Arizona, which is totally weird to me.
I found this little rock while cactus hunting.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Superstition Mountain Museum

We also made an expedition to the Superstition Mountain Museum, which I had never been to before.  It's little and has an interesting range of items.  It also has a sense of humor about itself, which is very nice.  And all of the collection items jive with their institutional mission statement (or at least what I imagine the mission statement to be...) unlike some places which hoard and hoard every single thing.  A whole cabinet full of wood planars, for example.

Liang took this photo, and it's pretty much the best summary of the Superstition Mountain Museum that I can imagine.  Leaning, action, and some laughs.
On the grounds of the Superstition Mountain Museum are several old-timey buildings, two of which are from Apacheland - where cowboy movies starring luminaries such as Elvis were made.  Sadly the chapel, complete with Elvis, was having its carpets cleaned, so nothing interesting there.

The best was the old timey jail.  All of us were incarcerated at one point.
Bonnie and Clyde.
Old-timey photograph studio!  The photographer was out, so no old-timey photos.
Some sort of giant ore-crushing mining equipment.

The Superstition Mountains have (or so the story goes) a lost gold mine, which is called, "the Lost Dutchman Mine."  In the later 1800s, a German immigrant (the 'dutch' man) by the name of Jacob Waltz apparently found some source of very pure gold in the Superstitions.  He'd wander into Phoenix with these gold bits ever now and then, and leave some cryptic statements as to the location of the mine.  Shortly after he died in 1891 people started to wander the mountains, occasionally shooting each other, in the quest to find this mine.  Outlaw gold prospector turf wars as late as the 1970s - ridiculous!

People still go out there prospecting, using copies of the weird nonsensical maps in the Superstition Mountain Museum as 'guides' to the mine.
The Timmy is fond of pointing at random places on the mountain and saying with absolute certainty, "There it is.  The Lost Dutchman.  Right there."

Mum and Liang look toward the mountains.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Weird Stuff in the Greenhouse at Boyce Thompson Arboretum

I'd not been in the Arboretum greenhouse before.  It turns out that that's where a bunch of the weirdest plants are.

Like this, the rare maraschino cherry cupcake cactus.

This is either a plant or a muppet.
I think that this can move about on it's own, waving it's tentacles around.

These bite.  Actively.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Again

Liang and Michael had a whirl-wind Arizona holiday: we started with a bang, heading off to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum to check out the range of plants that grown in the Southwest.  I like taking photos with my photographic machine, so these is a fair number.  Even though I was here last year too. Whatever.  I'm still fascinated by the desert because the plant life is just so extraterrestrial to me.

It was so sunny and lovely, and everything was bright green and pink.  I hadn't initially realized that I had dressed in early-spring desert camouflage.

Mum has been to the Arboretum so many times, she could be an Arboretum docent.

Liang, in desert gear.  Afterall, hats are as healthy as they are handsome...

The Timmy and the suspension bridge.
Pomegranates - growing!  On trees!  
This was some sort of succulent, which Liang, Michael, and I decided was growing a bunch of little teeny-tiny bananas.  If only that were true.

Not a fan of palm trees, but the Arboretum's mission statement includes having gardens from desert environments world-wide.
Some of my favorite plants - giant eucalyptus trees from Australia.  I like the way the light hits them, and the bark is lovely.