Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Changing Landscape

About a year ago Lindsay and I were able to redo our backyard. By that, I mean actually live in it. We needed some help getting all of the weeds out, mostly because every time we would spend some time out there, the weeds would be back within a week. So, one Saturday morning a landscaping crew came out and within an hour our backyard went from overgrown brush to bare dirt.

A week later, Lindsay and I spent 3 days carting 10 tons and 350 wheelbarrows full of gravel from our driveway to our back yard. It has been an amazing change for us and our small house has gone from 1 living room to 2.

Before: None of these plants were planted in our yard,
just weeds that blew in over the years. Over the years
we found lots of scary critters back here: snakes, centipedes,
pack rats, lots and lots of spiders and others.

After pulling the weeds, we laid down the weed
barrier to help keep the yard weed-free longer. This was
a lot of work and a lot of the nails ended up being bent
by all the calichee in the ground.

After 2 days of carting gravel, we ended up here! I still
don't know what we were thinking about doing this in July
in the Arizona heat, but we are very happy that this is done.
This year, we plan on adding some container gardening for
fresh veggies and flowers.

This is the fire pit that Mom got us for Christmas. It's been used
numerous times and helps keep it warm and mosquito free.
I took this shot with a 10 second time exposure to try and
capture some of the flames.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Day at the Desert Museum

Wednesday, Sister and Niece joined Scooter and I for a day at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum in town. It was a perfect day for being out in the desert, a few whispy clouds, a nice breeze and not too hot. The best part about the Desert Museum is that everything there is native to the Sonoran Desert.

This huge lizard was just hanging out in the sun outside of the Bear exhibit. Sadly, the bears have been retired as they are too old to be crawling up the mountainous sides. They are now in a grasslands "retirement home."
This little guy was hanging out next to the other lizard, but it was at least 1/4 the size of the other.

In the Hummingbird Aviary, there were a number of nesting mothers. This little one shoved herself down into her nest while people were taking pictures. They ask that you turn off your flash while photographing the nesting birds, but too many people ignored that and after a while the little bird flew off in frustration. Their nests are no bigger across than a small coffee cup. Too cute!

A tired desert wolf hanging out under a tree.
Some pretty flowers blooming on one of the many trees at the park.
A pretty desert flower from Niece's imagination. Watercolor pencils with a brush.

After the Desert Museum, we all went out for lunch at El Minuto Café, in downtown Tucson. It's an OK restaurant, but I wish we had just gone to Micha's, which I feel is a much more authentic Mexican Restaurant. Niece had a burger! And the rest of us had one of their other dishes. Overall, a good meal, but it seemed like we were the only one there.


For the evening, Scooter lit a fire in the fire pit out back and we hung out there with blankets and watched the sunset and numerous satellites overhead. It is always surprising how many stars you can see out here, even living in a huge neighborhood like we do. We all had a great time, and it was a wonderful way to spend a perfect Arizona day.