Category Archives: Nature

Clean-Up On Aisle Four

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The guys from our favorite tree service company are like family – they’re here so often. This job took three of them about half a day to complete. The tree grew up in the middle of our driveway (long before we bought this damn old house). It provided shade for most of the uncovered seating area in back. The guys did a fine job removing every trace of the fallen pecan tree, grinding the stump into a small pile of sawdust.

Now, as was abundantly clear once they left, we bake in the sun.

Also posted in Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be

Wind Kicked Up A Bit Yesterday…

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This pecan was burned fairly badly in our garage fire of 2013, but hung on, kept putting out greenery, and pecans, but yesterday was the end of it.

An approaching storm, a sudden down-draft pushed it over. Thank God the wind gust blew from east to west, toppling it onto our loquat trees instead of our garage, house or my garden. Clean-up commences later this morning. I’m pretty sure I’m the tree service guy’s best customer.

Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch

It is spring, after all. Late March/early April marks the perfect time to forget the windblisters of Washington for awhile and marvel at the wonderments of nature:

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The blue ones are Texas Bluebonnets, the red ones are Indian Paintbrushes, the big yellow ones are prickly pear cactus blooms and the pale pink ones are Primroses.

Happy Trails!

Also posted in Farm

Cucuzza Decides

After last year’s bountiful cucuzza harvest and part-time laugh riot, (a portion of which still remain high in an unnamed pecan tree), I decided I would skip planting the tasty giant Italian squash/gourd this year. For one thing, I was pretty much out of garden space – and cucuzza can take up your entire garden.

It turns out, however, that once you begin a relationship with cucuzza, you forfeit the right to decide. Cucuzza decides.

I was walking around the backyard in late June shortly after a downpour, when I noticed a very familiar young seedling growing up through the St. Augustine grass near the center of the yard. It was cucuzza. OK, I thought. So I pulled the grass from around the plant, then stuck a tomato cage over the top so the dogs would have at least a little difficulty before destroying it.

The didn’t destroy it. But how, I wondered, can I get the vine to grow up off of the ground so that I can still mow (and use) the lawn, and so the fruit will not rot in the grass? Two fence posts and a couple of lengths of rope later…

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Also posted in Food, Garden, Nobody Gets It Like They Want It To Be