Monday, April 11, 2016


And I was working like a dog!

Live oak leaves, live oak catkins, live oak sprouts. It's that time of year. When a live oak tree drops its leaves it is amazing the weight and volume. Cans full of the things. I see people in the neighborhoods with their oak leaves stacked in brown bags at the road sides. Fortunately for us we have plenty of room to dispose of them otherwise.
But the job of cleaning up in a dry creek is not an easy one. There was a time 20 years ago when I would not have entertained owning a leaf blower. Now, I couldn't do without one. Leaf removal took all morning followed by an hour of kneeling down clipping off the oak sprouts.
There was one bonus to this work. The flowering of my lace cactus , Echinocereus reichenbachii, right before my eyes.

As a cloudy morning turned to sunny skies the flowers opened all at once. To think I might have missed it.

Then I shoveled fresh gravel into the bare areas alongside the dry creek and took a few photos. And as that old Beetles song goes-Tonight I'll be sleeping like a log.


  1. What a pretty cactus bloom! Nice of mother nature to reward you like that for all your hard work!

  2. Just beautiful! Your garden looks wonderful. Lots of work ahead for me. This is the year to pull up the rocks in the dry creek and reset them to get rid of two years of litter.

  3. The leaf detail sounds like tough duty - you deserve a good night's sleep! Your post reminded me that I failed to check my Easter lily cactus (Echinopsis oxygona) as I'd intended to today so I just took a flashlight outside and found evidence that at least one of the buds already opened or is about to. I've got it on my list to check it in daylight tomorrow.

  4. The cactus is a beautiful sight, and I'm glad you didn't miss it -- nor did we, thanks to your wonderful photos.

  5. Oh I just love when small leaves/seeds/petals start falling down. We don't have live oak here. Just a "normal" oak tree, but it grows only in deep forest so we don't have those problems. Although I could use a leaf blower for or the other small leaves that fall down. If they weren't so ridiculously expensive here.

  6. What a treat seeing those blossums!

    I have Maples by my west border and there are years that I think there must be TRILLIONS of seedlings coming up!

  7. All that work paid off - it looks gorgeous! And I'm always blown away by the showy blooms that cactus produce! I hope that big hail storm missed you guys.

  8. Oh that opening image...just lovely! Thank you for all the hard work that went into it?

  9. the lace cactus is wonderful, but i'm most taken with the first photo: what a great composition around that dry creek bed! I am jealous of your boulders & would steal them if I could...the new gravel looks great, too.

    (let's talk blowers sometime: I am currently crazy in love with my EGO lithium battery-powered model - no cords for me to trip over & battery lasts at least as long as my arm strength...what do you use?)

    ps: I consign all oak sprouts straight to hell!

    1. Afraid my blower is of the electric sort although not too heavy. I find that for blowing leaves off the driveway I just let my arm hang loose. Even so it is taxing. As for sleeping last night. I think I overdid it and my body would not shut down. Need to be more careful or I will wear out. I'm glad you like the plantings. Most of it is just happenstance but I am thinking of replacing the yaupon in the corner with one of those sky pencil hollies. I'm tired of the plants leading forward. If you read this let me know what you think.

  10. I can relate to the Working Like a Dog.

    I've been pulling weeds for a month. And, we have almost year round leaf clean up. The Cedar Elm seeds and the Live Oak catkins (I call them brown squigglies) are the worse.

    Try not to overdo it.

    Love the cactus blooms....