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This Week on the Homestead July 19 – 25, 2020

We haven’t been doing our weekly on the homestead posts because it has really been too hot to do anything so there isn’t much to write about! There is a little bit to post about this past week. Our kids actually like to read these posts though, so these weekly posts are also a way for us to document events for them.

My last post on The Geek Homestead was about Comet Neowise on July 18th. Of course, I had to try to capture it again in pictures, but unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. The clouds kept rolling in around the time that Comet Neowise became visible.

I did learn more about how to use my Nikon D3500 and was able to take a few pictures of the crescent moon and a thunderstorm to the west of our house during my search for Comet Neowise.

The crescent moon during sunset July 22, 2020
Closeup of the crescent moon
Storm cell with a few stars

Even though I didn’t get any pictures of Comet Neowise, I had a nice time watching the various storms around us. We didn’t get any rain until later in the week, on Thursday. When we did, it was very exciting! It rained almost the whole day and the temperature stayed under 80 degrees F. I know our plants were very happy. The chickens enjoyed it too. I think they were glad to have a reprieve from the heat.

Our poor tomato plants did not deal well with the heat. Josh says that he will be planting them earlier next year. The rain was a welcome relief for the rest of our plants though!

We are so happy to have fresh eggs every day now! Eight of our hens are laying. We love the colors of their eggs. We have three left to start laying, our Blue-Laced Red Wyandottes.

Our prickly pear hedge near Josh’s garden beds is bearing fruit. The animals were starting to eat them, so Josh and I went out on Friday afternoon and picked some of the fruit using tongs. We made sure to leave some fruit for the birds and animals. While we were picking the fruit, there was a thunderstorm south of us, but it fell apart before it made it up to our area.

Looks like these tongs are going to be cactus fruit picking tongs from now on! Thankful these spines didn’t end up in our hands!

Josh is planning to make prickly pear jelly. We ended up with only half a bucket of fruit, so we are expecting we will only have about a one pint yield of jelly.

On Saturday, the chance of rain was minimal and the temperatures would stay in the 90s, so we decided to go hiking in Saguaro National Park (West) this morning with the kids. The Visitor Center is closed so we weren’t able to get the military annual pass (ours had expired) and paid $25 online for a 7-day entrance pass. We were in the park for four hours so it was a $25 well-spent. Fortunately, all the picnic areas and trails were open and there were available bathrooms in the picnic areas.

The ocotillo with leaves seem to glow green in the sun!

It was so quiet here! And green! I don’t think the park received as much rain as other areas, but the plants still looked very happy. We didn’t see many people until we made it to the Signal Hill trail where the petroglyphs are. We went to three trails off the Bajada Loop. The Bajada Loop is a relatively rough unpaved road. Our big Ford Transit van made it through but it was quite a bouncy ride and it’s not a road to drive quickly on.

Petroglyphs on Signal Hill. You can tell that some of these are NOT old petroglyphs!

Arizona is so beautiful, even in July!

Sunset view from our backyard July 25, 2020

Josh took these pictures at sunset from our backyard on July 25th, 2020. We bought a real drone, which Josh has been wanting since before we moved to Arizona, and he was practicing flying it on our property. He will be able to take some great pictures of our amazing Arizona skies with it!


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