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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Poor Lucifer hit window

I didn't blog for the last 3 days because I was so busy working on the guesthouse. Some much needed maintenance. One wall was eaten by termites real bad and not sure it ever was mouse-proof.  It was thrown together in 1978 to be a temporary home while my house was being built. Ended up being a guesthouse. Since it's rock and underground, only the part that isn't underground became a problem. Dirt from atop the underground part keeps sliding in front of one wall. So I took off a panel of cedar siding that had been partly rotted away and put up a piece of concrete board in its place. Where the bases of everything was gone I just packed cement in there. I'm a rock and concrete person. Of course I forgot to take a before picture. This picture was taken after I concreted the window ledges but before I concreted the base of the wall where it joins a rock wall beneath it.

I would have loved to remove that faucet that I had to dig out of the ground, but the valve that turns off the water to the tank is broke so I've no way to turn the water off without draining the tank. So I had to leave the faucet.

I realize this isn't a professional renovation, but hopefully I now have it mouse-proofed. And it should last most or all of my lifetime. Here's the inside view. I'm going to put a sheet of plywood on top of that old planter box and a mattress on it for extra sleeping places. Have to get hubby to haul the plywood down from town. He's going to make me some steps to get up there too, eventually.

Looking east (all paintings by me)
Looking west (early morning light reflecting on the wall)

I did all I could do to the guesthouse yesterday so had to water today before heading to town. While watering I heard a bird hit my pickup window real hard. Hated to even go look, but when I did I saw a Lucifer Hummingbird lying on the ground. I watched it for a few minutes to see if it would fly off. It didn't, so I tried to feed it. It wouldn't feed. I set it on a chair to see if it would recover (or die).

I kept checking on it and after about 10 minutes I went and nudged it a little and it flew off. Whew! That was stressful for a while. (It wasn't banded and appeared to me to be a very recent fledgling.)

With the temperatures still around 100° every day, and no rain since July 8th, there are very few butterflies, and ode numbers are dwindling. The wildlife pond that attracts them is almost dry. Birds are starting to migrate through some, though I haven't had time to watch. With things dry, the oasis probably is more popular than it would be if everywhere was an oasis. Fortunately I have plenty of water in my tanks from that July rain that I can go another 6 months without rain, but I need the tanks to fill up in order to make it through until next rainy season.

I was surprised to even see this Tropical Buckeye today.

About 12 years ago, give or take a few years, I planted four Papershell Pinyons (Pinus remota). At the time ten years prior to planting them I couldn't find a source for them so planted Mexican Pinyons (Pinus cembroides) instead. Both species are doing well, though the Papershells seem to be growing slow. Today I discovered the first pinyon nuts on one of the Papershells. 

And my little pecan tree that got started with a pecan nut has only made any pecans once before, so all the winter and spring rains paid off. Still waiting for the summer rain.

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