Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Wells

A Barrel Cactus at my work

Today I am feeling exhausted and sick.  I just want to sleep.  So here are the latest things that are happening around the property and in my travels.  We've firmed up our plans for Brazil this summer exploring the Iguazu Falls, the Pantanal, and the Amazon rain forest....so I'll be updating daily when we are there in June/July if we have the internet connections.  I'll be purchasing a new camera soon to take some amazing shots on our trip....I can't wait to get my hands on a REAL camera.  I had been using other people's cameras and I have the one now that films....but that is completely different from a good camera.  The pics you see on this blog today are from my current camera.  It takes okay pics.  Anyhow, I also wanted to update on the wells around the trees....here are several angles and pics:)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New Additions to the Garden

My Favorite Hero-Storm
This morning I sit drinking my coffee preparing for another day outside.  I listen to Bear McCreary's music from BSG and think about the ways of the world.  I am surrounded by my furry friends with laundry and dishes getting cleaned.  The birds are emptying the bird feeder at a dizzying speed and life is good.

Last night we had another major storm which was incredible.  The rain came down so hard and the lightening and thunder were incredible.  I left the door open and listened to the storm. I turned off all appliances and TV and just sat in the dark watching the real show happening outside.  It was a half hour without commercials and incredible.  Someone once asked me, "If you could have any power in the world, what would it be?"  The power to control the weather....the wind, rain, snow, lightening....and glide on the wind's back.  As a child growing up, I always imagined that I could control the weather and fly when a wind gust came my way. Sometimes I think about leaving teaching to become a weatherman on TV.

Lantana...a weed here in Tucson

Okay...enough of pretend and back to reality:)  This past week, I've been investigating the possibility of becoming a docent at our local gardens here.  There is a class that begins in September and ends in November.  I really want to do it and it's at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  I checked into the Master Gardener Program and was absolutely disgusted.....the only people that can really do a program like that are the retired ones.  The program runs during the day and week only.  I am absolutely bummed that I won't be able to do this until later on in life.  So I'll do what I can for now and learn as much as I can....but there is always so much to learn and I think I'll die still trying new plants and combinations.  When I start making my own "tea" for the plants, I know I'll have crossed over to that kind of gardener:)

False Heather...another great plant in Tucson
In the garden this week.  I have to string up and wire the bouganvillea that was pulled off the buildings by the storm.  I also have to look into silicon for my bamboo....it is growing at an incredible rate and I need to keep it off the walking path. I guess you use the silicon to attach to the building where then you can string and attach the bamboo to it lifting it up.   The Buddha's Belly is beautiful but people should be able to walk by it and not thru it:)  Yesterday I trimmed and restaked several jacaranda trees and cleaned off the patio.  The good news is that the castor plants may make it.  I put concrete blocks against them to keep them up and they seem to be doing alright.  So I didn't lose anyone over this past week, and that's a good thing.

Blue Daze Evolvulus...New for me but the leaves are grey/green which equals good here.
I have also planted several new trailing and bushier plants around the property in those wells that I created several weeks ago.  I'll take pics when I have my camera with me the next time.   The pics are listed in this blog.  I have given up on two plants forever....verbena and algerian ivy....I kill them every single time.  However, I don't kill most plants so that's good:) It all comes down to soil and location here in the desert...and sometimes the cold nights.  That's the update to the place....I'll have more as I slowly reclaim the neglected garden spaces of El Presidio one patch at a time:) Until next time, Happy Gardening!!
Dwarf Cup Flower...also new for me

Salvia or Autumn Sage...great plant for Tucson!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Excited for Fall???

My favorite out of the bunch...some pics just happen...and this one turned out awesome. That's why you should always carry your camera with you wherever you go:)

Okay okay...this may be too soon, but September is just around the corner and I thought I'd jump start the feelings and emotions that happen to me and others when fall comes. I took these pics with 3 different cameras in Wisconsin last year.  My family loves my pictures but doesn't give me enough time to sit and ponder angles etc...nor do the nephews and nieces so I go out on my own. 

While it doesn't get this crazy colorful in Tucson, the plants seem to be happier here with the hot nasty summer gone and begin to flourish and become a healthier color again up until mid-December.  In my humble opinion, speaking of fall, the best places here in the desert to see leaves change would be in the northern part of the state around Flagstaff and Sedona areas, the White Mountains, or here on our very own Mt. Lemmon.

My niece at Point Beach

Ahhh Wisconsin...Mishicot! Nephew and nieces
But I'm sticking to Wisconsin for the moment.....best time to see colors change in my home state are in October....and around mid October.  However, if you are heading north, closer to the upper pennisula and in the Porcupine mountains, you'll want to go earlier as it will get cooler there faster.  Enjoy!!

We have a front today in Arizona and the temps are amazingly cool so I am taking advantage of them to clean up the property after the microburst several days ago.  Happy gardening folks....September is just around the corner:)

Point Beach

Sedum up close

I love how trees in my hometown connect!!

Hostas in their decline before winter

Friday, August 27, 2010


Living in rough conditions made for one of my most enjoyable stays!
Water came on once a day and laundry was done by hand.
It was great to be taken back in time to another age of living.
Our shower in the tropics!!

Our bathroom

Entering near the port of Los Chiles on Lake Nicaragua

People looked at me, but it was a muddy time and incredibly humid!! I wrapped a towel on my head just to keep the sweat out of my face!

In our kitchen

In our house!!!

Outside our house

When there's no water, you go to the river out back

Hovercraft used to cross from Granada to Los Chiles
On Lake Nicaragua

Lake Nicaragua

Loading sugar on the docks off of Grenada

Like I said...the humidty was killer:)

The lagoon outside of Managua

Granada, Nicaragua

Arriving at port in Los Chiles

My friend Carolina adopted this pooch and called the puppy...Peluche(stuffed toy:)

One of the mini islands on Lake Nicaragua...they have monkeys:)

This was a great trip and I had a very wonderful time.  It is becoming the place to visit.  I recommend it for the hardy traveler who doesn't mind doing without the modern comforts.  But it is incredible and cheap!  Not much in the way of gardens when I went, but there were a lot of farmers and they taught me how to make cheese...cuajada and how to cook a delicious, but not healthy, fritanga meal:) There was a lot of horseback riding in the rural areas so be prepared to wear boots as there was a lot of mud.   Truly a highlight in my life....Nicaragua.