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Nature Photography: Never Give Up

Tucson’s long, hot summer of 2014 almost made me give up on container gardening. Take, for example, my hot pepper pots. I watered and watered and watered them. (Why am I doing this?) The pepper flowers kept drying up and falling off. Result: No summertime peppers for my omelettes. Then came fall. And guess what’s…

Nature Photography: Baja Fairy Duster

It’s official: Tropical Depression Odile was a No-Deal. After spending several hours weeping over Tucson, she decided that we weren’t supportive enough. So, Odile headed east and dumped her sorrows all over New Mexico and West Texas. While Odile was still trying to gain our sympathies, she left scenes like this. Baja Fairy Duster in…

Nature Photography: Early Fall Garden

Yes, it’s still summer. And, yes, it’s still hot as blazes. But September is just a few days away. Which means that it’s time to get the early fall garden planted. What’s in mine? I’m starting lettuce and greens in the big pot. Still-producing lemon basil plants surround it… What’s in this basin? Carrot seeds…

Nature Photography: Rain on Hardscape

Mid-afternoon thunderstorm rolls in, ruining my plans to take a nap. Outside, there’s the sound of raindrops soaking the hardscape. Like the brick edging around one of my garden basins… And the front walk. It’s getting the rain-hammer! Uh-oh! More thunder outside. Here comes the rain — again.

Nature Photography: Half-Inch Rain

So much for trash-talking the clouds. One of them took umbrage and thundered at me. That cloud invited its friends over for a party, and rain it did! Half an inch in less than an hour. After checking the rain gauge total, I trained my camera on the side-yard garden. Chiltepin pepper plants with prickly…

Nature Photography: Rain Holiday Ends

Our monsoon season was off to such a promising start. Then it took a one-month holiday. Here in drought-stricken Tucson, we were beginning to wonder what we said that so greatly offended the summer rains. And then they came back. Sunny skies haven’t stopped the storms. Here’s the closeup view from my studio window… There’s…

Nature Photography: One-Inch Rain

This past Tuesday, we had one inch of rain in less than an hour. What does such a big downpour look like? Well, it looks like this in my rain gauge… Now, let’s tour the earthworks that were installed during my Watershed Management Group workshops. East side of front yard… West side of front yard……

Nature Photography: Hot-Dry Times

Late June in Tucson. When the cicadas raise a mighty ruckus. And the hot-dry times seem like they’ll never end. My okra basin? Filled with drama queens that swoon in the midday sun. Time to build those oh-so-delicate plants a found-object shade cloth structure… I diligently seeded this basin throughout April. (Too cold for the…

Nature Photography: Branch Recycling

A couple of posts ago, I talked about the need to have my mesquite tree trimmed. This begs the question of what happened to the cut branches. Well, a couple of things happened to them. Two of the big branches are going to become walking sticks. Here’s one of them, in a still life I…

Nature Photography: Omar Comes Back

In the summer of 2007, I began volunteering with Tucson’s Watershed Management Group (WMG). The WMG uses a learning-by-doing approach to solve soil and water resource problems. And I was having one right here at home. After I bought this place in 2004, I started planting a xeriscape. In addition to planting low-water use plants,…

Nature Photography: Budding and Ripening

Earlier in the week, I blogged about the about-to-bud flowers in my squash barrel. Looks like they’ve taken the hint… Over in the pepper pots, it’s ripening time! If memory serves correctly, these peppers are pretty hot. Looks like it’s time to brush up on my salsa-making skills.

Nature Photography: Flowers in the Garden

Nearly two months ago, I seeded my squash barrel. Then it was waiting time. Would any of the seeds sprout? Did they ever! The spaghetti squash plants are growing like crazy, and now they’re flowering. One flower so far, and a bunch of buds that should open in the next few days… Over on the…

Nature Photography: Sprouting Time

One of the most nerve-wracking aspects of gardening is the waiting that comes after seeding. You water, water, and water the bare ground and wonder if anything will sprout. And then it does. The basil was a little sluggish, but here it is, at long last… Okra is also taking its sweet old time about…

Nature Photography: The Sloppiness Continues

Earlier this year, I lamented the sloppiness of my front yard mesquite tree. Has the tree cleaned up its act? Nope. Take a look at what’s all over the branches. Not just spring leaves, but the beginnings of quite a pod crop… And where are all of those yellow fuzzy things going to fall? All…

Nature Photography: A Red Hot Chili Pepper Post

The winter of 2013-14 was a warm one in Tucson, Arizona. To the point that my hot pepper plants survived the brief cold spells of January and February. But for some yellowing in aged leaves that are about to fall off, the pepper plants are in great condition. And they’re producing! I’ve been pleasantly surprised…

Nature Photography: Summer Garden Seeding

With daytime temperatures reaching the nineties, my gardening thoughts are now focused on summer. Time to get the summer seeds planted, starting with okra in this basin. The lattice of branches is there to keep the feral cats out… Can’t get through the summer without basil. Seeds in this pot… Now, a quick check on…

Bicycle Photography: Cyclovia Tucson 2014

This past Sunday dawned bright and sunny. Typical Tucson weather, and it was perfect for a bicycle ride. So, I boarded the Official Bike-tography Bike and joined 20,000 of my best friends on Cyclovia Tucson’s South Side route. This five-mile ride featured a little bit of everything. Kids learning how to ride a two-wheeler. A…

Nature Photography: Seeding the Barrel

The gales of yesterday brought a stranger into town. Its name? Well, it’s called Rain. A real rarity around here. It left a little bit of evidence in my garden… A few minutes after I took this photo, the rain ran away from Tucson. So much for our warm welcome and unforgettable hospitality. In other…

Bicycle Photography: The Art Bike

My “No Gas” photo print has made the bigtime! It’s in today’s “Arts Speak” show at the Tucson Museum of Art. Here are the specs: Archival-quality 19.5” x 29” Giclée print in 38.5” x 29” frame. Which begs the question: How do you transport something that big when you don’t have a car? Meet the…

Bicycle Photography: Old Pueblo Gran FUNdo 2014

Have you been for a ride on The Loop? It’s an off-road path that’s being built around the Tucson valley. The Loop will make it possible for cyclists, walkers, and runners to avoid motorized traffic. This past Sunday, the first-ever Old Pueblo Gran FUNdo took to The Loop. It was a windy morning, no doubt…

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