stink beetle on cholla
stink beetle (Eleodes sp.) on cholla (Cylindropuntia sp.)
bee on Erythrostemon gilliesii
The Republican Party of Texas was in the news recently for approving a platform that called homosexuality "an abnormal lifestyle choice" and said that Biden "was not legitimately elected".

One law professor called the "abnormal lifestyle choice" line a "five alarm fire". Yes it's vile and yes it wasn't in the 2020 platform but it's mild compared to what their platform said in 2006:
Homosexuality — We believe that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country's founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should "family" be redefined to include homosexual "couples." We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, recognition, or privileges including, but not limited to, marriage between persons of the same sex, custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
2006 was just a few years after the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas. The platform said they wanted their sodomy law back, too.
relative dating
From a revision a month ago.
The "Not to be confused with" message lasted a week.
scorpion I found in my kitchen sink this morning
Agave parryi
note the leaf color at the base
and how it's leaning
(compared to two weeks ago)
I watched about half of the January 6 presentation last night. While Liz Cheney's participation is welcome, it doesn't change her appalling record. She defended the birther movement, supported the Iraq War, and supported the use of torture.
Agave parryi
agave flowers with bee
Russian chess players don't speak of knights having L‑shaped moves, but rather Г‑shaped.

In a book that came out in 2011, Lalo Schifrin said he got the idea for the ♩. ♩. ♩ ♩ rhythm in the Mission: Impossible theme from Morse code: M is two dashes and I is two dots.
Agave parryi
Agave parryi
Leaves on the agave next door are blushing.
Yucca brevifolia
My Joshua tree has seen fit to branch three ways after flowering.
This time of year, 14 years ago, I drove from New York to California in a rented truck. I ignored the signs on I‑70 in Colorado that said trucks were required to carry chains from September through May. It was a nice warm week with no chance of snow.

And yet there are years like 2022. Snow is forecast for Denver later this week.
The agave next door is at the stage where it looks like a hat rack.Agave parryi
In 1995, the little magazine I worked on had (on the back cover of issue #10) a parody ad for a Ken doll with Kaposi's sarcoma lesions.

This week, Mattel announced a Ken doll with a skin condition (vitiligo).
Sciurus griseus
western gray squirrel this morning
My two closest friends in high school got their girlfriends pregnant. Both girlfriends had abortions.

I'm still in touch with both friends. After last week's leak, one of them remarked that had abortion not been available in New York in 1975, the parents probably would have been involved and arranged a trip to Barbados. As it was, his parents and his girlfriend's were none the wiser. He had gotten her pregnant on his first time ever having sex.

He ultimately married (not his first girlfriend though) and had kids. Before his wedding in the mid‑1980s, he called to ask for my discretion about something. He said his parents knew his fiancée had been divorced but didn't know that she'd been divorced three times and he didn't want them to find that out at the wedding. I said, well, then tell them beforehand. He wasn't amused.
Agave parryi
The first flower buds are starting to appear near the top.
Agave parryi
the stalk is ten feet tall and growth continues unabated
be prepared for either eventuality

location; see also this sign

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