Big time succulent envy

I kill an average of one succulent per quarter here in Newfoundland. Succulents are arid weather plants (high temperatures, low rainfall). They get most of their water from the air. Where I live, there is more water than I can comprehend. Lots of precipitation, humidity, ponds and bogs every few feet. But it's cold. And too wet. There is no need for draught-resistant plants here. But I attempt to grow them anyway.

Succulents are on trend right now. And just like with Apple devices, I am drinking the kool-aid. Why has it taken so long for the masses to realize how cool cacti are?! If you're like me and you are obsessed with these little alien Darwinian champions, you will be blown away by the succulents in Malta.

Two words. Climbing. Cacti. Picture the way Morning Glory vines all over everything (and then you panic and regret ever saying Morning Glory was pretty). Now imagine thick Cathedral Cactus looking SOB's climbing up 3 stories of 300-year old farmhouse.

You've got to see this array of succulents.

I can't get enough of the macro plant porn. You need to see these roadside cacti as well though.

You can't gauge the height of the cactus in the above photo but I'll tell you, it was easily twice my height (I'm 5'4").

If you're feeling nerdy and you want to identify some of the above plants, please take a crack at it in the comments. I would be happy to collaboratively nerd out with you.

Colorado birds and a whistle pig

Finally, a Clark's Grebe! I've been looking for them since I was a sophomore at Colorado State University. That wasn't yesterday. This fellow was in the company of three Western Grebes.

Clark's Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii) - Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado

Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) - Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado

While trout fishing in the Blue Mesa Reservoir, a massive storm rolled in. We cruised back to the dock and loaded the boat. Just as we were finishing putting the cover on the boat, the Colorado sunshine broke through the clouds and shoved the storm into the distance.

The tree that we were parked next to contained this little storm-weathered bird.

House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus) - Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado

You were promised a whistle pig. They are actually called Yellow-bellied Marmots but I grew up knowing them as little (or huge) whistle piggies.

Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris) - Currecanti National Recreation Area, Colorado