December 18, 2011

Desert diversity

Tiny arrangement of spent seed pods, gathered on our morning hike around Blacktail Hill.

December 15, 2011

Snow walk

So far it has been a wetter fall than I remember here. This week we have had several days of good rains, with snow in the mountains. I would record the actual rainfall had we not had a bug build a home in our weather station rain gauge. It's probably between 0.5 and 0.8 inches.

This morning we set out for a Stronghold hike, in between bike days. And lo and behold, there was running water in the creek! All due to snow melt as the water level in Half Moon Tank is still below the dam. As always, it was lovely, and a nice workout. Emma had a blast, but thankfully thought it was too cold to go swimming.

December 13, 2011

Lettuce, anyone?

The winter garden is doing well. The scheme of using the protective cages as support for frost cover is the right one. So far it has kept the lettuce and escarole from freezing, and temperatures have been down to 13 degrees already. Frankly, the plants are growing so well that Dan made additional bases today to raise the cages off the plants. The only damage I found was where the lettuce leaves had touched the cover.

There are 3 beds growing now. One with cabbage and kale, without frost cover, and the plants are doing just fine without it. One with lettuce and escarole that I started at the end of August, and one bed with additional kale and spinach that was seeded in September. Those plants are still small, but will take off once the weather warms up again.

I do enjoy still being able to go out and gather greens at this time of year.

December 8, 2011

New toys

Santa came early to the WD this year. Or perhaps it was Sinterklaas, a couple of days late. Did he decide that now that I have taken the plunge to commit to the cycling effort by hiring a coach, that I should have the appropriate gadget to record every aspect of my performance?

At the same time, he took pity on Dan and sent some new, fast, road tires for Fabulous Fabian so he would not feel left out, or left behind Racy Tracy. I wonder if now I will have to pour it on to keep up with Dan because I am still on Tracy's cyclocross tires.

Regardless, thank you so very much, Santa!

December 4, 2011

Winter, sort of

This morning we woke up alone in the world. No neighbors, no mountains, nothing in sight beyond 20 meters. Emma thought it was a bit spooky going for a walk. Where did everything go?

As we finished breakfast, it cleared a bit and started to snow lightly, and we decided on a quick walk to talk advantage of what little winter Arizona gives us. It's not that I miss winter per se, but snow in the desert is special. We did a quick turn around Blacktail Hill, and half way through the sun started to peek out. When we came home about an hour later, what snow?