A few years back, Kevin and I planted a peach tree in our backyard. Luckily it was producing fruit in the same year. But back then, we had five peaches growing. And Mr. Squirrel had his own way of sharing: Four peaches for him, one for us as a family of four. I quartered the last peach, so we all could enjoy a little slice of fresh “heaven”.
The following year, we’ve got about a dozen peaches. And Mr. Squirrel was much more generous: He took his four peaches and left us with the eight remaining fruits.
This Spring, our peach tree was in full bloom. And we could tell, we would get tons of peaches this Summer. But I’ve noticed they are a little bit smaller this year. I wonder, if the drought has a big factor in it. The tree didn’t get as much water as in the previous years. And I might have to consider some fertilizer for the next season. So, while Mr. Squirrel, the Blue Jays, Mrs. Mockingbird and Mrs. Sparrow are happily munching away my peaches, I had to rescue some for ourselves. On Monday, I filled up a bowl. And when those fruits are gone, I have to grab some more from the tree. In the meantime, Luis keeps Mr. Squirrel in check. Mr. Squirrel is allowed everywhere on our property, but not on the peach tree. As soon as the Squirrel jumps in that tree, Luis is getting havoc. Once he gets outside, he chases the squirrel across the fence. “No, no! No peaches for you, Mr. Squirrel.”
Fresh, homegrown peaches from our tree in the backyard
Every Summer, when the temperatures start to reach over 95ºF (35ºC), the Green Cicadas come out from under ground, fly in our trees and use their abdomen to call out for a mate. Usually, we begin to hear them in mid to end June. Since May was very warm, they had an early start in late Spring this year. Sometimes, I sit under the tree and just listen to them for a while. The cicada’s calls are so soothing. And with them being around, we definitely know that Summer has officially arrived in North Texas.
A Green Cicada sits in our photinia and calls out for a mate.
Green Cicada on Photinia
June 19, 2018
If Arches National Park is the famous park of Utah could be argued. But back in the day living in Germany, when someone mentioned Utah, the first picture coming into my head was the Delicate Arch. Therefore, the park was the one that stuck in my head. I didn’t know that Utah had many more National Parks, State Parks, Monuments, etc., until I moved to the United States. Since years, seeing the Delicate Arch was on my bucket list. On this trip, I’ve finally got to see it. We looked at it from the Lower Viewpoint, and we hiked all the way up the hill to the Upper Viewpoint. I scratched the Delicate Arch very lightly out on my list. Because I still want to hike all the way up to it and touch it.
Arches National Park Sign at the Visitor Center at the entrance
But the Arches National Park has more to offer than just the Delicate Arch itself. There are many view points of interesting stone formation. Sometimes I think, these places are Mother Natures playgrounds. If she doesn’t want to play in this “sandbox”, she’ll play in another.
We didn’t make all the way back to the “Devils Garden”. There were just too many places to see along the road. And I’m not gonna post all the photos I’ve captured. Here are the 36 best photos I’ve shot in Arches National Park:
This boulder could come down any minute … at least that’s what it looks like from the road.
Near the entrance of the park
Getting to the Park Avenue
Sara and Katelynn at Park Avenue
The Waxing Crescent Moon and the red rock
This formation reminds me of a whale.
Kevin said: “Look, here is Santa with his sleigh, the bag full of toys and a waving elf in the front.”
Petrified Dunes with the La Sal Mountains in the background
At the Panorama Viewpoint
Delicate Arch from the Lower Viewpoint
Looking south, while hiking to the Upper Viewpoint
Delicate Arch from the Upper Viewpoint
Garden of Eden
The Three Gossips
When we left Arches National Park, we drove to Cortez in Colorado, to rest for the night there.
… to be continued …
Earlier this year, my “Ebony & Ivory” Crape Myrtle looked sad. 😦 There were some dry twigs, they had to be removed. After I got rid of them and mulched around the bottom, the little tree/shrub seemed to be much healthier, again. Today, we’ve got rewarded with it’s first bloom of this season. It’s so wonderful to see, it came back. 😀
Last year, I relocated my Vitex tree. (Some people might know it as “Chaste” or as “Texas Lilac”.) A few weeks later, it came back as well. This Spring, I was a little bit concerned. Because it took much longer to bloom, this year. Today, I’ve noticed the first blossoms on the Vitex as well. I guess due to the cooler Winter and the fast warm up in Spring, the tree might have been shocked for a moment. It grew leaves. But the bloom just took longer.
Our “Ebony & Ivory” Crape Myrtle started to blossom, today.
And our Vitex begins to bloom, too.
Today, I spent most of the day doing some online research for our Summer vacation. This one is a little bit of both: planned and spontaneous. Kevin and I decided to take the kids to a few Utah National Parks, last weekend. When Kevin came home, we debated and planned a little more. And while Kevin booked a cabin, I went outside to capture some photos of this evening’s sunset. My brain began to hurt a little. And the best way to relax is to watch the Sun setting. Now, we are all excited and look forward to hike some trails at the canyons of Utah. 🌄
Chinese Tallow Tree Silhouette Sunset
Pine Tree Silhouette Sunset
When we first moved into our house, we had Photinias all along the wall facing West. We had to get rid of almost all, but one of them. Because their roots broke the foundation of our house. Over the years, the shrub grew bigger and wider; it began to bloom were the protective nursery for some birds and Eastern Cottontails.
Beautiful red leaves of the Photinia (2013)
Pollinating bee on Photinia Blossoms
The Photinias just started to bloom (2015).
Now, it is Spring. And the Photinia bush is full in bloom. And I see some interested wildlife flying and hopping around it. It might be hosts for baby birds and baby bunnies, again.
My Photinia was the host nursery for Northern Cardinal baby chicks in Spring 2013.