Sunday, May 20, 2012

Garden Update: Lizards, Birds and Romas

The birds and lizards use the shrubbery and the Cereus peruvianus cactus in front of our picture window as their nursery, providing us with daily entertainment. The tiny finches and cactus wrens use the thicket to shield their nestlings from the neighborhood cats, giving them a mini gym where they can flap their barely-fledged wings and exercise their shoulder muscles. The cats administer swift, brutal blows and run like hell from mama and papa when they manage to pounce on a nestling before it can hop into the Cereus peruvianus cactus. The lizards use the shade as a shield from the blistering noon-day sun, gazing at the birds while patiently awaiting an unsuspecting palo verde beetle or microcricket. Our newest fledgling should be able to fly away in a day or two.

Lizard by Jack V. Sage, May 20, 2012

Fledgling by Jack V. Sage, May 20, 2012

Fledgling 2 by Jack V. Sage, May 20, 2012

The seeds I saved from the last batch of Early Girl tomatoes I bought last month at Food City have sprouted. I soaked them for the past three weeks to make sure I used the ones that were most likely to survive. I'll plant those in cut-off 2-liter bottles later this week, just like I planted the Romas. I'll plant them on the north side of the house, on the west side of the big palm tree, so they have shade from the harshest rays of the sun.

Since the pit-and-bottle method seems to be working so well for the Romas, I'll use it for the Early Girls as well. The Romas had about a 60-40 chance of boiling in the bottles, so I'm really happy that they seem to be taking off.  I didn't have a measuring stick handy, so I used a can of Arizona green tea for height and girth comparison in the photos below.

Roma 1 by Jack V. Sage May 20, 2012

Roma 2, View A by Jack V. Sage, May 20, 2012

Roma 2, View B by Jack V. Sage, May 20, 2012

Roma 2, View C by Jack V. Sage, May 20, 2012

Roma 3 by Jack V. Sage, May 20, 2012

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