Today after I finished work I went out and did some garden-ey things. It has cooled down a little recently, and is only about 107 each day now which is (almost), perfect yard work weather, as long as one doesn't mind getting sun screen laced sweat in the eyes as one works.
We had a fantastic thunderstorm a few nights ago which brought our first real summer rain and it has made everything perk up no end. Plants that had been looking sad, dry, and droopy, immediately started looking lush, and green once again. Amazing that even such a little rain, (along with a significant increase in humidity), can do so much for so many.
This is what the garden looks like now, very empty except for the one lonesome, and very odd looking pumpkin that is still out there. (Sorry, I know I have been posting a lot about pumpkins, and lizards recently).
Have you ever seen such a yellow Pumpkin before? I haven't. I am not quite sure why it is such a strange color, and I know it's not pretty, but it will make a good carving pumpkin for Halloween if I can store it for that long. My dear friend Amy is coming back to visit from Texas for Halloween, so it will be extra special if she, and her beautiful girls can help us to carve it before we all go out trick or treating together!
The birds have been really enjoying the sunflowers and are lots of fun to watch. They dangle precariously right at the top of each droopy flower and peck away at the edges underneath. This leaves the middle section of seeds which they don't seem to have figured out a way to get to yet.
I think I will cut off the sunflower heads and put them somewhere where the birds can get to them easily without having to perform any more perilous balancing acts.
I am waiting for more compost to be ready to add to the beds on the west side of the garden because they really need it before I start planting again. Compost gets consumed voraciously by the desert soil here so it is a good thing that I have the two compost boxes now.
Speaking of compost boxes, I saw my lovely Desert Spiny Lizard again today. (Thanks Jenn for the link). I'm sorry, of course I couldn't do an entire post without mentioning her. I think she is female because I have yet to see the blue green markings under the chin, and on the belly that males have although I may not have got close enough to tell. Anyway, I haven't seen her around at all for about a week or so since I cleared out the beds of foliage, and I've been rather worried that the lack of ground cover had scared her away. However, today I saw her coming out from underneath the compost box and scurrying up the wall. I think she may actually be living underneath there which is rather inconvenient because I will need that compost as soon as it is ready. I will most likely leave it though for fear of scaring her away. I imagine in the Fall she will go off and hibernate somewhere else. Lets hope she doesn't decide that the warm compost is her perfect winter hibernation spot!
One of the high points of our searing summers here is to watch the hummingbirds and their amazing antics. We have lots in our yard flitting about constantly, and I have discovered they are exceedingly difficult to take pictures of. I have a small fountain by the patio and they come and drink from it, and bathe regularly, especially in the afternoons. Try as I might I have never managed to get a decent shot. I did get this picture of a little sparrow but it is hardly the same I know.
Makes me feel even more admiration than I do already for Lisa and the amazing shots she captures of the hummingbirds in her garden.
I have so much to learn about taking great photographs. I desperately want to take a class but that will have to wait until I have finished the classes I have to take for my degree.
Update: On reflection after looking through my heirloom seed catalog I realize that my pumpkin isn't really so funny looking after all compared to many others out there! :)