Nature Photography

Nature Photography: It’s an experiment

Found three uprooted globe mallows during yesterday evening’s walk around the neighborhood. I’m trying to re-root them in a pot… Will they make it? I don’t know. Call this project an experiment.

Nature Photography: Kale Going to Seed

Looks like it’s time to wrap things up on the winter gardening front. My kale is going to seed… This weekend’s forecast calls for big drops of water falling from the sky. That’s what people in wetter climes call R-A-I-N. Looking forward to it!

Nature Photography: Sloppy Mesquite Tree

At this time of the year, my mesquite tree is a bit of a slob. It’s losing its leaves, which means that my yard is full of duff. Here’s what I’m talking about… If the tree limited its duff sharing to the yard, I’d be happy. But no. Duff on the driveway. Duff on the…

Nature Photography: Drip Irrigation

After I did a little hand washing, I put the laundry outside. Where it dripped all over my porch. Which is right next to my thirsty container garden. Time to give three of those cilantro pots a little drip irrigation…

Nature Photography: Jumble Garden

I had the best of intentions last fall. Neat, orderly garden rows. But nothing sprouted. Time for Garden 2.0. Where seeds sprouted wherever I tossed them. Looks like this Jumble Garden thing is working…

Nature Photography: Early Blooms

We had one of the warmest Januarys on record. So, Tucson’s plant life responded by blooming early. Here are two eager beaver plants from my yard. First, the aloe… And the feathery senna. How could it pass up a party like this?

Photo Essay: Hard Freeze

Here’s the conclusion to my annual series of “What I Did On My Christmas Vacation” posts. Cold outside! This really was the temperature at the Retallick family home in Westtown, Pennsylvania… Mom’s back from seeing if the newspapers had landed at the end of the driveway. None of them had… Okay, so we can’t read…

Photo Essay: The Soccer Geese

Continuing with my annual series of “What I Did On My Christmas Vacation” posts. Here’s the fourth. There’s a farm down the street from my folks’ house… The farm is part of a private school’s property, and the athletic fields are adjacent to the cornfields. After the geese chow down in the cornfields, they adjourn…

Photo Essay: Back to School

Continuing with my annual series of “What I Did On My Christmas Vacation” posts. Here’s the second. I spent the latter half of my grade school years at Penn Wood Elementary. Which had a nice woodsy setting that was full of distractions for a budding artist. Like textures and colors – the building blocks of…

Nature Photography: Leaves in the Screen Door

Continuing with my annual series of “What I Did On My Christmas Vacation” posts. Here’s the third. A leafy one from eastern Pennsylvania. I guess I should do Mom a favor and remove those beech leaves from the screen door. But they’re so photogenic…

Photo Essay: Post-Christmas Trees

It’s time for my annual series of “What I Did On My Christmas Vacation” posts. Here’s the first. Day after Christmas was a great one for planting the Retallick family’s tabletop Alberta spruce. Off with the pine cone decorations… And into the ground… Mom takes the one-gallon pot away before I tamp soil around the…

Nature Photography: Ripening Lettuce

Here’s what’s growing in my side yard. And it’s almost salad time! In honor of this milestone, it’s time to make some salad dressing. Here’s my recipe for Salad Dressing Picante: One part vinegar to three parts oil Grown-and-dried-on-the-premises rosemary Grown-and-dried-on-the-premises red chili peppers (coarsely ground with mortar and pestle) Salt I don’t have hard-and-fast…

Photo Essay: Winter Gardening

Winters in Tucson are interesting, to say the least. For example, consider what we’re dealing with right now: A week-long cold snap. Daytime temperatures have barely reached the fifties and the nighttime lows have hovered around the freezing mark. Today’s forecast high is 61. I doubt we’ll get there. Time to check on how my…

Photo Essay: Mesquite Bean Math

Here’s the finished project, the end result of many weeks of harvesting and drying the mesquite beans from my front-yard tree… Thank you, Desert Harvesters, for doing the milling, and to Patty Goble for transporting me and beans to this event. This is what we came back to my place with… The raw materials? Three…

Photo Essay: Sunshine and Water

The brief story of sunshine and water in Tucson goes like this: Sunshine: Way too much! Water: Not enough! Ultra-bright midday sun is turning my cabeza temporal squash plants into a bunch of swooning drama queens… Save those plants! Must have emergency infusion of greywater! To the kitchen we must go! It’s garden-bucket-water time! The…

Photo Essay: Sudden Downpour

So far, August’s monsoon storms have been quite impressive. A total of .55″ to date. More than half of the rain came during last Friday’s sudden downpour. Here are the results from my neighborhood, starting with the street flooding at 3rd Avenue and Flores Drive… The downpour was preceded by a windstorm, which pushed this…

Photo Essay: End of the Harvest

Okay, so I finally found a great way to wash and dry large quantities of mesquite pods: Put them in that used produce crate that’s been sitting in my shed. Set them atop one of my gardens. That feral cat-deterring thorny branch lattice makes a perfect “table.” Watering can rinses the pods and waters the…

Photo Essay: Pod Farming Adventures

A month ago, I blogged about the start of the mesquite bean harvest at my place. Around Tucson, you’ll also hear those beans referred to as pods. This post is about my adventures as a pod farmer. The harvest started slowly, but let me tell you, my front yard is now under full bombardment. That…

Nature Photography: Monsoons Arrive

Well, look what’s back in town! Looks like big drops of water, falling from the sky! Alas, this was one of those five-minute wonderstorms. We’ve had more convincing ones, but no gullywashers. Yet. This is the time of year with the night-blooming cereus present their annual flower show. They’re supposed to do this for just…

Photo Essay: Awaiting Monsoon Rains

News Flash: It’s hot and dry here in Tucson, Arizona. We’re eagerly anticipating the start of the monsoon rains. In the meantime, my container garden appears to be holding up… I give the container garden at least one watering a day. The cactii? Well, they could use a drink… What happens to sagging cactus branches?…

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