Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yard Views

Ever since we moved to Sycamore Canyon almost two years ago I have enjoyed eating breakfast on the patio. When we first moved into our house the neighborhood was only partially finished. As a result, Gus an I have enjoyed a certain amount of privacy and unobstructed views from our yard. As the months and years have passed the neighborhood has filled in, and bit by bit we have lost little pieces of the sky and segments of the mountain views. All this time the five lots across the wash behind us have remained empty as well as the two lots across the street from them. A recent Skywatch Friday post featured the sunrise as seen straight out my backyard looking east across these vacant lots.



On March 3rd I am enjoying the gorgeous weather by eating outside once again. With my bowl of cereal, my tea, binoculars and camera, I am prepared for everything as the mesquite tree fills with birds swarming the nyjer feeder. I smile at this bright male Lesser Goldfinch watching me watching him when suddenly I hear it, the roar of a tractor motor.

I jump up to see it has started, the excavating of a new foundation in the vacant lot across the wash and across the street. The Rincon Mountains in the distance are the same ones I photographed on fire last year. I know that with a new house over there I will soon lose this view and with it, my backyard privacy. What to do? What to do?


Within two days the footings and pipe are laid. It won't be long until the framing goes up. And after that, the next lot and the next will sprout houses like mushrooms in the night.



As soon as Saturday arrives Guys and I take a trip to the new Ace Hardware store in Corona de Tucson. I saw something here on Friday when I came in to buy some safflower seed. The salesman tired to warn me that this type of tree will not only produce fruit, and grow fast with lots of thick foliage, but it will also attract birds! Oh my, now you are speaking my language! What you see as a detriment, I see as a selling point! This is exactly what I want, so we bring it home and prepare the site. I have always wanted one of these, especially since moving to Arizona. Presenting...




...my new dwarf Valencia orange tree! I cannot believe the lovely fragrance the orange blossoms have. I can't wait for it to make fruit, for I love to make fresh squeezed orange juice. I hope it will attract lots of birds...



...and grow fast and green to make a screen before the next house goes up behind me.

18 comments:

Lynne said...

How neat! Your very own oranges! I hop it grows fast too and draws lots of birds to your yard, Your patio is lovely- I especially like the curved wall.

Max said...

Wow, I thought that goldfinch was a Scott's oriole. In Oregon, uur lessers are much greener. I remain envious of your ability to eat breakfast outside.

denapple said...

I dream that someday I can spend spring in Arizona too. For now, we are looking at installing a babbling brook in the backyard. I sat in our swing this weekend, enjoying the birds, until the swing bucked me off. The chain came off and I landed on my butt!

Gaelyn said...

Your place looks beautiful. Too bad about the construction, but I suppose it was inevitable. Maybe you should build another story up? Congrats on the orange tree.

Mary said...

I wish you gallons of fresh-squeezed from that tree, Kathie, and lots of privacy.

I know how you're feeling, girl. We live very close to our neighbors and I get frustrated with always having a house behind my bird photos and obstructed sunrises and sunsets...

Your view is still very nice with mountains in the background!

Mary

Amy said...

I cringe at the thought of losing my privacy. Thank the Lord all the property surrounding us is in family hands, and none of us are selling.

You have your own orange tree? I'm so jealous! Do me a favor and grow an avocado tree from seed and mail me the fruit in a few years. Deal?

Pickett said...

Kathie, I love you orange tree... It looks spectacular in your back yard, The pop of green so cute and I am sooo jealous! ~Jamie

Doug Taron said...

The joys of home-grown citrus are one of the things that I would love if I lived in Arizona. Good luck with the orange tree.

Naturegirl said...

Kathie: One of the pleasures I'm enjoying while here is the abundance of orange and lemon trees
in most gardens!I cannot resist picking one or two.shhhhhh!!
I can appreciate your frustration with urban sprawl..taking away your view..it happens in my world too I worry about the animals losing their homes as the machines plow down every tree in sight then build houses!! EEK..stop this I scream!
BTW. I appreciate your expertise in correcting me with the birds.thank you Kathie!
I'm here for 2 months so we may just head your way one daytrip!

Shellmo said...

I can't wait to see your birdys delight upon discovering your orange tree! So sorry to hear you are losing your view - I dread overdevelopment. We are thinking about purchasing the wooded lot next to us so that birds and wildlife still have an untouched home.

Quiet Paths said...

To have breakfast on the patio in March is a novel idea to me; except for when we visited Hawaii. I don't doubt you are feeling a loss with that building going on; imagine that in this economy. Don't they know they can go to NV and buy a house for a song and a dance?

fishing guy said...

Kathie: That looks so special.

Ruth said...

My aunt and uncle have their house in Phoenix for sale and like many 100s more in the city, they cannot sell and the value has dropped dramatically. To bad they have to keep building. Perhaps there are fewer empty homes in your area.

bookbabie said...

How fun, in the cold northeast we always thinks it's so cool that people can grow oranges in their backyards:)

Kathiesbirds said...

Lynne, I have always wanted an orange tree ever since I've been to Florida where my brother had them in his backyard. I probably won't get fruit until next year, but that's okay. Aniticpation is everything. I just hope our gusty winds don't blow them all away!

Max, I suppose that could look like a Scotts Oriole but it IS acutally a male lesser. However, I did have a Scott's stop by last spring. Perhaps I'll get another this year.

Denapple, this is the best time of year here. How funny about your swing!

Gaelyn, we knew it was going to happen someday and now it is here. We can't, nor do we want to build up. We like one story living and I like the size of my house-- so easy to clean!

Mary, Thank you! The mountains views are just a step out the door and we can create privacy for the most part in our tiny backyard!

Amy, you are so lucky and so funny! Gus doesn't like avacados and I don't think we have room for any more trees, but I'll keep that in mind!

Jamie! So good to see you again! We can't fit 40 trees in this backyard but I will do my best. We just had a landscaper here last night to give us a quote on connecting the irrigation system to the back yard and adding dirt. Then Gus and I can go plant shopping again!

Thanks Doug! Perhaps all these new plants will attract more bugs for you to see when you visit!

Nature Girl, I actually live in a nature preserve that tries to mitigate the damage to the land. Out of 1,598 acres they are only disturbing about 500. the rest is open space. These lots were already designated when we purchased the house. I've had 2 years of views and privacy. I knew it would end one day. BTW, I will be at the Civano Nursery Spring Artisan Fair this weekend in Tucson if you are headed this way. If not, let me know when you are.

Shellmo, it sounds like a good move to me, for you and the birds!

Quiet paths, I appriciate your empathy but we knew this was inevitable. We still live in a lovely place and thankfully they are protecting lots of open space!

Fishing Guy, Thanks.

Ruth, no, we are over built also and prices have dropped, but not as drastically as in Phoenix. People still want to move here and we have some industry that really draws new buyers to the area. Tucson is a lovley place to live.

Bookbabie, that's what I thought the first time I went to Florida. When we moved here we were able to buy oranges from homeowners off the sides of the road. Now I will have my own tree and I am so excited! One big surprise to me was discovering that orange trees are evergreen and that they have thorns!

Mary C said...

Hi Kathie - as one who lives in California having my own orange tree (naval), I can guarantee you will not be disappointed once the fruit abounds. You are in a great location for oranges. When my husband and I lived in Albuquerque for a few years, we experienced a similar situation with homes getting built around us. I, like you, felt disappointed in losing my view, but appreciated it while we had it.

Impatient Explorer said...

I recently purchased a interesting house on 3+ acres in Oro Valley. I am surrounded by big homes. I just love my view, the wild life, the birds and truthfully I didn't give a thought to my neighbors. That is until I met one and discovered I was in control of their view. They were concerned that I was going to subdivide and build homes. Or I was going to tear down the house and build one like theirs. Why would I want to tear down my funny looking house to do that? Fortunately my view is protected and my neighbors view will be as long as I own it. You have a beautiful view and a beautiful yard.

Pat said...

Wow, :) that orange dwarf tree is so handsome, Can I ask How long you planted that tree. I Just Got 1 and a half feet one. :) Can't wait to grab some to eat. :)