Welcome

Welcome to my Love Cave Creek AZ Blog.   Everyday is an adventure in the Sonoran Desert. 

From beekeeping, gardening, to co-habitating with the wildlife, there’s never a dull moment here.  So look before you step and leave your wrist watch behind.

In March, the desert marigolds bloomed and the cardinal returned to the birdfeeder in the backyard. 

In April, the oriole set up house in the palm tree, the bees moved into the electrical box on the back patio and started building comb at an amazing rate.  The ocotillo tips burst into their familiar fiery orange.  I photographed a quail’s nest with 11 eggs in a planter next to the bathroom window and worried that the large raven would loot the nest. 

In May, a baby bunny distracted me from my morning journaling, a bevy of quail fed on birdseed in the backyard and the new owlet was fully grown by the time I went down to the wash to photograph it.  The bees could no longer stay on the patio and I relocated them under the large mesquite in the backyard. 

It is early June and yesterday we had to relocate two large diamondbacks away from the stairs leading to the garage.  This is only days after one of them reared its head and threatened my husband. 

I can’t wait to see what the July to December time frame will bring.

Diamondbacks

This blog post is not for the faint of heart.  Yesterday, while helping me trim some plants on a landing that is next to the steps leading to the garage, my friend shouted “there’s two”.

Earlier in the morning, I warned him that we had spotted a diamondback just under the step where we were working.  And to confirm, I leaned down to pick up a large piece of recently shed snake skin.  It was still moist and supple.  He cringed as I rubbed my fingers across the ridges of what was the underbelly.  “Just make some noise and don’t put your hand where you can’t clearly see.” I told him.  “The snakes are more scared of you than you are of them.”  I could tell he was not convinced.  “But be careful, my husband was almost bit on the weekend when he stepped too close to the snake sunning itself on the concrete step.”

Of course, he ignored me until he heard the rattle and when he looked, he saw two.  In this video you can only see one.

… we eventually had to move the two snakes in order to finish our work and we relocated them just to the other side of the house.  I did not let my friend handle them with the rake like he wanted to.

Rattlesnakes move very fast and can strike with incredible speed and their venom can be deadly.  I don’t understand what part of that is difficult to understand.

Moving snakes is not for amateurs…

The Earth Is My Witness

The Buddha reaches down and touches the earth and says “the earth is my witness”.

I live in the desert where the wildlife and I connect at the threshold of my front door.  A moment of slight inattention, where a door is left ajar may later require the careful use of a broom to escort the latest curious visitor outside.  That’s what it took to help direct the large ugly toad back to its natural habitat.  I’ve also removed a tarantula with a glass jar from the carpet at the foot of my bed.  Fortunately, I have never had a diamondback inside my kitchen.

The closest one was on the back patio approximately 4 feet from the threshold that separates us and that is just enough space for me to freeze and catch my heart in the back of my throat at the sound of the familiar rattle.  As I try and will myself to relax, I feel grateful for the warning but quickly I find myself in a state of shame about my lapse in memory.  What part of “look before you step” is difficult for me?

Sometimes, I look, but I just don’t see.

Twice, in the same day, a bull snake slithered between my legs, as I stepped outside.  And, twice, I startled.

Although the snakes are not welcome in the house, they are welcome in my garden.  You see, the snakes eat the rodents that could destroy my plants.  When I’m in my garden, I’m not in my head.  Close to the ground there is no separation between us and the diamondbacks have never rattled.  In my garden, I have almost touched them.  Not that I wanted to.  When I found my hand inches from one lying on its back sunning its belly under my peppers, I took my cue and left.  Yes, it is My garden, but the responsibility to stay out of their way is also mine.