Tag Archives: cactus

….stuck in the kitchen

I live in my own little world

If the weather is good in the morning, I pot or plant in the ground at least one plant. The big ones first. This morning I got quite a few planted in the ground. Here they are.

Cactus

Cactus

Cactus

Cactus

Trichocereus sp.

Mammillaria magnimamma

Mammillaria hahniana

Mammillaria pilcayensis

Oreocereus species

Notocactus leninghausii

Echinocereus reichenbachii v. albispinus

When I came in from the gardens, planning on working in the office, I found an unknown creature at the end of the hallway giving me the evil eye.

Zoey the Cool Cat

There was no way to get to the office, so I was stuck in the kitchen, but at least that’s where the margaritas were.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Advertisements

Messing up pictures, intentionally

How I Did It

Long-time readers know that I love photography, and I love the digital photograph editing programs, especially Photoshop.

I also enjoy taking my photographs into Photoshop and messing them up so that they no longer look like photographs.

Here’s a selection of messed up cactus and succulent photographs from yesterday:

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

Photoshopped

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Come to papa, mama!

I live in my own little world

Jim, Zoey the Cool Cat, and I moved into our new home in July 2017, which coincided with my retirement.

Retirement sucks.

So in my quest for things to do in my retirement years, I have gotten heavily involved in landscaping, especially with cacti and succulents. I have gotten involved with several cactus and succulent societies, of which the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society is my favorite.

At their monthly meetings, they provide an opportunity to bring in plants to show off — their “Brag Table.” Plants get categorized into Cactus or Succulent; their owners get categorized into Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced; and plants are awarded first place, second place, and third place in each plant category and each owner category.

Normally it takes something like 10 blue ribbons before one advances into the next category. There are exceptions, though. I’m an exception.

After just two months in the Novice category, I was asked to move to either Intermediate or Advanced. I moved to Intermediate, but after one month there, I moved myself to Advanced.

We had our monthly meeting yesterday, and I took in four plants to show off, one dish garden, two cacti, and one succulent. My dish garden took first place in the Advanced division:

Dish Garden, first place, advanced, Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society, November 2018

My Opuntia polyacantha var. erinacea, won first place in the Cactus, Advanced division:

Opuntia polyacantha var erinacea, first place, cactus, advanced, Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society, November 2018

My Sedum morganianum won third place in the Succulent, Advanced division:

Sedum morganianum, third place, succulent, advanced, Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society, November 2018

Sedum morganianum is a very common plant, and common plants rarely win anything, so this was a nice surprise. The judge did tell us that the staging was exceptional and that he really liked how the sedum trailed over the edges and down the sides.

My Mammillaria magnimamma is feeling sad and depressed because it did not win anything.

Mammillaria magnimamma

How can one discriminate against a plant with such a great name? Mammillaria magnimamma. Come to papa, mama!

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Macro photography – Raindrops, but not on roses

I live in my own little world

The fact that San Diego gets about eleven inches of rain each year is one of the reasons why I moved here in April 1993 from Texas, where eleven inches of rain sometimes was an afternoon thunderstorm.

Here in the East San Diego County boondocks, though, we get a little more rain. In fact, over two days in February this year, my rain gauge indicated that we got nine inches of rain. Certainly haven’t had to deal with that in 25 years.

There are only two good things about rain: my plants love it, and I love taking macro pictures of raindrops on those plants. Following are ten macro raindrop pictures from February 2018. The first picture won first place in the Photography category at the June 2018 show of the San Diego Cactus & Succulent Society. The last one (remember, there are ten pictures) might not be safe for work.

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

Macro of raindrops on plants

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Exhibiting cacti & succulents at the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Show

I live in my own little world

My last post was on October 21. It’s been a long three weeks, most of it having to do with gardening.

The big event was October 27-29. I was getting ready for the Fall Show & Sale for the Palomar Cactus & Succulent Society.

These shows are heavy on succulents and short on cacti. The main reason for that is because cacti are difficult to move with all their spines & thorns pointing every which way. Not paying attention, not being careful, can result in some serious and painful skin punctures.

My intent was to exhibit a lot of cacti to make sure that the cactus side of the show room was full. I spent the month leading up to the event cleaning and repotting show-worthy cacti.

I was hoping to enter 50 cactus specimens. Ultimately, I only entered 44 exhibits – 31 were in the Cactus category, twelve in the Succulent category, and one in the Dish Garden category. My Dish Garden, though, had five thorny cacti in it; of the twelve in the Succulent category, six had spines; and of the 31 in the Cactus category, one did not have spines. So it’s not always about those pokey pokey things. My intent, though, was to fill up the Cactus category, and I definitely helped do that.

I exhibit in the Advanced class now, and won….
     12 first places,
          9 second places, and
               13 thirds.

Ten of my plants weren’t appreciated by the judges. Sad and depressed those plants are.

My Mammillaria parkinsonii, below, received one of the two Judge’s Choice awards, and tied for second for the People’s Choice award.

Mammillaria parkinsonii, Judge's Choice & People's Choice second place

…..was awarded the Granddaddy of them all, BEST IN SHOW, my Crassula ovata ‘Gollum’.

Crassula ovata 'Gollum' Best In Show

I created a video of all the plants I exhibited in the show, although I didn’t find out about the second place People’s Choice until recently, so although it’s in the video with its Judge’s Choice award, it’s not in the video with its People’s Choice second place.

Here’s the video:

Russel’s 44 exhibits 

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (2-10-17)—Living stones

Friday Flower Fiesta

Many decades ago when I was but a youth of 11 and living with my wise old grandmother, she gave me a small area in her yard where I could have a garden. She had the most beautiful yard, except for that one area where she could get nothing to grow.

She delegated that area to me, and I went to work, turning it into a cactus rock garden. I had dry rivers, a dry lake, and lots of rocks.

I went with a friend and his parents to a huge cactus nursery almost a hundred miles away and came home with some unique cactus to plant in my little garden. I had no idea what kind of flowers, if any, those little plants would have.

The sun hit my little garden from about 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It was relentless, and hot. This was deep south Texas.

One day I came home from school at 3:30 and found my little cactus garden all abloom with flowers of all colors and sizes. Some of the smallest cactus plants had the biggest and brightest flowers.

Ever since that day I have been a fan of cactus and succulents.

At one point 18 years ago I had a 3,984-SF house on 1.83 acres of land with a 35,000-gallon pool and a 5,000-gallon spa. The whole place, inside and out, was an arboretum with over 500 different species of plants. When Jim and I no longer could physically take care of that property, and downsized, I decided to depend on the San Diego Zoo, Safari Park, SeaWorld, San Diego Botanic Garden, and Balboa Park for my gardening fix. I have only a few plants at home now, all of them succulents so that Zoey the Cool Cat won’t get a cactus needle in her nose.

After all the rain we have had this year, my little succulents seem to be perking up, and yesterday one of them bloomed:

Succulent orange flower

That is a Lithops species, commonly known as living stones, pebble plants, mimicry plants, and flowering stones. They have only two thick leaves and no true stem, and the flower comes up between the leaves. They are small plants, usually no more than an inch above the soil surface. Very easy to grow with a unique appearance and beautiful flowers.

All succulents are cactus, but not all cactus are succulents. For the most part, succulents do not have those nasty thorns, which makes them that much more pleasant to grow. For more information and pictures of these little ones, see the Wikipedia entry on Lithops.

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (4-24-15)

Friday Flower Fiesta

Ten Photographic Art stamps created from pictures of flowers taken in March in San Diego County.

img_0221 day lily stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0222 flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0410 orchid stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0549 hibiscus stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0555 rose stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0565 daisy stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0886 yellow clivia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0903 yellow cactus flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0916 zinnia stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

img_0914 moth yellow flower stamp

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift? Birthday? Graduation? Marriage? Anniversary? Choose Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America.

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post