Quick snapshot photos by Stephanie of a young desert horned lizard I spotted outside our house a few evenings ago. The animal was very small β€” just a couple of inches long, if that. Desert horned lizards will shoot a stream of blood out of their eyes up to 4-5 feet when threatened by animal predators β€” this little guy didn’t bother.

This is the second horned lizard I’ve seen in the last couple of weeks. It’s LizardLand outside right now β€” we’re seeing a greater variety of species zooming around than we’ve had the last couple of years… maybe because of the recent ant population explosion that seemed to follow the spring rains…?



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Fantastic photo by Angela de la Agua of our mutual neighbor tortoise wandering down the road a coupla sunsets ago…

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Follow Angela: instagram

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We now have a greenhouse full of propagation experiments waiting to be planted in mid-September when it cools down a bit: mexican & blue paloverde, catclaw & shoestring acacia, carob, jojoba, wolfberry, desert willow and more.

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We bought another small, old, local cabin for dirt cheap at the County tax sale last week. Stephanie will rehab it.

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Midcentury Prefab Homesteader Cabin

Love it when somebody has this experience, and then tells us about it… from a guest who stayed here last week:

“So, so, quiet. I took a walk during sunrise and literally HEARD a beetle walking slowly at my feet before I looked down to see it.

“Nighttime is unreal. My wife and I have never seen so many stars in the sky. Absolute magic.”

Be our guest: airbnb

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Here’s a pic of Jay and our friend Kip harvesting Jujubes Sunday night. We have a BUMPER crop — 12 trees covered with fruit. I’m furiously testing recipes. We’re posting tons of pics at:


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Stephanie is out of control again: Jujube Crisp with homemade ice cream, with jujubes (early) harvested this week from our small orchard.

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Under a jujube tree, at our small orchard
ID’d by Bert and Rhonda as a Glossy snake.
Photo by Stephanie.


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AS IT IS: Ruth Denison on what you can see here


Ruth Denison (wikipedia), the internationally known 91-year-old Buddhist teacher who lives up the dirt road from us, has been Jay’s teacher since the moment he met her in January, 2012. Ruth is pictured above, on the right, in a photo from two weeks ago. (That’s Jay on the left, and another of Ruth’s longtime students, teacher Jill Rayna in the center.)

What has Ruth been teaching out here in the northern outskirts of Joshua for all these years? Here’s a taste, from a chapter on Ruth in Meetings with Remarkable Women: Buddhist Teachers in America (Revised and Updated Edition) by Lenore Friedman:

When one deeply understands what the Buddha is saying, Ruth believes that qualities like compassion are “no problem; it is there!” She feels there is no limit to who we are: we are a field of energy endowed with consciousness that can flow out to everything there is. “I am not a separate entity; I am rather without boundaries, yah? Because in all phenomena, the same energies function. The physicists tell us we are not a solid mass of something; we are just energy in flux, like everything else, animated and unanimated. Wherever you look, you are in contact and see the context, and the situation presents itself clearly as it really is in true nature. Life.”

The desert, she feels, is especially conducive to this kind of perception. One lives in a field of “open space, vast, a mesa surrounded at the horizon by mountains, with snow peaks until June. So barren, so naked, so truthful. Nothing is hidden; everything is presenting itself as it is.”

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8:30am today: I watched this bat fly up and land on a beam under an outdoor patio ceiling at our house, in broad daylight. Something has gone wrong. Looks small and beautiful. (It flew away about half an hour later.)
Photo by Stephanie


Anyone able to ID this bat?

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