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This guy is only about two inches in length. It is probably a very young Orange Throated Whiptail, although it could be a barfly or a skink. I assume he has recently hatched as it appears that the eyes are not yet open. He currently resides in a crevice in the granite behind the flower garden.
The only downside of having vermin killing barn cats is that they make no distinction between lizards and rats. Our once-thriving, culturally diverse lizard population around the house has been decimated. The survivors have relocated down the hill where it is a bit safer.
Clumb down the hill this morning to check on the produce and to see if I had enough stamina to make it back up again. Turns out the shot in the butt and the antibiotics are finally making themselves evident.
Peaches, Figs, Yella Squash, & Peppers
Course the dam birds have got at the peaches as have the Fig Beatles, which some chick I used to know referred to as the B-52's of the bug world.
Warning: Ms E and those with a bug aversion should not scroll down
Fig Beetle Chowing Down--Note Bird Peck on Peach to the Left
But by far the most interesting story de jour is the bees. Dozens of bees competing with the Fig Beatles for the sweet, soft innards of ripe peaches. Both on the ground and on the tree. Now, who knew bees ate peaches? Or whatever it is that bees do before they barf up the honey.
Bees Lunching on a Peach
When we were little kids we called these things H Bees and we believed that there was a well defined H emblazoned on their backs, which we could clearly identify with our little boy eyes.
So Cal's notorious June Gloom hung around for an extra coupla weeks this year but summer has arrived with a vengeance. We're easing into triple digits this afternoon with about 25% humidity and there are billowy, monsoon-lookin' cumulonimbus clouds off over the desert toward Arizona. The cats and The Boy escaped the heat of the day by moving indoors.
Kramer, who careens into a room exactly like his namesake, lounges with The Boy
We should be well into June Gloom by now, instead we've had a run of spectacular weather here at the Casa. Chilly. Breezy. Late rain. We had smoke swirling up the chimney and kids plunked on the couch with books last Saturday. May as well have been January.
Late in the day we had a bit of excitement when when the fire hit a pocket of oil trapped in a fat Eucalyptus log and the whole thing exploded out onto the hearth and floor. Dude, it was hotter than a three dollar pistola. Just being close enough to scoop up the coals nearly set my skin afire. Best argument for tile over carpet or hardwood that I can think of.
For the record, you really don't want to plant Eucalyptus anywhere near your house. Not where firestorms lurk, anyway. Like planting kerosene soaked matchsticks. Guess that's not a problem anywhere but the Great Southwest.
This fire is burning toward El Cerrito and South Corona out in the hills near the old tin mine about six miles west of the Casa.
This is godforsaken territory and much of it is part of a nature set aside. It gets little rain and has been blackened by wildfires so often that the terrain has morphed from coastal scrub to grassland, green in the winter, golden brown from here to Christmas.