Candy Dish

Flowers bloom on the top of a compass barrel cactus beside the Chuckwagon Trail in McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, Arizona in May 2018

Flowers bloom atop a barrel cactus along the Chuckwagon Trail in May of 2018. I photographed several different barrels blooming last year but this year I didn’t see any that struck my fancy, perhaps I was too distracted by hawks and lizards and woodpeckers. The circle of buds and blossoms at the top reminds me of a candy dish full of brightly colored candies, we have a small one in the backyard with what looks like some buds just starting to form, I’m curious to see if it will bloom this summer.

It’s Arizona

A small cactus in Pinnacle Peak Park in Scottsdale, Arizona

The second job offer arrived this morning, and while it’s been difficult to choose between the two offers as I liked the work and the teams at both companies, in the end the cost of living difference between California and Arizona was too much to ignore. I might feel differently in the summer when my face has melted off.

It will be hard to say goodbye to my beloved Northwest but I’m looking forward to saying hello to the Southwest. This quick visit to Pinnacle Peak during my interview trip was a test to make sure I’d enjoy exploring the desert as much as I hoped. I’ve lived in eight states in this great land, Oregon felt like home the moment we moved here and is by far the longest I’ve lived anywhere. Arizona will be the ninth, here’s hoping we also love life in the desert.