Friday, July 20, 2012

Scenes from the Ranch

 I saw this strangely-colored tree as I was coming out of my driveway. It took me a minute to remember that the weed guy was spraying Russian olives today. Russian olives are a nasty invader that can turn a meadow into a thorn forest in just a few years. They grow really fast and are aggressive. This one isn't more than two or three years old, but it's already fairly tall.

 Normally the leaves are olive green in color. The bluish hue make them seem like fantasyland.

Down the road I noticed big birds out in the meadow. I zoomed in to find the group of sandhill cranes that likes to summer at the ranch. During the spring and fall we see a lot more as they head north and then return on their migration, but a few have decided that this little part of the Great Basin is just right for their summer vacation.

One was really intent on grooming itself.

Meet Desert Boy's newest pet: a roly poly. He was so excited about finding it under some rocks. He collected it and some dirt and gravel and wanted to take it home. I didn't exactly agree, but found it in the van. I said it wasn't going in the house, but he could keep it in his tree house. Desert Boy wanted to know when he could move into his tree house. What would you have answered?

Before I knew it, Desert Boy had taken a bottle out of recycling and had decided that would be the new home for his roly poly.

(If you're wondering what I answered about the tree house living, I told him he could live there when he turned 18. That's the same answer I gave him when he asked about skydiving.)
The roly poly's name is Dirt. By the way, the name for his slightly deformed crawdad (probably due to too many catch-and-releases) was Snapper. It's probably good I record all these, because when he tells me later that I should let him have another pet, I can show him the list of all his pets.

I'm wondering how long Dirt will live in his new bottle in the tree house. Any guesses?


John Mosley said...

I can't help myself... does this make Desert Boy older than Dirt?

... and too many "catch and release cycles" is hard overall crawdad morphology.

Has salt cedar invaded the Great Basin? I don't know it's northern limit. Kill it if it has.

Desert Survivor said...

Good one. Yep, Desert Boy is older than Dirt. Oh, my!

We do have salt cedar in the area. The beetle that attacks it has done well keeping it in check in some areas.

Desert Survivor said...

I should also comment that Desert Girl is wearing her Princess Dress. Apparently Princesses also like playing with Roly Polys. Hurray!

John Mosley said...

Now I'm singing "Roly Poly" by Bob Wills and also by Asleep at the Wheel.

Western swing ain't dead - it's Asleep at the Wheel.

~It's Just Me~ said...

"Dirt" will live longer if he has a slice of damp squash to nibble.

Desert Boy reminds me very much of when I was little. I was always bringing home some critter or bug, reading about them extensively, and trying to figure out their part in the ecosystem.

If he really is as inquisitive as I was, you have a much more fun journey ahead than you imagine.

Good Luck ;)

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