Tag Archives: palm trees

Today is Arbor Day


I was scheduling posts for April when I looked at my paper calendar and saw April 27 was marked “Arbor Day.”

Arbor Day? That’s about trees, right? I thought.

This tree stands somewhere in Southern New Mexico.

I have a lot of photos of trees, I thought. I could do a post on Arbor day and share photos of trees, I thought.

These giant sequoias live in California’s Sequoia National Park.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation,

Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care.
The idea for Arbor Day in the United States originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska
when settler Julius Sterling Morton proposed a resolution to the State Board of Agriculture.
In 1872, the State Board of Agriculture accepted a resolution by J. Sterling Morton “to set aside one day to plant trees, both forest and fruit.” The Board declared April 10 Arbor Day and offered prizes
to the counties and individuals that properly planted the largest number of trees on that day.

These olive trees grow in Phoenix, AZ. The palm tree, it turns out, is not really a tree at all. According to Earth Connection, “Palm trees, of which more than 2,000 species exist, are grouped botanically with grasses, sedges, bamboo, grains, lilies, onions, and orchids.”

As an April 2017 Time article called “This Is Why Arbor Day Is a Thing” explains,

Nebraska was a largely treeless prairie region when, on April 10, 1872, it became the first state to celebrate Arbor Day by planting trees.

A century after the holiday was first celebrated, the Arbor Day Foundation was created to continue encouraging people to plant and love trees, and President Nixon proclaimed National Arbor Day. Now the last Friday in April is National Arbor Day, which is when most but not all states celebrate it.

Evergreens in the snow in the mountains of California.

The USA is not the only country that celebrates trees! According to Wikipedia,

Arbor Day (or Arbour; from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) is a holiday in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees. [1]Today, many countries observe such a holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.

(See the aforementioned article for a long list of countries that celebrate some version of Arbor Day, as well as a summary of what goes down at those celebrations.)

This tree in Northern New Mexico welcomes the night in the spring of 2017.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief history of Arbor Day and these photos of trees. I also hope you can get out there and celebrate Arbor Day by planting one or more trees.

The General Sherman is not only the largest living tree in the known world; it is the largest living creature of any species in the known world.

All of the photos in this post were taken by me.

Encanto Park



Encanto Park is on 15th Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona. I spent a couple of hours there one afternoon.     IMG_2022

The coolest thing about Encanto Park is the Community Fishing Water,  IMG_1937 otherwise known as a pond. Maybe it’s a lake. It’s pretty big. I guess it’s cool for desert city dwellers to be able to fish.  IMG_1943

There are islands in different parts of the lake, like this one:   IMG_2026            Some of the islands have waterfalls, like these  IMG_1975     IMG_1976.

There are lots of water birds in the lake.




Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck…..





Some of the water birds get out of the water and walk around on the land. IMG_1968           IMG_2042      That’s why there is bird shit all over the ground in Encanto Park. There are a large number of pigeons in the park as well. It is important to watch not only where you walk, but also where you sit. There is much bird shit in Encanto Park.

IMG_1979 Encanto Park has a large, covered playground for kids. There were actually kids playing on it when I was there, so I took a photo from a distance. I didn’t want the parents to think I was some kind of pervert taking pictures of their playing kids.

IMG_2016     This is the building housing the restrooms. These were the cleanest restrooms I have ever seen in a park. The doors to the stalls locked securely, and there was soap in the dispensers. No creepy vibe here!

There are several bridges crossing the lake so folks can get from one side to the other. IMG_1954

This is the Little Red Bridge. It has a story.      IMG_2023                   The original Little Red Bridge was constructed between 1935 and 1938. People took family pictures and wedding photos on the Little Red Bridge. In 2008, the bridge was barricaded because of structural decay; then, during a storm, a large tree was uprooted and fell on top of the bridge. The city of Phoenix decided to tear down the bridge and not replace it. BOO! Then folks got together and rebuilt the Little Red Bridge. Yippee! Read more about it here: http://www.structuralgrace.com/featured-project-details.asp?ProjectID=27.

IMG_2035 There is an amusement park on an island within Encanto Park. The Lady of the House told me it’s really geared toward little kids. IMG_2031 There is a train that leaves from the amusement park and takes passengers on a trip around Enchanted Island. IMG_2037

There is a dusty, shady sitting area within the park which, according to these bricks, is called the Garden of Dreams.


The middle brick on the top row reads, “Welcome to the Garden of Dreams.”

IMG_2029     On the benches inside the sitting area were these two plaques.     IMG_2028     This larger plaque was in the ground.    IMG_2027    The Compassionate Friends is a group which supports families after the death of a child.  Find out more about them here: http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx.

Here is an article (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/09/25/20110925phoenix-encanto-park-garden-dreams.html) which tells how the Garden of Dreams came into being.

Near the entrance to the park, there is a statue dedicated to “World Progress Through Scientific Research in the Laboratory.”     IMG_1983     IMG_1985     You can find out more about it here: http://arizonaoddities.com/2014/01/encanto-park-statue-dedicated-to-scientific-progress/.

IMG_1977     As seems to be the case in most (all?) Phoenix parks, there are a lot of palm trees in Encanto Park.

I witnessed only two mildly interesting events while I was in Encanto Park.

A man offered to sell me a old-school Singer sewing machine. I was in the parking lot, walking towards my van, and I saw a man pushing one of those collapsible metal carts that people who live in big cities and don’t have cars use to bring home their groceries. The cart was packed full of stuff, and at first I thought the man (a fellow probably in his early 60s) was homeless. Then I realized the cart was packed with fishing gear: rods and reels, tackle boxes, a chair…everything he needed for a couple of hours utilizing the community fishing water. We said hello and he asked me if I knew anyone who was looking to buy a sewing machine. He said it was an old Singer, and gestured over to his truck. The sewing machine was in the bed of his pickup, up against the cab. He said he’d gotten it out of a storage locker. I asked him what he was asking for it, and he said $100. He told me that new Singers are running $500 (he called the Singer store, he told me), and they’re only guaranteed for one year. I told him I wasn’t looking for a sewing machine. (Where would it go in my van?!!) However, if I had been looking for a sewing machine, I would have been interested in this one. (He left the sewing machine in the back of his truck, with a sign on it saying it was for sale for $125. He must be a trusting man to leave it and not worry that it would be stolen. Maybe it’s too heavy to be carried away.)

The other event happened while I was sitting at a picnic table under a ramada near the playground. I was looking through the photos I had taken, deleting those I didn’t like. A grandmother deposited her two grandbabies on the playground and sat at the other table under the ramada. I wasn’t paying much attention to her until I hear the unmistakable click click noise of a nail clipper. I looked over to find that Abuela had kicked off her flip flop and was trimming her toenails while she had a moment’s peace.