Thursday, July 18, 2019


My neighbor across the street has put in a big garden but the javelinas got all his zucchini this year.

But that didn't stop this smiling face.

That's a huge bloom, as big as my face.

Sunflowers make everyone happy, I think.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019


Our monsoon season, which Arizonans long for as it brings cooling rain, also can bring danger.

Frequently, even if there is no rain, it can produce lightning.

And in the dry climate of my state that can start fires.

I spotted the smoke from this one on the other side of the Bradshaw Mountains from us yesterday evening.

It has been named the Cellar Fire and it began Sunday from a lightning strike.

It was a small 5 acre fire then but by yesterday it had grown to 8,000 acres.

So be careful out there, folks, it's fire season.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


We've had a new addition to our avian swarm in the last week or so.

SWMBO has confidently identified him as a Bronzed Cowbird.

He's been dominating the drinking/bathing containers, chasing off smaller birds and sometimes even the doves.

He has a fierce set of very large feet that serve him well.

The only other bird that will challenge him for a drink is a Mountain Bluejay.

He's perhaps a tad smaller but his screechy voice makes up for the size difference.

It's an interesting time here at the Catalyst's Bird Sanctuary.

Monday, July 15, 2019


I was put in charge of the entree for yesterday's dinner.

I tried a new recipe - Chicken in a Lemon Butter Sauce.

The sauce included thyme and chives from our pot garden and accompanied by Judy's Pesto Pasta, with basil also from our garden, it was pretty darned good.

Sunday, July 14, 2019


Some early progress in our (pot) tomato garden.

These (above) will eventually turn red.

These will eventually turn yellow.

Or so I'm told by The Master Gardener.

Oh and by the way, the Monsoon Rains began this weekend.

Just lightly, so far.

Saturday, July 13, 2019


If you live in Arizona you probably know it is wise to avoid the "Jumping Cholla".

That's a member of the cactus family whose parts are only lightly connected to the plant and if you come into contact with one, even lightly, it will attach itself to you.

This hiker has just learned that lesson as the police try to decide what to do next.

Friday, July 12, 2019


Just when you (Acosta, Epstein, Coates) thought today would be a bad day here comes Your Favorite Catalyst (Me) to brighten your day and your weekend.

Yes, laddies and lassies, it is time once again for Fun, Frolic and THE FRIDAY FUNNIES!

Okay, you sweet sixteens, sixties and seventies, I know it seems like a sesquicentenary sometimes, but stifle your superstitions and start (whether sleepwalking or staggering) sampling your surroundings of satisfaction.

In other words, have a great weekend!

And always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, that's not what I expected . . . . and I'm not lyin'.)

Thursday, July 11, 2019


I photographed this image on my patio the other night.

It looked familiar to me but I couldn't pin down the name.

Some checking around the Great Google found the answer.

That's the loveable face of the Proboscis Monkey.

Scientists tell us the longer the nose the more attractive he is to the female of his species.

Oh, and the top picture?

That's our 3-wicked candle which is said to repel gnats and mosquitoes and other pests trying to interrupt the peacefulness of my cocktail hour.

And make me think of weird monkeys.

So ends my lecture today.

Class dismissed.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


A very gold Marigold

(Allegedly protecting our tomato plants from bugs)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019


I just discovered this photo on my camera last night and I knew you'd want to know that I was well-fed on the Fourth of July.

We finally finished off the leftovers last night and it was still delicious.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Friday, July 5, 2019


Arizona's Monsoon Season begins on July 4th but this year we've had no rain yet.

So, the heat continues as we launch into the middle of another long weekend.

There's a Ladder-Backed Woodpecker working over the tree right in front of me (sorry, no picture) and it's time for me to work over the Friday Funnies.

With that to think about, it's time to tinker and toy with your transfiguration, harking always for the tremulous tones from tintinnabulation.

In other words, have a great (continuing) weekend.

And always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, he seems excited . . .)

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Happy Independence Day, America

And to our friends in the United Kingdom, it's nothing personal.

Then, as now, we just didn't want to be ruled by a king.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


Here in the heart of Ye Olde West, it's rodeo week.

It began last night in the neighboring town of Prescott, Arizona, but don't worry if you missed it.

There are a total of eight "performances" running all week.

Hang on to your hats.

And, as is tradition, your beers.

Monday, July 1, 2019


Did you see that strange sight in the sky last night?

I couldn't tell at first if it was a UFO (Flying Saucer) or a Great Grey Whale, though I had no idea why a whale would be cruising around in the sky.

My wife wisely stated, it's a cloud, silly!

That's why she's known as SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed).

But there were some weird shapes in the sky.

I don't know what you'd call those long flat shaped clouds.

I'd probably call them pancakes.

(Yeah, SWMBO is scoffing at that too.)

Meanwhile, the other direction the sky was lit up like a wildfire as the sun was going down.

Meanwhile back on Terra Firma, my friend Jocko the Mockingbird did not seem impressed.

He just gazed at The Blue Cat as if to say "Is this water fresh?"

Saturday, June 29, 2019


I visited a car show at the local Walmart parking lot this morning.

There were classic old touring cars.

Cars of many colors.

A mellow yellow 1931 Model A Ford.

Would you believe this tiny jitney is a BMW?

This pickup truck with a wicked looking front bumper attracted this guy.

While he was studying the engine I admired the twin stacks behind the passenger compartment.

This car apparently was rigged for some heavy duty dirt-track racing.

Check the roll bars.

This one, in basic black, was a beauty.

As was this curvilinear cutie.

A Cadillac from the days of b-i-g cars displayed it's very wide grille.

Faint memories came drifting back from this era.

I don't know but this car's owner seemed to be showing off some Corvette-envy.

The real thing was nearby.

Here was a fine example of a shiny engine so big a hole has to exist in the hood to accomodate it.

Many classic car owners have a sense of humor to go with their styling touches.

I loved seeing an old Hudson, a car brand long since confined to the ages.

And I especially liked it's vanity license plate.

Here's a better look.