Photo Essays

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: 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?…

Photo Essay: On-Again, Off-Again Winter

Winter in southeastern Pennsylvania is one of those trips through months of waist-deep snow and sub-zero temperatures. In some years, you get the full arctic treatment. (Years 1985 and 1986, I’m looking right at you.) Other years? Let’s say that winter is on one day, then off the next. Here’s a nostalgia trip through my…

Photo Essay: The Rehearsal

In November 2012, I started taking classes at The Studio for Actors. The long-term goal is to create a show about my bicycle travels through all 50 of the United States and living car-free in Tucson. This show will combine storytelling, photos, and live music. While it’s fun to talk about long-term performance goals, there…

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: Bicycle Transportation in Car-land

So, I wrapped up a pretty good day of work, and it was time for a bicycle ride. This evening’s destination, the University of Arizona campus. Community open house on the university’s proposed bicycle and pedestrian plan. Okay, so Martha’s on her bike, pedaling toward campus, and what’s this? It’s the Incredible Disappearing Bike Lane!…

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: Climbing Deejay Mountain

In the spring of 2009, I began volunteering at Tucson’s community radio station, KXCI. At first, I was part of the pledge drive phone crew, and I was pretty happy working behind the scenes. Late last fall, an invitation to join a KXCI deejay class landed in my e-mailbox. Tuition was at the can’t-resist price…

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