Photo Essays

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: Tucson Concert Venues

Time for a look at Tucson concert venues, past and present. First, a look back at one of the hottest dance clubs of a couple of decades ago. I’m talking about the Green Dolphin, which was located a few blocks south of the University of Arizona. This was one of the clubs that students raved…

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…

Photo Essay: Vermont Recovers from Irene

During the final weekend of August, Hurricane Irene was approaching the eastern United States. Since I have family back there, I called to make sure that everyone was all right. The phone conversation with my Aunt Jean in Vermont had a very worried tone. About Hurricane Irene, she said, “It’s as big as Europe!” After…

Photo Essay: Greenway Envy

In my previous post, I offered a tour of Tucson’s new Fifth Avenue Greenway. This post is about a nearby neighborhood that’s suffering from a severe case of greenway envy. Let’s set the stage by talking about the weather – again. As noted in recent posts, Tucson is experiencing its summer monsoon season. Which means…

Photo Essay: Greenway Park Ramble

Looks like our monsoons have taken a vacation. Other than brief sprinkles, we haven’t had rain in almost a week. So, with thunderstorms not threatening Tucson’s Tuesday evening, I decided to ramble around the neighborhood. First point of interest was the new Fifth Avenue Greenway, which has transformed the look of this alley between Waverly…

Photo Essay: Downtown Tucson Revitalization

Yesterday evening, I did my 100th Meet Me at Maynards walk around Downtown Tucson. While I padded along in the 100-degree heat, I shot the following photo essay. It’s intended to show the positive and negative sides of Downtown Tucson’s revitalization efforts. First, the positives: Let’s start with Meet Me at Maynards itself. It’s been…

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