Zoom Zoom

It’zzzz Zeptember and the yard is abuzzzz with all the little zoom zoomers pazzing through to their winter digzzzz. Almost like science-fiction…Imagine hundreds of tiny heat seeking missiles chasing each in swarms, everywhere in your field of vision! (It’s probably not exactly hundreds, but hard to tell as they are too fast to count!). However, you better be prepared to duck as many of these buzzing warriorzzzzz zoom past your head! It’s quite startling when two warring hummers brush past you so close, you feel a little poof of air in your hair!

The frenzy only lasts a day or two, then calms down a few days until another group passes through. The – we call it the annual event the ‘Humming Bird Wars’.  And, it came this weekend!

Here’s a little sample….If you turn up the volume, you might get the zoom zoom!

 

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Fall La Laaaa!

Finally! This morning I stepped out on the porch and it was actually cooler outside than it was inside the house! Ahhhhhh! This is our favorite time of the year and we are ready to enjoy!

 Todd spent the month of August rebuilding his beloved BBQ…

It turned out perfect! Not only better feng shui, but it gives a fresh update to the old view off the porch!

Todd finished it just in time to fire it up on Labor Day!

For the next few months I suspect we will be grilling every weekend on the pit! There is just nothing better than the smell of mesquite grilling in the fall air!

This time of year the air is also buzzing with humming birds…it’s migration time which means  the hummingbird wars ensue! Their noisy banter and fierce ariel battles make it almost scary to sit on the porch! One wrong move and you could be impaled by a hummingbird!….Really! We’ve heard that has happened!

(click on photo)

Now, if the hummingbirds would just stay awake all night and guard their feeders from the bats, it might save Todd the hassle of taking the feeders down and hiding them…This is also migration season for the bats! They will drain the hummingbird feeders every night!

I guess it’s fitting that the bats make their appearance as Halloween gets closer. As do the toads…when it rains. We finally got up close and personal with the ‘creature’ from the desert hallows…

It’s been surprisingly rainy! The monsoons ended with a bang. We had a few more ‘bent hell’ storms before the official end of the season!

And even with the official end of monsoon, we’ve had some nice little rains! Hopefully, we will have a wet winter, not a frozen one, like we had last year. That freeze really effected our fall harvest this year! No mesquite beans, very few prickly pear fruit and we will have no oranges in January 😦

The few prickly pear fruit we did have were quickly picked by the birds…

A terrible pricklydicament!!! No prickly pear margaritas for us!

And no tasty fruit treats for Gerti. Last year she was able to gorge herself on the P.P. fruit before she hibernated. This year, she did get a few hibiscus flower treats.

She’ll have another month or so before she goes to sleep for the winter, so hopefully we can find her something else nutritious to supplement her grass diet….And hopefully we can find something to supplement our happy hour cocktails since we are sans P.P. margaritas for the season!

(^~^)

Mesquite Mess-take

About 6 week ago, Todd and I decided to harvest the mesquite beans that were bursting on the trees! Something we had thought about, but never got around to actually doing it!

I had done a little research and found out that there are several ‘milling events’ around this area in the fall, to mill these beans into flour! We were really excited because we had a bumper crop of beans that appeared to be perfect for this process!

We selected the best beans from the trees and filled two 5 gallon pails, which should yield enough to make several loaves of bread….ahhhhh fresh baked bread with sweet mesquite dough! Every time I think about it my mouth waters…I can just smell it…

But, alas,  this vision will only be in our imaginations since we messed up our delectable plans with procrastination.

We were supposed to  place the beans in the oven right after we picked them, and bake at 120 degrees for 2 hours to make sure that they were dry enough to mill. Well, Todd put the buckets ‘o’ beans in the garage, cleaned and covered, to await the baking process. It was finally about 2 weeks ago, we decided to start the ‘bean bake’…..but bugs beat us to the punch! Arrrrggghhhh! Apparently, baking not only dried the beans, but killed any little buggy things that might be inside them! Oh well, another year, another lesson!

Little Things

I got up this morning and went out to the porch with coffee and camera in hand, looking for something spectacular to document for a new blog. But, in the glow of the rising desert sun, it was the little things that caught my eye….The shadows that are changing with the coming of fall, little bursts of colors I hadn’t noticed before, spiderwebs glinting in the morning sunlight…

Even the dried and shriveled remnants of summer splendor have sustained a kind of delicate beauty that needed to be captured on camera.

Hackberry bushes, bursting with berries made a new colorful backdrop for even the most common of subjects.

And shadows highlighted the unique desert landscape, creating eye catching sculptures.

It was a beautiful little surprise that landed right in my camera sites, that confirmed a sense of wonder in the unexpected treasures that I stumbled upon…wandering around Todd’s Backyard this lovely Sunday morning.  It’s these little things that keep me focused on living one day at a time. Thank you God, for the little things!

Full

I think a better word for Fall, is Full. Everything is full…. the rain gauge (almost 10″ this year so far!), the billowing, late monsoon clouds, cactus loaded with fruit, trees lush with leaves, critters feasting and getting ready to  hibernate, hearts getting ready for the holidays. It has to be the best time to live in the desert!

The white wing dove’s nest’s are still full, with the 3rd and final round of summer babies before they leave for the winter.

The prickly pears are bursting with a bounty of fruit, ready to pick now through the end of October. We’ve already been picking some of the fruit for our favorite resident…

T.L.’s favorite!…and she is certainly getting her fill before she hibernates!

Our other favorite residents, Jairy (the javelina) and his buddies, are bringing their little one’s around so they can fill up for the cooler months to come.

The birds are thick….migrating through the backyard, keeping Todd on his toes, trying to keep the feeders full.

Not to mention the hummingbird feeders, which get drained every night (this time of year), with the bats coming through to feed! Although luckily, the hummers have a few other sources in the yard for their sweet sustenance.

We are looking forward to our own sweet treats later this fall.We are going to get the mesquite beans milled into flour. We’ve collected and filled two 5 gallon pails, which will hopefully yield enough flour to make…um…..something…sweet???

We should also have a bumper crop of oranges, come February! There are literally hundreds of little oranges growing on the two orange trees in Todd’s Backyard.

We are truly thank-full to have made it through the Summer to enjoy this beauti-full and bounti-full fall!

It’s Barrelly Fall in the Desert!

It’s almost Labor Day, which brings with it the promise of fall. When the rest of the country enjoys autumn with lowering temperatures and colorful trees, we desert dwellers, enjoy it a little differently….The mesquite and palo verde trees stay green and the temps don’t really drop until later, in October. We are, however, treated with a brilliant display of fall color – bursting on the barrels!

The barrel cactus dot the yard. Their flowery crowns in fiery shades of reds, oranges, golds and yellows, infuse the desert with fall color!

As they start to blossom, the buds look like flames. Then, when they are in full bloom, burst into fall fireworks!

Who says you can’t enjoy the seasons, when you live in the desert!