Arizona

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…

Nature photography - shade cloth structure over okra basin in Tucson, Arizona

I diligently seeded this basin throughout April. (Too cold for the little darlings.) Ditto for May. (What do you okra seeds need? Sweaters?)

Well, then came June. Seeds sprouting! And swooning!

I’m giving this patch more water than anything else in the garden. Really. This despite the fact that there’s a covering of cut branches above the seedlings.

My container plants are kicking butt, but the okra? Fainting couch, please.

Brainstorm: Container plants thriving. Okra struggling. Time to give it up on the basin and try sprouting okra in pots.

It’s working. They’re in the three little pots that are closest to the cactus and the fence…

Nature photography - sprouting okra in pots in Tucson, Arizona

And, yes, the delicate little darlings are being protected with the shade cloth structure…

Nature photography - shaded okra in pots in Tucson, Arizona

On to this year’s mesquite pod harvest…

Nature photography - harvested mesquite pods in Tucson, Arizona

The front-yard tree excelled at dropping pods into the front-yard cactii. Ummm, tree, if there’s one thing I’m not going to do, it’s fight a cactus for the pods in its clutches.

So, long story short, I didn’t harvest as many pods as I have in years past. But I got enough to fill three five-gallon buckets, which are now in the shed.

Did I mention that hot-dry times are over? First monsoon storm rolled into town during the 2 a.m. hour of this morning.

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