Thursday, May 27, 2010

Trees at Fun Friday: The Juniper Tree

We are on our 5th week of Trees for Fun Friday, hosted by Melissa, of Blogging For Fun.
Gnarled Juniper Tree @ Olmstead Point, Yosemite National Park, CA
This week, I am featuring a tree with admirable strength in character, the Juniper tree. As you can see from the picture above, despite living in a very harsh condition, with hardly a soil on this giant granite rocks, buried in ice and snow for about half of the year or more, directly exposed to the blazing sun and supplied with lesser oxygen at more than 8000 ft of elevation, this juniper tree continues to survive. I see the twisting and the gnarling of its branches as depth in character, its limbs so wrinkled showing admirable wisdom and strength in age, yet its leaves so green showing it is still very much alive.
Lone Juniper Standing on top of this Granite Cliff, Olmstead Point, Yosemite National Park, CA
In the next 3 Fridays, the last 3 Fridays we will be featuring trees, I am saving my last 3 tree posts to 3 California trees where a National Park has been named after them and established for their preservation. If you are very familiar with National Parks or California, you may be able to name these 3 National Parks named after trees.

Before I end this post, let me make an announcement regarding the change in url of our group's site, The Salitype Society. Unintentionally, we lost our old url, but luckily we are able to keep all our posts. You can now visit us at To my fellow bloggers and friends, who also follows us at The Salitype Society, I would really be glad and thankful if we continue to see you there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Trees for Fun Friday: Palo Verde

We are on our 3rd week of Trees for Fun Friday, hosted by Melissa, of Blogging For Fun. However, for me, my Fun Friday falls on a weekend :)
Blue Palo Verde ( tree with yellow blossom) and brittlebush
Palo verde is the Spanish word for "green wood" or "green stick", which alludes to the greenish branches and trunk of the tree.
Snowy Egret Perched on the Greenish Branch of Palo Verde
The palo verde is the herald of spring for many Southwestern United States, because of its huge display of yellow flowers.
Bumblebee Frolicking on Palo Verde's Yellow Flower
Palo verde trees are originally from the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of Southwest USA (Arizona and Eastern California) and Mexico and Baja California. This is a true desert tree and is extremely drought resistant. Because of its minimal water need, palo verde has become a popular landscape plantings as a shade tree along roadways and parks all across Southwest USA. 
There are two species of palo verde that are common in the Southwestern USA, the foothill palo verde and blue palo verde. Both species are spiny, multi-trunked trees.
An Egret Perched on the Spiny Branch of Blue Palo Verde
Palo verde photosynthesize through their green bark, which is a very important adaptation for a tree that lost its leaves during the warm season. Aside from dropping its leaves during the warm season, palo verde also drops its stems and branches to combat drought. There are numerous birds that forage, perch and/or nest in the abundant branches of palo verde.
Egrets Nesting on Palo Verde

The Beauty Behind

I have been going to the same hairstylist for years. He has moved to different salons for better opportunities and I have followed. My hope is he stays local so I won't have to fly to get a haircut ... lol Throughout our history I have developed trust with his expertise in the hair care business. It is easy for me to follow his advice about long hairstyles and hair care in general. He also give me tips about hair care products for specific needs, and of course I believe him every time he tells me the haircut style he suggested for me added allure and made me look more beautiful and younger. During various visits he makes suggestions on skin care. He has convinced me I do not have to spend a ton of money for beautiful hair, flawless-looking skin or gorgeous makeup. His suggestion was many times the less expensive brands produce just as effective results as more expensive brands. Knowing just a few tips can make you a pro at shopping for beauty products to improve your hair, skin, and enhance your cosmetic selections.
Here are the tips I follow to care for my hair and skin:

1) As a general rule, healthy life style means healthy looking hair and skin. Stress, smoking, drinking, not exercising and poor nutrition are not good for skin and hair.

2) For my hair, I use mild shampoo and conditioner. I don't stick to just one brand of shampoo, I like variety and I like to experiment on different brands. I wash my hair three times a week. I only use a blow dryer to dry my hair when I am in a hurry or my husband gives me that "we are late" look. I also deep condition my hair and scalp once a month to give it that shiny look.

3) For my skin, I use unscented body wash and unscented lotion. I try to stay away as much as I can from harsh chemicals. To be really safe, I use baby care soap and lotion most of the time. Also, don't forget to put on generous amount of sun block when you go out playing under the sun.

4) Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, drink a lot of water, maintain good hygiene and get as much sleep as you can.

5) Get your hair styled and cut at least every two months if you can afford it. I don't know what it is, but for me, I feel so much better every time I have my hair done. Plus my hair stylist always tells me when he is done styling my hair that I look beautiful and young looking with my nicely done "prom hair" look, and that makes me feel good inside.
~ by Chay ~

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Naked Coral Tree

Naked Coral Tree Blossom
It is now Sunday, and am late for the Fun Friday post on trees, hosted by Melissa. For 8 weeks, we will be featuring trees, and we are now on second week.
Me and the Naked Coral Tree @ Balboa Park
The naked coral tree or flame coral tree ( Erythrina coralloides ) ranges from Arizona to Oaxaca, Mexico. The beautiful red flowers are used as food but its seed are very poisonous. The blooms are typically pollinated by hummingbirds. 
Hummingbird Pollinating the Naked Coral Tree Blossom
The long, probing bill of the hummingbird is well-adapted for reaching the liquid nectar at the base of the petals deep inside the tubular corolla.This is probably the most cold tolerant coral tree. They can be propagated by stem cutting or by seedlings. During spring, the tree is bare with red flowers. In the summer, the tree is covered with lush large bright green leaves. At Fall, the green leaves turn into yellow. And in winter, the leaves fall exposing the coral like branches, and probably the best time to prune the tree.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.