Desert Rat Studio is a 4 acre garden that my husband has planted for the birds.
Doug says that I have a black thumb, so I have let him do all of the planting and care of his garden. My job has been to take pictures to make a pictorial diary showing the changes in our property. We have lived here for about 10 years.
When we moved in the ground was flat with only creosote bushes and a few stunted trees. Now we have a large cactus garden, an area for burrowing owls, a riparian area that we hope one day will have a creek flowing from one end of the “Mountain” that Doug built. Doug has planted over 150 trees, many of which are native to this area.
Doug received a great honor from IBA – Arizona Important Bird Areas Program. The Program is co-administered by Audubon Arizona and the Tucson Audubon Society. IBA was looking into making Table Top Mountain an IBA area. Since we are close to Table Top Mountain, Doug hoped to have our area included because of all the burrowing owls in this area. They couldn’t include our area because the private land around us could be developed at a future date. The IBA decided that desert rat studio is a significant habitat for native birds. They set up a new category called Sites of Conservation Significance. Our 4 acres was the first to receive this award. This link takes you to the Audubon site http://aziba.org/?page_id=1096 On April 16,2013 at 6:21 AM, a group from the Audubon society came and stayed with us for about two hours. During that time they identified 26 different species which they listed on their site. They also included some nice pictures of our area.
“There is a saying” build it and they will come”. Doug definitely has planted for the birds and they have come. The website http://desert-rat-studio.com is no longer up. You can still use the name but it will be transferred to http://desertratstudio.com. I did transfer much of the text but the pictures did not transfer so I will be going back to add pictures.
Most of the pictures that I take are of flowers and plants, and the birds and other animals that have made their homes here or close to DRS (Desert Rat Studio). Doug has a habit of telling me to get my camera and take a picture of some snake or bug or native bee. Can’t say that I really like the snakes, BUT they do have a place in nature so… We wanted a site that will easily allow for comments and I hope this will give that option. I do sell some of my pictures. Payment may go through PAYPAL as I don’t want to hold your special, personal information on this site. I will also sell pictures, books and other Desert Rat Studio items through Amazon.
These pictures were taken a few years ago.
Here Doug was “planting” a cottonwood tree trunk to give lizards and other little critters a place to hide from their enemies.
Desert Rat Studio started out as Doug’s plantings for the birds. I enjoy taking pictures, especially of the flowers and birds and other critters that have made our 4 acres their home. Many types of critters thrive in this dry, hot climate. Our temperatures range from 16º F to 115º F or higher.
Most photos on this site were taken at Desert Rat Studio. The pictures I have taken are intended to show some of Desert Rat Studio’s plants and animals, including birds, snakes, lizards, and toads as well as other critters that we might spot at different times. I have tried to post pictures and information by month, mainly to show how the desert changes with the seasons.
When someone lets us show their picture, we will indicate who the photographer is. We also indicate if a picture was taken elsewhere.
The word “studio” also implies music. I have worked with students learning to play the recorder, one of the first wind instruments that children often play.
I have come up with a way to show the fingering for recorder music so that the musician can quickly check the needed fingering for the song.
Part of our web site will be directed toward developing an enjoyment of the haunting sounds of the recorder.
I have many of the traditional children’s songs as well as Christmas songs.