A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Day 49

This is Red Velvet Ant, although it is really a flightless wasp.  It is slightly larger than your average bee.  With all my poking and prodding trying to get him to pose, all he was concerned about was seeking shelter from my harassment.

Another photo that better shows the deep rich red color of the hairs.

This is Palo Verde which is Spanish for "green tree".  As you can see the bark is smooth and green.
Well, maybe you could see it if I had taken a better photo.  Using this iPad camera is a challenge.

Now this was a first for me.  I didn't know what I was looking at except for what looked like a vine that had grown up into the Palo Verde and had three melons.  Each was about the size of a baseball.  From a distance I thought someone had hung Christmas ornaments.  Back at camp I looked it up in my desert guide book and learned this was Melon Loco.  Loco in Spanish means crazy.  The book stated "Plants with the name 'loco' are usually poisonous to some degree; several have toxins that produce madness".  And I was thinking about opening up one of the fruit too.  Fortunately my habit of always leaving things as I find them prevented me from becoming even more crazy than I already am.


  1. Hi John, I am following your trip as I can. Here is a fellow to investigate...Noah Purifoy..found objects into desert art. Maybe on your way back.

  2. Glad you identified this vine. Although I've heard of it, I never realized the fruit was such a brilliant color.

  3. Those balls really look like Christmas balls, I even notice a little thread they are hanging on? Or do I see loco :) The ant stands out very bright, no way to hide with that colour.


I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.