Walking across ’empty’ desert wilderness
hearing ladder-backed woodpecker
at woodwork
on old standing Joshua tree,
making a home.

Now, picking up beer cans and product wrappers
and other human trash

Yes, even here


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Hanging in the shade, guarding the compost bin, or: Awaiting customers (mice, squirrels, desert rats)
#joshuatree #greenmojave #rattlesnake #functioningecology

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Maybe two feet long, tops. Local snake enthusiasts have not come to a consensus on the animal’s species: Long-nosed? Or King?

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Really great photos of Stephanie’s design work on our JT Homesteader cabin project, with some quotes from both of us about the ethic/concept.

See: https://www.hunker.com/13709524/the-new-hometeliers-jt-homesteader

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Local loggerhead shrike has killed some kind of bird and impaled its head on the end of a creosote branch near one of our cabins. There’s a reason these guys are called “butcher birds.” (Incredible video by one of our lovely guests.)

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We are trying to help our friend Paul and his six-week-old son Joe deal with this unimaginable tragedy. Melanie was a radiant joy and an inspiration to us all. Please donate if you’re able. Info below.


“The Hi-Desert community is bereft to learn our luminous friend Melanie Buck died suddenly and unexpectedly at home in Landers, CA, leaving behind her 6-week old infant son Joe Claude, and adoring husband Paul.

This is an emergency fund to hire an infant care specialist to help Paul feed and care for baby Joe in these precious early weeks of life– an overwhelming time for any parent, let alone a grieving father.

ABOUT MELANIE: Melanie Buck was a communications officer in the US Navy before launching her landscape design firm which she ran for 15 years in Los Angeles. Since moving to the desert five years ago she continued to bring her boundless energy and warmth to all around her, especially to her job as a librarian at the Joshua Tree public library, where she was beloved by all, from eager young readers to old-timers using a computer for the first time. She raised goats, gardened, and brought into the world baby Joe with the love of her life, Paul. Words cannot express how deeply saddened her sudden loss has left the Hi-Desert.

Home visits from a infant care specialist cost $25+ / hr.

$25hr x 30hr week x 6 months = $18k.

Help us raise the funds to provide professional infant care to help Paul and baby Joe get through the next six months, from helping infant Joe transition from breastfeeding to taking the bottle (enough breast milk has been donated to last 6 months) to giving Paul a respite during this unimaginable time of loss.

HOW THIS WORKS: Every cent of this campaign will go into paying a part time baby nurse. Please share this link on Facebook, your Instagram profile link, and through email– Paul and baby Joe need our love and help, and this is a direct way to support them. There is no deadline, no minimum limit, and no amount too little– every little bit will help this baby start his new life without a mom. We can help make that transition.”

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Almost done! Had my architect hat on all summer. Farmstand, greenhouse, production kitchen and trailer office. Whew. Can’t wait to show you. And if you need cool stuff built in the high desert, Aaron Wood and Harrison Fraley are your guys.

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Our Homestead Camp Cabin (pictured above, at a recent sunset) is available for rent to peaceful travelers. It’s like camping in the desert — only you don’t need to bring any camping gear, you have a built shelter to sleep in, and there’s a hammock, outdoor kitchen, shower and toilet all to yourself…on five acres of unfenced land, inside a wildlife habitat corridor!

Now — Fall, which usually lasts til mid-December — is one of the two best times of the year to be in Joshua Tree (Spring is the other), as daytime temps have cooled and nighttime temps are still warm.

Be our guest!

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(photo by Angela de la Agua)

Daylight temps are finally falling after a very long, very hot and humid summer out here. Nighttime is gorgeous, it’s warm and pleasant enough that you can still sleep outside. Ah, autumn!

We still have some nights available for the fall in the three homesteader cabins (5 acres, 2.5 acres, 5 acres; $70-$114 nightly) we rent out to peaceful travelers.

Info on cabin rentals:

Be our guest — we’d love to host more folks who follow our blog!

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Almost stepped on this lady yesterday morning 920am underneath one of our jujube trees at Sunever Farms. Literally jumped backwards out of my sandals. She never rattled, never shifted out of her coil. I got my sandal back with a stick and then took this (um) sub-optimal photo. She was awake and flicking her tongue. Maybe catching spray from the water coming out of a leak in the tubing? Not too big. Whaddya think she is…?

[ANSWER: Probably a Green Mojave rattlesnake, possibly napping after a kill, or hiding out, waiting for prey to come to the water…]

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