Thinking Arizona Thoughts..

We attended a funeral during the week. It was  very unexpected in that he was ill but his death was sudden and came as a shock to his family. We knew the daughter and some other members of the extended family  I have also been watching the  British General Election, which is due this weekend. From what I have been reading it is  going to be a  bit on the nasty side.  I miss the times when we had political figures that  had the ability to use the English Language, who had wit and style, who could destroy, but still be good-mannered about it. These days I look on most politicians as thugs in ties  whose first thoughts are in filling their pockets  with looking after the interests of the nation coming a far away second.  Vision is something that lasts only between now and the next election. There is something seriously wrong with a system where politicians can award themselves a 7% pay increase yet maintain that they can only afford a 1% pay increase for frontline troops.

Today here in Australia it is Mother’s Day – Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums and Moms and including all  Fur-baby Mothers. My little Chienne is as happy as anything – we play and we go walks and she sits beside me. There is no indication that there is anything amiss and unlike the Man, I can do a lot more with Chienne because she is not blind and

The Dog Stroller
The Dog Stroller

can see what is going on. I feel a little sad in that Chienne was just a tad neglected these last few months when we were looking after The Man.  If it gets to the stage where she has difficulty in walking ( and I really don’t see that happening) we always have the Dog Stroller to fall back on. That’s good fun. I put her in it from time to time and wheel her around the garden and the house and unlike the Man, Chienne is quite comfortable in it. My idea here is getting her used to it – just in case! I miss the Man and think of him constantly

My working desk
My working desk

It’s been a fairly quiet month and I have been doing some work in the garden and across in my office. My office was a mess- well very untidy anyway, so I decided it really needed a clean and a clear out of all the old paperwork that was piling up and was no longer relevant. Isn’t that what I bought the shredder for anyway?? So, I filled the recycle bin with all this shredded and other paper and generally gave the place a good clean out. I’m quite happy with how it looks now – like it’s supposed to!

Only a few weeks and I set off to Naracoorte. I am sort of looking forward to this. I have never been in that part of the state so it will be somewhat of an adventure – almost as far from Adelaide to Naracoorte as it is from  here to Adelaide. Although I have driven through part of the way when I went over to visit Alan in Geelong  some years ago. I am looking forward to  having some different places to photograph. I was thinking of taking a short course on photography but having looked at some of the costs I decided to  just potter along as I do. My photographs might not be great or professional looking but they work for me.

I am so sorry to hear that things are not well in  Arizona. I  am thinking about you all  every day and I  really hope that everything can be worked out and settle back down again. I am sorry about the horses. I know how you loved them too.  Poor Charlie!  I  thought building the “Fortress” would solve the problem, but apparently not. Everything that has happened must be very upsetting ( to put it mildly) so I really do hope that you can sort everything out and get back to “relative” peace. I have  missed you and I think others have too,   so you know  many people are thinking about you.

IMAG0459 I have missed the posts of late, but then, since New Year I have missed a lot. However, as I said the other week, things have improved and I am  much, much better.

Trees, Oil, California and snow in Arizona.

SAMSUNG
Native Trees – What Joy!!!

In our little corner of the Commonwealth, the temperature has dropped down considerably and back to manageable levels – a pleasant 25c. Dogs are back out in the fresh air.  I said that my soil was tested and  the less we say about that the better. The  large pots and planters is probably the best way to go. The two Desert Roses  (new) that I have out front, in sunken pots are doing considerably better than the actual roses in the ground. The same is true of things at the back of the house – although I do have the added problem of trees that shed leaves at the slightest puff of wind. Actually I think the threat of wind makes them nervous enough to drop leaves by the bucket load. I also bought  an English Gooseberry  Bush and have that in  a large pot. It’s also doing well and survived the heat. The Mulberry – in the ground – did not. But depending on how the gooseberry progresses, I might try again with a mulberry in a large planter pot.

On the subject of heat,  Australian Eucalyptus trees, because of the heavy concentration of oil and the letting off of oil vapour in heat,  have a tendency to explode throwing fire and flaming debris 20130222_095157across a wide area and overshooting fire-breaks. The oil makes it pest resistant so nothing eats it and keeps it in check. Once imported into an area it becomes messy, very hard to get rid of and flammable – and the wood is not all that much use for anything.  In the late 19th century  Australian trees were imported by the bucket load into California. The climate suited them very well and now Australian trees are everywhere in Calif. and  are responsible for much of the intensity of the fires that occur there. I have said before they are messy, shallow rooted, with a tendency to drop branches and fall over without  a lot of warning. These are the “Native Trees” that this council wants to plant everywhere.  The do say that they will plant them on the medium strip, not near houses.  Well, that’s encouraging – at least they will only drop branches and kill drivers =- heaven forbid they should damage property.

Watched our state news this evening and there, confirming what I had already been told, was the snow falling on Arizona. I’ll bet that was a shock to the system.  I was always fond of winter and snow – not so much on the aftermath, rain, slush and mud. No matter how hard you tried it was net to impossible to keep your feet dry and more often than not we arrived at school with wet feet. Not fun.

What you see here is the debris created by a single tree and these trees were  scattered over every footpath in the town. This is what the council wants to inflict on the median strips. Yes they require very little water, but to offset that, is the mess, the shallow root system and, like a second rate boxer, take a dive when the going gets tough. Can you imagine what a whole forest full of these things is like.?