Friday, September 17, 2010

Garden Wildlife, Autumn and Reading

The garden is a bit of a depressing place now.  The zinnias are setting seed.  The Black Eyed Peas are almost through setting the last batch of beans.  Tomatoes are finished, and so are the summer squash.  The pole beans were a disappointment because I hardly got a few green beans at a time, never enough to justify the hot water to steam them.  The sunflowers have long since set seed.  At least the cabbages are looking great!

A couple of them are probably ready for harvest.  The leaves are showing signs of a hungry caterpillar.  Despite its appetite, it looks like Cabbage Soup is on the menu soon!  Can't wait!

The tired zinnias are still playing a role for the wildlife....

I think Praying Mantises are very interesting.  They really look like intelligent beings because they turn their heads to look at you!

This lizard down in my garden has a beautiful blue tail!

Just outside the garden fence quail chirp and forage happily.

While Ralph was working on his truck, he found and caught this snake.  He brought it in to show the boys.  What an amazing critter... this guy was made to look and act like a rattlesnake!  This king snake, or bull snake coiled up the top half of his body and tried striking!  He even shook his tail as if he had rattles and made strong breathing sounds like hissing.  We took yet another opportunity to educate the boys about the differences between safe snakes and dangerous snakes.  We showed them how the head was small and narrow, unlike the big wide head of a rattle snake.  Also, the absence of any signs of rattles on the tail (which is not always a reliable sign for very young rattlesnakes).  We released him into the cabbage patch to do his job.  Hopefully he likes the garden and will stay!

As the weather cools, we are not getting as many eggs anymore.  But one of our young Americana hens has begun laying.  Look at those pretty green eggs!  I look forward to more eggs next year! 

Part of the joys of Autumn is the hope of another, maybe more productive year.  Each year offers chances to learn new things in order to improve the upcoming year.

Among the joys of Autumn is the chance to snuggle down with a good book!  All you readers out there know what I mean!  But to add even more excitement to the season, my dear hubby did a most unexpected thing for me.  I was on the Barnes and Noble website and on a whim checked out their Nook (eReader).  I thought I liked it, but never thought of myself as an electronic-book-reader.  Why bother having one of these?  It's a little odd, yet, there's something very exciting about it.  Well, I couldn't put my finger on what it was that intrigued me so much about it, so I went to bed without thinking of it again.  I mentioned it to Ralph the following night and asked him some technical questions I was fuzzy on.  As he answered my questions, he commented how useful it was.  I asked him what he meant.  His take on it was that it holds a great deal of books on it without taking up any shelf space.  He finds my bookcases, while a part of me, a little cumbersome.  With this, I could have all the books I could ever want to read all in one convenient location.  He told me right then and there to buy it!  What?  Just like that?  Really?  Then he said something else even sweeter, "You don't do hardly anything for yourself, you do so much around here, and since you like it so much, I want to buy it for you."   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Can you ask for a sweeter husband?!  NO!  So here it is, my very own eReader!

One of the great things is I can download and buy classics for zero dollars to $2 a piece.  The Nook even comes with a Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

I am now reading "Pride and Prejudice."  Ever since I saw the movie, "You've Got Mail," with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, I've wanted to read this book!  Silly I know, but I'm having a great time with it!  And the dictionary is coming in handy!

I even like the characatures of classic writers as my wallpaper!

As the final touch, this tasteful case keeps it safe from bumps and scratches.

This wonderful and unexpected gift from my husband has been adding a great deal of joy to my Autumn evenings!  There is nothing better than a good book!  Not even movies!

And as the kids are doing their school work....
I see how the Fall season holds a magic all it's own!

I sincerely hope your Fall days and nights are filled with that magic too!!!


  1. What a sweet and thoughtful hubby you have. I know you will enjoy that precious gift for many years to come. Jane Austen is a favorite with my daughter and I. Have a great weekend.

  2. Love this post! So many neat things, blue tailed lizards and nooks, oh my! Your boys are too cute, and your hubby is awesome!

  3. What a great post! Your boys are learning so much about living in AZ. The king snake in your garden is a wonderful idea. The village of Yarnell is "going guineas"--the community garden just bought four to police up the grasshopper infestation we're having. Some owners find they don't even need to feed them right now, the hens are doing such a great job. They are a bit pricey for coyote food but perhaps I'll try a couple next year.