Yellopig Is Free

Or, Recreating A Life From Scratch

Archive for the tag “red bird of paradise”

Summer Monsoon Butterflies, 2015

The summer monsoon has been very wet this year and that means bugs, and lots of them. Whenever I step outside I am immediately covered in tiny gnats. They seem particularly interested in my ears. Getting bugs in my ears is another reason I prefer the drier parts of the year. It’s also why I’m keeping two bats behind the thermometer on the patio instead of just one like I usually do. Well okay, there’s no volition on my part keeping them there; the bats seem to like that spot, and they seem healthy and well-fed. It’s been crowded there behind the thermometer: there are also two lizards that have so far managed to avoid the hungry roadrunner that I hear every day clattering in the yard.

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The Critters of Summer

It doesn’t take long for the summer monsoon weather to get to me. It’s hot, it’s muggy, and a million weeds have taken over the front yard. It’s the “muggy” part that I hate most; I really prefer early June, when it’s hotter but the humidity is almost non-existent.

Out the back windows, where last month I saw a river of rainwater sluicing through the yard, there are now tall grasses — like an instant prairie. Where did all that come from? The white-tailed bucks have moved on, and now I have a single doe who grazes through the yard once or twice a day. I haven’t seen any javalinas for months, but the other ruminants are having a fine feast. Cottontails that, earlier this year, managed to squeeze themselves under the garden fence won’t fit through anymore, and that’s a fine thing. They hadn’t managed to get through the hardware cloth around the garden bed, and the buried chicken wire prevented them going under it (although they tried), so that much was a success.

Here’s a hare that would never have fit in or under the fence:

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Deer Identification

Deer are the other critters that I love to see in the yard, but which may become problematic when the yard has people-food growing in it. Read more…

Self-Sufficient Plants: My Favorites!

Aside from the cacti, there are a few other plants in the “landscaped” part of my yard. The previous owner had installed irrigation for them, with big drippers for the trees and little drippers for the flowers and sprayers for the backyard grass. There are valves in various places around the house, and a timer for them all in the garage. I kept a supply of dripper heads for those occasions when the heads would fall off or get chewed off by the javelinas (a monthly occurrence). Eventually, the sprayers for the grass became monsters that wouldn’t turn off, and they blew their tops and took all the water, no matter where the controller in the garage wanted the water to go. At which point, I called for help.

I’m going to skip that part, because it did not go well. Read more…

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