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 😉

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!