Thursday, July 26, 2018

Caught You In My Secret Garden

No not you, but the cactus-eating critter ... least I THINK that's who it was.   Not the dove shown here.  This is either Mom or Dad that have been sitting on the nest in the palm tree.
I've seen a couple of quail spending lots of time in my back yard.  This guy was strutting his stuff along the wall next to the quail block.
Wasn't I shocked to look out the window one morning to see this.  An entire quail family has been hiding secretly in my back yard bushes.  How cute are they!!!  In fact, that's why I bought the quail block.  That way they wouldn't have to roam so far for food, leaving the babies to their own devices.
Cute as buttons, these little kids.  Unfortunately I have only seen three in the last couple of days, mostly as they scramble back into the leaves at the slightest movement.  I love it when I'm outside and I hear Mom talking to them ... FREEZE!!  Don't move a muscle!!  
There is no way these babies can get out of the yard, so I was feeling pretty good about the quail block.  I really should have built a feeder up high.  Next trip to Lowes, I'll get a post.  I even bought a pie plate to set up a watering station for them.

That's when it happened!  I glanced out the window and what should I see but THIS GUY!!  AHA!!!  I bet he's the cactus bandit!  All the time I've been here, I've never seen a squirrel, or whatever this is. Is this a rat???  He sure has a LONG tail, but I thought rats had bigger ears!!  I threw a big rock at him and he disappeared over the fence.  

I spent an hour going around my whole house stuffing rocks down those holes I keep finding.  Maybe he'll move over to the neighbor's house.  At any rate, he'll probably stick to the quail block and leave the cactus alone now.
Catching up on miscellaneous stuff, I cut the BBQ mat down to fit over the grate, being sure to leave room around the edges for air.  
The problem is the grate is so filthy with grease and gunk that I don't want to get the mat greasy too.  So how do I clean this?  The grates come out, but what a mess.  I got a steel brush, but it doesn't clean off the greasy gunk.
Most of that came from these shish kabobs I picked up at the new Safeway.  How easy is this ... the work has already been done for me and they were $5.00.  Turns out you can skip these because they were awful.  The beef chunks were way too big and tough as leather.  

It's probably me ... I'm not so good at BBQ.  It's funny too, no matter how low I turn the valve, the flames seem to stay the same.  I think the LOW isn't working so well.  
So instead I went to the new Arby's about 5 miles away.   Terrible picture, but here's my review.  The smokehouse brisket sandwich was huge.  You can add extra brisket for $1.00 more, making the meal price come to $11.50.  

When I opened the bag, what should I find but CURLY FRIES!!  YAY!!  Love them!!  Unfortunately, they were the best thing about this order.  I'm pretty sure they made the sandwich six hours before I came along.  Half the sandwich was dried out, hard around the edges and hardly recognizable.  

There were crispy onions in there somewhere, but all I found was something soggy smashed into the bun.  The very center part had the only good bites that weren't dried out.  If you can get it fresh, I imagine this would be pretty tasty.
After a couple of 107-111 days, I was glad to see it cool off this morning.  Not that it's going to stay that way, but I'll never get that brick work done if it doesn't get cooler.  That's probably going to be in October!!  

It wouldn't be any different at my other home since they too are in a heat wave of 108 every day this week, plus the bad air from smoke.  They completely closed Yosemite National Park yesterday due to the closeness of the fire, air quality and the need for fire equipment to get around the roads.

Please say a little prayer for our firefighters.  We lost one of our heavy equipment operators when his caterpillar rolled over.   While in the construction business, we took many cats up to the mountains around Yosemite.  You can't get any more dangerous that working in steep ravines.  

They have seat belts, but no one wears them, thinking it's better to be able to jump free if the need arises.  There's another problem ... they have neutral just like your car.  If you are in neutral and start rolling, your brain doesn't work fast enough to hit the brakes with both feet and get it in gear before your speed is too fast and you are half way down the hill.  Our caterpillar ended up on the roof of a hotel.  No joke, it's a dangerous profession.

So I'm off to a quilt store this morning, mostly because they have air conditioning, unlike Lowes brick department.  I'm afraid the yard will have to wait.


  1. If you figure out a modification you are willing to make you can special order any sandwich which then arrives fresh.

    1. Oooooh I didn't know that!! I will definitely try that sandwich again because I think it COULD have been really good!!

  2. That long-tailed rat looking thing may have gotten some of the baby quails. I hope not.

    1. Yes I think you are right. Something did anyway. There are only three left. Sniff sniff.

  3. The mammal on the quail block is a round tailed ground squirrel. They primarily eat seeds and insects. They will eat carrion if it's available. Several years ago we saw two of them running down the Rillito bike path dragging a dead snake between the two of them.

    1. Oh good grief!! That's not a pretty thought, although come to think of it, it was a snake! Alas only three babies left.