Graceful reintroduction of mankind into his environment

Author Archives: C.J.

Wrestling Rattlesnakes

We were sitting outside, in the green rockers, discussing and enjoying each others company.About six feet away, these two rose through the foliage, two Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes (Crotalus atrox). They’ve been hanging close together for the last two weeks. Continue Reading

Summer Color, Monsoon Soon…

Monsoon will be soon, you can feel it in the energy that is renewed in the gardens. Lobellia is spreading into a magenta shaggy carpet surrounding half of the little pond. There were multiple fresh Queen Butterflies, gently swaying the flowers in the calm of the morning. Continue Reading


A Marine Blue Butterfly (Leptotes marina) is interrupted from sucking salts & minerals by a biting ant. It immediately flew. All of the Marine Blues have been really stunted and small, this year. This one was barely 16 mm…photographed June 15, 2011 Continue Reading

For The Birds!

Saturday evening, July 9, will be our first small wine tasting. We are going to be having a tasting to benefit the birds & wildlife. With the drastic drought, our place has been inundated with creatures, good and bad. The number and diversity of species is amazing for this time of year. We have a lot of birds that should be at higher elevations, but have stayed here and not left. Our bird food expenses are at $400 a month now!!! We will be doing a tasting, with a minimum donation (TBD) that will get several glasses of organic wine, appetizers and wildlife viewing. Additional donations, we would show our… Continue Reading

Cheech’ll Eat Ya’

Cheech, the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) was on the move, in that familiar, “I killed a bird and it is right around here” mode. This drama has been played in front of us numerous times, but it always amazes. It only took fifteen minutes to finish the Mourning Dove. Note how the snake braces against it’s own body to allow resistive force for completing swallowing the bird. As soon as consuming this bird was finished, the snake moved right over to another preferred hunting spot, and resumed ‘stealth mode’ under a salvia greggii. There are, consistently, four individual snakes that have been here for over a month. Three ‘old… Continue Reading

Temporaneous Rain & Tepid Temperatures…

We had some rain last night, an unusual May occurrence and the garden is alive! I stepped outside, smelled the lovely damp desert air, snapped a few quick throw-away shots, then went back onto the cave and got to work. I snapped a few quick ones throughout the day. I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for two days, forcing info into my head, trying to take my comprehension of higher web function to the next level (well, at least for me).  Even with the drone of a webinar running, I could still hear the birds outside. The Gambel’s Quail started their ‘automatic weapon’ sound and the Curve-billed thrasher… Continue Reading

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Graceful reintroduction of mankind into his environment