The lizard in distress

As my scissor got closer to him his mouth opened as if to yell for help or gasp for air.

Today I had what was to me a unique and intimate experience with a lizard

I went out to water my seeds, seedlings, and plants… yes bizarre as it sounds I water by hand.

I had in my own sloppy way attempted to temporarily barricade one specific plot against the javelina, neighbors’ cats, birds, squirrels, etc. with 1” fencing and bird netting. This morning when I came outside I found yet another  beautiful lizard that I am used to seeing wandering through my garden, but today he was caught up in  bird netting.

I could tell he was still alive by trying to rearrange the netting, and watch him squirm. I delicately moved the bird netting around, to slowly trim away the netting from this precious creature. Ironically with each move I made, he in turn kept working at moving himself more  into the  bird netting! It appeared to me as if he was being strangled by the netting. As I moved the netting around slowly add snipped closer and closer to his head he was either gasping for air or trying to talk to me, but no sound came out. I talked to him through the entire experience, trying to comfort him and let him know I was trying to help him, and wanting to save him. After I was able to finally cut him free, he immediately scampered off and disappeared.

Sadly but he is a marked lizard with that bird netting necklace he is still wearing. I did not have the nerve to try and hold him to “operate”.

Now when I see him around ( which I sure hope I will) I will know him by his ” necklace”. I will know who he and I have a special relationship from all the other lizards that I see here daily. I need to come up with a good name for him. Not just buddy. But I am afraid that the netting that is still wrapped  around his neck may likely hook on to the many obstacles that wait for him in the course of his life in our garden.

Nice to think that we all have someone looking out for us so when we get caught up in the bird netting of life .

And just for the record….this is the 2nd time I came across the very nasty reality of bird netting. If it does what it is intended to do then a small creature, be it bird or bunny or lizard or fish or whatever … can get trapped in it, not having the strength to break free from the powerful plastic….and can die stuck in it. GRRR, how did I not think of that when I bought lots of it to “protect” our garden.

I am done with bird netting! With that said I am repurposing the bird netting to my art materials.

FYI – several weeks later I have seen a lizard several times in the same plot where I operated on him/her. I still do not know if it was only one lizard caught up in netting twice or two lizards. Either way they would be happy to know that the organic gardening facebook groups I am a member of suggested using Tulle instead! So I am now experimenting with  bird netting being worked  into a mixed media piece for  THECHEERPROJECT.COM , which to be honest is as difficult to work with as trying to maneuver it around a peach tree!

My season of peas on earth is ending, for now

During Passover I choose not to harvest any peas  ( not eating them that week) and no one I offered them to was able to come harvest that week … so I had to be patient…. and loved the bounty once Passover was over.

Harvest of snap peas day after passover ended
Harvest of snap peas day after passover ended

 

and so I ripped out my last snap pea, and snow pea plant on Sunday after harvesting the stragglers due to the 100 degree heat we already have  had . I’ve also been collecting dried pods for planting  in the fall. What a wonderful feeling knowing I am doing my part to help  create peas on earth.

2 of my favorite summer veggies need planting . Guess which one

cuke,_zuke,_okra__on_green__plate2014__©_Linda_Enger_Photography9997-2

I really need to get the seeds going or ( gasp) buy little plants from someone.

Hint to answer Q  of subject line…

I love making/eating vegetarian  Indian food and  am always trying to note the values I learn from  studying Ayurvedic cooking  using food as medicine .

So all of this veggies are cooling, while one lowers all Dosha levels,  and Two lowers Pitta and Vata but raises  Kapha.

Can you guess which is which?

YUK to yummy… and coping with unwanted guests

Aphids_on_Kale__march_harvest©_2015_Copyright_Linda_Enger_Photography

Seems like this winter after srting with varied types and brands of Kale seeds the Lake Valley Organics brand  of Red Russian Kale is the only one that has really taken off . This time only in pots that are strategically placed in various sub climates on the property. As always there tends to be a consistently inconsistent issue I have encountered. In some of the pots , glad to say not all yet 🙂  little buggers  have moved in when they know I am not looking.

When gardening I TRY to spray them off with  the jet setting on my hose but often that is temp fix. I know there is always input I get on how other gardeners deal with this from my friends at http://www.vpaaz.org that has a wonderful permaculture forum and from whom I have learned SOOOO much. I know I can always plug in a search name and find great information to help me. And now  I have been finding more like minded gardening peeps on Desert Gardeners of Maricopa County facebook group as well. I will share more another time on dealing in the garden with these pests but for now I want to talk about eating and food prep .

YUK ! Now some of the die hard , back to the earth type may  these guys are not going to hurt you and very high in protein.  And of course some foodies out there are really tapping into what some other cultures have incorporated for oh so long…..you know the chocolate covered beetles concept…..DOUBLE YUK.

If you are kosher, or other wise NOT interested at all in eating these guys and you want to enjoy your harvest ( which I am one of ) …. here is what I do and recommend.

Disclaimer… this does take some time and focused eyes,  but I really take personal issue with going out and BUYING what I know I have already GROWN!!!

Soak your leaves in bowls of salt water. I use the cheapest kind of sea salt for this ( I get mine at Trader Joes or Costco) . I do MULTIPLE baths. I examine each leaf and make sure I rinse well in clear water after each bath.  Put in my trusty salad spinner ( what did we do before them ). By the way my favorite after trying MANY is the OXObrand which is still going strong after I can not begin to imagine how many hundreds of times it has been spun! Wrap those leaves in paper towels and put in ziplock bags. SO I will not forget about the rotation of my produce I like to mark the date with a Sharpe marker.

Enjoy!