Archive for Home & Garden

Second Spring Flowers

Cholla Flower

Flower and Bee

The cholla cacti around the property have several late summer flowers opening. This usually means that our second spring has started with milder temperatures and more flowers to come. Click on either image to enlarge.

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New Birdhouse Location

Birdhouse New Location

Last Saturday evening we had a microburst monsoon event that toppled our little palo verde tree out front near the driveway. We recently posted about repairing and re-hanging the little birdhouse in that tree. Fortunately, when the tree toppled, the birdhouse was not damaged.

A neighbor helped us clean up the tree mess on Sunday morning; we cut it into pieces with a chain saw and put it on his trailer for transport to the green dump. Verna rescued the birdhouse and put it in the courtyard for the time being. There is no nest inside, so no birds were involved.

Today, we went up the hill behind the RV drive where we have the bird feeders. here is a nice little mesquite tree up there that was perfect for hanging the recovered birdhouse. I took the image above this afternoon while up on the hill out back. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Cherry Red Cactus Flowers

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

For the third and probably final time this season, the “Cherry Red” cactus (Trichocereus Grandiflorus) flowers are open. This cactus has the brightest red blooms of all the cactus flowers in our garden.

We had a little rain and some thunder this morning, but the clouds cleared and I could get this photo of one of the gorgeous flowers. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Birdhouse Repair and Re-Hanging

Birdhouse
 
House in Tree

The little birdhouse given to us in May of 2012 by our late friend “River Ron” (RIP) fell off of the palo verde tree out front last week. Today, I screwed the broken parts back together and hung it back up. Click on either image to enlarge. Images courtesy of Verna.

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Fishhook Cactus Flowers

Fishhook Cactus Flowers

The little fishhook cactus that we rescued from down the road when they were doing construction a couple of years ago seems to be very happy in its little pot. These are the second set of flowers to open this season. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Catch and Release

Trapped

Release

One of the little antelope ground squirrels in the area has been making itself a bit of a pest by digging up Verna’s bulbs and roots in the courtyard. Earlier today, I set up the Havahart small animal trap with a piece of bread and peanut butter for bait. It wasn’t more than a half hour later that Cabela let us know the trap had been sprung.

Ever since we unwittingly caught a cactus wren in a rat trap by the trash barrels, it has been our policy to catch and release the pests. We caught this little guy in the courtyard and released it at Tractor Supply, about a mile away. That should work to keep it away from Verna’s garden for a while.

Click on either image to enlarge.

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Saguaro Flowers

Saguaro Flower

Late spring of 2018 has been quite the saguaro flower show in our Sonoran Desert. Our big cactus out front has had many and will have many more flowers opening.

From Wikipedia:

Flowers appear in April through June. They are white and open well after sunset and close in mid-afternoon. They continue to produce nectar after sunrise.[8] Flowers are self-incompatible, thus require cross-pollination. Large quantities of pollen are required for complete pollination because many ovules are present. This pollen is produced by the extremely numerous stamens which in one case totaled 3,482 in a single flower. A well-pollinated fruit contains several thousand tiny seeds. Saguaros have a redundant pollination system, i.e. full fruit set is possible even if only a fraction of the pollinating species are present.

Main pollinators are honey bees, bats, and white-winged doves. In most years, diurnal visitors are the main contributors for fruit, most of them honey bees. Other diurnal pollinators are birds such as Costa’s hummingbird, the black-chinned hummingbird, the broad-billed hummingbird, the hooded oriole, Scott’s oriole, the Gila woodpecker, the gilded flicker, the verdin, and the house finch.

We have enjoyed the “Bumper Crop” of flowers this year. Click on the image to enlarge.

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