Arizona

Lemon Harvest Part III

Verna and I picked lemons and pruned the tree this afternoon. We managed to reap an estimated 150 of the good-sized citrus fruit. This is the third time this season that we have picked lemons since the little tree bore more fruit than we have ever seen and one day’s worth of effort comes nowhere near clearing the tree. There are still many lemons on the tree that will need another round of picking later.

We gave lemons to neighbors, friends, the Dermatologist, the Barber and we still have more to give. Of course, there are going to be some in reserve for Verna’s annual production of Limoncello.

More info about the Lisbon Lemon Tree From The Spruce:

The Lisbon lemon (Citrus x limon ‘Lisbon’) is one of the most widely available varieties of lemon found in shops worldwide. If you live in a hot and dry region, you can grow Lisbon lemon trees outdoors and receive an abundant harvest.

[More]

Vulture Peak

12/15/2022 — Verna and I took a drive out to the Humane Society yesterday to drop off a few pet supplies that we no longer needed. On the way back, Verna took this photo of Vulture Peak on the drive back to town for the rest of our errands. The unique profile of this particular ridge is a symbol of our town and a reminder of the adjacent Vulture Mine discovered by Town Founder Henry Wickenburg.

Prior to dropping off the pet stuff, we stopped at the barber shop to drop off some Lemons and a quart of homemade Limoncello. We also did our grocery shopping a day early since we have a doctor appointment at our usual shopping time.

It was a good day of retirement and we got a lot of stuff done.

Coyote Sightings

Above — Coyote image taken in April 2020 just northwest of our house. Click on the image to enlarge.

About a week ago when taking the dogs out for their morning walk, I observed a coyote walking across the neighbor’s driveway, about 50 to 70 yards west of our property line. The coyote didn’t seem to notice us at the time and the dogs didn’t notice the coyote. I mentally wrote the sighting off as a random indigenous desert animal just passing through the area. No harm, no foul. The dogs did their business and we went back inside the house.

Then, a couple of days later, I saw what appeared to be the same coyote walking across the same driveway at roughly the same spot at the same time as before. That made me think that the coyote might possibly have taken up the desert area west of here as it’s territory.

Even though there are houses in the area, much of the original natural desert remains which still provides habitat to the critters here including cottontail rabbits, jackrabbits, Gambel’s quail, antelope ground squirrels, roadrunners, javelina, mule deer and a myriad of other wildlife. The desert also has it’s predators such as hawks, rattlesnakes and coyotes. We have heard about, but have not yet seen, instances of bears and cougars around town.

So, this morning while walking the dogs, we saw the coyote to the west as before, only this time, we noticed each other. It stood and stared at me, still 50 yards away, and I watched it as I removed the dogs to the east in the opposite direction. The dogs still did not notice the coyote. We went back in the house after the morning business without any further wildlife encounters.

Later in the day today, we saw the coyote again hanging around the same area as before. It is still noticing us, but does not seem to be interested in approaching us. We will make updates to this post if anything further develops.

UPDATE — 12/05/2022: Apparently, the individual coyote has moved on since it has not been seen in a week’s time. It could still be out there, but we have not seen it since posting this item.

Desiccated Cholla Remnants in 3D

A large portion of the lot here in the High Sonoran Desert is still natural desert vegetation which we chose to leave as it was before we built the house here. Some of the natural fauna will eventually wither and die as was the case for the remnants of a Buckhorn Cholla Cactus depicted in the anaglyphic photo above. I photographed a pair of images in January of 2021 to finally combine into this interesting 3D image. Click on the image to enlarge.

If you don’t happen to have a pair of red/cyan 3D glasses handy, you can view the 2D image here, although you will miss the perspective of the desiccated wood twisting and turning up out of the page.

Roadrunner Catching a Bee

We saw a roadrunner behind the RV drive this afternoon when coming home from our daily walk. I took several photos of it after going into the house and coming back out with my camera. At one point on its trek on the little hill back there, it caught a bee. I guess insects are part of their daily diet.

From Wikipedia — Greater Roadrunner (Geococcys Californianus) Food and foraging habits:

The roadrunner is an opportunistic omnivore. Its diet normally consists of insects (such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, and beetles), small reptiles (such as lizards and snakes, including rattlesnakes), rodents and other small mammals, spiders (including tarantulas), scorpions, centipedes, snails, small birds (and nestlings), eggs, and fruits and seeds like those from prickly pear cactuses and sumacs. The roadrunner forages on the ground and, when hunting, usually runs after prey from under cover. It may leap to catch insects, and commonly batters certain prey against the ground. Because of its quickness, the roadrunner is one of the few animals that preys upon rattlesnakes; it is also the only real predator of tarantula hawk wasps.

Image above: Catching a bee. Image below: Greater Roadrunner. Click on either image to enlarge.

A Decade of Feeding the Birds

Actually, we’ve been feeding the birds for longer than a decade. We used to have feeders in our California home for years before we moved to Arizona. It’s more like two and a half decades we’ve fed the birds.

We took these two images ten years apart to the day in our Arizona back yard. Above is a cardinal snacking on a seed bell, the image taken on 10/24/2012. Below is a cactus wren pecking at a seed block, the image was taken the afternoon of 10/24/2022.

I took he top image with my old Canon A710 IS compact camera which I still have and use regularly. I took the image of the cactus wren with my Canon EOS Rebel SL1. I took the cardinal photo early afternoon and the cactus wren late afternoon when the sun was behind the mesquite tree so the lighting is not as good. Click on either image to enlarge.