Desert Fountains

One expects the desert to have little water. Of course that’s true. Try driving the back roads from California to Nevada if you need proof. However people who own property in the Palm Springs area seem obsessed with water. Small houses will frequently have fountains and large resorts have many water features from large fountains on golf courses to small little ones in gardens. Here are a couple from our recent trip.

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Desert Fountains

Desert Fountains

The Miniature Trains at The Living Desert

One of the great surprises of The Living Desert in Palm Springs was the extensive miniature railroad exhibit. I have always loved miniature railroads. I have a great set as a kid and have seen some amazing exhibits. The exhibits at the Barnum Museum in Sarasota, at The Science Center in Pittsburgh and The science and Industry Museum in Chicago are unbelievable However, the one at The Living Desert in Palm Desert California is truly unique.

The exhibit is outdoors and is almost an acre large It consists of more than 3,300 feet of track, six different loops and a variety of trains in different gauges. There are all sorts of surprises in this exhibit including Most Rushmore. I imagine the fact that it is outdoors creates all sorts of maintenance costs. Throughout the exhibits are miniature road signs of the corporate sponsors.

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Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Living Desert Rail Yards

Desert Textures

Some people think the desert is ugly. It looks dry and lifeless. Some of it is pretty rough. We drove from Palm Desert to Nevada and the lan truly looked dead. It is one of the most desolate drives I have ever taken. Truly no country for old me. It is surprising though when you stop you notice all kinds of life. Even when we stopped in the Mohave desert we saw lots of life. Not dead but a different type of beauty.

This image was taken in The Living Desert and the textures of the desert plants provide a different sort of beauty.

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Desert Textures

Desert Textures

A Special Christmas Bloom and Pittsburgh Glass Brick Window

A lot of people in Pittsburgh buy poinsettia plants for Christmas. They are beautiful although poisonous and people tend to throw them away after Christmas. Another choice is a Christmas Cactus which is called that even though it is not actually a cactus.

They grow well as house plants in our area and if treated properly will bloom year after year. This one is in our bathroom in front of typical Pittsburgh glass brick.

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Pittsburgh Glass Brick

Solace at The Phipps

Another week and spring is three weeks old with freezing temperatures and snow once again on the way. There is only one place in Pittsburgh you can really see Spring today and that is at the Phipps Conservatory Spring Flower Show.

This plant has always amazed me because of its texture and the way it refracts light waves. At certain times of day it is almost as if you can see into the leaf structure. So if like me you find the current Spring weather depressing head over to the Phipps to take shelter from the storm.

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Fan Palm at The Phipps

Global Warming Cactus

We have had this Cactus for at least ten years. It use to bloom every December like clockwork. You know when it use to snow in December. Last few years it began to bloom around Thanksgiving. This year is the first year in bloomed in October. I figure if global warming continues it will soon be a Memorial Day Cactus.

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Global Warming Cactus

Death in The Desert

The saguaro cactus species is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, and the Mexican State of Sonora. It can grow to be over 40 feet and can live up to 150 years. They grow their first “arm” at 50 years of age

In 1994, Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, Arizona you can see thousands of these. Every now an then you will see a dead one. Wind, insects, lightning and old age are the natural enemy of the desert monolith. This one looks like it was struck by lightning and suffered a tragic death.

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gallery.

Death in the Desert