Tag Archives: Arizona

Succulents at Boyce Thompson Arboretum by Rebecca

Photo by Rebecca in the Woods blog at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Phoenix, Arizona (2012).

I like succulents because if I don’t I’ll be surrounded by plants I don’t like out here in central West Texas.  On the positive side, succulents adapt and survive in harsh climates, reflective of every species on earth at one time or another.  Natural selection, I think it is called.   Rebecca of  Rebecca in the Woods blog snapped several photographs of succulents at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, near Phoenix, Arizona, a couple of weeks ago.  The link above will take you to her blog where you can see more photographs of succulents.

I have yucca on every terrace outside my house.  At last count, I had about one-hundred pale-leaf yucca sprouting blossoms in the spring time.

Rebecca has, within the last year, relocated to Wisconsin from Georgia.  She studies nature and this last holiday season she sojourned to Arizona and other places in the Southwest.

From her ‘About’ page:

A small-town girl from Ohio, Rebecca Deatsman received her Bachelor of Arts in zoology and environmental studies from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2009.  After graduating, she worked on bird research in rural Saskatchewan and the Australian Outback before returning to the U.S. to pursue a career in environmental education.  She began blogging in March 2010 as an outlet for her love of writing and natural history. Currently she is working toward a Master of Science degree in natural resources – with an emphasis in environmental education – at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, through an off-campus fellowship program at Conserve School in the Land O’ Lakes area.

Elsewhere on the internet, she can be found on Twitter as @rebeccanotbecky.

Her blog is worth a visit and a visit and a visit…

Here are some of my photographs of succulents outside my backdoor:

Pale-leaf Yucca, Flying Hat Ranch, Texas, photo by J. Matthews.

Pale-leaf Yucca, Y. pallida, photo by J. Matthews.


Filed under Succulents

Hallway and Alleyway: Country Style

In the country, hallways and alleyways are often crammed with tools, coats, hats, hay and feed, not to even mention dogs and cats.  The hallway and alleyway to home, barn and stable give additional shelter and protection during a rain or busy day.  Mudrooms are quite common on farms and ranches as well as wide porches, some extending all around the house.  Porches may be a place to relax, but the porch chairs and swing share space with barrels, boxes and rope.  It’s not all neat and tidy on the ranch.

Ranch House Hallway (Photo by J. Matthews, 2010)

Here is the hallway in our home that extends out onto a small, front porch that has a couple of rope-crossed chairs and flower pots.  The barn cats often come up to the front porch to lounge because it faces north and has ample shade.  The front porch is merely an entryway for the house, but the back porch extends the length of the house.

The hallway has a hat and coat rack on the right side of the photograph.  I have counted as many as ten hats and caps on the rack, and during the winter, coats and rain gear hang appropriately for convenient use.

Hallway by Flash (Photo by J. Matthews, 2010)

The second photograph of the hallway, illuminated by the modern invention of flash, illustrates the glass hutch with books, photographs, Native American pottery, prehistoric-lithic tools, horse bits and spurs.   Hallway as museum.

In the old days before air conditioning, porches would be screened-in and iron bedsteads would be moved out onto the porch so that you could sleep in the mild night air.  I was not interested in sleeping on a bed on a porch, but preferred to sleep under a sheet within the house, tolerating the heat until morning.  I might move a pallet into the hallway beside the screen door.  Hallway as bedroom.

The barn alleyway this morning shows hay bales from Arizona.  These bales weigh 100 lbs. and are three-stringed — barely manageable.  The first set of bales on the wooden plat is alfalfa; the second set is coastal bermuda.  These bales provide about a week-and-a-half of hay to four horses.  I have been cleaning out the barn and opted to put the hay in the alleyway for a time to allow the barn to dry out and give me some room to move tools and implements around.

Barn Alleyway with Hay (Photo by J. Matthews, 2010)

Hallway and barn alleyway — country-style — have multiple uses and are always comfortable spaces for storage and resting.  Let the cool, fresh air flow down the barn alleyway and things are good whether you are from the city or country.


Filed under Flying Hat Ranch

Canelo, Arizona, Natural Color Palette

Color Palette of Bill and Athena Steen, Canelo, Arizona (courtesy Caralee Woods)

This is a color palette on the door of a storage shed of clay samples owned by Bill and Athena Steen, Canelo, Arizona.   The Steens are teachers of building straw bale homes.  In addition, they work with clay and lime native to the Southwest in their building projects.  Their goal is to connect culture, people and nature.

“The Canelo Project is a small non-profit organization founded in 1989. We are dedicated to the exploration and development of living systems, including growing food and building that creates friendship, beauty and simplicity.

We are known primarily for our work in Strawbale and other Natural Building techniques.” — Bill and Athena Steen, Canelo Project.

Conelo Project Logo

This is the beautiful logo of the Canelo Project, illustrative, I think, of their mission and purpose.

For more information, please click on the website, The Conelo Project, and Bill Steen’s blog,  The Canelo Chronicles.

Thanks to Caralee Woods for this information.

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Filed under Natural Colors