Little Boxes on the Hillside

6. April 2013 16:16

Maybe not little boxes, but definitely on the hillside, the raised bed area for our vegetable garden has been more than tripled.  Our next door neighbor Charlie and his son were a huge help in getting the boxes from the driveway to their designated spots.  They are built from a composite material instead of plain lumber and thus should be a perfect solution for the garden.  However, they also seem to weigh a lot. 

The edge of the hill comes a bit too close on a couple of the new beds.  That will have to be addressed over the next month or so as the hill gets sculpted around the garden and orchard.  Meanwhile we need to get the drip system from the ground into each of the new boxes and fill them with the planter mix that will be delivered in a couple days.

(See additional photos of the progress with the garden expansion at and following.)

Snake in the Grass

5. April 2013 04:54

Actually, it was snake in the weeds today.  The mail had just been delivered so I was on my way to get it from the mailbox when I saw a snake just off the driveway in the weeds.  This is by no means the first time we have found a snake in that particular area. But it was the first time for finding a snake featuring the rattles at the tip of its tail.  My spouse kept watch on it while I went in for the camera.  The rattler seemed in no hurry and allowed me to take pictures from several places.  I guess it figured we were no threat and was happy to soak up the sun.

Even more unusual was the fact that while I was getting the camera, my husband noticed a second snake just a few feet away.  But that one was a gopher snake, the kind we have encountered frequently.  The sunlight caught its scales just right -- it almost sparkled.  It moved off and when I checked again some minutes later, it was doing what a good gopher snake should do -- heading down a gopher hole.

You can see some additional photos of the snakes at

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