Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

Captain Rick : I have seen lots of firsts along the morning trail on my around-world walking/biking trek, spanning 17,000 miles in 15 years. This morning I was passed by a roadrunner doing about 20 mph. Not a car … a bird running. It is the fastest runner of all flying birds. It was about a foot tall and nearly two feet long. It had a bright orange patch running rearward from its eye and a big feathery headdress. It was a beautiful bird, but I was disappointed that it did not go ‘beep beep’ like in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes I watched as a child.

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I was not expecting to be passed by a roadrunner on my morning exercise walk, so I did not have my camera along. As a Flickr PRO member, I searched Flickr and found a roadrunner that most closely resembled the one that passed me. Click on the image above to view the full photo presented in stunning 4K HD captured by Flickr’s susanloellison.

About the ‘Greater Roadrunner’

The Greater Roadrunner is a long-legged bird in the cuckoo family, prevalent in Arizona and the Southwestern United States and Mexico. Although capable of limited flight, it spends most of its time on the ground, and can run at speeds of up to 20 mph (32 km/h). Cases where roadrunners have run as fast as 26 mph (42 km/h) have been reported. This is the fastest running speed clocked for a flying bird.

Greater Roadrunners measure 61 cm (2.00 ft) in length and wingspan. About half of their length is tail feathers. They measure 30 cm (1 foot) tall. They have long legs and a slender, pointed bill. The upper body is mostly brown with black streaks and sometimes pink spots. The neck and upper breast are white or pale brown with dark brown streaks, and the belly is white. A crest of brown feathers sticks up on the head, and a bare patch of orange and blue skin lies behind each eye. Roadrunners have 4 toes on each zygodactyl foot; two face forward, and two face backward.

This bird walks around rapidly, running down prey. It feeds mainly on small animals including insects, spiders (including black widows), tarantulas, scorpions, mice, small birds and especially lizards and small snakes. Venomous serpents, including small rattlesnakes, are readily consumed. It kills prey by holding the victim in its bill and slamming it repeatedly against the ground.

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Captain Rick: Congratulations Gilbert, Arizona Town Manager Patrick Banger for 100 posts on Gilbert’s WordPress site.
Sincere appreciation for the many wonderful achievements you have contributed to during your first four years leading Gilbert to become America’s best town of nearly a quarter million residents. Your video below is a great testament to the excellence of Gilbert.

Gilbert Town Hall Talks

Manager’s Update: August 20, 2015

In this week’s Manager’s Update we’re celebrating 100 posts by showcasing the highlights of the past four years since I’ve become Gilbert’s manager. Watch this video to hear about our population growth, new business developments and what we have to look forward to in the future.

Please subscribe to our Gilbert Digital YouTube channel for more Gilbert highlights.

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Captain Rick : Yesterday was a hot day in Phoenix. Besides smashing a previous daily air temp record, it set a new record of 95 F for the warmest pool temp I have ever recorded. Pool water temp closely trails the average day and night temp. SRP, the power company, registered yesterday’s average temp at a near record of 102F. We have had some very hot nights lately, with temps only dipping to the upper 80s at dawn. I am confident that those elevated low temps are what created the new high pool temp record.

Phoenix pool temps have been making a slow, steady rise over the past couple decades. I attribute that to rapidly expanding concrete and heat absorbing materials that blanket the Phoenix Valley of the Sun which spans across 100 miles of Arizona desert with an exploding population of over 4 million.

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117 F is shy of the all time high temp record of 122 F set June 26, 1990. I missed experiencing that monumental mark. Having moved to the valley in 1996, the hottest I have experienced is the fourth place record at 119 F set on June 29, 2013. It was ‘Dry Heat’, only 2% humidity, a truly unique and wonderful experience that I recorded in a previous Atridim News Journal post complete with a photo of my thermometer at 119 F: Arizona “Dry Heat”: Phoenix set 4th hottest all-time record: 119F (48C) at 2% humidity … Where is the hottest place on earth?

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Captain Rick

Captain Rick : The Senna Artemisioides, commonly known as feathery or silver cassia, produces an abundance of beautiful yellow flowers in the spring. Endemic to Australia, it also thrives abundantly in Arizona’s Valley of the Sun.
It is a hardy shrub that can withstand temps into 20’s F and loves dry ground with full sun into the 110’s F, making it a perfect match for the Phoenix Arizona area.

Senna artemisioides is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae.  It can grow to 3 meters in height, though I keep mine manicured in the shape of an inverted cone about 5 feet tall, which removes the many long flat green seed pods that grow with the flowers. At Christmas time, it becomes one of the many trees, shrubs and plants to be adorned with thousands of lights at my desert oasis. Below is a photo of my Senna Artemisioides before grooming.

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Captain Rick: Viewed through a pair of twisted mesquite trees stands a gazebo in a lush, green, grassy neighborhood park in Chandler Arizona. A patch of yellow lantana highlights the foreground. A couple date palms stand tall on each side of the gazebo. The grassy area beyond the gazebo, which is watered daily with sprinklers to keep it green, actually forms the bottom of a flood basin that lies several feet below the level of surrounding land so that it can collect rain runoff from a storm. Parks like this dot neighborhoods across Arizona’s Valley of the Sun (Phoenix metro). This park served its purpose during the record flood of September 2014 that dropped a half-year’s rainfall (about 4”) in just a few hours, causing most of what is visible beyond the gazebo to be under water for several days.

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Captain Rick: Tortilla Flat, Arizona is a cool little old historic town nestled in a secluded desert mountain valley a few miles east of Canyon Lake, along the Apache Trail (Hwy 88), about 50 miles east of Phoenix.

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Tortilla Flat is an authentic remnant of an old west town, nestled in the midst of the Tonto National Forest, in the Superstition Mountain Range. Tortilla Flat started out as a stagecoach stop in 1904 and neither fire nor flood has been able to take away this historic stop along the Historic Apache Trail.
Mosey on down the boardwalk and visit the Superstition Saloon and Restaurant. Real saddles serve as bar stools where you can enjoy a cold brew or sarsaparilla. The unique wallpaper is made from real dollar bills from visitors all around the world. The Restaurant serves the biggest burgers, hottest chili and the coldest drinks everyday. After you have had time to walk off the great food, stop in the Country Store and enjoy a scoop of their World Famous Prickly Pear Gelato. Visit the Mercantile/Gift Shop full of amazing treasures including Indian Pottery, Jewelry, Unique Tortilla Flat Apparel and many more unique items.
You will notice that "Population 6" is posted on signs around town. It is not a joke. People really do live there and they thank you for visiting their town.

History … Tortilla Flat got its start because of the road construction to Roosevelt Dam in 1904. There was a need for a stagecoach stop for freight haulers on their way to the construction site at Roosevelt Dam and Tortilla Flat served that purpose. Shortly following the construction of the road, Roosevelt Dam became a big tourist attraction. At that point Tortilla Flat was a stage stop for tourists and mail carriers through the 1930s.

Tortilla Flat took its name from a nearby butte shaped like a tortilla.

Forest Service records show Tonto National Forest being established in 1905 as kind of a "package deal" with the Salt River Reclamation Project. The Forest Service was needed to manage the land and protect watershed for the dams because cattle grazing had denuded the land. The freight camp at Tortilla Flat, as well as the other camps along the road to the dam, were, therefore, on U.S. Forest Service land. Folks who decided to make Tortilla Flat their permanent residence kept up the lease on the land in later years whenever it came due.

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Captain Rick: This Peruvian Apple Cactus flower puts on a magnificent show as it comes to life in my Gilbert Arizona Oasis.

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The Cereus Peruvianus (Peruvian Apple) Cactus blooms at night with gigantic pearl white flowers a half foot in diameter.
It is one of the worlds most amazing flowers of beauty.
This flower lingers into the early morning hours. By midday the flower closes forever.
It is such a shame that such awesome beauty lasts only a few hours.
Those lucky enough to catch a glimpse are truly fortunate.
I consider myself very fortunate as this cactus grows in my Gilbert Arizona Oasis and puts on a magnificent show many days of the year. 

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