Landscaping Help…

I have a family of Harris’s Antelope Squirrels (Ammospermophilus harrisii) at my house. I enjoy watching them as they scamper, bounce, and climb their way through my front yard. They seem to appreciate that I’ve worked hard over the past 7 years to re-vegetate the area with native plants. They are quite comfortable here – finding all the food, shelter, and water that they need.

In return for providing these basic necessities they give me free tree and bush trimming, soil aeration, and other landscaping help. The recent monsoon soaking revealed another of their free services – tree planting. Apparently, they have been busy squirreling away caches of palo verde seeds in my garden paths. Their food storage plan didn’t work so well since the seeds have now sprouted in thick clumps. Judging from the number of mini-forests, they’ve been busy little buggers!




One of These Things…

I know this situation isn’t an exact match but I now have that Sesame Street song “One of these things” in my head because of this photo from my front yard.

“One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong…”

Since I know the scale is difficult to discern, you should know that this bush is roughly 4 feet tall.

This creative feeding behavior will only be exacerbated since Southern Arizona is at least a month away from any rainfall. But I honestly don’t mind, I added many different plants to my yard in order to provide food and habitat. Besides, they are adorable!



I Love My Job!

The programs of the Environmental Education division of Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation were the feature story of this week’s Caliente insert of the Arizona Daily Star. The reporter did a great job detailing some of our activities geared to youngsters and families (though we offer a wide variety of programs for all ages).

I’ve joined an exceptional team of talented folks. We get paid to share the wonders of our amazing Sonoran Desert with the public.  It’s what I’ve been doing for most of my life, as many of you who’ve hiked with me can attest.

My belief is that if people understand something they’ll care about it and if they care about it they’ll take steps to protect or preserve it. So I like to try to help people understand…


Images from the article.

I’m on Antiques Roadshow!

Last year on May 30th I volunteered to help the crew film Antiques Roadshow here in Tucson. The first of three episodes finally aired on 03-28-16, the second on 04-04-16, and the final one should air on 04-11-16.

It was a very looong day, exacerbated by a small electrical fire that morning. I was on my feet from 6:30am until 7:30 that night! It was well worth it to meet the appraisers, watch the process, and see all the treasures folks brought in.

Did you know the appraisers are also volunteering? They do it for free, reaping the benefit of their names and company information broadcast on PBS. It is one of the highest rated series on PBS. Only the film/production crew members are paid (it is public television after all and the budget is tight).

As a volunteer I was permitted to bring in two items to get appraised. I now know that there is no danger of anyone selling off our family heirlooms – they aren’t worth a darn thing!

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That’s me with the blonde pony tail, blue shirt, tan shorts – and yes, the camera does add ten pounds (at least). Watch me artfully guide an attendee in the Tucson Hour 1 episode from 28:55 to 28:59. Priceless, I know.


The Almost Obituary of Wylie Ann Kitty

A certain someone is lucky to still be alive today. I came home last night after working 12 hours to find this:


My Thomas Edison Battery Oil bottle that I found while “Black Friday scavenging” with my Aunt and her friend was shattered on the floor. A 100-year-old antique bottle that had survived being thrown by the railroad tracks and had avoided being crushed by 1,200 pound bovines met its demise in my house, thanks to a rambunctious, young cat.


I believe she just used up another of her nine lives. Is this a guilty face or what?! Bad kitty, bad!