Nature Photography

Nature Photography: Tripping at the Zoo

Just got back from visiting friends in Peoria, Arizona. Another great time with my host, Judy Vorfeld, and her ever-irreverent brother, David Crook. Case in point: We’re at the Wildlife World zoo in Litchfield Park. It’s the 1 p.m. feeding time for the Lory Parrots, and zoo patrons are encouraged to participate. So, David decides…

Event Photography: Homescape Tour 2012

Nothing like a sunny fall day for admiring low-water use landscaping in Tucson. This past Saturday’s Homescape Tour attracted more than 100 people to 13 private residences and one public elementary school. The tour was organized by Tucson’s Watershed Management Group (WMG). Although I wasn’t able to participate in last year’s inaugural event, I added…

Photo Essay: Rainfall 911

It’s been almost a month since we’ve had a proper rainstorm, and I’m starting to feel nostalgic. The last precipitation of note happened on September 11. With predictable effects on flags… After I took my flag back into the house — and hung it up to dry — it was back outside to observe the…

Photo Essay: Container Garden Expansion

The City of Tucson’s semi-annual Brush and Bulky waste collection is quite the event. All over town, the treasure hunters come out in force. Some load their pickup trucks full of castoff furniture, scrap metal, lumber, railroad ties, you name it. Count me as one of the two-wheeled Brush and Bulky treasure hunters. And what…

Photo Essay: A Post About Compost

One of the very best things you can feed your garden plants is rotten. Very rotten. We’re talking compost, people! The decayed remnants of your fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, yard clippings, and why don’t we toss in a little straw for good measure? Point of information: You can get…

Photo Essay: Front Yard Tuneup

Well, my plans for a quiet 4th of July afternoon at the computer were rather rudely interrupted. Our teaser of a monsoon season decided to let loose on drought-parched Tucson, Arizona. Loud thunder. Lots of lightning. Photo op… The sight of a flood near my front porch did not fill me with joy. But the…

Photo Essay: Mesquite Bean Harvest

As mentioned in previous posts, I have a nice big mesquite tree in my front yard. It’s in the Transition Zone of my xeriscape, and it has become one of my very best friends. When I look at this tree, I say “Feed me!” Here’s why… During June and July, Tucson’s mesquite trees are quite…

Photo Essay: Greywater Harvesting on the Cheap

Funny thing about those plants in the yard. Although a lot of them are native species of the low water using variety, they still get thirsty. They get especially thirsty at this time of the year, when daytime temperatures are in the triple digits and rain is scarce. A popular solution to the thirsty plants…

Photo Essay: Hot Summer Gardening

Among the many things I’ve become interested in since moving to the Southwest 25 years ago, gardening is among the more challenging. Especially now. Hot summer gardening is one of those challenges that only a plant geek would love. It helps if your geekiness is complemented with a willingness to conduct experiments. My experimental turn…

Photo Essay: Slacker Mesquite Tree

Welcome to my place, home of the slacker mesquite tree. This tree has the dubious distinction of being the last one on the block to bloom. But when it comes to dropping leaves all over the place, my mesquite is a champ. I truly adore having to sweep the porch, over and over again… Then…

Photo Essay: Chester County Spring

During a recent visit to eastern Pennsylvania, I experienced something I hadn’t seen since the late 1980s. That would be spring coming to the Northeast. There were the signs of imminent spring like daffodils sprouting everywhere… The rhododendron bushes were budding… The moss was growing fresh and furry… The streams weren’t brimming over with snow…

Photo Essay: Mulching the Yard

Xeriscaping update:  It only took 3 hours and 40 minutes to get the better part of that big pile of mulch into the front yard and spread around. Amidst all the mulching, I also had to remove a pile of cut up mesquite branches from the yard’s main water harvesting basin. Those branches were left…

Photo Essay: Free Yard Mulch

In the life of a xeriscaper, there are fewer questions sweeter than “Would you like some free mulch?” Why the affection for ground up tree trunks, branches, and leaves? Because mulch holds moisture in the soil. It also builds the soil and controls weeds. In the arid Southwestern United States, we like such things. A…

Photo Essay: Battling Buffelgrass

So, there you are, trying to do the right thing. You go to all the trouble of controlling the weeds on your property, then there it is: Buffelgrass. According to the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center, “[R]apid spread of buffelgrass and conversion of fire-resistant desert to flammable grassland rivals urban growth and water as the…

Photo Essay: Westtown School

When I was growing up, Westtown was that hippie-freak Quaker school at the end of the street. The long hair and love beads crowd were quite the contrast to the buttoned down, straight-laced kids in my neighborhood. I can remember one of the moms making jokes about “Westtown’s finest” whenever she saw students heading away…

Nature Photography: Solids and Liquids

A Christmas holiday visit to family in Pennsylvania reveals a timeless truth about the Keystone State’s winter weather: It varies. On one day, it’s cool enough for a jacket. Perfect weather for my mother to stroll around the neighborhood with Buddy the Labrador Retriever… Looks like Buddy’s found another interesting scent. This one merits very…

Bicycle Photography: The Pedaling Arborist

Being the owner of a middle-aged house that I’m slowly fixing up, I’ve had the need for more than a few tradesmen and women. Many of them have arrived in huge pickup trucks. Imagine my surprise when I heard about a local arborist who plies his trade by bicycle. Time to do something about that…

Scroll to top