Thursday, November 8, at home in Arizona
Readers have commented that they like when I write about the little things that my crew and I experience. This post is about a few of those things. Photos were taken around our house in southeastern Arizona, including shots of recent bargains found at thrift and resale shops as I seek to furnish and decorate the house on a budget.
While taking photos this morning, the crew begin play-fighting so they’re included, too!
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Yesterday the crew and I are outside having a porch picnic:
Reggie’s and Roger’s eyes are riveted to my plate whereupon extra morsels of chicken are set aside for them. I’m chewing on a barbeque chicken sandwich when a surprising thing happens.
A hawk swoops in and lands in the flowerbed!
Right in front of us!
The boys don’t notice because their backs are turned and the hawk keeps silent. I’m frozen in mid-chew.
Darn, I wish I had the camera!
The hawk is perched in the mess of aloe that grows at the end of the long flowerbed running the length of the porch. Also at that end of the flowerbed are the bird feeders and bird bath.
The usual horde of birds has disappeared; the constant singing replaced with silence. The hawk — a red-tailed hawk — is motionless, patiently waiting.
I do not want to see that hawk grab a finch or a sparrow. I really don’t. I know he has to eat and is entitled to eat. Let the harsher aspects of nature play out somewhere else, not in front of my porch, and not with some poor bird that I lured here!
Reggie makes a whiny peep.
That’s his way of moving me along with the hand-outs. The hawk lifts out of the aloe and disappears in the sky above the porch roof, out of my sight.
Well, that was sumpthin.’ Ha! All the days — all the years! — of boondocking, living “out in nature” and in quiet solitude, and I never had a hawk land this close. I’m on my porch in a neighborhood of homes with cars going by and this one hawk appears and sits about ten feet in front of me.
Reg and Rog never got a clue.
See, hear, and read about the red-tailed hawk at All About Birds website.
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Important update on plant propagation:
You don’t want to scroll past THIS!
You may recall my mention in previous posts about the Mexican petunia plant that puts out new purple blooms every morning. Love that thing. I researched propagation methods and attempted three of them.
The seedling you see here was started in a potting mix of potting soil, perlite, and sphagnum moss (stuff I snatched up at WalMart’s garden center clearance). This is the seedling Roger and Reggie took turns digging up.
I’m excited with the results of the method illustrated below!
Those are Snapple bottles. They work great for rooting cuttings in water with light coming through a window. (I moved them for this pic.)
Added benefit: I get to drink Snapple Peach Iced Tea!
I’ll be potting these up soon:
I search thrift stores for pots for my cuttings.
So far I have a small collection of pretty pots, each one costing less than a dollar. I’ll show them in a future post when I have plants in them.
The third method of propagation I tried is bending a branch of the plant, covering a portion with dirt, and later, when roots have grown, cutting off the end. That method worked well, except the dang Mexican petunia put roots so tough and deep that I’m leaving it in the flowerbed, as is!
Funny thing about my efforts:
Mexican petunia plants are very tough plants. Easy to grow and they multiply on their own. I probably could take cuttings, throw them over my shoulder, and let the boys bury and dig them up, and I’d have as much success as messing around with Snapple bottles.
What the heck. It’s fun!
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Speaking of fun . . .
The boys never tire of pretend fights.
I’ve been meaning to mention . . .
Reg and Rog don’t get kibble anymore.
A few weeks ago I switched them over to Alpo in a can. It started with me giving them one can to share and they loved it! Gradually I gave them more Alpo and tapered off the kibble.
Now they share a can in the morning and another can in late afternoon. (Roger gets more than Reggie, unbeknownst to the Reggieman.)
Within a day of them eating more Alpo than kibble I notice an improvement in their coats. Thicker, softer . . . Dare I say “more luxuriant?” (Don’t laugh, you people with long-coated dogs!)
These two have adapted very well to the fenced-yard life. In fact, I expect they will object to the tether/leash routine when we go camping again.
I think they like the security the yard gives them.
They don’t always have to be watching for intruders and probably being alert from smelling wild animals about. I also think they enjoy being proprietors, like people tend to do.
Of course, the freedom to run and play figures largely in their happiness.
And maybe they’re happy here because they’re dogs.
As long as the Alpo and chicken morsels keep coming, and they have a secure bed at night with me to curl up against, and, most of all, they have each other, they’re going to be happy.
My sweet boys.
NOTE: The bird feeder in the fifth photo is available at Amazon: Sitting Pair of Birds Pedestal Birdbath or Feeder
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