2012 in Review

 Desert Rat Studio

January and February were months of change. Doug brought in dead trees for habitat for some of the smaller critters that reside here. The birds think everything planted is for them. He has done a lot of planting on “tabletop mountain”. This hill is situated so that we can see the burrowing owl habitat as well as the cactus garden. We plan to put a table on “Tabletop Mountain” so we can sit and watch the burrowing owls when they are out.

I tried to make a “people garden”. The results pretty much showed I have a black thumb though the rabbits and gophers helped to destroy my garden. After the disaster of my first garden, Doug built me a small greenhouse with raised beds so I could reach the plants easier. It also gave protection for the tomatoes and bell peppers from the birds. Doug found 55 plastic gallon drums, cut them in half and filled them with dirt for me. My outside garden sits on blocks so that the rabbits and gophers are foiled. I think he’s determined that my black thumb turn green.

The cactus Doug planted on “Twin Peaks” are starting to grow. Doug did decide that the pitch of the hillside was too steep so when he shaped “Tabletop Mountain”  he made a more gradual slope. Most of the plants he put on the east side are cacti. He has been careful to get many varieties, hoping that we will have flowers throughout the spring, summer and fall.

The birds have given us quite a show, mainly when there are eating. We have doves, thrashers, sparrows, finch, roadrunners and burrowing owls. We see hummingbirds, but not many. Once in a while we see a Gila woodpecker. So far the quail have not found us though we have seen them about a mile away.

The roadrunners were very visible this year. Doug put out a mirror for them. The male found it and tried to puzzle it out running around it over and over. It also jumped over it hoping to surprise the “other roadrunner” and chase it away.

We do have summer and winter bird visitors. One of the birds most people don’t think about is the vulture. The vulture is one of our summer visitors. On land they’re not very graceful but with four or five beats of their wings they grab an air current and start soaring. The vultures are super graceful flying birds.

Doug is planted many varieties of flowering desert plants so that we will have color throughout most of the year. As you will see, I love taking pictures of the flowers.

As you will see I have sorted this year’s pictures into five groups: flowers, landscape, birds, critters and cactus when they are not blooming. Here are pictures taken at Desert Rat Studio in 2012.

The landscape pictures were all taken at Desert Rat Studio.

  • This is part of our front yard.


This set of pictures are of the birds. The parent and baby burrowing owls are almost the same size. It takes a while for the babies to hike out of their burrow but you can tell them apart by the color on their chest. The babies have a light tan color.

  • Roadrunner Baby in Senita Cactus

Here are some of my flowers (really Doug’s as he planted and took care of them so I would have flowers.)

  • Sweet Acacia Tree

These critters have made Desert Rat Studio their home.

  • lizard enjoying the sun

Not all of my pictures have flowers, here are some cacti that chill their beauty even when they’re not blossoming.

  • San Pedro Cactus (Trichocereus Pachanoi)

This set is flowers.

  • Echinocereus Stramineus

This is the last set of flowers for 2012.

  • yellow flower on pad cactus

Hope you enjoyed the review. I didn’t realize that I had so many pictures that I really liked from 2012.

Comments and Suggestions