Thursday, July 12, 7:12 p.m.

A beautiful snake skin! A perfect shed, in the bottom of the dogpen fence.

A little wild bee on the Scabiosa.

Zauschneria arizonica, purple echinacea, yellow potentilla, purple scabiosa, all bloom in the butterfly bed, along with last year’s seeming weed, now a charming ground cover, from the drought, or from having simply established its place in the system. Milkweed going to pod after a short, early bloom. Having had good help in the yard this summer, and last, walking through it now is pure pleasure. I can see the beauty, not merely the undone.

The third ripe Violet Jasper falls into my left hand as I reach inside the vine. Deer have eaten most greenery and fruit outside the tomato cage, but inside they’re mine. Its hue is scarlet to burgundy, streaked with green; I read a bad review of this tomato after it was growing. The first one I tried wasn’t ripe, and wasn’t good. The first ripe one I gave to Suzi and she said it was oh so sweet. The second I ate hastily. This small tomato I savor.

It’s birds eating the apricots, and the peaches too. Birds, of all things, eating my fruits. I should not have thinned them, then there would be enough for all of us. A little bird smashed into the window this afternoon. Before I could get out there to check it, Raven snatched it and ran away. Whether the dog or the window killed it, I don’t know. On the upside, the temporary turtle ate a mealworm, and a good-sized nightcrawler today. She spent much of the day burrowed in several different places, and wandered around comfortably later after cloud cover cooled the day.

I harvested the peppermint the ranger gave me, spread it on racks in the pantry to dry for tea.


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