Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Tiny Sonora Desert Beauty–The Fairy Duster

©Bert Gildart: Almost looks like fireworks, doesn’t it? Fact of the matter, this tiny flower is called fairy duster, and Janie and I saw it growing in Organ Pipe National Monument along the trail to Victoria Mine.

Fairy duster is a member of the pea family and in a book on Arizona flowers, it is described as a “powder puff,” one “containing several flowers with long stamens, white at the base and tipped with pink.” Flowers are further described as being two-inch wide “puffs”, but I think the tiny flowers look like fireworks.


Fairy Duster, tiny beauty of the Sonora Desert

The book also says that many desert animals feed on the foliage and that many insects and hummingbirds frequent its flower. I made this photograph using two off-camera strobes, setting f-stop and shutter speed to optimize depth of field and make the background go dark.


Several people have asked me about our new solar panel, which I described in our last post. We got our panel from Solar Mikes in the Slabs and paid about $275. Others have told us about quotes ranging up to twice what we paid, so we’re sold on Solar Mike.

Wiring and link to our existing solar system added a bit more to the price, as did elsewhere. We intentionally wanted a movable panel and Mike added enough wire length so we could move it around throughout the day. That way we can point the panel directly at the sun, and that DOES improve absorption. We have yet to come up with a good stand for the panel but in the meantime, we are using a stepladder securing our panel to the ladder with bungee chords.


Moveable solar panel absorbs radiant umph!

For security, I run a padlock through one of the holes in the frame of the panel and then thread a bicycle lock through the lock. Finally, I tie the looped ends together with yet another lock.

There’s bound to be an easier way to anchor and secure, but in the meantime, this works, and bottom line, we’re sure absorbing the solar amps.



*The Dry Tortugas


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