Morning walkie

Another beautiful spring morning. By far the coolest we’ve had in the past week, which was really kind of welcome…


…because I laid a fire after the last one, as always, but that was like two weeks ago and I was starting to wonder if I should take the kindling out and put the stove to bed for the season. Kind of figured the month might have one more frosty morning in it, so I let it be. But this is the last: I’ll clean out the firebox today, give the pipe a sweep, then carry the last of the woodbox’s contents out to the shed. We might have a few more cool mornings before we’re done but none that will get more than a morning sweater – barring something freakish, of course, which is never out of the question.

I was glad there was no actual frost, because the pear tree is blooming…


Don’t know whether it’ll fruit again this year. Not really planning on it, but if it does I’ll be better prepared than last year.

I have quite a lot to do today, so Tobie and I went for our morning walkie a bit early.


Past few days we’ve gone down the wash to the first big turn. Lovely day for it…


…and slowly back, giving him plenty of opportunity to study the latest peemail and maybe take a more leisurely second dump.

Housekeeping note: Yesterday afternoon I went to the Palace of Food with D&L, converting some FRNs to commodities. And to my pleasure, this time they actually had a few gallons of distilled water for me to carry off.


At my reduced rate of consumption that’s good for probably close to six months – but I’m going to take the recent drought seriously anyway. A Generous Reader says he has sent some copper tubing: It hasn’t arrived yet, but I still plan to build and test a proper water still. So watch for that.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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One Response to Morning walkie

  1. That pear is looking like it could benefit from some strategic pruning. Pears want to grow columnar – that’ll put fruit out of your reach unless you use a ladder. Generally – thin the middle – especially the straight vertical branches – and encourage anything that tends lateral by topping the branch the outward lateral growth came off of. I’ve seen videos online that go into all this – not too hard to find.

    As example – I’ve got two peach “trees” that are less than 4′ tall but about 7′ diameter. On a good year they can each produce around 200 peaches if I don’t cull them. It’s really nice to work on a tree where you can reach everything. One is a graft and was sold as a dwarf and has been producing about 10 years – the other is a start from a grocery store fruit and has been producing about 5 years.

    Something I’ve been paying a lot of attention to lately has been soil quality and top dressing. A lot of Southwestern soils are very lacking in organic material – which means less overall life in the soil. What organics make it to the soil here are more carbon than nitrogen – not an ideal balance for fungi and microbal growth. I’ve been using compost and old coffee grounds around my trees as a top dressing and have found I’m actually developing a mat of moss that keeps the soil capable of “digesting” the top dressings and retaining moisture. That moss turns gray in the winter but comes back bright green once there’s moisture and warmth. Water is the other ingredient needed – moisture in the soil promotes those fungi and microbes that keep a soil lively.

To the stake with the heretic!