Spines, Scales and Rocks

Arizona in April – this is what is happening in my back yard:


I think this is a Claret Cup Cactus. If it isn’t, it should be because it seems like an appropriate name for it… Wicked thorns though…

How I like claret!…It fills one’s mouth with a gushing freshness, then goes down to cool and feverless; then, you do not feel it quarrelling with one’s liver. No; ’tis rather a peace-maker, and lies as quiet as it did in the grape. Then it is as fragrant as the Queen Bee, and the more ethereal part mounts into the brain, not assaulting the cerebral apartments, like a bully looking for his trull, and hurrying from door to door, bouncing against the wainscott, but rather walks like Aladdin about his enchanted palace, so gently that you do not feel his step.
– John Keats –


The Side-blotched Lizard: If you look just behind the top of the front leg, you’ll see a long dark splotch – that is how this lizard got it’s name. These little lizards (4-6 inches or 10-15 cm in length including tail) are numerous, but easily overlooked because of their small size. They blend in well with the rocks and gravel, but are actually quite colorful when seen up close.


The male Side-blotched lizard often has bright turquoise blue speckling on the tail, back, and upper surfaces of the hind limbs


My yard is covered in a layer of gravel. The previous owner was big on ‘dry-creek bed’ features, so I have a lot of rocks that range in size from ‘pick up and carry around in your pocket’ size to ‘too heavy for me to lift’ size. I’ve been picking out oval shape flat rocks to build a ‘bed of rock daisies’.

Be a little boulder.
– Author Unknown –

Are you a ‘rock hound’? If you have rocks in your yard, are they an important part of the landscape or an inconvenience?

10 thoughts on “Spines, Scales and Rocks

  1. My husband’s family polished and sold petrified wood (completely legally, of course). So we have several, small and large in our front yard that, yes, we moved to Minnesota! I told my husband many years from now it’s going to really confuse archaeologists!


    1. If I had petrified wood, I would have moved it along with my furniture too!
      I was just thinking the other day about the origin of the rocks in my dry creek beds. Many seem to be well worn river rocks. Others are pitted volcanic rocks. Quite obviously none of these rocks are local desert rocks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Daisies are my favourite flower! We have carried back many rocks from the Canadian Shield to help with the landscaping at our Alberta home. Rock at our cabin is a big part of the landscaping as our property is all rock with little soil. In spite of the lack of soil we have spruce trees that are over 40 feet tall! You and Car Guy need to come for a visit!


  3. I can’t stop myself from picking up small stones on our travels around Australia. They all end up in a small garden paved with stones. I too wonder what people will one day think when they find pieces of iron ore from 3000kms away.


There, I'm finished. Now it is your turn:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s