Celebrate Spring in Sedona with a Layer of Cottonwood “Snow”

#Sedona in the Spring May Dream Gardens

cottonwood snow
22 acres of Los Abrigados Resort in Sedona, AZ

Cottonwood Snow

It looks like snow but it’s 76 degrees, sunny with only a light spring breeze. The weather in Sedona on Easter weekend is about as beautiful as it gets anywhere in the world.

cottonwood snow
Gentle breezes nudged the wind statues in mesmerizing motions.

But we humans need some complaint, so for that, we turn to the cottonwood trees. As we admired the wind statues, one merchant launched her campaign against the trees complaining that they are maliciously firing thousands of sticky flakes into their store.

cottonwood snow
cacti with a layer of cottonwood snow

Once landed, the cottonwood snow sits quietly in bushes, spider webs and on the stems of the cacti like fuzzy socks.

cotttonwood snow
Time to flower

Ordinarily, I’m not a big fan of cacti, but they are showing off this weekend for Easter. Statues guard Los Abrigados Resort where we stay in Sedona. Basket Lady Elder adorns herself for spring as well.

cottonwood snow
Basket Lady Elder remembers the gifts of our elders: wisdom, experience, history and insight. She has walked the long path of life gathering seeds of wisdom and collecting answers to life’s mysteries. She keeps these treasures in her basket. All that she has gathered will be shared with the children during the storytelling ritual. Native cultures deeply revere their elders as sacred members of the tribe.

Next door to the resort is a bed and breakfast call the Portal. Even the roof sports wild purple flowers and is draped with hanging planters along the edge. Rose bushes brighten the corner of this award-winning vacation spot.

cottonwood snow
La Portal Bed and Breakfast

Los Abrigados furbished itself elegantly for the spring holiday. Happy Easter, my friends. 🙂

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Where to Find Color for a Photo Challenge Like an Expert

Weekly Photo Challenge: Color

Woodlake Botanical Gardens

At the Kiwanis Hunger Run, we assembled at the Woodlake Botanical Gardens, which is a well-hidden treasure right on the main street skirting Woodlake.  I wanted to go back and take pictures of the gorgeous roses before it got too hot for them to be beautiful anymore.

Botanical Gardens

I’ll start with the over-all color palate, and narrow it down to individual colors.

Keep in mind this the Main Street in Woodlake.
Keep in mind this the Main Street in Woodlake.

As I entered from the side street, I felt like Dorothy following the Yellow Brick Road.  Sadly I left my red shoes at home.

To have a yellow brick road, one must start with a brick yellow rose.
To have a yellow brick road, one must start with a brick yellow rose.

Keep in mind your job here.  Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to find the perfect colored rose, indeed the perfect rose.  If you don’t think yellow is perfect, let’s move on.

Can you guess the name of this beauty?
Can you guess the name of this beauty?

This one is a little deceiving for the princess who thinks she is going to get just a pink or salmon colored rose.

Want to be my buddy?
Want to be my buddy?

But let’s assume that the perfect rose is pink and only pink.

Somebody’s honey bee

To some ROSES are RED, and only red roses mean anything.  Is that you?

This ain't no violet!

Okay, maybe red isn’t your thing.  Do you prefer more of a mix?

Salmon/yellow/red/orange take your pick.
Salmon/yellow/red/orange take your pick.

Or maybe you like more of a blend of pink, rather than yellow/pink, maybe pink/yellow?

Could this be the perfect rose?
Could this be the perfect rose?

Maybe you can’t decide between red and yellow.  This next choice might be what you would choose as the perfect rose.

Am I blushing?
Am I blushing?

Of course, if you can’t decide on one color, you can always combine them all and get white.

I feel dazzling. How do I look?
I feel dazzling. How do I look?

Maybe you should just site for a bit and ponder.  Picking perfect is exhausting.  Oh, you can’t find the bench? It’s right there with the pink roses.  See it?  Don’t worry; these roses don’t scratch.  They’re perfect!  🙂

Have you made your decision yet?
Have you made your decision yet?

Portland, City of Roses, eat your heart out!  🙂  And may the best rose win.  🙂  Tomorrow I take my FIRST photography class, and Saturday, an all day photo shot – “Wildflowers.”  I can’t wait!  🙂

Where is your favorite garden?

The Ubiquitous Abizia

ABIZIA JULIBRISSIN are beautiful, but DON’T plant these trees in your back yard unless you have at least an acre!  We tried it once in a little PUD that had a back yard about 75 X 25 square feet.  Trust me on this one!

These beastly beauties try to bamboozle you into buying them  by disguising their true identity with other aliases. Sneaky nurseries may label them as acacias, or mimosas, and sometimes they go by an alternative spelling  of albizia to throw you off.  So go into the nursery ready with this information.  Don’t be fooled by their delicate flowers and ferny-locust like leaves.  When those dainty dazzlers get tired of shimmering in the sun, they drop.

While the little fuzzies are ubiquitous, they do disintegrate and decompose over time.  That works great in bark, not bad in grass, ok in your rock driveway, not so great on your patio.  So they are not the real problem unless you are a neat freak

The real issue is this little green innocuous looking mini-abizia.  Don’t be fooled by its youthful innocence.

They are easy to dislodge at this point, but dislodge you must!

You might even consider employing a beast of burden to help you carry them out of the area.  Mama Kitty is a willing transporter.  If you don’t do this, you could end up with an abizia forest.

Mini-abizias are little chameleons.  There are three self-seeding pink cosmos.  Take a wild guess about how many camouflaged abizia seedlings are nestled  around these frothy flowers.

Count them – there are 57 wanna-be abizia trees in this pile of thwarted mimosas.  So you might think, “Big deal,”  They can’t all grow, and it takes years for a tree to become big enough to be a problem.”  THINK AGAIN.

The fruitless mulberry tree is probably at least 40 years old.  The abizia on the right is about nine yeas old.  That was our original abizia tree.

This tree is a combination of two seedlings that sprouted probably 200 feet away from our original tree five years ago.   They’re in a good place, and the car doesn’t mind a little littering.  So they got to stay.  My husband even put a little stake to hold them up and remind me that I wasn’t to dislodge them.

This angle gives you another perspective on the size of this kindergarten-aged tree.

These spell-binding pretties are two or three baby abizias wrapping their trunks around each other begging us not to uproot them.  They are mere pre-schoolers – about three summers old.  Think witches’ spell, and save yourself before it’s too late!

The culprits are these seed pods.  They break open, and poof they are in the neighbor’s yard.  So if you don’t want your neighbors to think you are making shady deals, DON’T plant abizias close to the property line.