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Monday, April 16, 2018

2018 A -Z Challenge - N

N    Things We Appreciate

The western end of America’s Mother Road (formerly US Route 66 and subsequently relegated to State Route status in 1985) begins in Needles, California where temperatures soar to heights that nary a lizard would scoff at. Needles set a new record in August of 2012 for the world’s hottest rain (115 degrees). The high that day was 118, while the humidity was at only 11%. This too was a record for the lowest humidity at which rain has occurred on earth in recorded history. Nevertheless, under Night skies, with the windows rolled down, it’s a temperate place to stop if you’ve been driving since the Dust Bowl as the Joad family did. And what could be more welcoming to a weary traveler on a dark and sultry night than the glow of a Neon Sign

A long-married friend of mine was pleasantly astonished to see the Northern lights for the first time when her boyfriend drove her to where he knew they’d be visible on the night he proposed!

Nature! Isn’t it wonderful?

Nests – Roughly the size of a ping-pong ball with velvety soft floors and interior walls, these miniscule Hummingbird mansions are constructed with twigs, pieces of leaves and plant fibers carefully woven together with spider silk which not only tethers the nest to a foundation (typically branch forks of shrubs or sheltered trees) but expands with the growth of the babies.  


For larger birds whose curious young tend to topple right out of their nests, I recommend miniature Safety Nets.  Interestingly, the first Life Net (as it was called), invented by Mr. Thomas Browder was designed much like the trampolines of today, which also require safety nets.
Other popular uses for nets include sports, insect, and animal barriers, fishing, and of course, Naps!

Naiche, meaning “mischief maker” was the name given to the son of Chiricahua Apache Chief, Cochise.

Happy N Day!

Any thoughts? Can you add to the list of things we appreciate that begin with the letter N?


  1. Hi, diedere!

    I traveled through your desert region in the summer of 2014 and know how hot 111 degrees feels. I can't imagine what 118 felt like that day in Needles. Are they sure that was rain coming down with the humidity at only 11%? Perhaps a flock of birds was flying over. :)

    I remember being fascinated as a child with neon signs and neon colors as our community grew and more of them appeared.

    It was a very romantic gesture to propose marriage in view of the Aurora Borealis. My father loved Nature. My mother loved air conditioning. :)

    It was fun to learn about the construction of the Hummingbird mansion that tethers it to the tree and expands as the birds grow. Placing a safety net beneath a tree with a bird nest is a great idea. I never even thought of it.

    Thank you for the interesting "N" facts and trivia, dear friend diedre, and have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi Shady!

      "Birds flying over," Ha! As I recall, the precipitation (as it were) never even reached the ground.

      We have somewhat of a Neon sign boneyard here, thanks to the owner of an electric sign company who shared our fascination.

      In light of the ferocious winds we've had of late, my little safety net idea would likely backfire ;-)

      Thanks for coming by, dear Shady!

  2. Now that is some hot rain.
    The waterfall over the tunnel is really awesome.

    1. Hi Alex!

      Had raindrops hit the ground, I bet they would have sizzled ;-)

      I loved how Nature isn't about to let man-made things get in the way.

      Have a terrific week!

  3. Hi Diedre - hot rain ... no thanks!! Nature is great ... nightingales that are so rare now ... nuts - love some of them ... I'm sure there's more around the A-Z!! Cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary!

      Nightingales, of course! A wonderful addition. I've often asked myself during the course of this challenge why I hadn't thought of a word that someone else brings up - you would not believe how many K words came to mind while I was writing this post ;-)
      A have lovely day!

  4. N IS FOR... "GREEN"?

    Lotsa the color green in most of these photos.

    I recognized that Westward Ho Motel sign, but didn't know from where. Yes, Needles, OF COURSE. Driven through there many times.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

    1. Howdy Reno!

      What, you don't care for green? I hadn't actually thought about it, but I do like green ;-)

      That sign, by the way, is in Oklahoma somewhere. I swear there was one here as well. But I couldn't find a picture of the only one I knew to exist in Needles - in the public domain.

      You've driven to Needles many times - on purpose?

    2. Actually, GREEN is my favorite color. And that's the reason I noticed so much of it in these photos.

      Wow! Well, I definitely HAVE seen a sign very, very much like that one somewhere. Hmmm.... Now that's gonna bug me until I think of it. ...Prescott, Arizona, maybe? Or Flagstaff?

      Ha! No, I have never driven TO Needles on purpose. I've only driven THROUGH it (as fast as I could go) on my way to somewhere else.

      When I was a kid on a family vacation, I think our car overheated once just outside of Needles and we had to spend the night there while waiting for the auto garage to get a new thermostat or something.

      ~ D-FensDogG
      Stephen T. McCarthy Reviews...

    3. When I was kid we drove on up to Needles to fill up Grandma's thermos and to be able to say we went to the end of the (Mother) road ;-)


Any thoughts? Join the conversation, comments welcome here!