Thursday, November 23, 2006
Our Thanksgiving Trip to Roosevelt, AZ.
On our way to Roosevelt, AZ. to spend Thanksgiving dinner with our friends, we stopped at the viewpoint and took some pictures of the Roosevelt Lake. It was once the largest man-made lake in the world. It offers many recreational activities from boating, fishing, jet and waterskieng, camping, and just merely sightseeing. When the lake is full, it can cover more than 88 miles of shoreline, big enough to accommodate large crowds.
We had good memories in this lake with family and friends. We used to go fishing here and caught quite a few of crappie. I remember my husband tossing the children in the water from the boat and they got a kick out it. They were like little fish. They swam for hours until their lips became purple and puckered up from soaking too long.
The picture on top is thornless Prickly Pear. Seven years ago, my husband planted the cactus about 2 inches long. When the plant was little, Javelina liked to chew on it, undeterred by the cactus' spines, so my friend, Bob, installed a perimeter fence for protection. Now, they don't seem to bother the plant anymore because, for one, it might be too tough for them to chew or it could be that the Javelinas (wild stinky peccary, which resemble wild boars) feel threatened by the plant's size. It is about 8 feet tall. Huge!
The Saguaro Cactus, the second picture from the top, is the state flower of Arizona. This particular cactus only grows in Arizona, and in Mexico. It grows very slowly, perhaps an inch a year, but to a great height, about 15 to 50 feet. This particular cactus has five arms and is about 25 feet tall. It blooms in springtime and it surely is a pretty sight from the freeway. The flowers are about 3 inches wide and have many creamy petals around a tube about 4 inches long. The fruit of the cactus is edible and was the food source of the Native Americans of the region. They used the flesh, seeds, and the juice.
I have tried eating the fruit of the Prickly Pear only to be stung by its spines. It can be deceptive because the spikelets are not that visible until you touch it. The spines quickly prick your skin as if they are being pulled my a magnet. The fruit itself tasted good but the pricking incident was enough to dissuade me from picking the fruit off the plant unprotected. The use of gloves is absolutely necessary in case I decide to try another shot at it. .
It took me an hour to get rid of the darn prickers using a twissor. Oh, I actually had a friend remove it for me.