This is an ocotillo in full bloom. They are all over the Sonoran Desert. During dry times they look like a cluster of dead dry sticks. Then after the rain, they start sprouting leaves and in the spring, the tops sprout these bright orange-red tops. I can remember taking a drive out into the desert when we were working with MDS in Dulzura, California. Our San Diego Coordinator could not believe we would drive twenty miles to look at "weeds!" The winter rainstorms we had must have been more than enough as the ocotillos are gorgeous this year.
This is a view of the fountain in the Fountain Hills Park from this campground. It goes off for 15 minutes at the top of every hour. Though Fountain Hills is quite a ways away by road, it is just over the hill --
We drove over to Queen Creek today to the Olive Mill to restock my kitchen. This local mill is located in a small olive grove on the other side of Phoenix. They grind and distill their own olive oils which I have become very fond of especially of their Mexican Lime Olive Oil. It give such a nice flavor when fixing fish or scallops. I also got some Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon oil as well as a large bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The Olive Mill has also been making some interesting Balsamic Vinegars - I got a bottle of Peach White Balsamic Glaze and one of Pomegranate Vinegar. Should make for some good cooking!
I purchased a jar of Marcona Almond Stuffed Olives and a box of cupcakes (1 each of Lime, Lemon, and Blood Orange). Forry was going to take the bag out to the car and I told him to be sure and keep a hand on the bottom of the bag as it was heavy. As he was maneuvering to get a hand underneath, the jar of olives rolled out and smashed all over the concrete floor! What a mess!
Fortunately, the staff was very nice about it. They not only cleaned it up while we were enjoying some gelato, but gave us another jar of olives...
Since we were on that side of town, we went on into Gilbert to have dinner at Rancho Tia Rosa. The main restaurant that we like much is still not open after the kitchen fire there a couple of months ago, so this is the second time we have eaten at the one in Gilbert. Forry had his usual seafood enchiladas, but I got brave and didn't have my usual Chile Relleno, but instead tried their new Sweet Pork Enchiladas in Butternut Squash sauce. They were delicious!