Spring Blossoms in Phoenix, Arizona, II

Late March 2020

Desert Bluebells and Mexican Poppies under a Palo Verde tree which is just beginning to leaf out:

The same landscape from a different angle:

The young tree on the left is a Fig tree just leafing out.

Mexican Poppies:

Bluebells along a wall, shown below. The trees in the background are a Lemon (right) and an Orange. Some of last year’s crop remain on the trees just as they’re beginning to flower.

Desert Bluebells among the river rocks:

Prickly Pear cactus in Phoenix – first flowers I

Late March 2020

The first flowers that I’ve seen this season. This is an Engelmann’s Prickly Pear:

A Beavertail Prickly Pear full of buds is shown below. You can also see the proliferation of buds in the previous photos. Desert Bluebells are laid out along the river stones, below. A Bird of Paradise appears behind the Prickly Pear. Its new leaves are reddish-purple. Zoey is looking expectantly from the garage door. I have yet to identify the whitish flowering plant in front of the Prickly Pear:

A similar view with my 2004 Dodge Neon parked in the driveway:

‘Sorry, We’re Closed’

Colorful signs are posted around Lake Park here with the message “Sorry, we’re closed.”

A number of people seem to understand this as meaning that the park’s walkways are closed. The number of walkers and dogs sharply decreased for awhile.

Closer inspection indicates that only the park’s amenities are closed and events have been cancelled. By amenities the city means the restrooms. As it is, one restroom remains open.

The park is not closed. The walkways are about eight feet wide so it’s easy to keep six feet away from other walkers.

It turns out that the restrooms are not closed because of the virus. People have been stealing toilet paper and paper towels! This in a middle to upper class neighborhood. Shame.

Spring Blossoms in Phoenix, Arizona, I

Early March 2020

Brittlebush — The most ubiquitous shrub in this area. It lines the highway between Phoenix and Tucson, overhanging the roadway’s shoulders.

Brittlebushes with a many-armed saguaro cactus in the background — pronounced SWAH roe:

Lupine — pronounced LOO pin:

Trailing Rosemary — spreads like a groundcover:

Non-native clover is in the foreground.

The Jewish cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona

For a short while during the silver rush of the 1880s, Tombstone, Arizona, had a significant Jewish community. Some died and were buried there in the local cemetery — Boot Hill. There was a tendency for men to die with their boots on, they say. Hence the name.

The cemetery is now a tourist attraction. “Come see the plots and new markers of those who were killed in the Fight at the OK Corral.”

Jews, Indians, and Chinese were buried in a separate lot just below the hill.

An historical society was able to mark some of the Gentile graves on the hill and map it out for tourists. They had located enough historical documents for the task.

Not so the Jews. A club in south-central Arizona, though, sponsored a single memorial marker dedicated to:
The Jewish Pioneers and Their Indian Friends / Erected by the Jewish Friendship Club of Green Valley 1984.

Some of the “friends” were also Chinese.

Photos from Atlas Obscura, “Jewish Pioneers Memorial — Tombstone, Arizona,” retreived March 24, 2020. Photos have been retouched.

Green Valley, Arizona, lies on the highway south of Tucson on the way to Nogales.

See “Restoration of a Jewish Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona,” Southwest Jewish Archives, University of Arizona.

The New York Times reported: “An Old West Cemetery for Jews Is Rededicated in Tombstone,” February 29, 1984.

Spread Goodness and Kindness

In a USA Today op-ed on Sunday (March 16, 2020), 16 doctors, epidemiologists and public health experts explained how staying home is the most critical action people can take to blunt the spread of the virus….

“If you’re going to spread anything, spread help, compassion and humor,” the group wrote. “Above all, do not panic. Remember: Like all outbreaks, this too will eventually end.”

“National health-care experts rally behind ‘Stay Home, Save Lives’ initiative,” The Washington Post, March 16, 2020, 8:26 a.m.


Building projects at the entrance to Jerusalem

Jerusalem has plans to transform itself. A building project at the entrance to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv – the Jerusalem Gateway – began in July 2019. “The location and features will help us to bring new jobs to the city. More office space will mean more businesses, whether its lawyers, bankers, or high-tech,” said Ofer Berkovitch, a member of the city’s planning and construction committee.

The Jerusalem Gateway commercial project creates a new business center in Jerusalem next to the city’s transportation hub – the city’s central bus station, the terminal of the high-speed rail line from Tel Aviv, and the cross-city light rail line. The new construction is also within walking distance to government buildings.

The 74-acre project would include several towers, with some 1.5 million square meters of office and commercial space, some 2,000 hotel rooms, and underground parking for 1,300 cars.

The Jerusalem Gateway commercial center is expected to create new jobs in Jerusalem, especially professional jobs, when the construction is complete. The project is part of the city’s overall plan to keep its younger, well-trained population from migrating elsewhere in Israel. Jerusalem has already had a technical college for some time.

The population of the Jerusalem metropolitan area about one million people. Many work elsewhere in Israel because of a lack of jobs in Jerusalem. When opened toward the end of 2023, the new Jerusalem highway 16 entrance to the city will help to relieve enormous traffic jams at the Jerusalem Gateway. Meanwhile, traffic flow is expected to become even more snarled during construction of the gateway commercial project.



Jerusalem Under Construction,” CTech, December 6, 2018.
CTech is an English-language technology news site by Calcalist (Hebrew), Israel’s leading financial daily.

Building projects at entrance to Jerusalem means real growth (and some growing pains),” Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), June 25, 2019.

3 years of jams expected as Jerusalem shuts main road near entrance,” The Times of Israel, July 14, 2019.