Wild Flowers and Wild Greens

The weather has been unseasonably warm the last few days, and although we’re supposed to get some more rain soon, I enjoyed a hike though Catalina State Park last weekend. Because we’ve had such a wet winter, the desert is really springing into life!

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Carry Me Back to Old Virginia

The title is from the folk song “My Clinch Mountain Home” which describes how hard it is to leave Virginia permanently. Luckily, I have many reasons to come back to visit often.

Last week I went back to visit my family, where I spent most of my childhood. It was nice to see everyone again, and I got a little time to relax and take a break from work. Now that I’m back in Arizona, I’d like to share the few pictures I took while I was gone. Continue reading


Hunting Part 3: The Meat

This is the last of three articles on my hunting adventures in Arizona. Firstly, I had described how and why I got into hunting for food. After that, I described the hunt itself, and how I find and catch a rabbit. This time, I’ll explore how I prepare the rabbit once I’ve caught it. Continue reading


Hunting Part 2: The Hunt

This is part two of a three-part series on my recent introduction to hunting for food. The first article explained my reasoning and purchase decisions. This time, we will focus on the process of hunting itself. The next article will be on preparation of the animals once they are caught. Continue reading


Hunting Part 1: The Rifle

I’ve been holding off on writing about hunting, because I was unsure of how to do so in a tasteful manner. In the end, I decided to do a three-part bit on my recent move into hunting for food. This article, the first in the set, will cover my acquisition of a rifle and my decision to take up hunting. The second will cover the hunt itself, and the third will deal with how to handle the catch, from butchery to cooking. Continue reading


Chasing the Enormous Hercules Beetle

I wrote last time about bug-hunting using a blacklight. It works very well, but sometimes it’s better to use other people’s lights. In this case, I’m referring to gas station and parking lot lamps, which are significantly brighter than anything I could put together. The beetle in question was Dynastes granti, the Western Hercules Beetle, and possible the largest beetle in the United States. Continue reading


How to Collect Insects with a Cheap Blacklight

Southern Arizona is known for many things, including the spectacular diversity of insects and the quality of the bug hunting. I decided to go a bit further than my usual haunts around Tucson, so I went to down to the Santa Rita mountains for an evening of bug-hunting fun! Continue reading


Monsoon Season

The Sonoran Desert is one of the most lush deserts in the world, because of its unique pattern of rainfall. Not only do we get winter rains, which are slow and steady, but we also have a monsoon season in the summer, consisting of regular heavy thunderstorms. We had our second monsoon rain of the summer last night, so I decided to go on a nature hike this morning. Continue reading

Walking Reduce


We saw our first bobcat lat night! I was on my way to water a friend’s plants when we noticed a large cat walking through one of the yards. It didn’t take long to tell that it was a bobcat! It looked at us and kept on walking, and really didn’t care that we were there. Eventually he walked into the bushes and disappeared from view.

Watching Reduce(Click to see larger view)

Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are found throughout North America, and eat primarily rabbits and hares, as well as pest rodents like packrats and ground squirrels. They will, however, eat chickens and small pets, so a lot of people worry about having them around. The easiest solution is to make sure that all animals are securely inside (or in a coop/barn) before nightfall.

On our way home, we found him lying on the ground near the path, and were surprised to find that we could walk right up to it to take pictures. We were only ten feet away when I took these photos!

~The Homesteading Hippy


Cooking Octopus on the Grill

Here’s a recipe a tried recently but hadn’t taken the time to post on The Homesteading Hippy: Grilled Baby Octopus. I bought them during one of my regular visits to our oriental market. The reason I am posting this now is that I just bought some jumbo squid and plan on using some of the tricks I learned with octopus to cook them. Continue reading