Home sweet home
On the home front, we have a doe friend who paid us a lengthy visit last month. Since I typically have the camera and long lens on hand at happy hour to help with identifying birds, I was able to get a pretty funny shot of her enjoying the back yard. Isn't she a cutie?
As for our meadow, it has proven to be a marvelous habitat and has kept very unpleasant weeds at bay. Case in point—we haven't had to pick goatheads out of Toby's paws (or our own feet for that matter) at all this year. Plus it has mitigated the heavy soil erosion we experienced last year so we've managed to keep our yard from running down the street into the storm sewer.
As we get to know our property, we're learning what to encourage, discourage, and how to manage it. Our pals from the Gila Native Plant Society even came by to help us ID what we have and give us more tips and advice on how to create what we want in the long run. The yard overhaul is a long play though that has to take a backseat to getting the house livable. But we did pick up a few new tall grasses at the local native plant sale that will help us create some tiers, layers, and interest as an interim step towards our end goal. Now that we know exactly what we're starting with, we can keep learning and be ready to turn the yard into something special when the time comes. In the meantime, the grasses are beautiful, intricate, and fascinating—and I adore them.
Speaking of making the house livable, we made some headway on the fascia prep in the gap between monsoon season and whatever the surge of rain that we're getting now is called. Again with those best-laid plans! So we'll have to wait until things dry out again to continue sanding, priming, and painting. We did finally brave removing a bit of soffit from a particularly bad section by the chimney to see what kind of repairs we'll have to undertake. There's some awkward work to be done but it's really not as bad as we were preparing ourselves for. But get a load of the before and after shots. It's a reminder we've already come a long way.