It’s cold out there!

Teddy Bear Cholla

Teddy bear cholla down the street.

Monday we had snow. Tuesday it was 30 degrees when I got out of bed. I skipped golf on the snow day and I was feeling sluggish due to lack of exercise.

My husband and I bundled up Tuesday and took our usual walk around the neighborhood. Although it was so cold, it was bright and sunny and we didn’t die! In fact, I felt so much better after getting out and moving araound.

This is about the Teddy bear cholla or jumping cholla:

Teddy bear cholla, or jumping cholla (C. bigelovii), is native to northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States and is sometimes cultivated as a desert ornamental for its showy golden spines. 

https://www.britannica.com/plant/cactus

I guess they’re called Teddy Bear because they are fuzzy looking. But they are not cuddly. They are a hazard. They’re called jumping cholla because they throw off little bundles of spines. If you accidentally step on one or brush them with your shoe, they may go all the way through your shoe to your foot.

My husband spotted this teddy bear cholla in front of a neighbor’s house. He pointed it out to me because of this:

In the center of the cholla is a bird’s nest. What a perfect place to keep eggs and chicks safe!

What’s the weather like where you are? Is it colder than normal?

What do you think of birds choosing a cholla for their nest?

It’s that time of year!

The cacti out the casita window.

Today we had a winter weather warning. There may be a foot of snow above the 3,500 foot level. Unfortunately, we’re at 3,000 elevation so I think it’ll miss us. I have to check with our friends one mile up the hill to find out if they get snow.

When we moved to Arizona this week two years ago, we were surprised to see styrofoam cups on cactus. We asked people about it while we were out on walks. We learned that cactus like warm weather (duh). They die from the top if it gets below freezing. The styrofoam cups offer a bit of protection and insulation. Some people get creative and put Santa hats on them, or wrap them completely in fabric.

It’s supposed to freeze at night this week, so it was time to get out our cups and protect our cacti. At least the styrofoam cups are reusable!

Last week we were out walking and met a couple we’ve seen, but never stopped to talk to. The husband warned us of the cold weather and asked if we have heat tape.

“Heat tape?” my husband and I both asked. We’d never heard of it living in Palm Springs for the past 37 years.

The wife got out her iphone and began to show us photos from a storm they had a few years before we moved here. They got feet — as in multiple feet of snow. Their neighbors’ water pipes burst and made eery patterns as water froze in the air. This couple is originally from Minnesota so they were prepared with their heat tape.

We got instructions to go to Ace Hardware, buy heat tape and wrap our water pipes. I’m urging my husband to do that now, before nightfall!

coyote on wall in the snow
A coyote jumped on our wall during the snow we got two years ago.

Have you heard of heat tape before? What do you do to prepare for cold weather? Or do you ever have any freezes of snow?

From Summer to Winter

Last week I sought the shade. Now I seek the sun on my walks.

When we left for Mexico last week, the afternoons at home were topping 90 degrees. That is if it wasn’t “monsooning” with thunder, lightening and major rains.

We arrived home Sunday afternoon. I checked my phone the following morning before our walk for the temperature. I did a double take. 46 degrees. Yikes!

I got out my leggings and fleece jacket and bundled up.

What happened to Fall? We went from too hot to too cold in a snap. I used to complain in Palm Springs that we had lousy weather. It was either too hot or too cold. There were only a few days that were just right. It seems that Arizona weather is much the same. But I missed the “just right” days. There were none in September or October. Certainly none in the summer.

My next challenge is getting into my swimsuit and jumping into the YMCA pool. They had been cooling the pool. I sure hope they’re heating it now!

What is your favorite season and temperature range?

Balloons spotted during our morning walk.