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Garden news

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

It hasn’t been a great year for the garden. I suspect our soil is getting “tired,” and we also had a stretch of very hot weather with little rain that challenged everyone’s growing.

Despite that, September tends to be our peak harvest for many things. Our biggest success this year has been eggplants. These Rosa Biancas are beautiful.

We also have watermelons, cantaloupes, and tomatoes coming along. And as usual, our greens have been solid all year. We’re expecting to get an unusual cool spell next week, so we’ll be planting more then for the fall and winter.

And in other news, we’ve seen another gila monster — this time right outside our house. This was a big one that appeared to be at its peak age.


Happy August!

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

On this morning’s walk, we had a rare gila monster sighting. This is only the third one we’ve seen in 12 years.

This one was pretty big and seemed quite a bit older than the others we’ve seen.

We’re finally getting some rain and have been seeing a lot of turtles as well. It’s been a relatively light snake year though. Well, something had to go right this year.

The nature of nature

Friday, August 30th, 2019

Imagine my surprise when I began to step out of the greenhouse and saw this.

It startled me quite a bit.

Gila monsters are a rare sighting here, but this is the second year we’ve seen one. Interestingly, the last one was at the same time of year. This year, it was a mature adult, and we got a good look.

The monsoons have been continuing this month. It’s late in the year for them to still be going, but we’ve had rain every day this week. It’s good for the garden and a relief to be able to turn the drip off for a while.

We’ve also had a lot of wildlife around, including a bobcat that we’ve been seeing fairly regularly. There are also a pair of owls perching at a neighbor’s place. We’ve been visiting them on our nightly walks, and they seem quite unbothered by us.

Last weekend, we went camping up in the Chiricahuas at Rustler Park. At 9100 feet, it was quite cool. We did some great hiking and foraged both raspberries and elderberries. It was quite a treat to come home with enough berries to freeze for pies.


The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

Monsoons have been going strong for about a month now. The garden is now in a state at which I’m afraid to walk around it. The rains have led to waist-high grass and beds with viney crops growing a foot or more every day and weeds that are impossible to keep up with.

Along with the crazy plant growth, this time of year brings an explosion of bugs. As in my youth, I am bug-bitten and riddled with allergies, but still love the monsoons.

This morning, I went into the greenhouse to find about 20 of these caterpillars on one plant. There were none yesterday. Are they good or bad? I don’t know (but have since determined that they are eastern swallowtail butterfly larva and are not harmful but are partial to dill, which perhaps they mistook my parsley for…now that I think about it, I may know just the butterfly that laid these eggs. It was stuck in the greenhouse one night, and I freed it the next morning.). I didn’t want to kill them if they weren’t harmful, but didn’t want to leave them to continue to multiply, so decided to cut the plant (it was an herb going to seed anyway) and heave it over the fence.

Wise old owl

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

The great horned owl that frequents our front oak has been there everyday this week.



More bobcat photos

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

A lot of animals this morning. There were cows all over the road this morning. It was a challenge getting past them. About ten minutes after I was on the property, they had a mini-stampede up the road and away. Curious, there were deer standing near the cows, but on our side of the fence. They ran way as soon as they saw me.

The bobcats were all on the property today. When I drove up, one was inside the wire protecting one of our trees. It quickly scampered up a small mesquite tree. The other kitten ran off into the brush looking just like a kid off to fetch mom… sure enough, mom and the kitten wandered back about five minutes later.

I noticed the kitten in the tree had a small animal in its mouth; a bunny I think. It was small enough that I believe it caught it itself. On thing that dawned on me is that the bunny escape holes probably keep mom out, but these not these kittens. -sigh- It’s a hard world.

bob kittens

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

The big oak tree at our front gate has become the favorite playground for the local bobby twins. Mom was around, but I could not get her in a picture. The pictures of the bob kittens are the best to date. I hope you like them.


(look how long their legs are)