Fun with Scorpions

Many people I have known hate scorpions as pests or are afraid of them, fearing their sting. Anyone who has read my blog will understand that I am exactly the opposite. I can’t see a scorpion without running towards it and getting a closer look. Scorpions make decent pets, as long as you don’t mind having an animal that will not love you, care for you, or even tolerate your presence. Continue reading


The Rustic Look

I love baking bread, and I eat a lot of it. Unfortunately, my usual recipe takes a fair number of hours to complete, so I normally only bake on the weekends. That means that by the end of the week, I am either out of bread, or the remaining bread has gone stale. I decided to try a new recipe that is scheduled around my workday. Continue reading

4-Gila Head Small

Gila Monster

Hiking around the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains this morning, I experienced a real treat: my first wild Gila Monster. I was walking around, looking for bugs, when I heard scratching sounds coming from a bush to my right. I looked down, and saw a Gila Monster walking towards me. I stood still to let it pass, but it saw me and turned right around. Continue reading

7-Stripetail Sting

Scorpions (and a Gecko)

There are 51 species of scorpions that can be found in Arizona, out of the 80 or so species in the United States. All scorpions can sting, and all have venom in their sting, but very few species are considered are medically significant, meaning that they have caused fatalities. Most scorpions hide under stones during the day, so me being me, I went out into the canyon and turned over stones to look for them. Continue reading

10-Blooming 2

Desert in Bloom

Exciting news! I have just moved to Tucson, AZ! While I have been volunteering in the aquarium industry for a while now, I just got a real, full-time position at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I drove from California to Tucson yesterday, so today was my first full day here. To celebrate, I went on a nature walk and decided to start the Homesteading Hippy back up with the pictures I took. Continue reading

5-Happy Snail

Wild-Caught Escargot

***Warning – Some pictures and descriptions may be a bit graphic***

Over the last few weeks, I have successfully collected, prepared, and eaten my own escargots. Here in Southern California, we have an invasive snail known as the Milk Snail, genus Otala, imported from the Mediterranean. Since the climate here is very similar to Spain and North Africa, they took off and have been doing massive damage to agriculture. They are also one of the species used for human consumption.

Continue reading

45-Marbled Godwit 4

A Collection of Nature Pictures

Hi everybody!

I know I haven’t been updating as often as I would like, but here is a collection of the pictures I have taken recently, just to prove I’m still around. These pictures are all up on iNaturalist as well, for those of you who read my last post.

5-Black WidowsA male and a female Western Black Widow. The male is attempting to approach her to mate. In this species, cannibalism is rare, and males and females have been recorded living peacefully in the same nest.

6-Bird on SignA Western Bluebird sitting on a sign, looking very cute.

FatalThe last moments of a honeybee, caught by an Araneus orb weaver.

17-RacoonA juvenile common raccoon looking out from between the boulders of a local jetty.

5-California Ground SquirrelA California Ground Squirrel searching for food at the tide pools during low tide.

23-Blue-clawed HermitA Blue-Band Hermit Crab, in front of a Starburst Anemone in the La Jolla Tide Pools.

22-Shore CrabStriped Shore Crab waiting patiently for me to move on.

30-Harbor SealA wave coming in to wash over a group of waiting Harbor Seals.

31-Brown PelicanCalifornia Brown Pelicans have a way of soaring with stiff wings. They barely have to flap at all to keep airborne.

12-Great Blue HeronA Great Blue Heron being disagreeable.

22-Willet… in contrast to the cultured Western Willet.

30-Whimbrel 2A Whimbrel trying to blend in with the seaweed, and succeeding.

45-Marbled Godwit 4

A Marbled Godwit ending his photo-shoot.

I hope-you enjoy these shots, they’re a few of my favorites from the past couple of weeks.

~The Homesteading Hippy