Sunday, February 25, 2018

2018 Winter Vacation.

Headed to Arizona for a week of visiting friends and family.  It was nice to see our friends, neighbors, and the in-laws for a brief visit.  Although the weather there was 10-15 deg cooler than normal, it was still very pleasant.  Our coldest daytime high was 47f, and a few nights did get below freezing, but I never felt cold even early in the mornings I only wore a light jacket. 

Leaving Boulder NV

A few mature Mediterranean fan-palms at a small casino in Searchlight NV.

California desert, some of the best desert views.   

Washingtonia filiferas going in a desert wash.

Most of these pics are taken from a traveling vehicle.

I love the drive through California, but always glad to get back to AZ.
Yuma AZ, at the RV park my In-laws stay the winter at.   

Nice to see something in bloom.

Peanut taking a ride with her granddad around the rv park.

Bismarckia nobilis

The courtyard of the Shilo Inn Yuma.
It was nice, but the lawn is a waste of water in such a dry area.

Phoenix roebelenii

Washingtonia robusta

Queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
Everyone of these I see in Yuma look like their dying, and I know freezing is not the problem. 

Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra?)

Saguaro National Park, South East side of Tucson

Peanut enjoyed all the cactus.

Benson Arizona
I found this abandoned property behind the Hotel I was staying at.  It is saddens me to think this place could not have been past down or sold.     

I would not doubt if these are the oldest Washingtonia filiferas in Benson

A day trip to Sunsites to visit with our neighbors and walk the property.
The largest Washingtonia palms in Sunsites. 

Surprising amount of palms in this far out little town.  Some look dead ever winter and other look like cold has no effect on them.  One things for sure, I wish I would have taken more palm pics.

Washingtonia hybrid (filibusta)
There is two big ones like this in town.  They look amazing, considering how cold the nights can get here in the winter. 

Peace Arizona (ghost town)

Stopped in to buy some lotion and a few bars of soap.  A wonderful person she is. 

All the old structures of the gold mine are gone now, and the new mining efforts are in full effect.

The hardiest saguaro I know of.  It endured temps down to 1deg.f with little damage.  Although there were others in Sunsites and in the valley that also survived, most of them had major damage.

A remodeled General Store. Pearce AZ.

Made it out to the property.  At 47 deg. F it was probably the best temp for hiking around the area.

Purple Pricklypear (Opuntia macrocentra)   

Creosote brush

After all the cactus I have planted, this the only one still here.

Cylindropuntia spinosior

The only Dasylirion I can find on my property.

Yucca baccatas

Can you tell my place is in a rain shadow, a bit barren being in the desert grass lands. 

Found this little bird at my neighbors, thought it might be a Mountain Chickadee, but not so sure now. 

I would love to spend more time out here, it truly is beautiful!

 Headed back to the main road.

Stopped at this real-estate office in Sunsites for the latest listings, Only to find two other Idahoans working there. lol
A big crown on this Yucca elata  

Back in Benson.
I took a short drive around to see what I could find. 

This one was taller than it appears to be.
Yucca schottii? 

Not sure of this cylindropunita, could be cylindropuntia fulgida?  They were far off the road. 

I found a few nice CIDP around town.

The City of Benson Visitor Center is worth seeing.  It is located in the train depot.  

Here you can become an engineer in training.  The train itself is quite large and is hanging from the celling.  The engine is controlled and is viewed by remote.  It goes faster than one might think it would.  I hope it stays on the track, because this not your normal HO scale train set.  

Outside in the parking area.

Many a buildings have impressive murals painted on them.  A tip of the hat goes to the fine artist.  

Saint David area.

I did not notice the piece of plastic wrapped around this poor duck until I got home.  Please as a reminder pick up any trash you find and dispose of it properly. 

They did some aeration to the pond waters and it shows!

People do weird things to plants, this did nothing to this agave but made it look stupid.  I'm sure they meant well, but cutting the bottom leaves from this plant was a waste of time. 

Two out of three ain't bad.
These are Trichocereus species and two of the 3 are recovering from the 2011 freeze. 

The third one not doing so well.

Yucca elata as tall a power pole.

Glad to see many of the Opuntia Ficus-indica coming back to stature. 

Mediterranean fan-palms at the hotel in Benson.
I liked that they left the full crown on these.

I would have enjoyed cleaning up these weeds in the landscape, but that would have been weird. 

Trachycarpus fortunei 

Echinocereus rigidissimus

Saguaros do very well in Benson.

Parker Canyon Lake

Alligator Juniper.

A drive on the West side of Sierra Vista
I did see in this area where Agave palmeri was hybridizing with other agave from the area.  Sorry I have no pics.   

Agave palmeri

This was Browns Canyon Ranch 

These looked different than the other up right Opuntia I saw in the area.  Litter green, bigger thinner pads.  could be Opuntia engelmannii hybrid, or Opuntia orbiculata?  

The last night of our little family vacation we stayed at the Hoover Dam Lodge south of Vegas.

View from our window.

Mohave yucca (Yucca schidigera)
East of Las Vegas

Yucca schidigera, in Hiko NV.


  1. Thanks for the excellent trip log. The plant!!! And someone else who knows where Hiko NV is...about the northernmost outpost of the Mojave heading N from US-93.

  2. Always a little sad leaving Hiko NV heading north, because I know I have left the Southwest. I get the same feeling when leaving Wikiup AZ heading north, no more wild saguaros.

    Sorry so late with my reply, always good to hear from you!