Monday, April 15, 2019


Arizona Rattlesnakes

Arizona is home to 17 types of rattlesnakes, the most popular being the Western Diamondback.  Keep reading to learn more about these fascinating creatures.

Visual Characteristics

Rattlesnakes can grow from 1 to 8 feet long depending on the species.  They have a triangle shaped head and eyes with a black slit. Their head contains a hollow spot on each side between the eyes and nostrils called a pit.  This is a sensory organ that helps the rattlesnake detect body heat for hunting at night.  Many are colored in patches of tan and brown but their colors can vary. Their lifespan ranges from 10-20 years.  Their rattles are made of keratin, the same material as your fingernails.  Their rattles may be broken off, malformed, or silent - so never rely on the rattler as the only form of identification.   

Rattlesnakes Bite

As many as 350 people are bitten by rattlesnakes each year in Arizona.  These bites can be lethal.  A rattlesnake’s striking distance can be up to one third to one half of its overall length.  More than half of all rattlesnake bites are caused by provoking or approaching them. Rattlesnakes are captivating animals and deserve our utmost respect.  If you come across one in the wild, it is best to keep a safe distance.  Contrary to popular belief, they are not aggressive, but in reality, they are typically quite subdued and would rather crawl away than confront a human.  They only bite to eat and defend themselves. 

Along with their heat-sensing pits, rattlesnakes use their tongue to detect the scent of prey.  They have two retractable fangs that quickly spring into action when they are attacking. Rattlesnakes are carnivores.  Typical prey includes birds, rodents, rabbits, lizards, and amphibians.

Link: g00 2/8 pp. 28-29


Hummingbirds are amongst the smallest birds, most species measuring 7.5-13cm (3-5 in) in length and weighing less than 2.0g (0.07oz). They are very colorful birds with gleaming feathers. Some hummingbirds are able to flap their wings about 80 times per second. They flap their wings so fast that they make a humming noise, which is where their name comes from. Hummingbirds are able to fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. They are able to flap their wings in a figure- 8 pattern, which allows them to hover. For nutrition, hummingbirds eat a variety of insects, including mosquitoes, fruit flies, and gnats in flight or on leaves and spiders in their webs. To supply energy needs, hummingbirds primarily eat flower nectar, tree sap, and pollen. They have a special bill that is used to obtain nectar from the center of long, tubular flowers. Hummingbirds have feet, but unlike other birds they are used for perching only, and are not used for hopping or walking.
Arizona has the most species of hummingbirds in the U.S. A common misconception about hummingbirds living in Arizona is that when the temperatures rise, these beautiful creatures ditch the desert for better climate. Actually, Arizona is the home to many species of hummingbirds all year long, but mainly Costa Hummingbirds and Anna Hummingbirds.  Migration season for hummingbirds is during late July and early August. During this time tens of thousands of hummingbirds travel from Canada in search for warmer climates and come to visit us in Arizona. It has been estimated that 500 to 2,000 hummingbirds visit Sedona, Arizona a day during migrating season.
Fun Facts:

·       Some hummingbirds are able to flap their wings about 80 times per second.
·       They flap their wings so fast that they make a humming noise, which is where their name comes from.
·       There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds.
·       Hummingbirds are very territorial and have been observed chasing each other and even larger birds such as hawks away from their territories.
·       The young start to fly in 18 to 30 days.
·       Their heart rate can reach as high as 1,260 beats per minute.
·       Hummingbirds are daring little things and are intrigued by the color red.
·       An average hummingbird has a metabolism that is 100 times that of an elephant.
·       Hummingbirds have feet, but unlike other birds they are used for perching only, and are not used for hopping or walking.
·       Arizona has the most species of hummingbirds in the U.S.
·       Arizona is home to Madera Canyon, which is the third birding destination in the U.S. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019


The saguaro is an arborescent cactus species in the monotypic genus Carnegiea, which can grow to be over 40 feet tall. It is native to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, the Mexican State of Sonora, and the Whipple Mountains and Imperial County areas of California. The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona. Its scientific name is given in honor of Andrew Carnegie. In 1994, Saguaro National Park, near Tucson, Arizona, was designated to help protect this species and its habitat.

Saguaros have a relatively long lifespan, often exceeding 150 years. They may grow their first side arm any time from 75–100 years of age, but some never grow any arms. A saguaro without arms is called a spear. Arms are developed to increase the plant's reproductive capacity, as more apices lead to more flowers and fruit.

A saguaro is able to absorb and store considerable amounts of rainwater, visibly expanding in the process, while slowly using the stored water as needed. This characteristic enables the saguaro to survive during periods of drought.
JW. .Org article

Bus Schedule: insert link here
Photo credits: Janea McDonald

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Mail- my first ever

For those of you who don't know what happy mail is, it's fun mail of loveliness that someone sends you and that you didn't purchase or swap for. I have received this kind of mail before from my family, but never from a fellow blogger or from overseas. 

I received this happy mail from Singapore from Cathy Ward. She had a blog giveaway from the Where Bloggers Create Blog Hop and I happened to be one of the recipients of her lovely gifts from her travels around the world. Check out her blogs for some lovely travel adventures and crafty goodness. 

She sent me a beautiful and fun selections from both Asia and France to play with. Can't wait to play with the goodies, thank you Cathy! 

Monday, August 5, 2013


Ok so all the lovely comments I received from the Where Bloggers Create post are making me feel a bit like a fraud. Ok I confess I did clean up my room for my photos. While I am "organized" I tend to create with everything on my desk and only a small space left to actually work. It doesn't matter how large of a table I work at its always the same thing. 

So I'm learning to embrace this messy part and just go with it. I also start several projects before finishing any of them and I don't clean up after each one either. Everything sits on my desk in a bin where I can periodically rummage through it. You never know if that itty bitty scrap of lace would be perfect on the next card...

The other balsa boxes

Here are the other 4 boxes. I hope you like them. I didn't go too over the top on my first try with them. But I can see that I will clear out the next batch that lands at Michael's!

Altered balsa box

I've been altering five of the cute $1.50 balsa boxes that Michael's periodically carries. I painted them all first with gesso, then acrylic paint in an antique white. Then I decoupaged the paper with matte gel and crackle painted the sides of the boxes. 

Then the fun part of embellishing each box. Here is the first box: