A little before and after….

This is one of Todd’s most recent projects…

I was thinking about this today, because I was drinking my afternoon sangria, enjoying Todd’s “Water Feature”…. About  a year ago, Todd  pulled the hot tub out and realized there might be the perfect spot for a little oasis style eye candy! . After many months of deliberation, moving rock around and pondering the pond, Todd hired an expert to  finish it off!  It was done last fall, but with winter coming on, we really did not enjoy it until…..Today?

All the critters are certainly enjoying!

And I’m sure that we’ll enjoy the sound of running water this summer, even when the water is boiling, it will still sound cool!

Happy Hummers!

Hummingbirds can always make you happy! Unless, of course they dart into you and poke your eye out! But, luckily, that’s never happened in Todd’s Backyard!….Yet!

We have at least 6 varieties of hummingbirds through out the year. Sometimes there’s a few others that migrate through in the fall and spring. But, on any given day, there are a least 25-30 hummers. During migration season, it’s Hummingbird wars!  You have to be on your toes and literally dodge out of their way, as they chase each other around the yard, fighting for feeder time!

This is a  ‘Costa’s’ Hummer…It’s  too bad we didn’t capture this shot in better light. The dark areas on his neck are deep purple. Amazing!

This is one of our favorite little jewels…..a Broad-billed hummingbird.  A dazzling blue-green, these guys are the most easily recognizable. Some species look very similar, so we keep our hum-dentifier handbook handy!

In the spring and the fall, our hummingbird feeders look like this…all 6 of them!

Todds’ hummingbird food recipe: 1 part sugar, 4 parts water. Bring to a boil, then cool.

An ‘Anna’s’  Hummingbird- A gorgeous redhead for sure!

This is one of my favorite shots!

Violet-crowned Hummer

We still haven’ t got a great shot of a Rufus hummingbird- They are gorgeous- A fiery orange-red! They are vicious!

This is a special little hummer! She was imported from Tucson.

Trapped in a warehouse where Todd works, she spent hours of panicked frenzy trying to find the way out. Todd’s only solution, was to wet her down, so she would land. Todd could then catch her and release her back outside. The plan worked, except wetting her down put her into a hibernation mode- she was too cold! Because it was the end of the day, and the sun would soon set, Todd had no choice but to bundle her up and bring her home!

When Todd got her home, we put her on the porch in the waning sun. I kept trying to force a dropper of life-saving sugar food into her beak. Finally. her little tongue started to flicker. It took about 15 minutes of feeding and sunbathing to revive her. Suddenly, she flew up onto the nearest branch and took in her new surroundings. Immediately, several other hummingbirds swarmed around her. The little buzzing bullies tried to chase her away. But still too weak, she stood her ground. As the sun was setting, we saw her buzz off into the dusky desert.

The next morning, we were delighted to see, she was the first one on the feeder! She hung around for several days, made some friends, and possibly made here home around here. I don’t actually know if  she’s a she or a young he.  We think that it is a Broad-tailed Hummer. Slightly different than many of the other hummingbirds that frequent Todd’s Backyard.

All-in-all, it was a happy ending!

The hummingbirds in Todd’s Backyard are very willing models! We’ll have lots of shots to share in posts to come….hopefully the elusive Rufus will be featured soon!

Tickled to be Prickled!

Cactus are amazing! I always thought that they were the ugliest plants…in fact, I never even considered them plants. But the longer I live in the desert, the cactus have really grown on me! And sometimes even stuck on me….not so much a cactus fan when I step on a cholla or back into a prickly pear. But they still amaze me. We have a many varieties of ‘prickleys’ in Todd’s Backyard.

Cactus are particularly beautiful when they are blooming!

“Old Man Cactus”

And sometimes they are just weird!

“Funny Bunny Cactus”

OUCH!!

The birds don’t mind the prickles! Many make their nests among the spiny arms.

The Cholla are especially popular nest sites for birds. Even though the needles are poisonous! You could even die if you fell into a cholla and got totally embedded- not just because of the poison prickes, but you probably would not be able to detach yourself from it! Danger abounds in Todd’s Backyard!

But then, we do have the healing Aloe Vera growing like weeds! Not only useful, but beautiful when they are in bloom!

“Santa Rita Cactus” or  commonly called Purple Cactus

More on cactus to come….We should have an amazing blossom season in May, as we’ve had a pretty wet winter. Springtime in the desert is truly when we are ‘tickled’ to be prickled!

Todd’s backyard….the beginning

Ahhhh……a glass of wine and a blank blog page!  Where to begin….where to begin….

The beginning
The beginning

Well, this was it…basically. It started about 6 years ago.

Today it looks something like this….

October 2009

This is the story of how one man’s yard transformed….

Nor just physically, but spiritually.

It has been an amazing journey.

One that we want to share.