Sweet Tree-ts

Todd’s Backyard is basically a desert forest. When we moved here 9 years ago, the property had a lot of mature mesquite trees and Todd decided to plant a few more, just to fill it in. Now, the trees that Todd planted over the years, have grown into beautiful green canopies that shade the desert landscape from the scorching summer sun! A relief to us, as well as our local desert dwellers!

Of course, the yard has become a favorite hangout for all of our feathered friends! The birds have flocked to this branchy paradise, so you will at find at least one bird… or two in every bush 😉

And, since we are on a bird migration route, we sometimes have bird guests, that baffle us. We keep our handy bird book on the porch so if we don’t know who they are, we can look them up!

I think I have identified this one as a White Tailed Kite?…Similar to a Falcon.

The cardinals have been particularly high-profile and prolific this year. There are several cardinal families that have put on some great shows for us, feeding their babies! It’s the dads that actually feed their offspring…who knew!

They make and incredible racket when doing so, so if you don’t spot their brilliant pop of red among the treetops, you just need to follow the tweets!

In Todd’s Backyard, the birds are boutiful, but it’s not just the birds you’ll see in the trees…

We have some real tree-huggers here!

And some tree slitherers!

And some furry little acrobats!

You may want to call Todd’s Backyard a desert forest, but whatever it is, it’s always entreetaining 😉

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Desert Dragons

Believe it or not, we do have dragons in the desert…

Scales & Tails plus a little lizardly wizardry, make these fantastic creatures  a favorite in Todd’s Backyard!

The Collared Lizards forage on all of the less desirable creepy crawlers in the yard!

This is a little female that last year, liked to hang out with us on the porch.

Mr. Man won her over with his dazzling display of color and coolness!

The ‘Desert Dragons’ are coming out of their winter hibernation now. You’ll almost always catch one lounging in the sun, on a rock or in a tree. Every now and then they’ll waddle up on the porch to get a grape. These dragons don’t breath fire, but they do breath a bit of magic and mystery into the into the blazing seasonal inferno that we call ‘Summer’.

Aloe in Wonderland

Aloe Vera… It has to be one of the coolest plants ever! Not only to they provide soothing goo, to heal your boo-boos, they provide a lush and interesting ground cover in the yard. You can plant one, and before you know it, you have an aloe field!

Todd planted a few little patches of aloe under many of the mesquite trees. They’ve grown into their own little environments.

We literally have islands of aloes!

The great thing is, they stay green all year around and actually have the most incredible blossoms, which are hummingbird favorites!

The ‘Aloe Islands’ have also become popular hangouts for the lizard ‘folk’…

The ‘Collared Lizards’ are some of our favorite inhabitants of Todd’s Backyard! They hibernate (in their dens under the aloes) all winter.  And right now, they are starting to come out and get warmed up for summer.

The Aloe fields are well established now, and as they mature, they are starting to grow in really weird ways!

It would be really cool to take a camera into the underbelly of the Aloes to see what really lives B-loe!