July 28, 2012

July 24, 2012

tan and panner

uh huh yeah we never get their names mixed up

July 21, 2012

pomegranate blossom

cup o' wild

saturday morning toons

now that'll give you pause

Pan kept barking at something by the back fence. Oi. This was five or six feet long. (It looks like it ends in a point, not a rattle, so maybe a good-sized rat snake?)

July 17, 2012

this is nice too

The overhead space where the chinaberry canopy used to be. It's going to take some getting used to. (We're thinking of planting a desert willow in its place. It won't provide much shade but they're really pretty.)

ondine, vii-xvii-xii

July 15, 2012


Looking west from my front porch as the thunderstorms subsided at nightfall. (Real color, straight out of the camera. The one above is WNW, the three below are WSW.)

(Update: How much rain did we get?)

a break in the storm

We're suddenly inundated - more than five inches of rain just this afternoon.


Our dry streambed.


Sorting through a small stack of novels my mom brought me last week, I stumbled across In the Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish. I took it to the now sun-filled bowl of heat overflowing what yesterday, and for the thirty-odd summers preceding it, was a deep, cool pool of shade. I opened the book randomly to the first sentence of the second chapter, "We were born together on the open road of the chinaberry tree...one in two and two in one," and on the page just before it, this:

...ascend with your people, higher and farther than what the myths have prepared for you and me. Write, yourself, the history of your heart, from the moment Adam was struck with love, until the resurrection of your people. And write, yourself, the history of your kind, from the time you borrowed the sea's rhythm and manner of breathing, until your return to me alive."

July 14, 2012



farewell, old chinaberry

This tree was good to us, right up to the end. When a storm with 70-mph winds blew one of her three main trunks into our yard on Monday evening, it fell gracefully, causing no damage to our house, fences or power lines. Had either of the other two trunks fallen, we would be facing thousands of dollars of damage. We agreed with the arborist that though much of the tree was still healthy, her base was too damaged, and leaving her up would be too hazardous. It will be expensive to take the rest down, but not exorbitantly so - another small blessing for which we are grateful.

She was a messy tree. We had to rake up her berries year round, her leaves in the fall, her flowers in the spring. But for all that, I've been reflecting on all the benefits she provided over the years, her shade and shelter, the sustenance she provided to innumerable creatures over the years. How many squirrels, blue jays, cardinals and woodpeckers were born and raised in her canopy? How many cicadas called her home? How many monarchs and waxwings fed on her flowers and fruit?

We will miss her.

July 13, 2012

July 10, 2012

July 9, 2012


A nasty thunderstorm this evening split our big chinaberry tree and sent one of its three main trunks crashing to the ground, but it missed everything - it didn't break a single torch, hanging plant, or even a branch from any of the other trees. It's truly miraculous that it didn't crash into the kitchen or the back porch or the power lines or any of the fences.

With the rain still pounding down shortly after the tree crashed, we saw this squirrel grooming herself obsessively on one of the remaining broken branches. We're afraid she might have hurt her front left leg; she was clutching it to her chest. Poor thing - hope she's OK!