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Dying Tree Removal

Landscape Crew Working

One of the Palo Verde trees on our property was suffering from root poisoning according to our neighbor, Tim. Apparently, an adjacent cats paw tree was emitting something into the soil that was slowly killing the big tree next to it. If you click on the image to enlarge, you can see one of the crew standing under the diseased tree. Note how some of the green wood on that tree has turned brown.

The tree is now gone, thanks to the landscape guys who took it and the adjacent cats paw down. Click here to see the after photo.

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Cherry Red Cactus Flower

Cherry Red Cactus Flower

Technically, it’s still spring here in Sonoran Arizona, even though the temperature has been above 110° the last week or so (today 112°). In spite of the warmer temperatures, our Cherry Red Cactus is producing new flowers and is likely to do so into the summer in a few days time.

This flower opened today and is the third one this season. The first two I posted on our other blog. These are gorgeous and I will try to post more photos as the flowers open. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Mule Deer

Western Mule Deer

I went out to the courtyard to water my little flower bed at just about dusk last evening. I looked up and saw that there was a deer in the back yard. I hurried back into the house to get my camera, went back out and took several images of the deer. This is one of the best ones I got. Click on the image to enlarge.

We don’t often see deer although there is evidence they come here frequently. Several of them (I assume) stripped our lemon tree of most of its leaves this past winter.

Don’t worry about the lemon tree, though. All new leaves have already filled in and we’re seeing little green lemons growing all over the tree. Harvest is not until next December but we expect to have another good crop of lemons then.

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Spring Cactus Flowers

Cholla Cactus Flowers Beavertail Cactus Flower

We have been getting spring cactus flowers for a couple of weeks now, but today is the first day with contrasting yellow flowers. We’ve had all pink ones in the yard until the two Cholla flowers (left above) opened today. The Beavertail flower on the right is one of many open on various beavertails in our xeriscape. Click on either image to enlarge.

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Smoke Alarm Batteries

Smoke Alarm

We’re actually over a year late in doing this but today we replaced the 9 volt smoke alarm batteries in the six units installed in our house. During the night, Verna (and the pups) heard the mild ‘peep’ from the bedroom unit which indicates a low battery condition.

(Image: Office Smoke Alarm)

So, we got out fresh batteries and the ladder and did the replacements one by one. Since the alarms always manage to make a lot of ear-piercing noise during the process, we locked the dogs up in the Motorhome (A/C on) for the duration of the replacement. From previous experience, we know that the dogs would have gone crazy with the alarms intermittently sounding.

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Black-Throated Sparrow

Black-Throated Sparrow

I was in the backyard yesterday with my camera* and caught this photo of one of our migrant visitors to the seed feeders up on the little hill out there. I think it is a Black-Throated Sparrow. We don’t see many of these and only do see them when they are either headed south in the fall or north in the spring.

From All About Birds:

A medium-sized sparrow with a large, round head, conical seed-eating bill, and a medium length tail. Larger than a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, smaller than a Horned Lark.

Most striking feature is the face pattern: neat gray bordered by 2 strong white stripes and a black triangular throat patch. Upperparts are grayish brown and the underparts are a paler mix of cream and white. The tail is dark with white spots on the corners. Juveniles look like adults but lack the black throat patch and have faint streaks above and below.

Hops on the ground, pecking for seeds and insects, and makes short low flights between shrubs. Often perches in trees and shrubs giving quiet calls.

I might add that they also visit the seed feeders in people’s back yards.

* Camera: Canon EOS REBEL SL1

  • COPYRIGHT © BOB POOLE
  • 1/400 Sec
  • F8
  • ISO 100
  • Focal Length 135mm

Click on the image to enlarge.

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Weekend Cooking

Grilling with InsetsLike most weekends, this one featured some delicious food. Yesterday, we were treated to Chicken Jalapeño Popper Casserole and today we had Grilled Beef Tenderloin (Filet Mignon) Steaks with “Broc’n'Mock” (Mac’n'Cheese without the mac) and Bacon Collard Greens.

Image: I’m at the grill on a 70° Wickenburg day with insets showing steaks and one of the dinner plates. Click on the image to enlarge.

We generally have Keto-friendly fare with an eye on low sodium content. This weekend we might have had more cheese than necessary, but there was plenty of green and white veggies to compensate. You will seldom see us with no (or too few) vegetables or salad and that’s a good thing.

We have yet to finalize next weekend’s menu (Valentine’s weekend) but you can almost always see what we’re thinking on the Food Blog. I’m sure Verna and I will come up with something wonderful.

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